Hey Cortana, turn off PC!

Windows 10 Insider build 16251 leading to Fall Creators Update changelog

Windows 10's latest preview can link to your Android phone, you can ask Cortana to shut down your PC, and more — Here's what you need to know.

Windows 10 build 16251

Windows Insider Program members are now getting Windows 10 build 16251 for PCs enrolled in the Fast ring from the rs_release branch. This is another release part of the Fall Creators update, and even though Microsoft is in the last mile finalizing the next version, this rollout includes a number of interesting new features and improvements.

Windows 10 Insider build 16251, according to the software maker, includes a new feature to let you link your phone to your PC allowing cross-devices experiences. Cortana now shows web result snippets without opening your browser, and you can finally use voice commands to power off your device.

In addition, this flight improves the boot experience to allow you to sign in to your account automatically to finish setting up your device after an update during regular shutdowns and reboots, and more.

If you enabled the “skip ahead” option in the Windows Insider Program settings to get test builds for the Redstone 4 update, you’ll also be getting build 16251 through the rs4_prerelease branch with the same features but with app updates. In the future the build number and features will diverge.

What’s new on Windows 10 Insider build 16251

Here are all the new features and improvements included in this new pre-release of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update expected to arrive later this year.

Cross-device web-browsing

Starting with build 16251, Windows 10 lets you link your phone to a PC allowing new cross-devices experiences.

You can add your mobile device on Settings > Phone, during the process, you’ll receive a text message directing you to install the “Microsoft Apps” test app for your Android phone to complete the link.

After setting up the feature, you can open a website on your phone and Continue on PC option in your phone share experience, you’ll be able to Continue now or Continue later to resume the same website on your PC.

Windows 10 phone to PC link
Windows 10 phone to PC link

Currently, the feature is available for Android phones, but iPhone support will come in later releases.

Cortana

Another interesting addition on this flight is the ability to view web results snippets without opening the web browser.

As you type a question, the Cortana pane will expand automatically, quickly showing you exactly what you need to know. If Cortana doesn’t have a quick answer for your query, the pane won’t automatically expand.

Cortana web result pane
Cortana web result pane

Perhaps one of the most worthy changes on build 16251 is the ability to use Cortana to turn off, restart, lock, or sign-out of Windows.

Microsoft revealed this feature in the past, but it’s not until now that is fully enabled.

Here is the list of voice commands you can use:

  • Hey Cortana — restart PC.
  • Hey Cortana — turn off PC.
  • Hey Cortana — sign out.
  • Hey Cortana — lock PC.

In addition, if you have Cortana enabled above the Lock screen, you can also ask the assistant to execute the commands above the Lock screen.

System

Previously, only Windows Update included a feature to sign you in automatically to complete an update installation, and now the same functionality is expanding to regular reboots and shutdowns. In addition, this feature will restore your accessibility apps and other apps that have registered to restart automatically.

Windows 10 auto sign-in options
Windows 10 auto sign-in options

Microsoft is also adding two new command line options:

  • Shutdown /sg: Shutdown the computer. On the next boot, restart any registered applications.
  • Shutdown /g: Full shutdown and restart the computer. After the system is rebooted, restart any registered applications.

It appears that the feature is enabled by default, but you can always opt-out on Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options, under the Privacy section.

Additional changes

The touch one-handed keyboard is now a bit bigger with thicker borders to prevent accidentally tap outside the keyboard and dismiss it. Also, the keyboard now supports full keyboard layout option for English (United States), English (Australia), French (France), Italian (Italy), German (Germany) and Spanish (Spain) languages, and launching and dismissing the keyboard, you’ll now notice an animation of it sliding in and out.

On precision touchpad, the two-finger scrolling should feel a bit smoother. Finally, the pen can now select and drag objects when barrel button (a button on the side of the pen) is pressed.

How to download Windows 10 build 16251

Microsoft is listing the complete set of fixes and known issues for Windows 10 Insider build 16251 at the Windows Blog. In case you missed it, you can read all the changes for Windows 10 build 16241 in this article.

Alongside Windows 10 latest build for PC, Microsoft has also released Windows 10 Mobile build 15235 with support to switch to portrait mode orientation in Continuum and a few minor improvements and fixes.

You can also follow these resources:

Windows 10 build 16251 for PC is available immediately through the Fast ring. It’ll download and install automatically on your device, but you can always force the update from Settings > Update & security > Windows Update and clicking the Check for updates button.

Update August 3, 2017: Along with the release of build 16257, Microsoft is making available Windows 10 build 16251 in the Slow ring for testers.