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Windows 10’s october 2018 update is out now the best features and how to get it

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Windows 10’s october 2018 update is out now the best features and how to get it

Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

Microsoft’s latest Windows 10 October 2018 Update is being made available to existing machines today. All you have to do is visit Windows Update to manually trigger this latest update, or wait until Microsoft starts pushing it out more broadly to PCs next week. Either way, the update includes a number of new features that improve Windows 10 whether you’re using it for work, gaming, or a mixture of the two.

Most importantly, Microsoft is finally using machine learning to stop future updates from installing when you’re using your PC. That feature alone makes it worth getting this latest Windows 10 update today, but I’ve been testing the Windows 10 October 2018 Update recently and here are my favorite new additions.

Microsoft has been focusing on making Android and iOS phones work better with Windows 10, and the new Your Phone app is designed to bring a lot of these efforts into a single destination. Your Phone primarily works with Android devices right now in the October 2018 Update, and you’ll be able to sync photos and text messages. Your Phone makes it quicker to pull a photo from your device and immediately copy and paste it into a document you’re working on.

The biggest feature of Your Phone, however, is the ability to send SMS messages from your PC, using your phone. This is limited to Android devices right now, but you’ll be able to send and receive messages in the app and they’re sent from your phone. Microsoft says it’s working to try and make the Your Phone features available on iPhones too, but Apple has restricted access to SMS data in iOS so it will require a big change to get this Your Phone feature working with the iPhone.

Windows 10’s october 2018 update is out now the best features and how to get it

My favorite new addition in the Windows 10 October 2018 Update is cloud clipboard. You can access a full history of your clipboard by using the Windows + V keyboard shortcut, and this will sync clipboard data across all your Windows 10 devices. It’s particularly useful if you have a Windows 10 PC at home or work and a laptop for on the go, and you want to pick up where you left off.

Microsoft is also working to bring cloud clipboard support to SwiftKey in the future, and this will allow you to copy or paste data between a mobile devices and Windows 10. That will make cloud clipboard even more useful across multiple devices.

Windows 10 has had a dark mode for some time, but it’s now extending to the File Explorer with the October 2018 Update. It’s a rather dramatic change from the usual white in the File Explorer, but it now suits the rest of the dark theme of Windows 10. If you’re a dark mode fan then this new look is certainly for you.

Windows 10’s october 2018 update is out now the best features and how to get it

Windows 10 search is changing significantly next year, but for now the October 2018 Update introduces new search previews in the Start menu. Search results will automatically appear in a new preview pane when you start searching. It’s particularly useful for documents, as the contents is now displayed as a preview in the search results. If you search for an app then the preview contents will change into a list of files you’ve used recently with that app, much like the jump lists that appear as context menus in the taskbar.

Microsoft is improving the way you can take screenshots in Windows 10 with the October 2018 Update. Screen Sketch, previously bundled in Windows Ink, is now a separate app that can take screenshots and provide options to annotate them. A new winkey + shift + S keyboard shortcut will now bring up an area select tool to snip a screenshot and copy it to the clipboard. You can then annotate the screenshot before sharing it with others. You can also assign the prntscr keyboard button to this new tool, instead of having to use third-party apps like Lightshot or ShareX.

Windows 10’s october 2018 update is out now the best features and how to get it

Microsoft always adds new features to its Edge browser with every Windows 10 update, and the October 2018 Update is no different. You can now stop videos from autoplaying sound, and better manage the websites you allow to autoplay in the first place. Edge is also getting some Fluent Design improvements with prettier tabs and new effects.

If you have a fancy new HDR monitor for gaming or movies then this Windows 10 October 2018 Update is for you. Microsoft is making it far easier to setup HDR in Windows 10 and ensure it’s enabled for apps and games that support it. HDR support in Windows 10 has been a bit messy previously, so these new settings make it far better to control.

Alongside the improved HDR support, the October 2018 Update also includes platform support for Nvidia’s new ray tracing GPUs. Microsoft and Nvidia have worked together on ray tracing, and DirectX now supports it with this update. If you own an RTX 2080 or RTX 2080 Ti then you’ll want this update so you’re ready for when games like Battlefield V ship with ray tracing enabled.

Task Manager has been gradually improving with Windows 10, and now Microsoft will let you see what apps are draining your battery. A new column in task manager categorizes apps into their power usage, so you can close apps that are drawing a lot of battery life when you’re mobile.

Windows 10’s october 2018 update is out now the best features and how to get it

Windows 10 now lets you increase the text size you see in apps across the whole operating system now. A new setting in the ease of access section lets you adjust system-wide text size so you can more easily see text in places like File Explorer or even the Start menu.

