Trending December 2023 # Windows 10 Build 14942 Rolls Out With New Features And Changes # Suggested January 2024 # Top 19 Popular

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Microsoft is now rolling out Windows 10 build 14942 for PCs enrolled in the Fast ring. This particular release includes a number of small features and improvements that users will be getting as part of the Windows 10 Redstone 2 update in early 2023.

According to the company in build 14942 there are a new few features, including an option to hide the app list on the Start menu, you can now extend Active Hours longer than 12 hours, the precision touch experience has improved, and there are new changes under-the-hood. This is in addition to various other fixes and improvements.

Start menu

Now on Windows 10, you can hide the app list on the Start menu. The new feature works similar to the Start screen on tablet mode, which means that under the hamburger button, you’ll see a button to see only tiles or the list of apps.

Touchpad experience Settings

In the Settings app, Windows 10 build 14942 now includes some minor tweaks to increase the default Active Hours range from 12 to 18 hours, but it’s only for Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, Education, and Windows 10 Mobile — Windows 10 Home will retain the default 12-hours range.

Additionally, there is a new Windows Update icon that matches the iconography of Windows 10. After installing new updates, you’ll now see the icon on Action Center.

Internal changes

Service hosts are now split into separate processes on devices with 3.5GB or more RAM. While you’ll see an increased number of processes in the Task Manager, there is nothing to worry about.

Increase reliability: Currently, if one service host fails, all the services grouped in one process will fail. The change removes the case of single point of failure.

Increase transparency: Now it’ll finally be possible to view what’s really happening on each process. You can now see how much processor, memory, disk & network individual services are consuming.

Reduce servicing costs: This small improvement will allow technicians to quickly pinpoint issues and get them resolve quickly.

Increase security: Process isolation and individual permission sets for services will increase the security of the operating system.


Starting with Windows 10 build 14942, Narrator introduces field navigation. Form Fields have been added to Narrator’s Search and Select feature to allow you to list items such as buttons, links, headings and other elements available in an app, webpage or document.

Windows 10 build 14942 fixes and improvements

Improved frame rates when Game Bar is enabled for full screen games.

Custom printer names will be preserved across upgrades after updating to this build. In addition, the company is fixing a number of issues, including sfc /scannow command failing at 20 percent. Settings app crashing when navigating certain pages.

Fixed an issue resulting in Windows Defender Antimalware Service Executable sometimes using an unexpectedly large amount of CPU.

Fixed an issue resulting in a small set of users seeing the NTFS partition of their external hard drive incorrectly showing up as RAW format.

Windows 10 build 14942 known issues

In build 14942 there is a problem with IIS World Wide Web Publishing Service (W3Svc), prevents the service to start successfully.

Microsoft is listing the complete set of the features, fixes, and known issues for build 14942 at the Windows Blog.

Alongside, the features and changes, Microsoft also is shipping an updated version of the Photos app adding a much improved user interface.

The new changes include a horizontal navigation bar, new light view mode, new animations for full screen mode, and you can see photos more quickly with your mouse.

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Windows 10 Build 16226 (Fall Creators Update) Releases With New Features

Microsoft is now rolling out Windows 10 build 16226 for testers with PCs enrolled in the Fast ring. The new release is part of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, and it delivers a new set of features and enhancements over the previous build.

Windows 10 build 16226, according to the company, adds a slew of improvements for Microsoft Edge, updated emojis, and improvement for OneDrive Files On-Demand. The Touch Keyboard and handwriting experience get updated. The Settings app introduces more options and changes. Task Manager now shows GPU performance, and the Windows 10 shell gets more tweaks, including Reveal Highlight, updated File Explorer context menu, and a lot more.

Here are all the new features and improvements included in this new pre-release of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update expected to arrive later this year.

Start menu, Taskbar, Action Center

In this flight, the Start menu and Action Center deliver new features, but Microsoft made some Fluent Design tweaks to be a little more transparent and let more of the underlying color through. Additionally, Action Center now uses a new conscientious XAML scrollbar design.

Perhaps one of the best addition on this release can be found in the Task Manager that now tracks GPU performance over time.

Windows Shell

On Windows 10 build 16226, the new Reveal Highlight behavior is an interaction visualization that helps guide users, and it’s now enabled by default on ListView and other XAML collection controls.

Windows 10 Emoji

In this flight part of the Fall Creators Update, Windows 10 introduces updated emoji with support for the latest Unicode updates, including new snacks, actions, dinosaurs, and even fantasy characters like genies, fairies and zombies.

The update also enables the emoji pickers to access the profession emoji and gender diverse options.

The Emoji Panel has also been updated to have a dark background when the dark theme is enabled on Windows 10.

