Windows 10 Fall Creators Update new features
Features Breakdown

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update new features

The Fall Creators Update for Windows 10 is coming — Here's what new features and significant changes you'll find in this new version.

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update will deliver a lot of new features and changes. The next Creators Update coming later this fall will be the fourth major feature update for desktop PCs, laptops, tablets, phones, Xbox One, HoloLens, and IoT devices with a new set of features and improvements focus on adding new experiences and expanding functionalities to iOS and Android devices.

The next version of Windows 10 will include a slew of new features and tweaks, but Microsoft will be touting four key additions, including Timeline, Clipboard, OneDrive File On-Demand, and cross-devices improvements.

As the name implies, the update will be available for download this fall. Initially, Microsoft will begin rolling out the Fall Creators Update with its new features to select devices that are known to work with the new version, and then the rollout will expand to other devices.

How to get the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update? This fall, when the update launches, it will take some time, but when it becomes ready for your device, you’ll get a notification with an option to review your privacy settings before downloading the update, just like in the Creators Update. Alternatively, you’ll be able to install the new version using the Media Creation Tool to do a clean or an in-place upgrade, Update Assistant, or you’ll be able to 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.

The Fall Creators Update 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.

What’s new on the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

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”.

The new design language is an interface refresh for Windows 10, and it brings a new set of rules to streamline the design of apps for PCs, tablets, phones, TVs, and mixed reality headsets.

Basically, Windows 10 will get a new look with the addition of blur (acrylic), translucent, and animation effects.

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, 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 use 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, pick up where you left off, Clipboard, and OneDrive File On-Demand.

Timeline & Pick up where you left off

Timeline is an evolution of the Task View, which allows you to view all tasks you’re working across devices, including Windows 10, iOS, and Android.

Using this feature, you can quickly pick up where you left off a task you started on another device five minutes ago or a month ago. Simply scroll or use the search box to find and resume the task.

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update features
Timeline

It really doesn’t matter where you started the task, Timeline makes it easier to resume working on a task on your PC, even if you started it on your iOS or Android phone, thanks to Cortana integration across platform.

On your computer, Cortana will even leverage Timeline to intelligently prompt you using notifications to pick up where you left off.

Clipboard

Clipboard is an easy way to copy and paste content between devices. For example, you can copy a piece of text or an image on your desktop, and you can then paste it on your phone using the SwiftKey keyboard app.

Microsoft cloud-powered Clipboard
Microsoft cloud-powered Clipboard

Microsoft is even building Clipboard on Office to allow you to paste text and images to a Word document you copied on your phone.

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.

OneDrive File On-Demand
OneDrive File On-Demand

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.

My People interface
My People interface

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 with Shoulder Taps feature.
  • 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.

What’s new on Settings for the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

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 will include 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 show you how to use Task View and Snap View.

Settings tips and videos
Settings tips and videos

A lot of users may not realize that they can connect their phones to Windows 10 to enable cross-platform interactions, and to address this issue, the Settings will get more proactive and help users set up their phones.

On the Fall Creators Update, you’ll see popup notifications inside Settings letting you know that you can connect your Windows Phone, iPhone, or Android phone to your PC.

About settings

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

About settings page
About settings page

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 protections, firewall, performance, and an app control status.

Then there is a section that give 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.

Data usage settings

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

Reset usage data on Windows 10
Reset usage data on Windows 10

Start menu settings

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.

Start settings on Windows 10
Start settings on Windows 10

My People settings

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.

My People settings on Windows 10
My People settings on Windows 10

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

Broadcasting settings

Another small change in this release can be found in the Broadcasting settings page inside the Gaming section.

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

Broadcasting settings on Windows 10
Broadcasting settings on Windows 10

Magnifier settings

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 inside the Easy of Access section.

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.

Magnifier settings on Windows 10
Magnifier settings on Windows 10

Cortana Settings

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.

Instead of opening Cortana on the Taskbar, you can now simply go to Settings > Cortana to find and configure the digital assistant.

The new Cortana section feature 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 has reorganized all the existing settings into four different pages.

