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New features introduced on Windows 10 April 2019 Update (19H1 preview)

A new report recently revealed that Windows 10’s next update will be named the Windows 10 April 2019 Update. That is still on 19H1 develop branch and expected Microsoft rollout 19H1 also know as Windows 10 1903 for everyone on Upcoming April 2019 first week.
So far Microsoft has released a number of new features including a new light theme, improved search and Cortana experience, Start Menu improvements and more that refresh the OS. Here this post we go through the new feature still now introduced on Windows 10 April 2019 Update (19H1)

Windows 10 1903 changes

Here the changes Windows 10 1903 Microsoft introduced on Windows 10 19H1 Development builds.




Windows 10 new Light Theme

With Windows 10 April 2019 Update Microsoft ready to release brand new Light Theme that brings lighter colors for the Start menu, Action Center, taskbar, touch keyboard, and other elements that didn’t have a true light color scheme when switching from the dark to light system theme. The new Light theme color scheme is available in Settings > Personalization > Colors and selecting the Light option under “Choose your color” drop-down menu. After enabling light mode in Windows 10, you’ll notice the Taskbar, Action Center, Start menu and other elements in the light color scheme.

“The new layout has been simplified into a sleek one column design with reduced top-level tiles. For the IT admins out there, don’t worry, commercial and education customers will also see a simplified layout tailored to these scenarios,”

Windows 10 new Light Theme

Windows Sandbox

Microsoft has released a new lightweight desktop environment feature called Windows Sandbox that lets you run files in a secure desktop environment, to protect your computer from malware. So that any changes made to the Windows Sandbox will be discarded when the Sandbox is closed and will have no effect on a user’s normal Windows install.

Microsoft states you need manually install or enable the Windows Sandbox, from Settings > Apps > Apps & Features > Programs and Features > Turn Windows Features on or off, and then select Enable Windows Sandbox.

Enable Sandbox Feature

And you can start Windows Sandbox environment, from the Start menu, enter Windows Sandbox and then select it.

Windows Sandbox environment on Windows 10

Separate Cortana and Search box

Windows 10 has a search text box or Cortana icon on the taskbar that’s used for both searches and interaction with digital assistant. But now with Windows 10 April 2019 Update Microsoft Microsoft splits up Search and Cortana. you’ll now find Cortana as a separate icon next to the desktop search bar.

separate Cortana and Search box on windows 10
separate Cortana and Search box on windows 10

Microsoft says: “clicking the search box in the taskbar now launches our experience focused on giving you the best in house search experience and clicking the Cortana icon will launch you straight into our voice-first digital assistant experience.”




Reserved Storage

With the latest Windows 10 1903 Microsoft’s changes to managing disk space through “reserved storage,” for a smoother upgrade process. The purpose of reserved storage is to keep aside around 7GB of disk space for Windows Update and temporary files. and help Microsoft ensure that all Windows 10 devices can seamlessly upgrade to the new release.

“Through reserved storage, some disk space will be set aside to be used by updates, apps, temporary files, and system caches. Our goal is to improve the day-to-day function of your PC by ensuring critical OS functions always have access to disk space.” To learn more about the technical details, make sure to read the company’s article on Technet about Windows 10 and Reserved Storage.

Windows 10 reserved storage

Windows 10 start menu refinements

With latest windows 10 1903 Start menu also getting own set of improvements and refinements that include, you can now unpin groups and folders in Start via a new context menu option. The option is quite helpful as it basically allows users to remove apps and games pinned to the Start Menu at once.

quickly unpin groups and folders

Start menu gets a touch of Fluent design, making it look more attractive. The company is also adding icons to the power and user menu for easier identification.  when you click the power button, you’ll notice new icons for “Sleep,” “Shut down,” and “Restart.”

Fluent Design to Start Menu

In addition, the Start menu will now appear on its own separate process called: StartMenuExperienceHost.exe to simplify debugging and insulating Start from potential issues impacting other surfaces.

