Review of Windows 10 May 2019 Update (version 1903). What’s new

Windows 10 (version 1903) is a new major feature update that will become available in May 2019 under the name Windows 10 May 2019 Update. Consider new features, major improvements and changes.

The next update, Windows 10, was officially named May 2019 Update (informally called April 2019 Update) and has a version number of 1903. During the development, the update was known under the code name 19H1.

Windows 10 May 2019 Update will start being delivered to users at the end of May, and before that Windows 10 build 18362 (version 1903) is waiting for a long test on the Release Preview channel.

All new features and improvements May 2019 Update

The new version includes a light design theme, improved performance and many small features and improvements. This time, major features such as the People or Timeline panel are not represented.

Performance improvements (thanks to Specter patches)
7 GB of reserved storage for updates
Windows 10 Home users can pause updates
Light theme
Windows Sandbox – Windows 10 built-in sandbox
Less cluttered Start menu
Windows will allow to remove more embedded applications.
Separation of Cortana and the search string
Search in the Start menu takes into account the files on the PC
Passwordless access
New Windows Update Tray Icon
New version naming system
Zoom in the console interface
Automatic troubleshooting
Hiding notifications when launching fullscreen applications
Notebook Improvements
Other improvements and new features
Other changes

Additional Information

Windows 10 will no longer automatically install updates twice a year.
Antivirus for Windows 10 (version 1903)

Performance improvement

Spectre vulnerability news shocked the computer industry in early 2018. Specter is a processor architecture vulnerability that allowed applications to

7 GB of reserved storage for updates

The user may encounter problems updating the system if the computer does not have the necessary amount of free space. This problem is particularly relevant for budget devices with a small storage.

Microsoft solves this problem by allocating about 7 gigabytes of disk space as “reserved storage”. This space will be used for Windows updates, but programs can also store temporary files in it. When Windows needs disk storage for updates, it deletes the temporary files and starts the update process. Thus, this space will not be completely lost, because the reserved storage will contain files that usually take up space in the user-accessible part of the disk.

The exact amount of reserved space depends on the installed additional functions and language packs, but the minimum amount is 7 gigabytes.

bypass restrictions and gain access to the namespaces of other programs. Microsoft released patches for Windows to reduce the risks of Specter attacks, but installing them led to a decrease in performance. This was especially noticeable on computers in 2015 and earlier devices that did not support specialized features to speed up patches.

Introduced in the May 2019 Update, the fix almost completely eliminates these performance losses and speeds up your PC. In order to achieve this, Microsoft added support for “retpoline” and “import optimization” technologies. If you do not go into the technical details, then you just need to know that the computer will work faster and you will no longer need to think about it. If you wish, you can familiarize yourself with a separate Microsoft document that explains how the applied techniques work.

Windows 10 Home users can pause updates

Microsoft has simplified access to the pause update feature — it is now located directly in Settings> Update and Security> Windows Update.

That’s not all. Microsoft did not officially announce this, but Windows 10 Home Edition users will be able to suspend updates for a maximum of 35 days. This is a very useful feature if you need to temporarily refuse updates. As in Windows 10 Pro, after the expiration of the grace period, Windows Update will immediately check and install the available updates.

Light theme

Windows 10 got a new light theme. The Start menu, taskbar, notifications, Action Center, print dialog and other interface elements can now be light, not just dark. Also added new standard desktop wallpaper, which correspond to the light theme.

In a technical sense, Windows 10 has two separate modes: Windows mode and application mode. The old default theme that combined the dark taskbar (dark Windows mode) with light applications (light application mode) will still be available for manual installation. The user can select any combination of these two modes.

The Windows Explorer icon has undergone a change and received brighter colors to look better when using a light theme.

Windows Sandbox – Windows 10 built-in sandbox

Windows 10 got a built-in sandbox called Windows Sandbox. This is an isolated virtual environment built into the operating system that allows you to safely launch suspicious applications without risking damage to your main system. When you close the sandbox, all programs and files in the virtual environment will be deleted. This functionality uses hardware virtualization technology to limit the scope of applications by container, similar to Microsoft Hyper-V.

