What's new for Windows 10 Insider Preview Builds (20H1)
The Windows Insider Program lets you preview builds of the upcoming 20H1 release of Windows 10. This topic lists all new Windows 10 features for you to try.
An update on Cortana (Build 18980)
In response to feedback, we are executing a plan to make it easier for all Windows customers to use Cortana. As a first step, starting with today’s build, all Insiders worldwide will see the Cortana icon and the new app. In a future Cortana app update, customers will have the option to use Cortana if they speak a supported language, regardless of their OS display language. The new Cortana app currently supports English (United States)—because Cortana is service backed. We can and will continue to add new languages over the coming months outside the bounds of OS build updates. We expect to support the same set of regions and languages we currently support in retail by 20H1 launch. We will share more details of our language rollout plans as they progress and appreciate your patience during this transition period.
Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) improvements (Build 18980)
In this build, we’ve added WSL2 support for ARM64 devices! We’ve also added the ability to set your distribution’s default user using the /etc/wsl.conf file. This release also contains multiple bug fixes, including a long-standing issue for legacy Windows symlinks (for example those in the user profile directory.)
For the full details of changes in this latest Insider Preview build, please see the WSL release notes.
Introducing the ability to move the Cortana window (Build 18975)
With the new conversational Cortana experience, we understand that you wanna keep the chat going sometimes, and the default position of the window isn’t always where you’d prefer to have it docked if you’re going to have a longer back and forth. That’s why we’re starting to roll out the option to be able to move the window (by dragging the title bar area), to anywhere you’d like on the screen–just like you can with other windows. You can also resize the window if you’d like. Currently, this change is rolled out to 50% of Insiders with the new Cortana experience, and we’ll continue the rollout as we validate the quality of the experience.
Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) Improvements (Build 18975)
See the latest improvements with WSL in the latest Insider Preview builds.
Update on Virtual Desktop renaming (Build 18975)
The ability to rename your virtual desktops is now available for all Insiders in the Fast ring! Thanks again everyone who shared feedback requesting this. To get started:
- Open Task View by selecting the Task View icon in the taskbar or pressing WIN+Tab.
- Select New Desktop.
- Select the desktop name (“Desktop 1”) and it should become editable, or right click the desktop thumbnail and a context menu will appear with a Rename entry.
- Input whatever name you’d like, and press enter.
Introducing a new tablet experience for 2-in-1 convertible PCs! (Build 18970)
We are beginning to roll out a new tablet experience for 2-in-1 convertible PCs as a Beta to Windows Insiders.
This new experience allows users entering tablet posture to stay in the familiar desktop experience without interruption, plus a few key touch improvements:
- Increased spacing between Taskbar icons.
- Search box on taskbar collapsed into an icon.
- File Explorer switches to touch optimized layout.
- Touch keyboard auto invokes when you tap text fields.
As part of this, we’ve also made a few small changes to the tablet section in Settings. This experience is currently available for a portion of Insiders as we evaluate the quality. Here are the steps once it becomes available on your PC:
- Use your convertible PC as a laptop as you normally would–opening apps and interacting with them.
- When you’re ready to pick it up and go or simply lean back on the couch, you can fold back the keyboard or remove it altogether, and it should switch to this new mode shown above.
- Now use your device as a tablet with touch.
We’d love to hear your feedback about the new experience–share your thoughts here.
Introducing a new PC reset option (Build 18970)
Reset this PC now provides users a new choice to download Windows or use local reinstall. Previously, Reset this PC was only able to do a local reinstall and would build a new Windows installation from existing Windows files. When this feature was introduced in Windows 10 version 1507, it provided the advantage of enabling Windows to be recoverable without requiring extra disk space to store a compressed, backup copy of Windows in a hidden partition. We’ve heard feedback that some of you would prefer to use your high-speed internet connection to speed up this process by just downloading Windows.
Important note: This is a recovery operation and will remove apps you have installed. Additionally, if the “Remove everything” option is selected, user data will also be deleted. For more information on Reset this PC and other recovery options visit aka.ms/win10recoveryoptions.
The cloud download option will reinstall the same build, version, and edition, that is currently installed on your device. This new cloud download option is available to all Windows 10 devices and is different from the “Recover from the cloud” feature available on some earlier Windows 10 devices.
Continuing the Cortana rollout (Build 18970)
The new Cortana experience is now available to all Insiders in the Fast ring in the United States. If it’s available on your device and you haven’t tried it out already, we’d love to hear your feedback! We’ve posted a Quest in the Feedback Hub to help you get started.
Control over restarting apps at sign-in (Build 18965)
As some of you already know, apps have the ability to register for restart, which helps in a few situations, including enabling you to get back to what you were doing if you need to restart your PC. Previously this option was tied to the “Use my sign-in info to automatically finish setting up my device” option under Sign-in options in accounts settings. We’ve heard feedback that some of you would prefer more explicit control over when Windows automatically restarts apps that were open when you restart your PC, and with 20H1 we’re bringing that option to you.
Windows now puts you in control with a new app restart setting. When turned on, Windows automatically saves your restartable apps when signing out, restarting, or shutting down Windows, and restarts them next time you sign in. This setting is off by default and you can change it any time in Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options, and can find it by searching for “restart apps” in Start or the search box.