Touch Keyboard

In this Windows 10 Fall Creators Update release, shape writing and text prediction are available not only in English, but on more than 25 languages, including English (United Kingdom), French (Canadian), Portuguese (Brazil), Russian (Russia), Spanish (Mexico), Spanish (Spain), German (Germany), and many more. Additionally, the new Touch Keyboard is available on East Asian languages such as Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Japanese and Korean.

If you have text copied to the clipboard, you’ll now see a clipboard icon in the touch keyboard candidate pane. Tapping it will paste the clipboard contents.

You can now use the Shift key to cycle between capitalization states, and the settings flyout has been updated to make it easier to access Language Settings, Keyboard Settings, or help.

Handwriting and pen

You can now erase words in the handwriting panel with the back of your pen. The handwriting panel now draws using Microsoft’s Segoe UI font. And pen scrolling now works with traditional desktop apps, in addition to Windows Store apps.

OneDrive Files On-Demand Windows Sonic spatial sound Settings improvements

In the Settings app, the Gaming section gets a new Xbox Networking page, which aims to help to troubleshoot and fix issues preventing you from using voice chatting and playing multiplayer games with other Xbox Live users.

Inside the System section, the Storage page includes an updated Storage Sense page with a new look and the option to Delete your previous versions of Windows straight from Storage Sense.

Additionally, this page includes related settings like sleep (Keep my PC awake for connections when it is plugged in) and PC discoverability to help you know if your PC is remotely accessible. The new Remote Desktop page also displays your computer name, which you will need to connect from the remote desktop client applications.

On Windows Update, if an update has failed the problem description is easy to understand with an error code, which you can copy to research a fix.

Microsoft Edge

On Windows 10 build 16226, Microsoft Edge gets a lot of new features and improvements.

In a continue effort to make tabs more useful now closing a window always remains an available option, and you can also access many browser features, such as favorites bar and settings, while a dialog is showing.

When moving from Google Chrome your Cookies and settings will also be imported to Microsoft Edge.

Starting with Windows 10 build 16226, Microsoft Edge introduces a new Favorites experience that let you see your favorites as a directory tree when you save new favorites, and collapse or expand folders from within the Add to favorites dialog.

Additional improvements

In this Windows 10 Fall Creators Update release, there is an updated version of the calculator app with support to convert currency, which also includes an offline mode when you need to do conversion on the go and you don’t have internet access.

Narrator can now use artificial intelligence to generate descriptions for images that lack alternative text. In addition, the feature has ability to extract text from images using optical character recognition.

Snipping tool is now natively per-monitor DPI aware.

Alongside the slew of improvements and new features, Windows 10 build 16226 also includes various changes for Japanese Input Method Editor (IME), including Enhanced learning for predictive input, English predictive candidates with spelling correction, and search from Japanese IME Candidate List.

How to download Windows 10 build 16226

Microsoft is listing the complete set of fixes and known issues for Windows 10 build 16226 at the Windows Blog. In case you missed it, you can read all the changes for Windows 10 build 16215 in this article.

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Windows 10 Build 21354 Outs With New Features In The Dev Channel

Windows 10 build 21354 releases in the Dev Channel with new features and changes.

It brings new Camera settings to manage network cameras and webcams.

Introduces the ability to disable content adaptive brightness control (CABC).

Microsoft also ships tweaks for the Settings app, Start menu, WSL, News and Interests, built-in apps, and more.

Build 21354 for Windows 10 is now rolling out for devices enrolled in the Dev Channel of the Windows Insider Program. This is preview number 69, and it is a small release with several changes and new features.

According to the company announcement, Windows 10 build 21354 introduces a new “Cameras” settings page with new features for network cameras and webcams. You will also find several changes for built-in apps (Snipping Tool and Paint), tweaks to the Start menu, improvements for the “News and interests” feature, and more.

Windows 10 build 21354 new features

Here are the new features, changes, and improvements with the latest preview of Windows 10.

Cameras settings

Starting with build 21354, Windows 10 introduces a new “Cameras” page in the “Devices” section of the Settings app.

The new page includes settings to add, remove, disable, and configure network cameras, built-in cameras (front and rear), and external USB webcams.

In the configuration settings, you can also remove the backlight that causes shadows on your face. And you can even adjust brightness and contrast, enable Video HDR or Eye Contact, or correct the camera rotation.

Displays settings

In the Display settings, you will now have the ability to disable content adaptive brightness control (CABC), which is a feature that improves battery life by adjusting the contrast and brightness of the display based on the content shown in the display. However, the feature can cause distracting brightness changes that also decrease the image quality that might be something important when you need to show content with color accuracy, as such now, there is an option to disable it.

