Windows 10 version 1809, October 2018 Update, is the next major refresh that Microsoft is making available after the version 1803. This is the second semi-annual release, and it introduces a new set of features and enhancements to improve the overall experience.
This is the sixth feature update (since the original) arriving for Windows 10, and it’s a smaller update compared to the update released in April 2018, but it delivers a number of visual changes, and new features around system health, storage, customization, security, and productivity.
- 1. File Explorer dark mode
- 2. Cloud-powered clipboard
- 3. Search experience
- 4. Snip & Sketch screenshot tool
- 5. Storage sense with OneDrive cleanup
- 6. Change system font size
- 7. Your Phone
1. File Explorer dark theme
Although you’ll have to wait a little longer to get native tab support in File Explorer, starting with version 1809, Windows 10 is introducing a dark theme for File Explorer, context menus, and popup dialogs.
The new dark theme is part of the system dark mode, and it’s enabled automatically when switching to the dark mode using the “Colors” settings in “Personalization.”
2. Cloud-powered clipboard
We’ve been able to copy text and images to the clipboard and paste them to any application for a long time, but it’s been a feature limited to one device.
Starting with the October 2018 Update, another best new feature is the new clipboard experience that leverages the Microsoft cloud to copy and paste content across devices. In addition, the new clipboard also introduces a new interface (which you can invoke using the Windows key + V shortcut) to view your history, paste previous content, and pin items that you may need to paste in the daily basis.
- How to sync clipboard across devices on Windows 10
- How to disable clipboard experience on Windows 10
- How to clear clipboard history on Windows 10
3. Search experience
In this new version of Windows 10, Microsoft is also adding some important changes to the search experience. Starting with version 1809, you’re getting a wider interface to accommodate previews in the right pane to access more information and actions a lot faster.
For example, searching for an app or document, the right pane will now surface common actions, including options to run an app as an administrator, file information, such as path and last time the document was modified, and more.
Also, if you’re searching an app, the web results will now also show a button to download the third-party app directly from the official website.
4. Snip & Sketch screenshot tool
Windows 10 is introducing a new snipping experience that combines the old Snipping tool with Screen Sketch (formerly part of the Windows Ink Workspace) into a single modern experience to take screenshots.
While you’ve been able to use Snip & Sketch in the past to take screenshots, the new experience enhances that experience, and adds a few other benefits, such as update through the Microsoft Store (instead of having to wait for a new version of Windows 10), activities will appear in Task View, and you can have multiple open windows.
In addition, you can now use the Windows key + Shift + S keyboard shortcut to bring up the snipping toolbar with all the basic tools you need.
The app includes support to work with a stylus. You can set a new option to use Print Screen key to launch the new snipping experience. And Action Center gains a new Screen snip button that let you also get a quick access to the new snipping experience.
5. Storage sense with OneDrive cleanup
On Windows 10, Storage sense helps you to free up space automatically as your device starts to run out of space, and in version 1809, there’s a new feature that automatically makes unused OneDrive content available only online to free up additional space.
The ability to make content available online-only is already part of the Files On-demand feature set, but it was something that users needed to use manually, and now, there’s an option to automate the process.
6. Change system font size
In previous versions, you’ve been able to change the font size for the entire system, such as for File Explorer, Start menu, Settings, Control Panel, and apps, but for an odd reason, this option was removed from the operating system.
However, starting with Windows 10 version 1809, the feature is back as part of the “Display” settings in the Ease of Access section of the Settings app.
Using the new slider option, you can now quickly adjust the font size for the Start menu, titles, message boxes, palette titles, icons, and tooltips for all apps.
Although for many users this may be a subtle addition, it’s a big feature for users who need larger font size to read content on the screen more clearly.
7. Your Phone
Although it’s still a work in progress, Your Phone is one of the best features you’ll find in this new version.
Your Phone is a new experience designed to integrate your phone even further into your computer allowing you to access your texts, photos, and notifications from your phone wirelessly.
The new experience is expected to work with iPhone and Android devices, but in this first release the Your Phone app is only available for Android devices and with limited features, including linking your phone, access recent photos, and send text messages.
Wrapping things up
Although Windows 10 version 1809 seems significantly smaller than the previous release, this update is more about improving and tweaking the features already in the operating system.
These are what I consider the best new features and improvements coming with the October 2018 Update. Do you have a favorite feature that wasn’t mentioned? Share it in the comments.
Update October 4, 2018: This guide was originally published in August 2018, and it’s been updated to reflect the new changes.