The Windows Sandbox component will be available in Pro, Enterprise, and Education editions. Windows 10 Home users will need to upgrade to the Pro version in order to install and use the sandbox.

Less cluttered Start menu

Microsoft decided to clean the standard Start menu a little. The Start menu is now organized in one column, which looks simpler and more convenient ..

On the existing installation of Windows 10 you will not notice the changes. A new Start menu will appear on new computers preinstalled with Windows 10, when performing a clean installation of the system or creating a new account.

You will also be able to detach groups of tiles faster if you want to get a more minimalist Start menu. Windows now allows you to detach groups of tiles by clicking on them with the right mouse button and selecting the option “Detach a group from the Start menu”. You no longer need to unfasten each tile separately.

Windows will allow to remove more embedded applications.

If you want to completely remove many built-in Windows applications, then you will get this opportunity. Windows 10 always allowed you to remove Solitaire, My Office, and Skype, but now you can also uninstall 3D Viewer, Groove Music, Mail, Paint 3D, and other applications.

This change does not affect absolutely all pre-installed applications. Windows 10 will not offer ways to remove Edge or Microsoft Store.

Separation of Cortana and the search string

Initially, in Windows 10, the search box had very tight integration with Cortana voice assistant, but now they will be separated. In May 2019 Update, the search box will work as a regular search bar, and for Cortana there is a separate icon on the taskbar. You can leave the search and remove the Cortana icon or vice versa, leave the Cortana and hide the search. If you wish, you can hide both components.

The search interface will use the new initial design, and when you click on the search, the search options “All”, “Applications”, “Documents”, “Parameters”, “Email” and “Others” (Video, People, Music, Folders and Photos).

Unfortunately, the Bing search engine will also be used to search the Internet. Other options are available — for example, disabling secure search so that Windows displays snippets of adult content.

Microsoft has reduced the role of Cortana in the system. Users can now disable Cortana and leave only the search bar.

Search in the Start menu takes into account the files on the PC

The search box in the Start menu has become more useful. A new file search function in the Start menu allows you to find files on your local computer using the Windows search index. In previous versions of Windows, the search was carried out only in certain libraries – Documents, Downloads, Music, Images and Videos – and also on the desktop. Through the use of the indexing mechanism, the search will work very quickly

Previously, the Windows search index was ignored by the Start menu for some reason, but it seems Microsoft managed to solve this problem. The user can independently configure which locations on the disk need to be indexed – this can be done in the Settings application.

Go to Settings > Search > Search in Windows and select “Advanced (recommended)” to index all files on the computer. Indexing mode “Classic” allows you to leave the search only on libraries and desktop. You can select individual directories to index Windows.

Passwordless access

Microsoft has long been promoting the idea of ​​a “world without passwords.” Windows 10 users can now create a password-free Microsoft account. The account will be tied to the phone number, and when passing through the authentication procedure, Microsoft will send a security code via SMS.

After logging into the passwordless account, you can set up a PIN or another Windows Hello login method to protect your computer. This account has no password, you no longer need to remember and enter it.

Of course, passwordless accounts are not required. This is just a new additional type of account, the decision to create, which you have to take on your own.

New Windows Update Tray Icon

Windows Update received a new notification icon in the system tray. To enable it, go to Settings> Update and Security> Windows Update> Advanced Settings> Update Notifications when your computer needs to restart to complete the update.

After that, you will see the Windows Notification Center icon with an orange dot, if you need to restart your computer to update it. Of course, this is the preferred option to receive notification of the need to reboot than a full-screen message.

New version naming system

Microsoft is going to change the naming scheme for Windows versions. During the development of the October 2018 Update, the code designation Redstone 5 was used, and the previous versions were also called “Redstone” with the corresponding number. Now Microsoft decided to simplify the naming system, and the April 2019 update received the code designation 19H1, since the release is scheduled for the first half of the year (2019).

It sounds pretty simple, if you do not take into account the information that Microsoft wants to change the naming system again. The releases following the 1903 release may be code-named “Vanadium” and “Vibranium”.

Zoom in the console interface

The Windows console now supports zooming in and out. Just hold down the Ctrl key and scroll the mouse wheel, or swipe the trackpad. Standard font scales well and does not look too pixel. The aspect ratio remains the same, so the text will not move to other lines.