GPU temperature comes to Task Manager (Build 18963)
One of the longstanding requests we’ve been tracking for Task Manager is to add temperature monitoring support, and with today’s build we’re making progress on that ask. If you have a dedicated GPU card, we will now bubble up the current temperature next to its listing in the Performance Tab.
We hope you like the change! If you have any further feedback for Task Manager, please don’t hesitate to share it. To make suggestions or report issues in this space, press WIN+F and file the feedback under Desktop Environment > Task Manager in the Feedback Hub.
- Showing the GPU temperature in Task Manager is currently only supported if you have a dedicated GPU card.
- You may need an updated graphics driver to see the temperature. Specifically one which supports version 2.4 (or higher) of WDDM is required. To check which version your PC has, press WIN+R and enter dxdiag. Under the Display tab, it will say your WDDM version next to Driver Model.
- Currently the temperature value is only supported in Celsius.
Renaming your virtual desktops (Build 18963)
Virtual Desktops exist to help you visually and cognitively separate different tasks on your PC. They can also be handy when doing presentations – enabling you to prepare demos on different desktops. Something we’ve heard loud and clear is that you want to be able to set names for your different desktops, in order to help cement the separation between workspaces, and we’re excited to share that rolling out to Insiders in the Fast ring is exactly that!
Wanna try it out? With the change, when you open Task View (by selecting the Task View button in the taskbar, or by pressing WIN+Tab,) clicking the name of your desktop will now switch it to be an editable fiel where you can set the name to be anything you’d like (including emoji). You can also right-click the thumbnail of the desired desktop in Task View, and a context menu with a Rename entry in it should appear. If you don’t have any additional desktops created yet, select “New desktop” in Task View to get started.
And yes, since we know you’ll ask – the names persist reboot.
Currently this change is live for 50% of Insiders in the Fast ring, and we’ll be expanding the rollout over the next few weeks as we evaluate the quality of experience.
Improving the Optional Features page in Settings (Build 18963)
Based on your feedback, we’ve made a number of usability improvements to the Optional Features page in Settings (Settings > Apps & Features > Optional Features), and they’re now starting to roll out to Insiders in the Fast ring.
- Multi-select: You can now select and install multiple optional features at the same time. Better list management: You can now search through lists of optional features and sort them by Name, Size, and Install date.
- More useful information: You can now see the install date for each optional feature in your ‘Installed features’ list. We’ve also added feature dependencies to the description of each optional feature in the list of features available for install.
- Easier page navigation: View the status of your latest installs/uninstalls/cancels right on the main page in the ‘Latest actions’ section. You can now add optional features and view your history via pop-up dialogues, so you never have to navigate away from the main page
We’re excited for you to try it! Currently these changes are live for 50% of Insiders in the Fast ring, and we’ll be expanding the rollout over the next few weeks as we evaluate the quality of experience. Here’s a peek at what you’ll see once it’s available on your PC:
Adding Mouse Cursor speed to Settings (Build 18963)
As some Insiders have noticed, you can now set your mouse cursor speed from within Settings! This is the latest piece of our larger ongoing effort to converge Settings and Control Panel experiences. You can find the setting under Settings > Devices > Mouse.
Making Notepad store-updatable (Build 18963)
Notepad has been a well-loved text editor in Windows for over 30 years. Over the last few releases, we’ve been making a number of small improvements to Notepad based on your feedback (including expanded line ending support, wrap around search, and indicating when there’s unsaved content.) Starting with this build, we’re making a change so that future Notepad updates will be automatically available via the store. This will allow us the flexibility to respond to issues and feedback outside the bounds of Windows releases. As always, if you have any feedback for Notepad, we welcome it in the Feedback Hub under Apps > Notepad.
Traditional Chinese IME improvements (Build 18963)
Thank you everyone who’s shared feedback about the new Traditional Chinese Bopomofo, ChangJie, and Quick IMEs. The developer team has been working on improving the quality and fixing bugs. With today’s build:
- Toolbar Improvements: We fixed an issue where toolbar shows up even when [Use IME toolbar] is turned off in the setting. We also added [Hide toolbar] button in the toolbar menu.
Note: Other ways to show/hide toolbar: 1, From settings: Right click [中/英] icon > Click [Settings] > [General] > [Use IME toolbar]; 2. From right click menu: Right click [中/英] icon > [Show/hide IME toolbar]
- Candidate Window Improvements: We have been working on improving candidate window quality. We fixed an issue where candidate window sometimes only showed limited number of candidates. We also fixed an issue where candidates shown in table view cannot be selected by number keys.
Please keep trying out this new IME, and let us know your feedback.
Changes to your account picture in Windows (Build 18963)
Changing the picture for the account you use to sign in to Windows is now better than ever! Your updated picture will now show up quickly across Windows, apps, and many of the Microsoft sites you use every day. Previously, you might see as many as three or four different pictures for your account in different apps and sites at one time. Its super easy to try out – just go to Your info in Windows settings and change your picture there!
- Open “Your info” in Windows settings by pressing the Windows key, and typing “Your info,” and selecting “Your account info.”