The feature is called: “Automatically adjust contrast based on the displayed content to help improve battery,” and it will be available depending on the camera support.

Start menu improvements

As part of the Start menu improvements, build 21354 no longer includes a Windows Tools folder. Instead, it is now an option with a new icon that opens the new Windows Tools folder in Control Panel.

In addition, the Windows Tools folder now combines all the options previously available in the Windows Accessories, Windows Administrative Tools, Windows PowerShell, and Windows System folders. As a result of this change, you will no longer find these folders in the Start menu or across the operating system.

Furthermore, all the tools are searchable using Windows Search, and you can now pin them to the taskbar or Start menu.

Finally, File Explorer now appears in its own place in the Start menu.

Device usage settings

Starting with build 21354, Windows 10 officially introduces the “Device usage” settings page in the “Personalization” section, which allows you to specify how you plan to use the device to allow the system to show suggestions for tips, tools, and services that will help you make the most out of the operating system.

Windows Update changes

Windows 10 build 21354 also brings changes to the “Change active hours” feature. For example, now you see the “Automatically adjust active hours for this device based on activity” toggle switch enable if you never configured the feature.

Using this new default setting, Windows Update will be able to schedule automatic updates when you are not actively using the computer.

ARM improvements

For ARM64 devices, it’s now possible to enable compatibility settings for x64 applications.

Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)

In WSL, the default path has been changed to \wsl.localhost\ from \wsl\ to improve reliability and performance. However, you will still be able to use the \wsl\ path to access the files.

Applications changes

There is a new version of the Microsoft Paint app that does not introduce any new features in this flight, but now it’s an app that updates through the Microsoft Store and includes a new modern icon.

The Snipping Tool also becomes an app that receives updates through the Microsoft Store. The company also says that this app has been combined with the Snip & Sketch app, which means that they both will receive updates simultaneously. Furthermore, the Snipping Tool is no longer part of the Windows Accessories folder, and it will appear in its own place in the Start menu.

News and Interest improvements 

This flight also brings some improvements for the News and Interests widget in the taskbar.  Starting with this release, you will find more ways to personalize the feed with the new “Manage interest” button that appears when hovering over the weather in the taskbar.

The button opens the feature personalization experience in your Microsoft account online page. The page includes more ways to select topics of interest. You can use the search box to find more topics. You can manage the topics you follow by selecting “Followed interests” in the left navigation.

Also, the “Tune your feed” is available from the left pane on the “My interests” page. “This experience makes it easy to explore and follow publishers from [the Microsoft] partner ecosystem and select example articles that pique your interest.” In addition, the “Followed Publishers” option in the left pane lets you manage the publishers you follow.

These changes are available in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, India, and Australia.

Microsoft Edge

Although Microsoft Edge receives updates independently from Windows Update, pinned sites should now show all the open tabs across windows as of the latest release of the browser.

Microsoft is listing the complete set of improvements, fixes, and known issues for Windows 10 Insider Preview build 21354 at the Windows Blog.

Download Windows 10 build 21354

You can learn more about all the changes available in the current development process of Windows 10 in this guide.

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (Version 1709): All The New Features And Changes

The Fall Creators Update (version 1709) is out and brings a new set of features and changes to Windows 10. This is the fourth major feature update Microsoft is making available for desktops, laptops, tablets, Xbox One, and other devices with a new set of features and improvements focus on security, new experiences, and expanding functionalities to iOS and Android devices.

The next version of Windows 10 includes a slew of new features and tweaks, but Microsoft is touting some key additions, including a new interface design using Microsoft’s new Fluent Design System, My People, OneDrive File On-Demand, Windows Defender’s Controlled folder access, Settings tweaks, new cross-device experiences, new version of Microsoft Edge, and a lot more.

How to get the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update? Starting October 17, if your device is compatible, the new version will automatically download through Windows Update. Alternatively, you can install the update using the Media Creation Tool to do a clean or in-place upgrade, Update Assistant, or you can also download the ISO file to create a USB bootable media.

It’s expected that Microsoft will refer the update as “Windows 10 version 1709” following the same version scheme we’ve been seeing with the previous versions, including the Creators Update (version 1703) and the Anniversary Update (version 1607) indicating the year and month of the release.

Version 1709 will be offered as a free update for devices already running Windows 10.

Formerly known with the Windows 10 “Redstone 3” codename, this is a continuation of the work introduced with the first Creators Update, and it’ll continue the quest to help consumers to spark creativity.

Here are all the most exciting new features coming to Windows 10 in the second Creators Update arriving this fall.