Also, the Start menu is debuting with a new simplified default layout that will appear on new installations and new accounts. According to the company, the new layout has been simplified into a sleek one column design with reduced top-level tiles.

Signing in to Windows with password-less Microsoft accounts

If you use a Microsoft account linked with your phone number, you can now use an SMS code to sign-in, and continue setting up your account without the need of a password. Once you’re in your Windows 10 account, you can use Windows Hello Face, Fingerprint, or a PIN as your primary method of authentication. When you need to change your PIN, this new version is also updating the reset experience to align with the design you see on the Microsoft web services.

Creating a password-less phone number account

If you don’t already have a password-less phone number account, you can create one in a mobile app like Word on your iOS or Android device to try it out. Simply go to Word and sign up with your phone number by entering your phone number under “Sign in or sign up for free”.

Add your password-less phone number account to Windows

Now that you’ve created a password-less phone number account, you can use it to sign in to Windows with the following steps:

  1. Add your account to Windows from Settings > Accounts > Family & other Users > “Add someone else to this PC”.
  2. Lock your device and select your phone number account from the Windows sign-in screen.
  3. Since your account doesn’t have a password, select ‘Sign in options’, click the alternative ‘PIN’ tile, and click ‘Sign in’.
  4. Go through web sign in and Windows Hello set up (this is what you’ll use to sign in to your account on subsequent sign ins).

Enhanced Mode for Search Indexer

Starting with version 1903, the Settings app introduces a new page in the Cortana section called “Searching Windows,”  Where user manage search indexing settings. Also, Microsoft introduced Enhanced Mode for Search indexer that enable the operating system to search all your folders and drives, instead of only your documents, pictures, videos, and desktop.

To turn on the new search-indexing feature, users should go to the Searching Windows Settings, Cortana and under “Find My Files,” select “Enhanced” in order to kick off the one-time indexing process.

Enhanced Mode for Search Indexer

Better Font management experience in Settings

Now you can finally drag and drop font files from File Explorer into the modern Settings and Windows will install them. After installation, click on the font in the Font page, to view the different font faces associated with the font and all the details of the font. You can also uninstall the font from this font details page.




New UI for Reset this PC

Microsoft has added New UI for Reset this PC as part of Settings > Update & Security > Recovery. The new UI provides a more consistent experience across devices with different configurations and requires fewer clicks to complete.

Improvements to Reset this PC Settings UI

Settings app is also getting a number of refinements. The Settings home page now has a header allowing you to take quick actions for things like signing in and managing your Microsoft account. It also gives you an “easy to glance” at system status, such as when updates are available.

In the Power & Sleep page, you’ll now find a slider option to change your system power mode.

In the Focus assist setting page, Windows 10 is adding a new automatic rule to let remove distractions while you’re working on anything full screen.

The Printers & Scanners settings page has been updated with a link, in the right pane, to open the troubleshooter in case you need fix problems with your printer or scanner.

In the Cursor & pointer settings page, you’ll now find a new slider to change the size of the mouse pointer, and under the  “Change pointer color” section, you can now select the option to use a suggested or custom color for the pointer.

Starting with Windows 10 1903 when your device has an update requiring a reboot, you will see the Power button in the Start menu with orange indicator alerting you to restart your device.

Also, Microsoft making the Pause Updates feature easier to find by surfacing the existing option directly on the Settings > Update and Security > Windows Update page. Just like before, when Pause is enabled, some updates, like Windows Defender definition updates, will continue to be installed. In addition, Pause can be enabled for either a pre-defined number of days or until the specific day

Note: This Windows 10 April 2019 Update 1903 is still on 19H1 Development branch, and its not finalized. Means Microsoft removes or add new features on upcoming days. And this post will update when next Windows 10 19H1 build gets released.

This post is updated till windows 10 19H1 Build 18323.

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