- Use the options in ‘Create your picture’ to select a new picture for your account.
- Check if your picture has been updated in Windows, and on the sites and apps you use.
Note: We’re still working with many sites and apps that will need to be updated to work well with this new feature. For example, the account manager control that appears in the upper right of many Microsoft websites currently updates every 24 hours. This will be changed in the next few months to update quickly when your account picture changes. Other updates for Insiders
Windows Search improvements (Build 18963)
We wanted to take a moment to cover some of the server-side search improvements we’ve been rolling out based on your feedback:
Improved spell correction for Apps & Settings searches. Windows Search has built-in spell correction to help you find what you’re looking for. When you’re typing quickly sometimes mistakes happen – we’re excited to announce that we’ve updated our spell correction technology to intelligently understand and correct small typos like “powerpiont” and “exce;” which previously would return no results. With these updates, you get better results faster. This feature is now available on both Insider and retail builds in English-language markets.
Hints to improve Best match results. Our goal with Windows Search is to provide a simple to use experience, and a key aspect of this is making results easy to understand. Something we’ve heard from you is surprise that sometimes settings search results don’t match your search. To help address this, in certain cases where the Best match result isn’t an exact match for your search, a “Related:” line will be included below the result to help clarify why this result is appearing. We’ll be expanding this feature to include Apps search in the coming weeks. This feature is now available on both Insider and retail builds in English (United States).
- Bringing the latest Search Home experience to more users. With the Windows 10 May 2019 Update we updated Search Home to help you save time by adding quick access to your Top apps and Recent activities. After receiving positive feedback and comments about this new experience, we’re now making it available to more users by rolling it out to everyone using the Windows 10 October 2018 Update as well. We hope you find them useful and that they help make Search Home more productive for you. Here’s a glance at what it looks like for those on the Windows 10 October 2018 Update:
A redesigned Network Status page in Settings (Build 18956)
Based on your feedback, we’re revamping the Network & Internet landing page in Settings to provide more information at a glance about your device’s connectivity, combining several pages to give you one clear view of how you are connected to the internet.
- New view of active connections: We now show all available connection interfaces on the Status page, so you can quickly see what is connected and view and change properties as needed. If you have multiple connections, only one will be used for internet connectivity at a time, and that one is still shown in the Status diagram at the top of the page.
- Integrated Data Usage: As you may have noticed in the picture above, you can now see how much data is being used by a network right from the Status page! If it looks like you’re using a lot of data, you can drill into the Data Usage page to create a limit for that network, which will warn you if you get close or go over your limit. You can also see how much data each app is using on that network.
We hope you like the changes! If you have any feedback about these, you can share it via the Feedback Hub under Network and Internet > Networking Experience – Look and Feel.
Traditional Chinese IME Improvements (Build 18956)
Thank you everyone who’s shared feedback about the new Traditional Chinese Bopomofo / ChangJie / Quick IME so far! The development team has been working on improving the quality and fixing bugs based on what you’ve told us, including:
- Bopomofo, ChangJie, and Quick IMEs: We improved the speed of toggling conversion mode ([中] mode and [英] mode). Now it you can switch between the two faster.
- Bopomofo IME: We heard feedback that some of you’ve been accidentally hitting the Shift + Space keyboard shortcut, resulting in the character width changing unexpectedly between Half-width and Full-width, so we’ve added a new setting for this if you’d prefer to disable the keyboard shortcut (Note: The default is enabled). To access this setting, right click the [中/英] icon in the taskbar, click Settings > General > “Use Shift + Space to switch character width”.
As you may have noticed in the screenshot below, we’re now adding the ability to change the candidate font size, separate from the rest of the system if you find that you need it to be a bit bigger. (You can still change the system font size under [Ease of Access]>[Display]>[Make text bigger].)
We also fixed issues where:
- The candidate numbers sometimes disappeared from the candidate window.
- Shift+Number wasn’t working for selecting an associated phrase.
Thanks again! If you have any further feedback about these experiences, let us know.
Notification settings improvements now rolling out to all of Fast (Build 18956)
Thanks everyone who’s tried out our improvements so far. We’re now starting to roll these out to all Insiders. To recap what you’ll see when you have the change:
- If you hover your mouse over an incoming notification, you’ll now see a settings icon to make it easy to adjust that app’s notification settings.
- We’ve updated the design of the per-app notification settings for visual clarity.
- There’s now a direct link to notification settings at the top of the Action Center.
- Notifications & Action Settings now has a checkbox for muting the sound of all notifications.
- By default, the senders in Notifications & Action Settings are now sorted by “most recently sent a notification.”
Cortana rollout increasing to more Insiders using English (Build 18956 - United States)
We’re increasing the rollout of the new Cortana experience to now be available for 50% of the Insiders using English (United States). You may need to reboot before you see the change on your PC. Looking for something to try once it appears for you? Try “What’s the weather?” or “Tell me a joke” to get started.
Calculator app updates (Build 18956)
Over the next few days we’ll be starting to roll out a Calculator app update to Insiders in the Fast ring. This app is most notable because it adds the ability to put Calculator in an Always on Top mode! Thanks everyone who shared feedback requesting this – we look forward to you trying it out. Once you have the updated version, you’ll be able to switch into the Always on Top mode by clicking the icon next to the calculator mode name.
