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Discover all the new features in the Windows 10 October 2018 Update

By Greg S · 23 replies
Oct 3, 2018
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  1. In all of yesterday's news about the Surface Pro, Surface Studio 2 and brand new Surface Headphones (yes, headphones), you may have missed Microsoft's announcement that the next major build of Windows 10 is now available. The Windows 10 October 2018 Update is being rolled out to PCs that have automatic updates enabled beginning October 9, but can also manually install today.

    Update: (10/5): Microsoft has temporarily pulled the October 2018 Update. According to Reddit users, and posts on Microsoft's "Answers" community, downloading the latest Windows 10 update -- update 1809 -- could result in your files being deleted. More details here.

    One of the most prominent new features is the Your Phone app. Android users can easily drag and drop photos between smartphones and a PC. Messaging is also supported when paired with smartphones running Android 7.0 and above, so that you can view, send, and receive SMS messages from the comfort of a laptop, desktop, or tablet running Windows 10.

    iPhone users do not get the same support for sharing of photos and messaging, but they are able to send web pages to a paired computer and continue browsing on a larger screen. Unfortunately Microsoft does not have the ability to implement the same seamless experience for iOS devices.

    Microsoft implemented the Timeline feature in April to make it easier to look back at work history. In the October Update, Timeline includes history from mobile device usage. To enable this functionality, Android users must install the Microsoft Launcher app. iPhone users will need wait a little longer as Microsoft says that the feature will be coming soon.

    Even though most tech enthusiasts will probably laugh at the thought of using Microsoft Edge, there are a number of improvements made that Chrome and Firefox could learn from. New grammar tools allow different parts of speech to be highlighted in different colors. A reading ruler highlights one line at a time to prevent you from losing your place when reading and scrolling through lengthy web pages. An offline dictionary is also included so that you do not need to open a new tab to look up a definition.

    The latest version of Edge also brings theme support. Even though most other browsers already have that, it is worth mentioning since Edge can be useful on laptops and tablets when you want to maximize battery life.

    Whenever PDF documents are loaded in Edge, there will now be less time spent seeing blank white pages. Rendering improvements have made been made to eliminate slow loading of PDFs (in fact, we favor Edge as your default PDF reader if you don't want to install any third party application). Additionally, hovering your mouse near the top of a page will bring up a navigation toolbar with the option to add notes from within Edge. The toolbar can optionally be pinned to the top of a document instead of automatically being hidden.

    One of the more noticeable changes is the redesigned settings menu. The three dot button now shows a drop down menu that resembles the one found in Chrome.

    Aside from several more Edge changes, Microsoft has decided that Snipping Tool should be phased out over time. A note has been added to the utility to indicate that its functionality is being consolidated into Snip & Sketch, formerly known as Screen Sketch.

    Using the Windows key + Shift + S shortcut runs Snipping Tool non-interactively and copies the selected screen area to the clipboard. On build 1803, this is where the shortcut stopped. With the October Update to build 1809, there is now a prompt to allow sharing and annotations to be added to snips.

    Another major change is to the clipboard itself. Cloud Clipboard now allows for multiple items to be stored to clipboard and pasting can be done on any device that is linked with your account. For now, there is a maximum size limitation of 1MB for plain text, HTML, and images on Cloud Clipboard. The feature can be turned on or off under Settings > System > Clipboard.

    While there has not yet been a lot of time to truly test it out, Windows search has received an upgrade. Previous versions of search have been less-than-stellar to say the least. Search previews make it easier to find files, folders, and applications that have recently been used.

    Quick actions in search previews allow you to jump right into specific tasks. Options such as creating a meeting in Outlook, launching PowerShell as Administrator, sending instant messages, and many more will all appear when using search. Search will also include calendar events from the Calendar app and also works with Outlook.com and Office 365 accounts.

    Gaming receives some minor improvements with changes to the Game bar. A new audio control panel offers access to individual audio channels so that you can change settings without having to leave a game. Game bar is now its own app that can be launched from the desktop, apps, start menu, or taskbar.