Microsoft is making some more changes to its Game Bar feature of Windows 10 with this latest update. You can now see CPU and GPU usage in the game bar, alongside an average fps. If you’re streaming it’s particularly useful to see if anything is slowing your machine down. The Game Bar also includes far better audio controls so you can manage what’s being captured when you take a clip or stream your game.

See the biggest changes coming to Windows 10.

Microsoft has settled into a semi-annual release schedule for Windows 10 ($149 at Amazon) , with major updates coming in the spring and fall. Following Windows 10 April 2018 Update this spring, Microsoft has released Windows 10 October 2018 Update (aka Windows 10, version 1809). Microsoft will roll the update out to PCs over the next few weeks, but you can install Windows 10 October 2018 Update right now . The more cautious among us can delay the update , but I recommend updating sooner or later. Here are 7 reasons why.

Clipboard history and cloud sync

With Windows 10 October 2018 Update, you will want to learn a fourth keyboard shortcut for your cutting, copying and pasting needs. In addition to Ctrl-X, Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V, you will need to work Windows key + V into your worklfow. That’s because Windows 10 October 2018 Update supercharges the clipboard in two important ways. First, it can now save your cut and copied items so you can access more than just the most recent. Second, you can sync your clipboard across your other Windows devices. I’m not sure how useful the sync feature will end up being, but clipboard history is fantastic right off the bat. Hit the Windows key and the V key to see your clipboard history, where you can paste any of the items or pin them or delete them. Super useful.

Windows 10’s october 2018 update is out now the best features and how to get itScreenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

To enable clipboard history and sync, go to Settings > System > Clipboard and toggle on Clipboard history and Sync across devices.

Dark mode for Microsoft apps

Similar to dark mode with the upcoming MacOS Mojave , Windows 10 gets its own dark mode with Windows 10 October 2018 Update. You can turn Microsoft’s apps including File Explorer, Settings and the App Store black. Head to Settings > Personalization > Colors, scroll to the bottom and for Choose your default app mode, choose Dark. It doesn’t effect Edge, however, which has its own dark mode setting .

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

SwiftKey keyboard

I have a non-touch Windows desktop, so the SwiftKey keyboard coming to Windows doesn’t make my own personal list, but it’s probably tops for touchscreen Windows users. And it could lead to some crazy-looking dual-screen laptops soon.

New and (potentially) improved screenshot tool

Windows 10 October 2018 Update introduces a new way to take screenshots. Snipping Tool is out. Snip & Sketch is in. (Actually, the Snipping Tool is sticking around for at least this next Windows release but Microsoft is pushing the new Snip & Sketch utility.)

The new Snip & Sketch tool is easier to access and makes it easier to share screenshots, but it lacks an important features that are keeping me on Team Snipping Tool. It does not offer any way to capture a screenshot of a window (it offers only rectangular, free-form and full-screen snips).

In addition to the old screenshot keyboard shortcut Windows key-Shift-S, it adds two more ways to initiate a screen capture: you can set the PntScn button to open screen snipping (Settings > Ease of Access > Keyboard) and you’ll find a new Screen snip button in the Action Center. Lastly, the new Snip & Sketch tool automatically adds your screenshot to the clipboard, which can streamline your screenshot-sharing process.

(Potentially) fewer annoying restarts for updates

The seemingly endless stream of Windows updates is an endless source of frustration . Microsoft has been trying to be less annoying with its updates and is making new efforts to ease your pain by getting better at predicting when you are at a point in your day where installing an update won’t have your hurling your laptop through the nearest window. Windows will try to distinguish the difference between getting up from your desk for a few hours or the night vs. going to grab a coffee or a quick chat with a coworker to try to choose the best time to restart and update your PC.

I have no evidence yet that Microsoft’s new predictive model for scheduling updates is working, but I also have no evidence to the contrary. So far, my system has not updated itself against my will.

Your Phone app

The Your Phone app is available now from the App Store, but Windows 10 October 2018 Update will plop it on your PC. It lets Android users view their phone’s photos on their PC and access them with drag-and-drop ease. No more emailing photos to yourself or involving a cloud service as a way-station. Setup is confusing for Android users and very limited for those in the iPhone ($440 at eBay) camp at the moment. iPhone users can’t access their phone’s photos; you can send only links from the Edge iOS app to open on Edge on your PC. You can also send a notification of a link to your PC, which I think could be a useful read-later reminder. And the app promises that “additional features for iPhone are being considered for future releases.”

