The next ‘feature’ update to Windows 10 is almost here, with Microsoft planning lots of changes to its computer operating system. Which? guides you through the major changes we’re expecting to see.
Note: the features discussed have been added over time to so-called ‘preview’ updates of Windows 10, which tests out new features on a willing audience. Until Microsoft starts updating computers to the Spring Creators Update, we won’t know for certain which features have made the cut.
What is Windows 10 Creators Update?
The latest major update to Windows 10. It follows the Anniversary (2016), Creators (early 2017) and Fall Creators (late 2017) updates that added headline features to the operating system. It’s expected to launch in April 2018.
The biggest change coming to Windows 10 is Timeline. While previously you would navigate through your tasks by opening files, webpages and programs, you can now also do so by scrolling back in time.
It’s another way of allowing you to see things you’ve recently been working on, be it a webpage you were reading yesterday or several weeks ago. If you scroll back far enough, you’ll be able to find it.
The feature will be of limited use to most people because it currently requires you to be using Microsoft-made programs such as the Edge web browser and Microsoft Office. The only way other programs will appear in Timeline is if the company that makes them chooses to add this feature, which takes time and effort.
Browse our Best Buy laptops to find top performers and bargain-priced models that’ll run Windows 10.
A new design standard is coming to Windows 10 that includes more effects when your mouse cursor hovers over buttons, more translucent (as opposed to opaque) programs and easier-to-use menus.
An app designed with Fluent Design
Improved eye tracking
The ability to control Windows 10 with your eyes (using hardware such as eye trackers made by Tobii) was added late last year in the Fall Creators Update. The Spring Creators Update will add extra features, including easier scrolling and navigation as well as the ability to pause eye tracking more easily.
Connecting wireless Bluetooth devices such as mice and headphones to Windows 10 machines should now be a lot quicker. Instead of having to manually connect each time, certain devices will be connected automatically.
Windows 10 S mode
You’ll now be able to activate and deactivate Windows’ so-called ‘S Mode’, which locks down the operating system so it can only run apps downloaded from the Windows Store, and Microsoft Edge is the only web browser you can use. This is great for users who want a more simple experience, and for those who want to control what their children can access on their computer.
Find out more in our guide to Windows 10 S.
Can I stop the update?
When an update first launches, it’s distributed to a relatively small number of computers that, in theory, have been tested for compatibility with the latest software.
Over the course of several months, more and more computers receive the update, supposedly when Microsoft is confident that your PC is fully compatible. By way of example, the ‘Fall Creators Update’ that launched last autumn is only just arriving on some computers.
Once your PC receives the update, you won’t be able to stop it there and then, but if it causes problems with any of your programs or settings, you can ‘roll back’ to the previous version of Windows 10 for up to 15 days after it’s installed.
If you’re within the time limit, you search for ‘settings’ in the Start Menu, open the Settings app and navigate to the Recovery menu. Within this menu there will be an option that says ‘Go back to the previous version of Windows 10’. Click on that and follow the instructions.
This won’t permanently prevent your computer from updating to the Spring Creators update, but should hopefully give you enough time to see whether the programs you’re having problems with can be fixed ahead of the next update.
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