    Game Mode is now automatically enabled for all games but there is still an option to disable it permanently across the board if desired. Windows Update will be suppressed when gaming so that you will never see prompts to restart or install updates when playing. On some systems, Microsoft is promising more consistent FPS and possibly improved performance, although Microsoft's claims are very vague stating that it is dependent on specific games and system configurations.

    Security has received some notable changes. Windows Defender Security Center has been renamed to Windows Security. Controlled folder access helps prevent ransomware or destructive malware from modifying personal files. Apps are now blocked from accessing common folders such as Documents and Pictures unless permission is granted. A whitelist of folder locations can be added within the 'Virus & threat protection' section of Windows Security if needed. Windows Defender Firewall also now supports Windows Subsystem for Linux processes.

    All antivirus products must be run as protected processes in order for installation and registration to be allowed. Products not yet conforming to this new requirement will not be shown as legitimate antivirus solutions in the Windows Security Center.

    A whole host of updates to apps and Fluent design elements found throughout Windows 10 can be observed in the October Update. Check out all of the other changes yourself by updating to build 1809 through Windows Update or by manually downloading and installing from Microsoft.

    Permalink to story.

    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 6, 2018
  2. I don't know, should I be excited or scared?
    edit: right after posting the above I did a manual 'Windows Update' and there it was. Interestingly upon first boot I was presented with a bunch of questions of what to allow Windows to do. Default was yes, I chose no for all of them. Maybe it's just me...
    edit again: windows.old folder like the previous updates, mine is 5.78 GB, File explorer mode is dark, I like it.
    edit even again: ran 'disk cleanup' and recovered 31 GB, no typo, from 'previous windows installations'
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 3, 2018
    Reehahs likes this.
  3. treeski

    treeski TS Evangelist Posts: 1,006   +249

    I like the new snipping tool and the new clipboard changes. The Your Phone app is neat, but I don't think I'll get much use out of it since I'm mostly on my work PC and I try not to link personal services to it.
  4. Daithi

    Daithi TS Booster Posts: 85   +97

    The in game volume thingy is actually pretty neat.
    Reehahs and Stark like this.
  5. fps4ever

    fps4ever TS Evangelist Posts: 305   +301

    Snippng tool being phased out in the future...freaking great. Take something easy enough for my employees to snip, save and send me snapshot errors and make it harder.That really is typical MS.
    JamesSWD, psycros and JaredTheDragon like this.
  6. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,842   +193

    I hope it doesn't come when I am in middle of working.. I see that stop supporting SMB1 and that has to be pushed if you need it.
  7. Capaill

    Capaill TS Evangelist Posts: 894   +497

    "Game Mode is now automatically enabled for all games ... Windows Update will be suppressed when gaming"
    I wonder if we can enable Game Mode permanently :)

    "A new audio control panel offers access to individual audio channels so that you can change settings without having to leave a game."
    Sounds good. It's always annoying when I start a game and realise the audio is going to the desk speakers instead of the headphones and I have to stop and restart the game. I presume this is what the change will address.
    Reehahs and hahahanoobs like this.
  8. JaredTheDragon

    JaredTheDragon TS Guru Posts: 583   +383

    I really enjoy how easy it is to search for Windows 10 help on the web, when every menu and setting and even the NAMES of the menus and settings change every few months. Good lord, it's terrible.

    At least Win10 runs pretty smooth for the most part, other than Explorer crashing constantly. Workaround: don't use Explorer unless you have to.
    Reehahs and psycros like this.

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,720   +808

    Doesn't game mode only work on games purchased and launched from the MS Store?