Microsoft Fluent Design System

As part of the Fall Creators Update, Windows 10 will introduce a new design system. You heard it before as Project Neon, but it’s now officially known as “Microsoft Fluent Design System”.

Microsoft is focusing this new design system on light, depth, motion, material, and scale to deliver a more intuitive, responsive, and inclusive cross-device experiences and interactions.

In this update, we’ll begin to see these changes on apps and throughout the OS, such as in the Start menu, Action Center, built-in apps (e.g., Photos, Calculator, Clock, and People), Microsoft Edge, and on the Windows Store. However, it’s something that the company plans to implement gradually on Windows 10 and other products.

Microsoft Graph

You probably never heard of it before, but Microsoft Graph is a technology to access data in the Microsoft Cloud for both, consumers and commercial users, data across Windows, Office, and many other services hosted by Microsoft.

Previously, it was a cloud service for commercial used as part of the Office 365 offering, but now it’ll also be available for Windows 10 users.

An easy way to put it: Microsoft Graph is the connectivity glue that will help Windows 10 to seamlessly connect with other devices, including iOS, Android, and other Windows 10 devices.

On the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, the Microsoft Graph will allow to implement new features, including Timeline (coming in 2023), pick up where you left off, Clipboard, and OneDrive File On-Demand.

OneDrive File On-Demand

Another new feature coming with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is OneDrive File On-Demand. It’s like placeholders, but it works in a different way.

As before, you’ll be able to browser your files stored in OneDrive without having to download them first, but the feature will work more intelligently. For example, if you recently opened a file online, then it’ll sync to be available offline. Opening files on your computer will also sync them to be available without an internet connection. Otherwise, you’ll still need to configure a folder or file individually to make them available offline.

My People

While the “My People” feature was expected in the first Creators Update, it’ll roll out with the new feature update arriving this fall.

This is a new experience to easily connect with people close to your circle. Using My People, you can pin contacts to the right side of the taskbar and quickly send messages and files.

Just to be clear, it’s not another communication service, instead it’s a feature that connects with other services and apps, including Skype, Mail, and People, and simplifies the way you contact other people using one interface.

My People includes the following features:

Pin contacts to the taskbar.

View multiple communications in one interface.

Animated emoji.

Drag-and-drop files to pin contact to share files.

Send files to any contact using the new Windows Share experience.

Badge notification to see the number of unseen messages from a contact.

Lock screen

If you ever forget your PIN or password, it’s now possible to recover your credentials from the Lock screen. This feature is available for users using a Azure AD Premium (AADP) or Microsoft account.

Start menu

The Start menu isn’t getting big changes, but now it uses the Acrylic Material backdrop part of Fluent Design. You can resize the layout diagonally, and resizing horizontally is now a lot smoother than before.

Action Center

Action Center is also getting the Fluent Design treatment with Acrylic Material and Reveal Highlight. In addition, toast notification banners include a new arrow button instead of an X to make it clear you’re dismissing the alert, and not deleting it.


Cortana is also being updated with a few new features, including the ability to use voice commands to turn off, restart, lock, or sign-out your PC using Cortana.

Here is the list of voice commands you can use:

Hey Cortana — restart PC.

Hey Cortana — turn off PC.

Hey Cortana — sign out.

Hey Cortana — lock PC.

If you have Cortana enabled above the Lock screen, you can also ask the assistant to execute the commands above the Lock screen.

Starting with version 1709, Cortana can show web result snippets without opening the web browser. As you type a question, the Cortana pane will expand automatically, quickly showing you exactly what you need to know. If Cortana doesn’t have a quick answer for your query, the pane won’t automatically expand.

Desktop and File Explorer

The Settings app continues to improve, and on the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, you’ll not only find new options, but the experience will be more useful.

In this release, the Settings app includes tips and videos in the right side, where you only were able to find related settings links.

For example, if you play the video in the Multitasking page, you’ll get a few tips when working with multiple applications. The tips are related to the Multitasking options, but actually shows you how to use Task View and Snap View.

Display Storage sense

The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update redesigns the page by adding check mark boxes to select the items you want to delete, and adds the ability to free up space by deleting the previous installation of Windows 10.

Remote Desktop About

On the Settings app, the About page gets redesigned to be simpler and to give you more valuable information at glance.

In this version, the About settings app, includes three sections. One to show your device’s health information generated by Windows Defender Security Center, including virus protection, firewall, performance, and an app control status.

Then there is a section that gives you a summary of the hardware specifications of your PC, such as processor, memory, and system type. Finally, there is a section where you’ll be able to find the edition, version, and build number of Windows 10.