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Separate font size slider

Windows 10’s scaling options are hugely useful for making text, icons and apps easier to read on a high-resolution display makes everything look incredibly crisp but also incredibly tiny. You’ve been able to increase the size of the elements on your display with scaling so you can keep your display at its native resolution where things look their best and also be able to read text and identify icons without squinting. Now, you have even more control because Windows 10 October 2018 Updates adds a separate control for scaling the size on fonts, but it’s not quite where you’d expect to find it in Settings. It’s not on the Settings > System > Display page where the Scale and layout tools are located (or even on the Advanced scaling settings page). Instead, you need to go to Settings > Ease of Access > Display to Make text bigger.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Originally published on Sept. 11, 2018.
Update, Oct. 3: Added information about the roll out of the final version of Windows 10 October 2018 Update.

Microsoft is rolling out the October 2018 Update to Windows 10 users now, and with it comes a ton of new features.

Microsoft releases these updates twice a year, and they’re packed with too many new features and changes in one place – especially when most of them probably won’t be noticed by the majority of PC users.

So, here’s a list of new Windows 10 features that might have the most impact for users on a day-to-day basis. And, hey, maybe you’ll learn something new that you can incorporate into your daily routine. The headlining features: The ability for Android phone owners to send and receive texts straight from their PC.

Personally, I’ll be making an effort to use Timeline and the new Cloud Clipboard more often.

Check out nine of the best new Windows 10 features and updates:

You can now link your Android phone to your Windows 10 PC for text messages and photos

With the Your Phone app, you can now link your Android phone to your Windows 10 computer to send and receive texts and transfer your photos from one to the other.

It’s a pretty significant feature, and a good start to making your mobile devices more connected to your computers.

You can check out how to set it up here.

Your Timeline in Windows 10 can also be viewed on your iPhone or Android phone

Earlier this year, Microsoft unveiled Timeline, a Windows 10 feature that kept track of which files and webpages you were accessing, and when, so you could figuratively trace your digital steps and find what you were looking for.

Now, Android users can install the Microsoft Launcher app and access that same Timeline so you can find the website or Office 365 file you wanted. Microsoft says that it’s coming to iPhone at some point soon as well.

The Cloud Clipboard feature lets you copy text or a picture from one computer, and paste it on another.

Windows 10 already keeps a record of everything you copy, including text and images, with the Clipboard feature. It also lets you copy multiple things, without having to paste. You can can see everything you’ve copied by hitting the Windows+V keys on your keyboard.

With the new Cloud Clipboard feature, your copied clips can be synced with other Windows 10 devices, too. It should prove useful for anyone who switches between multiple Windows 10 PCs.

File Explorer finally joins the fun when you put Windows 10 in “dark mode”

Windows 10 can now tell you how much battery is left on your Bluetooth deices. This is something Apple’s MacOS has been able to do for ages.

It can also tell you which apps are using the most battery on your laptop.

This is a nice little addition that gives you more control over what’s using up your Windows 10 laptop’s battery life. It used to be a weird guessing game with previous versions, but hopefully the new feature should give you a better idea of what apps to kill or get rid of entirely if they’re misbehaving.

Better support for HDR displays and Nvidia’s new ‘Ray Tracing’ technology

Windows 10 has had patchy success in making the most of high-end HDR displays, but the October update could help with that.

HDR is designed to bring better contrast and colours to content that supports it. Windows 10 was meant to support it, but it rarely worked properly.

The latest Windows 10 version is also compatible with Nvidia’s latest “Ray Tracing” technology that’s said to make lighting more realistic for video games.

Few games, if any, currently support ray tracing, and it has yet to be seen how it will affect your day to day on Windows 10. We’ll have to see what ray tracing support can do to your day to day usage on a Windows 10 computer. I suppose it’s nice to have, especially if you’re planning on upgrading to Nvidia’s latest 20-series “RTX” graphics cards.

Make text easier to read without making everything else bigger

It’s hard to find, but you can now change the size of text in Windows 10 without making everything else bigger, too. This is especially useful for higher-resolution displays, or if you want to keep the Windows 10 interface small, but still be able to read text.

The best way to find it is to search for “make text bigger” in the Windows 10 search bar.

The new Snip & Sketch feature will soon be taking over from the existing Snipping Tool for taking screenshots.

By pressing the Windows key + Shift + S buttons, you’ll be given the option to take a full screenshot, an adjustable rectangular screen shot, or a free-form screen shot of any shape.

It will then be saved directly to your Clipboard (which you pull up by pressing the Windows key + V. It’s easier to use than the old Snipping Tool, but it’s missing some features – like the option to take a screenshot of a full window.