On Settings > Cortana > Talk to Cortana, you’ll find the most basic settings, including the settings to configure your microphone, enable “Hey Cortana”, Cortana in listening mode, and the assistant above the Lock screen. Also, on this page, you can change Cortana’s language settings.

Talk to Cortana settings on Windows 10
Talk to Cortana settings on Windows 10

On Settings > Cortana > Permissions & history, you can control permissions settings, such as location, communication, browsing history, and more.

Cortana Permissions & history settings
Cortana Permissions & history settings

If you need to add or remove another service like Office 365, you’ll need to click the Manage the information Cortana can access from other services Link.

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

Cortana permissions options
Cortana permissions options

On Settings > Cortana > Notifications, you can enable or disable the option to send notifications between devices, and you can manage notifications, but the option still opens the Cortana settings experience.

Cortana Notifications settings
Cortana Notifications settings

On Settings > Cortana > More details, you’ll only find some privacy statements and a couple other things.

Cortana More details settings
Cortana More details settings

What’s new on apps for the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

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.

Photos app on the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update
Photos app on the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

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. But 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 easily things and people to make them easily searchable. 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.

Story Remix editor
Story Remix editor

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

If you don’t have a mixed-reality headset, the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update will include a new feature to view and create mixed-reality images. It’s all possible with a new app called View 3D that let you view mixed-reality images, and you can also use any camera to create images mixing digital and real-world objects.

View 3D app for Windows 10
View 3D app for Windows 10

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 is also working to bring its popular music player 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’ll also be able to get SUSE Linux, and Fedora Linux from the Windows Store.

What’s new on Microsoft Edge for the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

While we’re still waiting for Microsoft Edge to start getting updates using the Windows Store instead of on every feature update of the OS, the web browser will bring a number of improvements with the Fall Creators Update.

Currently, the default web browser for Windows 10 includes a PDF reader, 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.

Microsoft Edge PDF form edit
Microsoft Edge PDF form edit

While you’ve been able to use Windows Ink to annotate web pages for some time, it wasn’t possible to add notes to PDFs. On the Fall Creators Update, you can click the Make a Web Note button on the top-right to annotate PDF files. In addition to annotations, you can use this feature to highlight and erase text.

Microsoft Edge PDF annotation
Microsoft Edge PDF annotation

The browser now even supports Table of Contents for long PDFs and e-books for easier navigation. You’ll see the Table of Contents button on the left of the PDF toolbar. Then simply click on any heading to jump to that part of the document.

Some PDF files, such as scanned documents, may not have proper orientation. The new PDF Reader includes a button to rotate documents. Using the Layout flyout menu on the toolbar, you can now switch from one page to two page layouts, and change to page-wise scrolling for a better navigation experience.

Microsoft Edge PDF rotation
Microsoft Edge PDF rotation

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.

Windows Defender Application Guard Microsoft Edge session
Windows Defender Application Guard Microsoft Edge session

On the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, Microsoft is also focusing on improvement performance and responsiveness. According to the company, the new update will make sure that opening and closing tabs are faster and smoother.

In addition, the web browser will be getting some design changes. As part of the new Fluent Design System, starting with this new version, the browser will get some interface tweaks. This includes new animations when clicking objects or saving a favorite, and transparency and blur while viewing all open tabs and more.

MIcrosoft Edge with Fluent Design System
MIcrosoft Edge with Fluent Design System

Initially, the changes will be subtle, but eventually we’ll see a complete overhaul of the browser.

Additional new features, changes, and improvements

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.

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

Power Throttling on Task Manager
Power Throttling on Task Manager

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.

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

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.

Wrapping things up

Although the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update doesn’t have a specific release date, we’re expecting Microsoft to begin the rollout sometime in September 2017.

Keep track of every feature and changes during the development of the this Windows 10 update here.

What do you think about the new Windows 10 Fall Creators Update features? Tell us in the comments below.

Editor’s note: This guide includes features and improvements that appeared until Windows 10 build 16199. It should be also 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).