Phone is a new section in the Settings app that is currently in development, but you’ll find a Phone page with an option to link your Android or iPhone device to your computer through Cortana to enable cross-device web-browsing. This means that after linking your phone using the same Microsoft account, you can use the share experience on your phone to send web links and pick up where you left off on your PC using Microsoft Edge.

Network & Internet

The Network & Internet page updates the network adapter properties to make easier to change network profiles to Private or Public.

Inside the properties for a Wi-Fi and Ethernet network adapter, the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update now allows you to change network profiles more clearly. This feature allows you to make your device invisible or discoverable in a local network.

Also, only in the properties for a Wi-Fi network, you’ll find a new “IP Settings” section that allows you to exit the IP address assignment for the adapter. You can set a network connection use an automatic configuration using DHCP, and you can also set up an static IP address.

Data usage

The Data usage settings page adds a new option that allows you to reset data usage stats from apps at any time.

Start menu

While the Fall Creators Update isn’t adding new options to the Start settings page, you’ll notice that the page has been updated, and now it no longer shows a preview found in the Themes page.

My People

My People and its feature comes enabled by default, but the Settings app adds a new “People” section inside the Taskbar settings page to enable or disable the feature.

In addition, you get two options, including “Show My People notifications” and “Play a sound when a My People arrives” to control animated emojis and message sounds.

Apps & features

Microsoft Edge is now part of the apps list, and accessing the Advanced options page, you can repair or reset the browser to fix any issues.

Default apps Video Playback

In the Apps section, you’ll now find a new Video playback page to control video settings for applications that use Windows 10’s video playback features.

On HDR displays, it’s also possible to change video stream settings with the option to lower the resolution to reduce network bandwidth usage and battery.

This page even includes a setting to optimize video streaming for quality or to save battery life.

options

Inside the Sign-in options page, you’ll find a new option under Privacy described as Use my sign-in info to automatically finish setting up my device after an update or restart. In order to speed up the update process Windows 10 already automatically signs you in after a restart and finish setting up your device, but now the same functionality has been expanded to regular reboots and shutdowns when using the Start menu or other locations.

In addition, this feature will restore your accessibility apps and other apps that have registered to restart automatically.


The Broadcasting page has been improved to offer smoother and seamless game experience, and it’s now possible to select a language during the broadcast.

Additionally, you can now choose Per-app audio to broadcast using only the game’s audio on Mixer as opposed to the audio for your entire PC.

Game Mode

In Game Mode, the page no longer includes a toggle switch to enable or disable the feature, and under-the-hood, the performance has been improved for six-core and eight-core processors.


The Gaming section also introduces a new page called TruePlay with an option to turn on an anti-cheating functionality to make sure everything runs the way it was meant to.

Xbox Networking

The Settings app introduces a new Xbox Networking page to help users troubleshoot and fix problems that may be preventing users from playing multiplayer game or using voice chat on Xbox Live.

Color and high contrast

The Color and high contrast page now introduces a color filtering feature to help users with color blindness to distinguish between colors like green and red.


On the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, Microsoft is also working on improving the Easy of Access features, and one of these new improvements are happening in the Magnifier page.

In the update the Magnifier page, you’ll find new controls and options to control magnification zoom levels, inverted colors, new magnifier mode, and a handy list of all the keyboard shortcuts you can use with the magnifier.

And there is a new option to enable bitmap smoothing when using the magnifier.


Cortana is moving to the Settings app. In order to make Microsoft’s digital assistant more discoverable starting with the Fall Creators Update, Windows 10 is migrating the Cortana settings to the Settings app.

The new Cortana section features four new pages, including Talk to Cortana, Permissions & history, Notifications, and More details.

These new pages don’t introduce new options to use the assistant, instead Windows 10 is reorganizing all the existing settings into four different pages.

On this page, you can control your search filters, device history, and search history.

Windows Update

In the Advanced options page, it’s now possible to enable an option to allow Windows 10 to download updates even when a Wi-Fi or Ethernet network connection is set to metered.

In the new Advanced options page for Delivery Optimization, you can now control how much bandwidth you want to reserve for system and apps updates.

There is also an option to set in percentage, exactly how much bandwidth you want to dedicate for upload updates for other devices — if you’re allowing to download updates from other devices.

Additionally, there is also a slider to set the monthly upload limit in gigabytes, up to 500GB.

In this new version, Windows 10 is also replacing the previous modal dialog with a new interactive toast notification, which makes much easier to be aware of an available update without interrupting your work.

What’s new on Windows Defender

Windows 10 is now a bit more secure. Starting with version 1709, the Windows Defender Security Center dashboard introduces Controlled folder access, a new feature designed specifically to protect your data from malicious programs, such as ransomware.