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Windows 10’s october 2018 update is out now the best features and how to get it

The Windows 10 October 2018 Update Version 1809 release is just around the corner and here we show you some of the best new features to try first.

Microsoft is set to start rolling out the next new feature update to Windows 10, version 1809, aka “October 2018 Update”, next month. This is the company’s sixth feature update since Windows 10 was first released in 2015. While there aren’t as many notable new features as there were in the Spring Creators Update, some notable new ones will improve the computing experience. Here is a look at the most notable new features you can expect.

Dark Mode for File Explorer

Everything is going dark. These days it seems like every app and service has a dark mode for its app. Microsoft introduced a dark theme for Windows 10 a couple of years back with Anniversary Update, but File Explorer didn’t change with it. With 1809, that changes, and now you will get a more unified dark color scheme throughout the OS when you turn it on. Enabling it is easy. Head to Settings > Personalization > Colors and select Dark under the Choose your default app mode section.

Windows 10’s october 2018 update is out now the best features and how to get it

Your Phone App

The Your Phone app is a great new feature if you’re an Android owner. After you link your phone to Windows 10, you will be able to share web links and sync texts and photos between your phone and computer. You won’t need to worry about connecting your phone to transfer pictures or email them to yourself. They will automatically sync up when the phone and PC are connected. For more on sending SMS messages, check out our article on how to text from Windows 10 with Your Phone. Currently, Android users get the most benefit, but iPhone owners can send links from the Edge iOS app to open on Edge on their PC

Windows 10’s october 2018 update is out now the best features and how to get it

Start Menu Search Improvements

If you use the Start menu a lot to search, you will find a more feature-rich experience. This version is expanding to include recent documents, tasks, quick answers from the web, and more. For example, if you search for a third-party app, the web results will show a download button from the app’s official page. The user interface (UI) is also wider and allows easier access to info and other items.

Windows 10’s october 2018 update is out now the best features and how to get it

New Screenshot Tool

The Snipping Tool is being expanded to a new and improved screen grab tool called Snip & Sketch. It combines the Snipping tool with Windows Ink Workspace into a modern experience. It allows you to take a screenshot and then immediately edit and annotate and share the shot all within the same interface. For a closer look, check out our article on how to use the new Windows 10 Snip & Sketch Tool.

Windows 10’s october 2018 update is out now the best features and how to get it

Make Text Bigger

If you have poor eyesight or are using a high-resolution display and it’s hard to see the text, you now have an easier way to make things bigger. Instead of digging through display settings and adjusting scaling, head to Settings > Ease of Access > Display, use the slider to adjust the size of the text, and hit Apply.

Windows 10’s october 2018 update is out now the best features and how to get it

Clipboard History and Cloud Sync

The Clipboard has always been a staple of Windows functionality, and in this version, it gets enhanced. It can now save your cut and copied items so you can access more than just one. And, you can sync your clipboard across other Windows 10 devices. To make sure it’s enabled, head to Settings > System > Clipboard and toggle on Clipboard history and Sync across devices. To see your clipboard history, hit Windows key + V, and you will be able to paste in past items, pin them, or delete them. This will be exceptionally handy while working on documents in Word or online.

Windows 10’s october 2018 update is out now the best features and how to get it

Microsoft Edge (Legacy Edge) Improvements

Note: This Legacy version of Edge has been removed. It has been replaced by a Chromium-based version which is cross-platform and available on Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android. It has a lot more features and is updated on a more regular basis. You can even install Google Chrome extensions on the new version of Edge. And those available from the Microsoft Store.

With every new version of Windows 10, Edge gets a fair share of updates. This version includes a new sidebar Options menu that better organizes the browser’s features like Favorites, Reading List, and History. There are also improvements to Edge’s built-in PDF Reader and several under-the-hood performance improvements. And what can arguably be called the best new feature — the ability to stop autoplay videos, music, and other media.

Windows 10’s october 2018 update is out now the best features and how to get it

There are also plenty of other changes that you’ll discover as you continue to use this new build, and we’ll be covering them in more detail soon. There are plenty of performance enhancements, UI improvements, and more. But the features above are some of the best that you will want to check out first. What are some of your favorites?

Learn about Dark mode, Snip & Sketch, smartphone integration, Start Menu search upgrades, and cloud-powered clipboard

Every October Microsoft releases a major update to Windows that (hopefully) fixes the biggest bugs and gripes, while also bringing new features into this OS-as-a-service product.

While there were quite a few problems with the 2018 “1809” update that caused a two month delay, it should now be available through the regular update service.