Japanese IME Improvements (Build 18950)
Thank you everyone who’s shared feedback so far about the new Japanese IME. The development team has been working on improving the quality based on your feedback. Here are some improvements that you can try out in this build:
- Prediction Candidate window key navigation: We fixed an issue where the focus inside prediction candidate window wouldn’t move when using the Up Arrow key.
- Key customization: We’ve improved the discoverability of key assignment settings. Also, based on feedback, we’ve updated the default assigned value of Ctrl + Space to be “None”. Ctrl + Space can still be used for toggling IME-on/off by changing the value through its setting.
Please don’t hesitate to continue sharing your thoughts with us about typing in Windows – our ears are open and we’d love to hear from you.
Snip & Sketch improvements headed your way (Build 18950)
Thanks everyone who’s shared feedback so far for our updated snipping experience! We really appreciate it and are starting to roll out some more improvements based on what you’ve told us:
- Single window mode: Do you tend to retake snips multiple times in order to get the perfect screenshot? We’re updating the New button to now open new snips in your current app window, so you don’t end up with a ton of open snips (that you then need to close.) If you’d rather keep all snips open in separate windows. the option is now a toggle in settings, so you can decide which mode you prefer.
- Zoom: Need we say more? You can now zoom in on your screenshots if they’re a bit too small for you to annotate on (and yes, CTRL+Plus, CTRL+Minus and Ctrl+Mouse wheel are supported!). We’ll also zoom out to make sure the whole snip fits in the Snip & Sketch window. If you want to see the snip at its original size, click the Zoom button and then “Actual Size”.
- Improving WIN+Shift+S discoverability: You mentioned you loved learning about using WIN+Shift+S to take new snips any time and we thought others would too! If you haven’t taken a snip yet, we’ll now use the canvas space in Snip & Sketch to help you learn how to start a snip without needing to open the app first.
These changes are currently available for a portion of Insiders in the Fast ring as we evaluate the quality before continuing the rollout. Note the rollout for each change mentioned above is being handled separately, with separate random populations in the initial rollout, so seeing one of the changes with app version 10.1907.2064.0 doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll see all three.
Introducing a new Cortana experience for Windows 10 (Build 18945)
We are beginning to roll out a new Cortana experience for Windows 10 as a Beta to Windows Insiders in the U.S. This new experience features a brand-new chat-based UI that gives you the ability to type or speak natural language queries.
It supports most of the Cortana features people enjoy using on Windows, such as Bing answers, Assistant conversations, opening apps, managing lists, and setting reminders, alarms, and timers. And we’ve added some new features we think people will enjoy:
- Cortana now supports both light and dark themes in Windows.
- We have created a new, less intrusive screen for “Hey Cortana” queries so you can stay in the flow while you work.
- We have updated Cortana with new speech and language models, and significantly improved performance – making it faster and more reliable than ever before.
Not all the features from the previous Cortana experience are available just yet. As a Beta, we plan to add more features over time with updates to Cortana from the Microsoft Store.
To get started, choose the Cortana icon on the taskbar next to the search box. You can also leverage the speed and convenience of voice with improved speech recognition by simply saying “Hey Cortana”*. You may need to sign-in with your account to get started.
Note: This requires enabling this functionality in Settings > Voice activation privacy settings – Talk to Cortana.
If you’re an Insider in the U.S. and are not seeing the new experience, please be patient as we’re slowing rolling it out. Additional markets and languages will become available at a later date. You must be signed in to use Cortana. Historically, there were quite a few skills that could be used unauthenticated (Bing answers, open apps, Assistant conversations) but this is no longer the case. Only limited skills are currently supported in the new experience. Don’t worry we’ll be bringing back many skills over the coming months.
Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) Improvements (Build 18945)
Added connecting via localhost to WSL 2 Linux apps from Windows and global WSL configuration options
You’ll now be able to connect to your WSL 2 Linux networking applications using localhost. For example, the image below shows starting a NodeJS server in a WSL 2 distro, and then connecting to it in the Edge Browser with localhost.
Additionally, we’ve added global configuration options for WSL. These are options that will apply to each of your WSL distros. This also allows you to specify options that relate to the WSL 2 virtual machine (VM), as all your WSL 2 distros run inside of the same VM. The most exciting option that you’ll get access to in this build is being able to specify a custom Linux kernel! For the full details on what’s new in this release, check out What’s new for WSL in Insiders Preview Build 18945 on the Windows command line blog.
Accessibility Improvements (Build 18945)
Narrator now provides a more efficient reading experience when reading messages in Outlook or Windows Mail
When the message is opened, Scan Mode will turn on automatically. This allows the user to use their arrow keys to read the message in addition to all other Scan Mode hotkeys to jump through the text of the message.
Email messages like newsletters and marketing content are often formatted using tables to visually represent the look of the message. For a screen reader user, this information is not needed while reading the message. Narrator now recognizes some of these situations and will remove the information about the table to allow you to quickly move through the text contained in the message. This lets you to be much more efficient while reading these types of email messages.