The console also received several experimental features that can be customized. Right-click on the console window and select Properties. Click the “Terminal” tab to access new features. Here you can configure many different parameters, such as the color of the cursor and its shape.

Automatic troubleshooting

Windows 10 originally had built-in troubleshooting tools. However, users had to self-diagnose the nature of the problem, and then select the desired tool to fix it. Now you don’t need to do this: just go to Options> Update and Security> Troubleshoot. On this page, you will see a list of recommended troubleshooting tools that Windows thinks can fix your problem.

In fact, Windows automatically tries to fix some problems in the background. Microsoft reports:

Microsoft can automatically fix some critical issues on Windows systems for stable device performance. For example, we can automatically restore the original settings of some services, apply parameters to various functions to be compatible with your hardware, and make other changes to Windows for reliable system operation. Critical troubleshooting is applied automatically, but it can be disabled.

Windows can run recommended troubleshooting tools in the background. To customize this behavior, go to Settings> Privacy> Diagnostics and Feedback, and in the “Recommended Troubleshooting” section, select the option “Ask me before troubleshooting” or “Fix problems for me without asking.”

Hiding notifications when launching fullscreen applications

Windows 10 May 2019 Update can hide notifications when you watch movies or use other full-screen applications due to the improved feature Focusing attention. This function previously hid notifications when you started a full-screen game, but now it supports work with video players, full-screen spreadsheet applications and full-screen browser mode (F11).

Notebook Improvements

Yes, Microsoft continues to work on the Windows notepad, even after all the improvements of the October 2018 Update.

This time Redmond made changes to the way Notepad handles encodings. The status bar now displays the encoding of the open document, and the editor itself can save files in UTF-8 format without a byte sequence marker (BOM). This saving option is now used by default. Notepad has become better to support web documents, where UTF-8 is used by default, and also got backward compatibility with traditional ASCII.

Now, when working with an unsaved document, an asterisk will be displayed in the header. For example, if you edit Example.txt, the header will be “* Example.txt” until you save the file.

Added support for new hotkeys. Use Ctrl + Shift + N to open a new window, Ctrl + Shift + S to open the “Save As” dialog box and Ctrl + W to close the current window. Notepad can now save files with a path length of more than 260 characters if your system is set to a higher MAX_PATH value.

Also added a new option Help> Send Feedback, which opens the “Feedback Center” application to send your request to Microsoft.

Other improvements and new features

New banner in the Settings application: A new banner has appeared at the top of the Settings application, which contains a link to your Microsoft account and links to popular components: OneDrive, Your Phone and Update Center.

New smilies: Microsoft has previously added to the version 1903 support for the list of emoticons Emoji 12.0, which is scheduled for release in March 2019. As usual, click Windows +. (dot) to open the emoticon panel in Windows. Also new emoji will be available on the touch keyboard.

Kaomoji Support: Windows supports the selection of Japanese Kaomoji emoticons on the Emoji panel. Kaomoji is a Japanese term that means “face characters.”

Dragging emoticons: now you can open the Emoji panel and drag the emoticon to any field using drag & drop.

Friendly Dates: Windows Explorer now shows friendly dates by default. Now instead of the format “01/23/2019” you will see “yesterday”, “on Tuesday”, “January 11th” and “February 16th, 2016”. If you like the old format more, you can turn off the friendly dates by right-clicking on the column header in the Explorer and unchecking the checkbox “Show Friendly Dates”.

Device memory settings: the storage settings page has received a new design. Go to Settings > System > Device Memory to see how disk space is used. Select individual categories to access the cleaning features.

Time and date settings in Options: in the Settings menu> Time and Language> Date and time, the “Synchronize” button now appears, which allows you to instantly synchronize the system time with the time server. It also displays the information about the last synchronization and the address of the current time server. This feature helps if the system time is displayed incorrectly – for example, when Windows has not switched to summer time.

Manual IP configuration in the Settings application: The Settings application now allows you to change advanced IP settings for Ethernet connections. For example, you can configure a static IP address or change the DNS server. Previously, to make these changes, you had to use the control panel. Go to Settings> Network and Internet> Ethernet, select your connection and on the opened page in the “IP Settings” section select the “Edit” button.