If you’re already running 1809 or are just looking forward to it, here are some feature highlights you can look forward to in the newest Windows version.

Finally, Dark Mode for Explorer!

Microsoft already provided a Dark theme in a previous update, but unfortunately Windows Explorer itself retained its white background.

Dark modes and themes are pretty much everywhere these days. Not only do they make screens easier to read in the dark, they reduce screen power consumption. Most importantly, they look pretty cool to boot.

Enabling Dark mode for Windows apps couldn’t be easier. First Go to Settings – Personalization – Colors.

Windows 10’s october 2018 update is out now the best features and how to get it

Now scroll down to the bottom of the window.

Windows 10’s october 2018 update is out now the best features and how to get it

Under Default App Mode choose Dark. Now Windows Explorer will have a dark background and your eyes will thank you.

The Snip & Sketch Screenshot Tool

Windows 10 had much better support for screenshot editing out of the box than previous versions. However, the tools available were a little fragmented and with the 1809 update there is now one tool to rule (and replace) them all. The Snip and Sketch tool.

Windows 10’s october 2018 update is out now the best features and how to get it

You can find this tool with all your other apps or by simply typing its name in the Start Menu search bar. With it you can easily capture and edit screenshots with ease.

Your Phone App for Android Users

Like it or not, smartphones are now a part of almost everyone’s daily life. So Microsoft has decided to integrate Android phones into the Windows Desktop using a new application known as Your Phone.

There is no indication when or if other phone OSes will ever be fully supported, but if you have an Android smartphone you can now send texts and view photos. There are also some limited iOS functions. Specifically sending web pages from your iPhone to Windows.

You can find the app among your other Windows apps. The fastest way to access is is by searching for “Your Phone” it in the Start Menu.

Windows 10’s october 2018 update is out now the best features and how to get it

To link your phone, just click “Get Started” and follow the prompts. Then enter your number here.

Windows 10’s october 2018 update is out now the best features and how to get it

Enter your number and click Send. You should receive a text with a link to the Your Phone Companion app. Install it and then open it.

Now you just need to sign in with your Microsoft account to complete the link.

Windows 10’s october 2018 update is out now the best features and how to get it

Now you’re ready to start sharing content between your phone and Windows desktop.

Start Menu Search Upgrades

The search functions in the Start Menu have been expanded substantially. Now when you search for something you’ll see several tabs to categorize the results. There are also more relevant web results, with shortcuts to download or install an app.

Windows 10’s october 2018 update is out now the best features and how to get it

The search itself is also now much faster, coming up at the same time it takes for the Start Menu itself to appear.

The Supercharged, Cloud-powered Clipboard

The humble Clipboard has also received a major overhaul. Now when you copy something to the Clipboard there are more things you can do than just paste it somewhere.

Windows 10’s october 2018 update is out now the best features and how to get it

For example,you can now stack your copied items by activating the Clipboard History. If you press Windows+V then you can see that history and pick the item you want to paste.

You can also choose to sync clipboard data to the cloud and then to you other devices.

Windows, Reloaded

The Windows 10 of today is already much more mature and refined than when it first launched. Despite a rough start, the 1809 update has brought some truly useful and welcome changes to the system. Enjoy!

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Microsoft is preparing to launch the Windows 10 October Update in a matter of weeks, if not days. Unlike the initial Windows 10 Update, this is not some feature-packed revamp. This release resembles the Windows 10 April Update and appears to be a sign of what awaits a mostly mature Windows ecosystem. Gone are flashy whiz-bang features and themed update names, but instead smaller, refinements to existing features that generally make the operating system better, and nicer to use as a whole — especially with your other devices.

Revamped Windows Search Experience

Windows 10’s october 2018 update is out now the best features and how to get it

Microsoft is updating the Windows 10 Search experience to surface more useful information, both for searches done locally and on the web. The firm has added a preview pane which displays more information based on what you’re most likely searching. For local searches like an app, you even get more app details surfaced up front, and you can perform actions like pinning an app to the taskbar or uninstalling it right from the search bar itself.
For web searches, the preview pane displays relevant information upfront, removing the need to jump into a separate Edge or Chrome browser window to complete your query.

Dark Theme File Explorer

Windows 10’s october 2018 update is out now the best features and how to get it

Dark theme fever has recently seized most software makers in the past few months. Facebook is turning its Messenger app dark, Google is doing the same to Android and ChromeOS, Apple is bringing a dark mode to Mojave, and now Microsoft is doing the same with File Explorer. To be clear, it is not like Microsoft didn’t already offer a comprehensive dark mode with Windows 10 for years now. That setting only applied to Universal Windows apps (broadly speaking), and not to traditional Win32 programs like the File Explorer and Control Panel. With this release, Microsoft is addressing at least one such oversight. The firm issued several iterations of the dark mode file explorer before eventually settling on a soft grey hue that it plans to ship to users later this month.