- The cursor may not move to the location last read as Narrator auto-reads when an Outlook message is opened while in Scan Mode.
- Narrator will start reading when replying to a message. Press the control key and move to the top of the message to write your reply.
Narrator’s Outlook folder reading has been enhanced for an optimal triaging experience
As you read through your emails in Outlook, such as the inbox, Narrator now reads the information more efficiently. Each line item now starts with the status of the email, such as unread, forwarded, etc., followed by the other columns, such as from, subject, etc. Column headers will be silenced and columns with no data or that have the default (expected value) will be silenced, such as normal importance or unflagged, etc. While in Outlook, headers can be turned back on by pressing Narrator + H which will toggle their reading on and off.
Text cursor indicator
Have you ever had an issue finding the text cursor in the middle of a large amount of text, during a presentation, or on the screen in an educational setting? The new Text cursor indicator will help you see and find the text cursor wherever you are at any time! Select from a range of sizes for the text cursor indicator and make it a color easy for you to see. Or, personalize the color of your text cursor indicator to your personal preference. In the Ease of Access settings, open the new Text cursor page, turn on the text cursor indicator, and never lose track of your text cursor ever again!
- Text cursor indicator color and size might not persist when you sign in. To work around that, simply turn off and turn on the “Use text cursor indicator” setting again.
- Occasionally, you might see that the text cursor indicator stay on the screen or reappear after the app has been closed or the page contents have scrolled away.
Updated File Explorer search rolling out to all Insiders (Build 18945)
Over the next few days, the new File Explorer search experience will be rolling out to all Insiders in the Fast ring! Thanks everyone who’s shared feedback so far and helped us to improve the experience. Please don’t hesitate to share any other comments – you can file feedback for this area under Files, Folders, and Storage > File Explorer in the Feedback Hub.
Updating the Korean IME (Build 18941)
Earlier in this development cycle, we released updated versions of both the Chinese and Japanese IMEs. As part of our ongoing efforts to modernize and improve your typing experience in Windows, today we’re rolling out an updated version of the Korean IME to all Insiders in the Fast ring. This update is going out with the goal of making the IME more secure, reliable, and more beautiful to look at.
For those who’re familiar with typing in Korean, the changes will be most noticeable if you write in Hanja; we have a new candidate selection window that uses modern controls and clearer typography:
We have also improved the algorithm used for text prediction when writing Korean using the touch keyboard. Text suggestions should now be more accurate and relevant to what you are writing. With this change, we have a couple of known issues we’re working on addressing:
- Typing very fast in Notepad can cause the IME to stop working. If you experience this, restarting Notepad should resolve it.
- Pressing hotkeys, such as CTRL + A, in while in the middle of writing a Hangul letter has inconsistent behavior across apps.
We started rolling this change out to a small portion of Insiders a few days ago, and appreciate the feedback shared so far! Your feedback helps make Windows is better for everyone, so please don’t hesitate to continue sharing your thoughts and experiences.
Quick Event Create from the Taskbar (Build 18936)
Do you ever open the clock and calendar flyout to help organize your thoughts while making plans? We’ve been working on making it easier to create new events and reminders, and are happy to announce that as of today, all Insiders in the Fast ring should see this when you click on the date in the taskbar: '
Pick your desired date and start typing – you’ll now see inline options to set a time and location. We’re looking forward to you trying it out! Let us know if you have any feedback.
Go passwordless with Microsoft accounts on your device (Build 18936)
For improved security and a more seamless sign-in experience, you can now enable passwordless sign-in for Microsoft accounts on your Windows 10 device by going to Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options, and selecting ‘On’ under ‘Make your device passwordless’. This will strengthen your device sign-in by switching all Microsoft accounts on your device to modern multifactor authentication with Windows Hello Face, Fingerprint, or PIN, and eliminating passwords from Windows.
Don’t have Windows Hello set up yet? No problem! We’ll walk you through the setup experience on your next sign-in. Curious how a Windows Hello PIN is more secure than a password? Learn more here. '
Please note: This feature is currently being rolled out to a small portion of Insiders and the above option may not show for all users in Settings. If the toggle isn’t showing for you yet, check back in a week so.
Eye Control Improvements (Build 18932)
We’re continuing to extend and improve Eye Control based on your customer feedback. With this release, we have improvements in the following areas, which we invite your feedback about through the Feedback Hub and Microsoft Accessibility Feedback Forum.
Drag-and-drop: One of the most requested features, performing mouse drag-and-drop, is now implemented in Eye Control. When turned on from within Eye Control’s settings screen, the precise mouse control tool now allows mouse drag operations, as well as the ability to combine clicks and drags with Shift and Ctrl modifier keys.
Pause: We’ve made improvements to the pause experience. Selecting the pause button completely hides the launchpad. When dismissed, the launchpad reappears when you briefly close your eyes or look away from the screen. This allows uninterrupted viewing of full screen content, like watching a video. Similarly, it also allows eye gaze enabled applications to be used without triggering Eye Control features, useful if playing the recently launched Eye First applications.