When enabled it monitors the changes apps are trying make to your files. If a blacklisted app is the one trying to modify files inside the protected folders, the app will be blocked, and you’ll get a notification of the suspicious activity.

By default, Controlled folder access monitors your files stored in the Documents, Pictures, Movies, and Desktop folders. While you can’t remove the default folders, it’s possible to add other locations.

The feature is disable by default, but you can use this guide to set Controlled folder access on your device.

In addition, Windows 10 is introducing a new security feature to audit, configure, and manage Windows system and apps exploit mitigation settings using the dashboard, and this feature works even if you use a third-party antivirus.

The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update also brings new apps experiences, such as Story Remix on a new version of Photos, View 3D, and most built-in apps (if not all of them) like Mail & Calendar, Paint 3D, People, Alarms & Clock, Maps, Groove Music, Movies & TV, Windows Store, and others will start getting the Fluent Design System treatment.

Photos & Story Remix

The Photos app is getting an overhaul with Microsoft Fluent Design System and tweaks throughout the interface, and it also integrates Story Remix (shown as Video Remix).

Story Remix is a new experience built into a new version of the Photos app, which is essentially Windows Movie Maker, but recreated for Windows 10.

The new experience makes it easier to create videos using photos and videos in your collections.

Photo’s Story Remix uses Microsoft’s deep learning technology and artificial intelligence to find relevant content in your collections to create videos automatically with transitions, themes, and soundtracks. Of course, you can always keep suggested videos or edit them any way you like.

Other features in Story Remix includes automatically content tagging, which helps you to easily find things and people. You’ll get a new discovery feature to give you quick access to common tasks and past memories of people, places, and things. Additionally, you can also upload your videos to YouTube and Facebook, or share them via OneDrive or email.

Microsoft is also integrating Remix 3D and Paint 3D into Story Remix, letting you import 3D projects into movies.

And because Story Remix is powered by the Microsoft cloud, the experience will be available not only on Windows 10, but on iOS and Android as well.

View 3D Windows Store

The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update will also bring a few new surprises to the Windows Store. Starting with this update, Microsoft will be making available its suite of Office desktop applications in the Windows Store.

Apple will bring its full-blown version of iTunes to the Windows Store, and Spotify already have its popular music service to the Store too.

Additionally, the Fall Creators Update promises to be even more Linux friendly. While you can already use Bash on Ubuntu on Windows 10, in the next major update, you’re also getting SUSE Linux, and Fedora Linux in the Windows Store.

While we’re waiting for Microsoft Edge to start getting updates using the Windows Store instead of on every feature update, the web browser continues to improve with the Fall Creators Update.

Currently, the default web browser for Windows 10 includes PDF reader functionalities, but it’s quite limited. However, in this new update, Microsoft Edge is adding a bunch of new improvements, including the ability to edit, save, and print PDF forms on the web or locally stored on your computer.

When you come across PDF files like scanned documents without proper orientation, you can use the rotate button from the toolbar to rotate the document. Using the Layout flyout menu, you can now switch from one-page to two-page layout, and change to page-wise scrolling for a better navigation experience.

On this updated version of Microsoft Edge, you can have the browser to read PDF documents aloud using the option in the toolbar (or invoking the Ctrl + Alt + R keyboard shortcut). Accessing the settings for Read aloud, you can change the voice and speed, and controls to play/stop, and jump to the previous and next paragraph.

Other improvements working with PDF files include a new context menu with options to use highlighter, copy text, interface with Cortana, and add notes to the document.

Starting with the Fall Creators Update, Microsoft Edge allows to quickly pin sites to the taskbar, and users finally have a button to use the browser in full-screen mode from the main settings menu.

Perhaps one of the most noticeable changes in addition to Acrylic Material (an element part of Fluent Design) that adds a new form of depth and transparency. You’ll see this new look in the tab bar and other controls.

Windows Defender Application Guard is a feature aimed for Windows 10 Enterprise, which sandboxes web pages on Microsoft Edge to offer maximum protection level from malware and zero day attacks.

When the security feature is enabled, you can select the “New Application Guard window” option from the Microsoft Edge menu to open any website in an isolated environment.

Additional improvements include new “Show search history” and “Show sites I frequently visit in Top sites”, and importing settings from Google Chrome will also import settings and cookies.

On the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, Microsoft is also focusing on improving performance and responsiveness.

Windows 10 is also improving the way you use input devices, whether you use natural handwriting using a pen, dictation, or typing using the on-screen keyboard.