Snip and Sketch Tool

Windows 10’s october 2018 update is out now the best features and how to get it

Microsoft is replacing the snipping tool with a new tool on its universal Windows Framework known as the Snip and Sketch tool. Snip and Sketch will also be replacing the Windows 10 Screen Sketch tool which was previously part of the Windows Ink toolset. This tool is a more modern take on the Snipping Tool, providing traditional screenshot editing functionality with modern options like Windows Ink and a quick share option where edited or annotated screenshots can quickly be shared to social media.
Snip and Sketch can be found in the start menu’s app list, in the Windows Ink Workspace, or by editing a screenshot captured when using the ‘Screen Snip’ Action Centre button.

Cloud Clipboard

Windows 10’s october 2018 update is out now the best features and how to get it

Microsoft is bringing a new Cloud Clipboard feature to Windows 10 with this new update. Cloud clipboard is one of the few new features in Windows 10 1809. For users signed into multiple PCs with the same Microsoft account, it ensures that data copied into the clipboard remains in sync across all your PCs. You can recall data placed on the keyboard on one computer when you’re on another one and access the keyboard history with Ctrl + V.
Microsoft wants to enable support for cloud clipboard in its cross-platform Swiftkey app in future updates, but that’s not ready just yet.

Your Phone

Windows 10’s october 2018 update is out now the best features and how to get it

Microsoft wants to be the bridge between your phone and your PC, and now that no one is using Windows Phones to allow the firm to bridge that gap the way it would like to, the company has worked around that problem with Your Phone. Technically already sort of available, Your Phone is an app that will let users share data from their phones to their PCs seamlessly. Your captured photos show up on your PC (once you install the Your Phone Companion app), and you’ll be able to read and reply to messages (on Android devices). Now, while most regular users will use frictionless, preinstalled services like Google Photos and Android Messages, not all users are into using Google — and some may not even be able to in countries like China or Russia. Microsoft provides an alternative for those users with Your Phone, adding to an already powerful suite of mobile apps.

Quality of Life Improvements.

Microsoft has also added more than a few quality of life improvements to Windows 10 with this update. These aren’t significant updates that users will immediately notice or use every day like they will the clipboard or search, but they’re more like nice-to-haves that enhance Windows overall. The Bluetooth menu now shows the battery life of all devices connected to it, allowing users to manage their devices from one central location. For users in tablet mode, Microsoft is bringing over its Swiftkey keyboard to Windows 10. Users will have access to the powerful swipe gestures and prediction engine that power the Android and iOS Swiftkey keyboards. The keyboard also gains access to the new emoji 11 standard and all the emoji included with that. Microsoft’s Edge gets a new dictionary feature in reading mode, as well as a line focus tool in this release.
Video lovers would be happy with the auto HDR improvements and Windows’ new ‘Adjust Video based on lighting’ setting, people on storage light PCs will be pleased with the Storage Sense improvements, gamers will appreciate auto-Focus Assist when playing a game in full screen.

What’s the Windows 10 October Update about? In a sentence, it’s a Windows 10 Update — in October. Your files will still be where you left them, your apps as well, your PC will just work better with some of your other devices, some features will be enhanced, some old ones will be removed. It won’t blow your socks off, but that’s Windows as a service. Don’t worry about it.

Last week we paused the rollout of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update (version 1809) for all users as we investigated isolated reports of users missing files after updating. Given the serious nature of any data loss, we took the added precaution of pulling all 1809 media across all channels, including Windows Server 2019 and IoT equivalents. We intentionally start each feature update rollout slowly, closely monitoring feedback before offering the update more broadly. In this case the update was only available to those who manually clicked on “check for updates” in Windows settings. At just two days into the rollout when we paused, the number of customers taking the October 2018 Update was limited. While the reports of actual data loss are few (one one-hundredth of one percent of version 1809 installs), any data loss is serious.

We have fully investigated all reports of data loss, identified and fixed all known issues in the update, and conducted internal validation. Also, Microsoft Support and our retail stores customer service personnel are available at no charge to help customers. More details are available below.

Today we take the next step towards the re-release of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update by providing the updated version to our Windows Insider community. We will carefully study the results, feedback, and diagnostic data from our Insiders before taking additional steps towards re-releasing more broadly.