Switch support: Previously, Dwell was the method for clicking a button. Dwelling is the act of fixing your eyes on part of the screen and keeping your eyes there for a specific amount of time. In this release, we’re adding a second activation method, switch. In this method, dwell is used to select the target, but clicking a button is done with switch. Currently switches on joysticks, or devices emulating joysticks, are supported.
Under the hood People wishing to develop their own gaze enabled applications can do so using the open source Gaze Interaction Library in the Windows Community Toolkit. In this revision of Eye Control, the user interface is implemented using the same code that is in the Gaze Interaction Library.
Settings: We have updated settings to allow you to manage more Eye Control features. This includes enabling some of the new features and more fine control of the numeric values that change how responsive the system is to eye movements. This allows for a more customized and natural feel for your Eye Control experience.
Other Accessibility Improvements (Build 18932)
- Narrator will now automatically start reading webpages and emails: Do you want to hear the most valuable content faster? Narrator now automatically starts reading webpages when they are loaded. Narrator will start reading at the main landmark, if there is one, or will fall back to a reasonable paragraph. Narrator will also start automatically reading emails when they are opened in Outlook and the inbox Mail applications. If you find experiences that aren’t working well, please send us feedback.
- The Magnifier UI now works with dark theme and text sizing options. The image below shows two Magnifier windows. The top one is in Light theme and default text size; the bottom one is in Dark theme and the text is scaled at 125%.
Refining your notification settings (Build 18932)
Over the last few releases, based on your feedback, we’ve been working on giving you more control over potential interruptions. Introducing Focus Assist to automatically suppress notifications when you’re trying to stay in the moment and not get distracted, and adding the option to use middle click to dismiss notifications if you want to quickly make a notification toast go away. One thing we’ve heard from you, though, is that our notification settings aren’t easily discoverable. In addition, once you find the settings, they can be difficult to understand. In order to address this, we’ve begun rolling out a few changes, including:
- When you receive a notification toast, there will now be an inline option to turn off notifications for that app, or head to the app’s notification settings.
- When you dive into an app’s notification settings, you’ll find that we’ve added pictures to help articulate the impact of a certain settings.
Prefer to have all your notifications muted? You no longer have to go to the old sound control panel to do that – we’ve added it as a top-level option in Notification & Actions Settings.
But wait, there’s more! We’ve also added a new direct link at the top of the Action Center to manage notifications, so it takes one less step to get to Notification & Actions settings. To make room for this we’ve moved the “no notifications” text down to the middle of the Action Center, which also means your eyes don’t have to traverse as far to see it when you launch the Action Center from the bottom of the screen.
- Finally, ever dismissed a notification you wanted to disable, and went to Notification & Actions Settings only to find the list of notification senders to be really really long? You can now sort the list by which apps most recently sent notifications.
Language Settings Improvements (Build 18922)
The Global Language Experience team has improvements in Language Settings to make it easier for you to see the current state of your language settings at a glance. The new overview section lets you quickly know which languages are selected as default for their Windows display, Apps & websites, Regional format, Keyboard, and Speech. If everything looks as expected you can quickly move on, you can click one of the tiles which will take you to where you need to be to change that selection.
We also found through usability studies and feedback that some users didn’t understand what the different language features empowered them to do or why they might be greyed out. In response to this, we’ve reorganized the language features installation page a bit and added tool tips with descriptions.
Feedback Hub updates (Build 18922)
Based on your feedback, we’re updating the Feedback Hub with a new feature called Find Similar Feedback! When you go to log a new piece of feedback, you’ll now see a section that looks to see if there’s any existing feedback that sounds similar to yours. You can now choose to automatically link your feedback to that existing feedback (rather than creating a new piece of feedback). This is currently in the process of rolling out to Insiders with version 1.1904.1584.0 – we look forward to you trying it out!
We’ve also updated the Thank You page a little bit, so that now there’s a direct button to share your feedback if that’s what you want do (rather than having to go find your feedback afterwards in the My Feedback section).
Thank you for all the feedback you’ve been sharing with us – we hope you like these updates! This is currently in the process of rolling out to Insiders as an app update in the Microsoft Store (version 1.1904.1584.0) – we look forward to you trying it out.
New download throttling options for Delivery Optimization (Build 18917)
We’ve heard from our users with very low connection speeds that setting download throttling as a percentage of available bandwidth isn’t providing enough relief in reducing the impact on their network. That’s why we’ve added a new option to throttle the bandwidth used by Delivery Optimization as an absolute value. You can set this separately for Foreground downloads (downloads that you initiate from Windows Store for example) or background downloads. This option already exists for IT Pros who use Group Policies or MDM policies to configure Delivery Optimization. In this build, we’ve made it easier to set via the settings page. You can access this option via Settings > Update & Security > Delivery Optimization > Advanced Options
Narrator Data Table Reading improvements (Build 18917)
We’ve optimized the information you hear with Narrator when navigating a table using table navigation commands. Narrator now reads the header data first, followed by the cell data, followed by the row/column position for that cell. Additionally, Narrator only reads the headers when the headers have changed, so you can focus on the content of the cell.
Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (Build 18917)
WSL 2 is a new version of the architecture that powers the Windows Subsystem for Linux to run ELF64 Linux binaries on Windows. This new architecture, which uses a real Linux kernel, changes how these Linux binaries interact with Windows and your computer’s hardware, but still provides the same user experience as in WSL 1 (the current widely available version). WSL 2 delivers a much faster file system performance and full system call compatibility, which lets you run more applications like Docker! Read more about the release of WSL 2.
Windows Ink Workspace Updates (Build 18917)
As we mentioned last week, you may notice that Windows Ink Workspace has changed on your PC. That’s because we’re updating the Windows Ink Workspace experience and starting to roll it out to some Insiders.
As part of this, Windows Ink Workspace now takes up less screen real estate, and we’re converging our whiteboarding experiences with a new direct link to our Microsoft Whiteboard app. Microsoft Whiteboard is a freeform digital canvas where ideas, content, and people can come together. It includes an infinite canvas, optional backgrounds (including graph paper and solid dark grey) to choose from, rainbow ink support, multiple pages, and generally addresses much of the feedback you shared with us about Sketchpad. If you used Sketchpad, don’t worry – we saved the sketch you were working on in your Pictures folder.
We heard your feedback, and we’ve streamlined the Windows Ink Workspace for you. Stay tuned as we continue to evolve! Once the new experience arrives on your PC, please take a moment to try it out and share feedback via Feedback Hub under Desktop Environment > Windows Ink Workspace. If the Windows Ink Workspace icon isn’t visible in your taskbar, you can show it by right-clicking the taskbar and selecting “Show Windows Workspace Icon.”
Narrator “Click me” link solution (Build 18912)
Do you get frustrated tabbing through “Click me” links? Narrator can now tell you the title of the page that’s linked to—just press Caps + Ctrl + D, and Narrator will take the URL of the hyperlink you are on and send it to an online service that will provide the page title to Narrator. If you would like to disable all online service usage by Narrator, you can turn this off in Narrator Settings. If you find links that don’t give you a meaningful page title, please send us feedback. Thanks!
Disk type now visible in Task Manager Performance tab (Build 18898)
A small, but perhaps convenient change — you’ll now be able to see the disk type (e.g. SSD) for each disk listed in Task Manager’s performance tab. This is particularly helpful in cases where you have multiple disks listed, so you can differentiate between them.
File Explorer improvements (Build 18894)
We’ve heard your feedback asking for increased consistency, and to make it easier to find your files. Over the next few days we’ll be starting to roll out a new File Explorer search experience – now powered by Windows Search. This change will help integrate your OneDrive content online with the traditional indexed results. This rollout will start with a small percent, and then we’ll increase the rollout to more Insiders as we validate the quality of the experience.
What does that mean for you? Once you have the new experience, as you type in File Explorer’s search box, you’ll now see a dropdown populated with suggested files at your fingertips that you can pick from.
These improved results can be launched directly by clicking the entry in the new suggestions box, or if you want to open the file location, just right-click the entry and there’ll be an option to do so. If you need to use commands or dig deeper into non-indexed locations, you can still press enter and populate the view with the traditional search results.
We’ve also updated the design, so now as soon as you click the search box in File Explorer (or press CTRL+E to set focus to it), you’ll see the dropdown list with your search history.
If you encounter any issues, or have any feedback, file them under “Files, Folders, and Online Storage” > “File Explorer” in the Feedback Hub.
NOTES: You may notice in the screenshot, we’ve made the File Explorer search box wider so the suggestions dropdown has a bit more room to show results – that’s not a new option, but we figured you might want to know how to do it: just move your mouse to the starting border of the search box, and your mouse should turn into a resizing double arrow cursor. Just click down and drag the search box to be a bit wider.
Accessibility improvements (Build 18894)
- Table reading improvements: Narrator is now more efficient when reading tables. Header information is not repeated when navigating within the same row or column. Entering and exiting tables is also less verbose.
- Narrator web page summary: There’s a new command in Narrator to give a webpage summary! (Narrator + S). Currently this command will give information about hyperlinks, landmarks and headings.
- Magnifier text cursor setting: Windows Magnifier has a new ability to keep the text cursor in the center of the screen making it easier and smoother to type. Centered on the screen is on by default and can be changed in the Magnifier settings.
Expanding dictation support to more languages (Build 18885)
Ever had a word that you just can’t figure out how to spell? Or like to think out loud and wanna automatically jot it all down? In addition to English (United States), we now support dictation when using English (Canada), English (UK), English (Australia), English (India), French (France), French (Canada), German (Germany), Italian (Italy), Spanish (Spain), Spanish (Mexico), Portuguese (Brazil), and Chinese (Simplified, China)
How to try it? Set focus to a text field and press WIN+H! Or you can tap the little microphone button at the top of the touch keyboard. Say what you wanna say, then press WIN+H a second time or tap the mic button to stop the dictation, or let the dictation session time out on its own.
We’d love to hear your feedback – you can report issues or make feature requests under Input & Language > Speech Input in the Feedback Hub.
- Speech resources will need to be downloaded for dictation to work. To check that they’re available, go to Language Settings, click on the desired language, and then click on Options. If speech resources are available but haven’t been downloaded, there should be a download button.
- Dictation is based on the language of your active keyboard. To switch between preferred languages, press WIN + Space.