In the Fall Creators Update, Windows 10 is introducing a new handwriting panel that offers overflow writing. This means that as you write and the panel fills up and lift your pen off the screen, the text will shift to make room to continue writing.

While writing you can select text to edit, and you can write on top of a letter to correct it. There are also a few new writing gestures that you can use, including strikethrough, scratch, join, and split.

Alongside these improvements, Windows 10 adds new changes to better recognize handwriting input, there are more enhancements for palm rejection, and you can use the top of the pen as an eraser.


You’ll now find a new emoji panel that support light and dark theme, and best of all, you can input emojis on your messages using a hardware keyboard using the Windows key + “.” or Windows key + “;” keyboard shortcuts.

As you open the panel, you can continue writing to search the emoji you want, or you can use the Arrow keys, Tab / Shift + Tab, Enter, and Esc key to navigate emojis. In addition, it’s now possible to change skin color of emojis.

Touch Keyboard

Windows 10 now brings the Windows 10 Mobile touch keyboard experience to the desktop, which also enables a new one-handed keyboard experience, very similar to the one available for mobile devices.

In addition, this new experience includes Microsoft’s shape writing to use swipe over the keys to input text faster.

Other improvements, include easier to work with emoji and clipboard, you can quickly switch between the handwriting and keyboard experience, using the Shift key to switch between capitalization states, and more.

Volume Mixer

On the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, the Volume Mixer will include volume controls for Windows Store apps, such as Groove and Microsoft Edge. This new addition will allow you to control volume without impacting the system audio.

Power Throttling

Microsoft is reintroducing Power Throttling, which is a feature to improve battery life on devices.

The idea behind Power Throttling is to reduce the amount of processor cycles for apps in the background, prioritizing apps working in the foreground, and certain other apps. As a result, users should see an increase of up to 11 percent of battery life saving.

Task Manager

Task Manager now tracks GPU performance over time and display information about DirectX version and the physical location of your GPU.


Hyper-V, Microsoft’s virtualization technology, is also getting Revert VM, a feature that allows you to quickly undo changes on a virtual machine. This basically means that you can always revert to the last time you started a virtual machine if you make a mistake or for any reasons you want to undo changes.

Windows Console

Microsoft is also updating the Windows Console (Command Prompt) to support 24-bit RGB colors. The default color values have been changed to improve legibility of darker colors on modern screens, and to give the experience a more modern look and feel.

Eye Control

Starting with the Fall Creators Update, Windows 10 is introducing Eye Control, which is a new feature that allows the OS to be more accessible for people with disabilities to operate an on-screen mouse, keyboard, and text-to-speech using only their eyes.

Currently only the US English language keyboard layout is supported, but Microsoft is planning to add more layouts in the future.

Other changes

Windows 10 now detects new connected storage with content, and it’ll make the sources available when browsing files using Windows Store apps.

You no longer need to enable developer mode to install Linux distros on Linux.

The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, improves the DPI handling on High-DPI monitors and on multiple monitor setups. This only means that you’ll see less blurry elements on high-resolution displays using traditional desktop applications.

Wrapping things up

The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is expected to launch on October 17, 2023, but remember that not every device will get it on day-one. Microsoft will begin the rollout with devices known to work with the update, and as the update gets mature, it’ll continue to roll out to other devices.

Editor’s note: This guide includes features and improvements that appeared until Windows 10 build 16299.20. It should be noted that this guide focuses on features for consumers, as Microsoft is also adding other features aimed for enterprises, which aren’t included here (except for Windows Defender Application Guard).

Original published in June 2023, updated in October 2023.

Google Rolls Out New Spam Algorithm Update

Google’s Danny Sullivan confirms an algorithm update targeted at fighting spam is rolling out to search results.

The rollout of the update will conclude today, June 23, 2023. A second spam update will follow next week.

Exact details were not provided about this specific update. Though Google regularly rolls out spam updates to maintain the quality of its search results.

It’s unlikely a legitimate website following Google’s webmaster guidelines have anything to worry about with respect to these spam updates.

Google has a strict definition of what it considers spam, and it primarily includes low quality sites that trick users into providing personal information or installing malware.

Spam updates also target phishing scams, and other bad actors on the web that try to rank in search results by posing as highly relevant pages.

With that said, even sites that follow Google’s guidelines are vulnerable to hacked spam. If a site is not adequately secured it could be serving spam to users without knowing it.

Google’s annual spam fighting report indicates that hacked spam is rampant. If your site suddenly drops in rankings following today’s update or the one next week, it would be wise to examine your site’s security and look for signs of a possible attack.

When a site is hit by a spam update its content is either demoted in search results or removed from Google’s index.

The company estimates that its automated systems keep more than 99% of visits from search results spam-free.

