Hidden gems

Windows 10 version 1809 (October 2018 Update): 10 Best hidden features

Here are the top 10 (best and most useful) hidden features coming with the Windows 10 October 2018 Update.

Windows 10 version 1809 (Redstone 5) best hidden features

Microsoft made available the Windows 10 version 1809 (October 2018 Update) on October 2, and alongside the big features and enhancements, the second semi-annual update also packs several hidden features and small changes. Also, check out the absolute best features coming this fall to Windows 10.

In this guide, we’ll take a look at the best and more interesting hidden features built into the Windows 10 October 2018 Update.

1. Typing insights

Windows 10 includes features that leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to help type more efficiently, such as auto correcting your spelling mistakes, prediction of the next word you would type, and word suggestions. Starting with version 1809, the Settings app introduces a new “Typing insights” option in the Typing page that lets you view stats of these features. Of course, if this isn’t something you like, you can always disable typing insights using the toggle switch.

Typing insights on Windows 10 Redstone 5
Typing insights on Windows 10 October 2018 Update

2. SwiftKey

In this new release, Microsoft is bringing its SwiftKey intelligence available on iPhone and Android to Windows 10.

SwiftKey on Windows 10 version 1809
SwiftKey on Windows 10 version 1809

SwiftKey is a technology that learns your typing style to provide more accurate autocorrections and predictions. Starting with the October 2018 Update, the technology is available on the desktop when using the touch keyboard to help you improve accuracy while typing.

3. Print Screen mapping

On Windows 10 version 1809, Microsoft is making Screen Sketch as the new default app to take screenshots on the desktop. Although you can simply open Screen Sketch or use the Screen snip button in Action Center to quickly take a screenshot of an app or game, there’s a new hidden feature in the Settings app that lets you configure the “Print Screen” key on the keyboard to open the screen snipping experience much faster.

Print screen shortcut option on Windows 10 RS5
Print screen shortcut option on Windows 10 RS5

4. Windows HD Color

If you have a high dynamic range (HDR) capable display, the October 2018 Update now includes a new Windows HD Color under the Display settings that surface supported HD features and options to enable them from a unified interface and without extra steps.

Windows HD Colors settings on Windows 10 version 1809
Windows HD Colors settings on Windows 10 version 1809

5. Adjust video based on lighting

Another hidden feature included in the Windows 10 version 1809 is a new option that improves the visibility of video playback when you’re in a very bright environment. The feature is called “Adjust video based on lighting,” and it uses the built-in light sensor to detect the ambient light to adjust the video automatically. You can turn on this feature on Settings > Apps > Video playback, and turning on the Adjust video based on lighting toggle switch.

Adjust video based on lighting settings on Windows 10 Redstone 5
Adjust video based on lighting settings on Windows 10 version 1809

6. Locally available cloud content

Storage sense on Windows 10 helps you to free up space automatically, and in version 1809, there’s a new hidden feature that makes unused OneDrive content available only online to free up additional space automatically.

Storage Sense with OneDrive option to free up space
Storage Sense with OneDrive option to free up space

The ability to free up space used by OneDrive has been available for quite a while, but this new option makes it easier to automate the process.

7. Windows Update reboot logic

Perhaps one of the most annoying things about Windows 10 are updates that usually restart your computer in the least preferable time. On version 1809, if you have an update pending, Windows 10 will use an updated “reboot logic” to be more “adaptive and proactive.”

Using Machine Learning, Microsoft has trained a “predictive model” to accurately predict when is the right time to restart the device to avoid rebooting the system in situations, for example, when you step out of the office to get a coffee.

8. Microsoft Edge media autoplay control

Microsoft Edge is also getting a few nifty features in the sixth major refresh of Windows 10. One of these new features is the ability to choose if web videos should play automatically in the web browser.

On the advanced settings for Microsoft Edge, you’ll find a hidden Media autoplay drop-down menu with options to control the behavior of media playback globally.

Microsoft Edge Media autoplay settings on Windows 10 Redstone 5
Microsoft Edge Media autoplay settings on version 1809

If you only want to limit autoplay in a particular website, you can control permissions on a per-site basis under the “Website permission” section of the “Website Identification” pane.

Microsoft Edge Media autoplay settings per website
Microsoft Edge Media autoplay settings per website

9. Microsoft Edge web authentication

Beginning with the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, Microsoft Edge now includes support for Web Authentication, which allows users to sign in to websites using face recognition, fingerprint, PIN, or portable FIDO2 devices. This means that users no longer have to remember strong passwords to sign in to a service.

On supported sites, during checkout, for example, Windows Hello will recognize the action and prompt to confirm the authentication to submit the order without using a password.

You can watch the video below that showcases a live demo of this new implementation. Also, you can find out more about this new technology at the Windows blog.

10. Microsoft Edge dictionary

Another hidden feature that you’ll find on Windows 10 version 1809 is a new dictionary support for Microsoft Edge Reading View, Books, and PDF reader.

Starting with this release, while viewing a web page using Reading View, reading a book, or working with a PDF document, you’ll find a new dictionary function to look up definitions for key words when reading. Simply select a single word to see the definition appear above your selection.

Microsoft Edge dictionary
Microsoft Edge dictionary

You can choose to read the word aloud to hear the pronunciation or expand to see the definition. And you can enable or disable, or decide in which types of content definitions should appear under the “General” tab of the Microsoft Edge settings.

These are the ten best hidden features you’ll find with version 1809 for Windows 10. Which feature do you find the most useful? Tell us in the comments.