Activity Period: the first time in the Activity Period feature appeared in the Anniversary Update. With it, you can tell Windows how long to use the computer to prevent the computer from restarting automatically during active hours. In the May 2019 Update, you can enable the “Automatically change the period of activity for this device based on actions” option so that Windows independently sets the activity hours for you. A new option is available in the menu Options> Update and Security> Change the period of activity.

Not Connected: No Internet Connection” icon: a new icon now appears in the taskbar notification area, indicating that there is no Internet connection. It will replace the old icons that were used separately for Ethernet, Wi-Fi and mobile connections.

Microphone icon in the notification area: in Windows 10, now the microphone status icon has appeared. It appears when an application uses a microphone. When you hover the cursor on the icon, it shows which application works with the microphone, and when you click on it, the Setting s> Privacy > Microphone page opens.

Protection log: The Windows Security application, which combines the built-in antivirus and related security functions, has received an updated Protection Log panel (formerly Threat Log). It shows more information about detected threats and offers more actions available. For example, in addition to the malicious objects detected by Windows Defender, it also shows threats blocked by the “Controlled access to folders” function.

Anti-counterfeit protection: A new anti-counterfeiting feature has been added to the Windows Security application. Enabling it activates the protection of important system settings. For example, the function limits the modification of many parameters of the Windows Security application until the user enters the interface and makes changes manually. Anti-counterfeiting protection prevents background changes of important parameters by third-party programs. To enable the option, go to Windows Security> Virus and Threat Protection> Virus and Threat Protection Options.

Default tab for Task Manager: now you can customize the main tab for Task Manager. This tab will open when you start the Manager. Go to Settings> Set default tab to customize the main tab.

Support for determining the DPI in the Task Manager: in the Task Manager added support for the new column “Support for determining the DPI” on the Details tab. Now you can find out which applications will work correctly with high-resolution monitors. To enable the option, go to the “Details” tab, right-click on the title and select the “Select columns” option and tick the “DPI definition support” checkbox.

Fixed blurry applications: Microsoft has enabled scaling fixes for applications by default. This measure will solve the problem of “blurry applications” on high-resolution displays. The feature was added back in April 2018 Update, but was disabled by default.

Acrylic-style login screen: Windows login screen has been given Acrylic design as part of the Fluent Design System concept. Now use a beautiful background image blur effect.

Implementing Fluent Design: Microsoft added shadows to the context menus in Edge and other parts of the operating system.

Power Management in the Start menu: the Start menu design has also been revised. Now it has gotten more visual effects from Fluent Design and new icons for shutting down, restarting and switching to sleep mode.

Login Options: Updated page Settings > Accounts > Login Options. All available authorization methods are now presented in one list with clear descriptions.

Working with hardware security keys: now you can configure Windows Hello with hardware security keys, such as YubiKey, directly from the Settings application.

Brightness slider in the Action Center: a brightness control slider has been added to the quick action panel of the notification center, which makes it easier to switch the display brightness level.

Editing quick actions: now you can click on the quick actions panel and select the editing option to quickly customize the panel to fit your needs. The Settings application no longer needs to be opened.

New On-Screen Keyboard Characters: The on-screen keyboard now supports more characters. Select the “& 123” button and then “” to view additional characters. These symbols will be available on the Emoji panel.

Target areas of the on-screen keyboard: a new feature allows you to reduce the number of typos when typing text with an on-screen keyboard by dynamically adjusting the areas of pressing around each key. If you often make mistakes when typing a letter, the function will learn and optimize input. For the user, there will be no visible differences.

Cursor and pointer setup page: go to a new page in Settings> Accessibility> Cursor and Pointer to change the size of the cursor or change its color.

Other changes

Application Updates: As usual, various built-in Windows applications received updates. For example, the application “Sketch on a fragment of the screen” received advanced functions for working with screenshots – for example, adding a frame and printing support. The program can now take screenshots with a delay or screenshots of individual windows. Sticky Notes 3.0 got the synchronization feature between computers, and the Mail and Calendar applications now have a separate menu button for running Microsoft To-Do. On the game panel there was a gallery page with your videos and screenshots, and the Office application received a new design in the style of the online portal It helps you run Office applications on your computer, install programs, and locate recently used Office documents.