    Hope this update is stable and reliable. I am really looking forward to dark mode though!
  10. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,715   +2,514

    Cool, another feature Windows 7 had finally being restored..maybe by spring we'll get a usable start menu. In other words, there's still no reason to run Windows 10.
    IAMTHESTIG likes this.
  11. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,442   +1,910

    the explorer crashing might be because of a faulty driver. you could try resetting the OS and reinstalling the major drivers.
  12. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,442   +1,910

    I have absolutely no problems using the start menu. it's actually been easier to do things with the new one (aside from some of the weird search results) It's also faster/snappier than the win 7 one on my system.

    do want to know what I like most about windows 10? that I don't have to wait a minute or two for the wifi to reconnect after my laptop exits sleep.
  13. Danny101

    Danny101 TS Guru Posts: 771   +293

    Sounds nice. Now I just to figure out how to delay this as long as possible on a Windows 10 Home version. Pro is much easier to control. I don't like software installed to do this. I've made my network connection a metered connection which helps. Lowered the Data Usage Allowance to 0.
  14. fktech

    fktech TS Maniac Posts: 526   +138

    Keep the Snipping tool! Need to start a FB support page.

    My kingdom for a search tool that really works....
    JamesSWD likes this.
  15. Capaill

    Capaill TS Evangelist Posts: 894   +497

    Agreed on both points. Snipping tool is excellent, I don't need to learn something new. Just give me the option to have either one. I don't need a cloud clipboard.
    And the Search tool in Win 8 onwards is a joke. Want to do a search using the Start tool and open a different window while it's running? Nope, what are you, a multitasker? MS spits on multitaskers. Want to do a search in log files in Explorer? Nope. Oh ya, because MS only indexes their own extensions and good luck figuring out how to change that. Apparently you can specify some amazing parameters in the search tool but who has the patience to search for that online.
    JamesSWD and IAMTHESTIG like this.
  16. Really loving Dark Mode on File Explorer. No more seared eyeballs plus I was surprised how the improved contrast makes everything easier to see. All the icons really 'pop out' compared to before.
    MonsterZero likes this.
  17. MonsterZero

    MonsterZero TS Evangelist Posts: 566   +323

    The snip tool is okay, but it needs the ability to map the hotkey to printscreen, no one is going to remember Win Key+Shift+S.

    Snip Office Mix was the best.
  18. thelatestmodel

    thelatestmodel TS Addict Posts: 157   +73

    "Microsoft has decided that Snipping Tool should be phased out over time"

    Yeah screw that. I've already backed up SnippingTool.exe, everyone should do the same.
    Capaill likes this.
  19. Capaill

    Capaill TS Evangelist Posts: 894   +497

    I use dark backgrounds where possible, such as in Gmail. Also useful if reading an ebook. I do wish the Google homepage had a dark option as it's such a wall of blinding white.
  20. Rocky12345

    Rocky12345 TS Rookie

    I have not installed this yet and probably will hold off as long as possible. Losing the snipping tool down the road is going to suck very much I use it a fair amount for work I guess as long as they give us way to still do things like that or maybe will have to find something on the internet that does the same thing.
  21. I've switched to 'startpage' from 'Google.ca' for searches. Startpage has a 'homepage theme' called 'night' which is a dark starry night, I find it very nice. Perhaps I misunderstand and you mean some kind of Google services page
    Capaill likes this.
  22. JamesSWD

    JamesSWD TS Maniac Posts: 331   +182

    1) Cloud Clipboard sounds like a security nightmare in the making. A lot of people temporarily copy & paste credit card numbers, passwords, and other sensitive info while they're working on something or paying bills so they don't have to type the same thing over & over.

    2) Snipping Tool is simple, useful, quick, and used a lot. MS is making a mistake replacing it with another overblown tool. Kinda like overblowing Cloud Clipboard.

    3) Timeline has never worked right. Most I can get out of it is a couple days history. At this very moment, no history at all in there.
    thelatestmodel likes this.
  23. Capaill

    Capaill TS Evangelist Posts: 894   +497

    No, that's perfect thanks. I went with the Black settings.
  24. harm9963

    harm9963 TS Booster Posts: 61   +25

    Update: A Microsoft representative says that if you still have files in your Docs folder (presumably \users\[username]\Documents\) after installing the update, then you are not affected by the file deletion issue.

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