More Information

Prior to re-releasing the October 2018 Update our engineering investigation determined that a very small number of users lost files during the October 2018 Update. This occurred if Known Folder Redirection (KFR) had been previously enabled, but files remain in the original “old” folder location vs being moved to the new, redirected location. KFR is the process of redirecting the known folders of Windows including Desktop, Documents, Pictures, Screenshots, Videos, Camera Roll, etc. from the default folder location, c:\users\username\ , to a new folder location. In previous feedback from the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, users with KFR reported an extra, empty copy of Known Folders on their device. Based on feedback from users, we introduced code in the October 2018 Update to remove these empty, duplicate known folders. That change, combined with another change to the update construction sequence, resulted in the deletion of the original “old” folder locations and their content, leaving only the new “active” folder intact. Accordingly, below are the issues we have identified and fixed:

  • Using KFR the user redirected a known folder to a different drive. For example, suppose you ran out of space on your C drive. You want to save some files separate from your primary folder, so you add another drive to your system for these. You create “D:\documents” and change the location of the files known folder from the original “old” location c:\users\username\documents to D:\documents. In some cases, if the contents of c:\users\username\documents were not moved to D:\documents, then a user could also encounter this issue. When the October 2018 Update was installed the original “old” folder was deleted including the files in that folder (in this example c:\users\username\documents would be deleted; d:\documents, the new location, would be preserved).
  • The user configured one or more of their Known Folders (Desktop, Documents, Pictures, Screenshots, Videos, Camera Roll, etc.) to be redirected (KFR) to another folder on OneDrive. For example, the user changed the location property of the documents folder from c:\users\username\documents to another folder. During this process the system prompts the user and asks if they would like to move the files to the new location. If the files were not moved and the October 2018 Update is installed the original “old” folder was deleted including the files in that folder.
  • The user used an early version of the OneDrive client and used the OneDrive settings to turn on the Auto save feature. This feature turned on KFR for the Documents and/or Pictures folders based on the user’s choice but did not move the existing files from the original “old” location to the new location. For example, if a user turned on Auto Save for pictures the location of the Pictures folder would be changed from c:\users\username\pictures to c:\users\username\onedrive\pictures, but no files would be moved. The current version of this feature moves the files. If the files were not moved and the October 2018 Update was installed the original “old” folder was deleted including the files in that folder (in this example c:\users\username\pictures would be deleted; c:\users\username\onedrive\pictures, the new location, would be preserved).

We have fully investigated these issues and developed solutions that resolve all three of these scenarios, so the “original” old folder location and its contents remain intact.

Today, we also released some other fixes in the monthly update for customers who have already taken the Windows 10 October 2018 Update. More details are available in KB 4464330.

Support for affected users

To help our customers that may be impacted by this issue, Microsoft Support is assisting customers and trying to recover data for users who may have experienced related data loss. Microsoft retail stores support services also offer this same level of support in-store. While we cannot guarantee the outcome of any file recovery work, if you have manually checked for updates and believe you have an issue with missing files, please minimize your use of the affected device and contact us directly at +1-800-MICROSOFT or find a local number in your area. For more information, please refer to our Windows 10 update history page (KB article), which we are updating with new information as it is available.

Next Steps

To help us better detect issues like this, today we have enabled a new feature in the Windows Insider Feedback Hub. We have added an ability for users to also provide an indication of impact and severity when filing User Initiated Feedback. We expect this will allow us to better monitor the most impactful issues even when feedback volume is low.

We will continue to closely monitor the update and all related feedback and diagnostic data from our Windows Insider community with the utmost vigilance. Once we have confirmation that there is no further impact we will move towards an official re-release of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update. We apologize for any impact these issues may have had on any of our customers. We are committed to learning from this experience and improving our processes and notification systems to help ensure our customers have a positive experience with our update process.

When Microsoft says they have “nothing to share” about the Smart Updater feature, we have to assume that may not make it.

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Though features within upcoming Windows updates come and go during the beta Insider builds, one that many were looking forward to—a Smart Updater feature that would hopefully cut back on awkwardly timed Windows 10 updates—is now in doubt.

Microsoft representatives said Wednesday that they had “nothing to share” regarding the feature, which Microsoft first introduced in Build 17723, in late July. Then, Microsoft promised that the feature would reduce the trauma caused by spontaneous reboots during Windows Update process—especially during times when a user was actively working on the PC.

“We heard you, and to alleviate this pain, if you have an update pending we’ve updated our reboot logic to use a new system that is more adaptive and proactive,” Microsoft said under a heading titled “Improving your update experience.” “We trained a predictive model that can accurately predict when the right time to restart the device is.”