Cortana + Microsoft To Do: this change will not be interesting for users from Russia, but, nevertheless, now Cortana adds your reminders and tasks to Microsoft To-Do lists.

Constant display brightness: The brightness of your display will not change automatically if you connect the device to a power source. Previously, when connected to a network, the brightness could decrease, which was very inconvenient. Now Windows will automatically remember your preferred brightness, even when working from the network.

Sorting in the Downloads folder: Now in the downloads folder, by default, sorting by date will be used – from the newest files to the oldest ones. Previously, this option was available as an option, but was not used by default. If you selected other sorting options, this change will not affect you.

Disk Cleanup Warning: Now when you select the “Downloads” option, the Disk Cleanup tool will show a warning that this is your personal download folder and all files in it will be deleted.

Restart when updating: Windows Update can now automatically restart your computer immediately after installing the updates, without waiting for the optimal time. This is an optional parameter that you can optionally enable.

Improved reliability of the Start menu: the Start menu used to be part of the ShellExperienceHost.exe process, but now has its own process: StartMenuExperienceHost.exe. If there is a problem with the main ShellExperienceHost.exe process, then the Start menu will retain responsiveness. This measure will make it easier to debug Microsoft.

Native RAW support: Microsoft has added in Windows 10 built-in support for RAW image format, often used by professional photographers. Open the Microsoft Store and install the Raw Image Extension package to activate native support for RAW. You can view thumbnails of images, use the preview and view the metadata directly in Windows Explorer. You can also view RAW images in applications such as Photos after installing the package.

Managing fonts in the Settings application: now you can simply drag the font files to the Options> Fonts page to install them. You can choose a font on this page to view its outlines and detailed information, or delete the font from the system. This method sets the font only for the current user; for global installation, use the context menu item of the “Install for all users” font.

Updated clipboard history design: the clipboard viewer has received a new, more compact design. Click Windows + V to open it.

Simplified PIN Reset: When you enter Windows with a PIN, you can select the “I forgot my PIN” link to open a new PIN reset wizard right from the welcome screen.

Colors in the taskbar transition lists: if you specify Windows to show your preferred color in the Settings > Personalization> Colors menu, transition lists that appear when you right-click on the icons on the taskbar will use the selected color.

Windows subsystem for Linux: WSL command line supports new options –import and –export for importing and exporting Linux distributions using tar archives. In addition, the wsl command now includes options from the wslconfig command. Microsoft plans in the future to leave the command line options only for the wsl command.

Increasing FLS slot limit: Microsoft has increased the allocation limit of FLS (Fiber Local Storage) slots in Windows 10. This is especially useful for musicians who can load more unique plug-ins into their DAW (digital audio workstations). This measure will improve the performance of applications that load hundreds or thousands of unique DLL files.

Screen Narrator Improvements: Screen Narrator got the function “read by sentences”, started working better with Google Chrome and began to warn about the pressed Caps Lock key when you start typing text. When you start the announcer now opens a new home screen.

Page “Return the computer to its original state”: the interface of the PC reset page has been redesigned and now you need fewer clicks to perform all the steps.

Pre-appraisal program settings: Windows Insider program settings have been simplified, but all previously available options have been saved.

The sound in the notification area remains the same: in the earlier test builds 19H1, Microsoft experimented so that in the system tray, by clicking on the sound icon, the “Sound” page in the Settings app opens. This change was canceled – now when you click on the icon, the classic volume mixer window on the desktop opens.

People: Microsoft may at some point remove the “People” feature in Windows 10, but this change has not been officially confirmed.

Among other new features: support for additional languages ​​in the operating system. For example, the SwiftKey keyboard now supports languages ​​such as English (Canada), French (Canada), Portuguese (Portugal), and Spanish (USA). If you are writing in Vietnamese, the on-screen keyboard now supports Vietnamese telex and numeric keyboards (VNI). Windows now also supports the Ebrima font, which is used in ADLAM documents and web pages spoken by people of the Fulani people, who mostly live in West Africa.

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