In announcing this update, Sullivan links to a blog post from April which details the results of Google’s recent spam fighting efforts.

Last year Google’s automated systems blocked 25 billion spammy pages from being indexed in search results every day.

We’ll likely learn more about the impact of the June 2023 spam updates when Google publishes its annual spam fighting report next year.

— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) June 23, 2023

For more information on how Google fights spam, Sullivan links to the video below:

Ios 14.4 Beta Changes And Features – Homepod Mini Gets New U1

The initial iOS 14.4 beta includes a new feature that was first demonstrated during Apple’s iPhone 12 event. The new feature specifically relates to the HomePod mini and its U1 Ultra Wideband chip that allows for spatial awareness. An iPhone equipped with the U1 chip can interact with Apple’s diminutive smart speaker in new ways on iOS 14.4. Watch our hands-on walkthrough as we explore the updated Handoff experience and other iOS 14.4 beta changes and features.

What’s new in iOS 14.4 beta? New Handoff experience for HomePod mini

The biggest new change is, of course, the new Handoff experience that comes to the HomePod mini. Unlike the full-sized HomePod that’s been available for a few years, the new HomePod mini comes equipped with new technology, such as Apple’s U1 Ultra Wideband chip. The U1 chip allows for spatial awareness, so an iPhone with this chip can benefit from richer nearby interactions with other products equipped with the U1 chip, such as the HomePod mini.

Apple decided to elevate the Handoff experience, which previously relied on precise placement of your iPhone near the HomePod. Compared to the more boolean interaction of the old method, the HomePod mini and iPhone 11/12 running the latest iOS 14.4 betas are able to create intuitive spatial interactions with one another.

Video: iOS 14.4 Changes and Features

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With the previous Handoff interaction, users would simply hold their iPhones near the top of HomePod to transfer audio or phone calls to or from the device. A small banner notification would appear at the top of the iPhone’s screen indicating that Handoff was successful. No longer is Handoff relegated to a small banner notification at the top of the iPhone, but now users can enjoy a full card interface that pops into view as the iPhone moves closer to the HomePod mini.

How the new Handoff experience works

If you move a media-playing iPhone closer to the HomePod mini, you’ll feel the device’s Taptic Engine go to work. At first, force feedback is subtle, but as you move your iPhone closer to the HomePod mini, the feedback ramps up. To go along with the force feedback, visual flair is employed as well. When it senses an iPhone close by, the HomePod mini LED illuminates. As you move closer, the light grows in intensity.

A visual notification appears on the iPhone end in the form of a banner. The banner shows the name and location of the HomePod mini, along with a HomePod glyph, miniature album artwork, artist, and track title.

Users have the option of simply tapping the banner to manually invoke the full-sized Handoff interface, or moving the iPhone closer to the HomePod mini, which will cause the Handoff interface to pop open automatically. The new Handoff experience works with the Music app and other types of media sources, such as YouTube. Phone calls are also Handoff-eligible with the new and improved experience.

The updated Handoff interface provides large album artwork, transport controls, volume controls, and an AirPlay button to reroute audio. Tapping the album artwork opens the source audio application on your iPhone.

Music can be transferred both ways — from the HomePod mini to the iPhone, or from the iPhone to the HomePod mini. A Transfer to iPhone or Transfer from iPhone button appears at the top of the Handoff interface, but functionality has been hit or miss for me thus far.

Shortcuts app Set Wallpaper action updates

The return of the Set Wallpaper action in the Shortcuts app was one of my favorite new features in iOS 14.3, and Apple has not only kept it around in iOS 14.4, but it’s actively improving on it. In the iOS 14.4 beta, users can now toggle Perspective Zoom for wallpaper using a handy on/off switch. This option gives users the ability to enable or disable the parallax effect that appears on wallpaper set by Shortcuts.

VoiceOver Direct Touch Apps

Finally, VoiceOver received a new Direct Touch Apps feature, which will allow VoiceOver users to control an app directly without requiring more interaction. A similar feature already exists for direct typing input on the keyboard within apps, but this seems like it will take that one step further, lending VoiceOver users more flexibility within selected apps.

From my brief hands-on time with Direct Touch Apps, it doesn’t appear that the feature is fully baked, as selecting an app in Settings → Accessibility → VoiceOver → Rotor Actions → Direct Touch Apps, doesn’t stick. We’ll follow up once additional betas are released with more details.

9to5Mac’s Take

The new Handoff experience is the standout feature in the initial iOS 14.4 beta. Here’s hoping that more Apple devices begin to adopt the U1 Ultra Wideband chip because it’s what makes interesting new features like this possible. What do you think?

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