The frustration with Windows Update is real.

Search YouTube for something like “Windows Update rage,” and you can get a sense for the frustration that unexpected Windows updates can cause: interrupting Twitch gaming streams, TV weather forecasts, and more. Part of the reason for the unhappy surprises may be that users haven’t properly configured their Active Hours or told Windows how to send them notifications when an update is pending. Nevertheless, the pain surrounding Windows updates is real, and videos documenting it certainly don’t contribute any goodwill toward Windows. It’s natural, then, that Microsoft would work on smoothing out the upgrade process.

PCWorld is in the process of going through, identifying, and testing the major features of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update now. Most are what we’d call “conveniences,” general improvements to Windows that you should encounter every day, as opposed to new features you’ll have to choose to enable or launch.

Mark Hachman / IDG

In the meantime, make sure you have your Active Hours set to prevent awkward Windows updates. (Unfortunately, if you run Windows 10 at work, your IT admins may have a policy that overrides your preferences.)

Because everyone encounters Windows updates, we were eager to confirm the presence of the Smart Updater, which—if it worked as advertised—we would consider a small but key update to Windows 10. Finding no mention of a Smart Updater feature or Update AI or anything like that in the Settings menu, however, we reached out to Microsoft. That’s when Microsoft provided its “nothing to share” statement.

At this point, it’s not clear whether Smart Updater is, in fact, gone. Another key feature, Sets, has been delayed for at least two versions of Windows—but Microsoft has been very clear that it’s taking time to improve the feature. We haven’t heard any similar messaging out of Redmond about getting this Smart Updater feature right. Unfortunately, though, “we have nothing to share” often means that a company is trying to sweep the issue under the rug.

What this means: In case it isn’t clear, we’re highly in favor of getting a Smart Updater feature to improve the overall update experience. The only downside, as Microsoft may see it, is that it might ship—but not work as advertised. From our perspective, there are several possible solutions: completely eliminate business hours as potential upgrade times; look at the user’s historical usage patterns, and eliminate those times; or splash a big message on the lock screen that an upgrade is imminent. We’re still hoping to see an improved Update feature, though. Fingers crossed on this one.

As PCWorld’s senior editor, Mark focuses on Microsoft news and chip technology, among other beats.

Microsoft released Windows 10 October 2018 Update version 1809 and if you don’t want to get it via Windows Update you can manually install it.

Microsoft recently announced that the latest Windows 10 feature update, Windows 10 October 2018 update Version 1809, is now available. In addition to security and performance improvements, this version also includes several new features. In addition, there are improvements to the UI, including Dark Mode for File Explorer, the new Your Phone app, a new screenshot tool, and a lot more. Just like previous feature updates, this one will roll out over Windows Update in staggered phases depending on the system you’re running it on. But some of you might want to install it or do a clean install manually.

Manually Install Windows 10 1809

An easy way to manually install the new feature update is to use Microsoft’s own utility. To get started, head to the Windows 10 Download page and click the Update now button to download the Update Assistant tool.

Windows 10’s october 2018 update is out now the best features and how to get it

From this point on, the process of upgrading is straightforward. Launch the tool, and it will check your system for compatibility and download the update. Note that doing it this way, your current files, apps, and settings will be kept. It’s also worth mentioning that you can cancel the update by clicking in mind you can cancel the update while it’s running if you have second thoughts while it’s running.

Windows 10’s october 2018 update is out now the best features and how to get it

If you are an experienced user and want to do a clean install, you can get the Media Creation Tool from the same download page listed above. That tool will download a full ISO image of Windows 10 1809 and help you create physical media (USB drive or DVD) for doing a clean install, or you can use the image to run it on a virtual machine.

Windows 10’s october 2018 update is out now the best features and how to get it

On the other hand, you might not want your system to upgrade yet. In fact, we usually recommend that you wait at least a month or until the first couple of cumulative updates are released. Microsoft has the Insider program, but when the official version is released to everyone, new bugs and issue crop up. To learn more, check out our article on how to delay or defer Windows 10 1809. That will show you several ways to avoid the update on Windows 10 Home or Pro from just a few days to up to a full year.

4 Comments

Brian, the link that you have provided for the Microsoft Download offers the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, not 1809. Is it back on line? Or has it been taken off again and updated to 1803, so that 1803 is really a camelion disguised as 1809. I’m a little confused! By the way I do have the Media Creation tool for 1809 – I’m thinking of selling it to the highest bidder as I understand it’s pretty hard to get, especially when it’s masquerading as something else. Oh dear, I think I’m getting a migraine… cancel the auction…