Cross-language support in Feedback Hub
Based on your feedback, with Feedback Hub version 1.1903, Insiders with Windows set to a language other than English now have the option of browsing English feedback within the Feedback Hub, as well as submitting feedback in English on the New Feedback form.
East Asian Microsoft Input Method Editor (IME) Improvements (Build 18875)
The New Japanese IME is now available to all Insiders in Fast. During 19H1, we announced we were working on a new Japanese IME. We got a lot of great feedback, and the IME was taken offline for a time while we worked on improving the experience based on what you’d told us. Today the IME – now more secure, more stable, with improved game compatibility, and more – is once again available for all Insiders starting with this build. If you speak Japanese, please take some time to evaluate how it feels to use the IME (with all the improvements) for daily usage, and let us know what you think! If you already were using the Japanese IME, you’ll automatically have the new one when you install this build – if you weren’t already using the Japanese IME, you can add it by going to Languages Settings and adding Japanese to the list.
New IMEs are available for Simplified and Traditional Chinese. Just like the Japanese IME above, we’ve been working on refining your Chinese typing experience, and are happy to share that we have new versions of the Chinese Simplified IMEs (Pinyin and Wubi), as well as the Chinese Traditional IMEs (Bopomofo, ChangJie and Quick). We’ve improved the security and reliability by redesigning how they work with applications. You’ll also notice we’ve added a cleaner interface for the candidate window and settings pages. Improved and renewed settings of the IMEs are available in the Settings app. If you’re using one of the IMEs and you’d like to check it out, the fastest way there is to right-click the IME mode indicator in the taskbar and select Settings (you can get there from the Language Settings page by clicking the language, and going into options). Looking forward to hearing what you think about it!
Bringing SwiftKey’s Typing Intelligence to Even More Languages (Build 18860)
As many of you know, we’ve been working on bringing SwiftKey’s typing intelligence to Windows. We’re excited to announce that we’re expanding support to these 39 languages:
Afrikaans (South Africa), Albanian (Albania), Arabic (Saudi Arabia), Armenian (Armenia), Azerbaijani (Azerbaijan), Basque (Spain), Bulgarian (Bulgaria), Catalan (Spain), Croatian (Croatia), Czech (Czech Republic), Danish (Denmark), Dutch (Netherlands), Estonian (Estonia), Finnish (Finland), Galician (Spain), Georgian (Georgia), Greek (Greece), Hausa (Nigeria), Hebrew (Israel), Hindi (India), Hungarian (Hungary), Indonesian (Indonesia), Kazakh (Kazakhstan), Latvian (Latvia), Lithuanian (Lithuania), Macedonian (Macedonia), Malay (Malaysia), Norwegian (Bokmal, Norway), Persian (Iran), Polish (Poland), Romanian (Romania), Serbian (Serbia), Serbian (Serbia), Slovak (Slovakia), Slovenian (Slovenia), Swedish (Sweden), Turkish (Turkey), Ukrainian (Ukraine), Uzbek (Uzbek)
What does this mean for you? Basically, we’re updating the underlying language model when typing in each of these languages, to improve the accuracy of the autocorrections, shapewriting, and predictions. You’d notice this when using the touch keyboard, or the hardware keyboard text predictions (if enabled). If you use these languages above to type, help us make your typing experience even better by sharing feedback! (being as specific as possible, if you can). We’ll be posting a Quest about this improvement in the Feedback Hub soon.
Improved Windows Sandbox accessibility (Build 18855)
We have made several updates to improve Windows Sandbox accessibility scenarios. This includes:
- Microphone support
- Added functionality to configure the audio input device via the Windows Sandbox config file
- A Shift + Alt + PrintScreen key sequence in Windows Sandbox which activates the ease of access dialog for enabling high contrast mode.
- A ctrl + alt + break key sequence in Windows Sandbox which allows entering/exiting fullscreen mode
Snip & Sketch version 10.1901.10521.0 (Build 18850)
As some of you may have already noticed, we’re in the process of rollout out a new app update to Skip Ahead. It includes a number of fixes based on your feedback, among which are:
- We fixed an issue that could result in snips being a bit blurry after saving or copying to clipboard.
- We fixed an issue where copying to clipboard would fail if you switched out of the app while the copy operation was in progress.
- We fixed an issue where the suggested file name was unexpectedly a GUID for snips opened from Win + Shift + S toast.
- We’ve added Narrator (screen reader) confirmations when a snip is copied to clipboard.
- We’ve updated the default save format to be png. You can still use the dropdown when saving to pick your desired format if it’s not png.
- We fixed an issue where auto-copy changes to clipboard wasn’t working on return from Snip & Sketch settings.
- We fixed an issue where the app might crash if you closed two app windows one after another.
- We fixed an issue where the default save file location was documents rather than pictures. In fixing this we also fixed an issue where when saving the save dialog wouldn’t remember where you last saved a snip.
The rollout of this app is not tied to the upgrade, so you may see it outside the bounds of this flight.
Windows Sandbox configuration file support (Build 18841)
Windows Sandbox now supports configuration files! These files allow users to configure some aspects of the sandbox, such as vGPU, networking and shared folders. Check out the blog post explaining this new feature.