Windows 10 version 1903 (19H1) with Sticky Notes 3.0
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Windows 10 version 1903 (19H1): All the new features and changes

UPDATED 11/9: Windows 10 version 1903 (19H1) is expected to rollout sometime in spring 2019, and here are all the new features and changes that Microsoft has added to the new version thus far.

Windows 10 version 1903 (also known with the “19H1” codename) will be the seventh major refresh that Microsoft is planning to release during the spring of 2019 with new features and improvements. 

Also, it’ll be the first of two updates coming in 2019, and while we’re still months away from the final version, thanks to the previews available in the Windows Insider Program, we can already see some of the changes that will be coming to the “April 2019 Update” (assuming the name will follow the scheme as we’ve been seeing in previous releases).

In this guide, we’ll highlight the new features and improvements planned for version 1903 as they appear in each test preview. You can also check all the new changes available with version 1809 (October 2018 Update) here.

Info: This guide gets updated and republished with features and improvements as they become available through the Windows Insider Program.

What’s new with desktop experience

You can check out this walkthrough video with all the changes included in the most recent Windows 10 Insider Preview builds.

Starting with version 1903, Windows 10 is adding acrylic effect, part of Fluent Design, to the sign-in background. “The translucent texture of this transient surface helps you focus on the sign-in task by moving the actionable controls up in the visual hierarchy while maintaining their accessibility” — Microsoft explains.

Windows 10 build 18237 with acrylic effect on the Sign-in screen
Windows 10 build 18237 with acrylic effect on the Sign-in screen

Start menu

In the Start menu, you won’t find big changes, but now you can right-click on a group name or tile folder, and you’ll now have an option to unpin it.

Start menu with unpin option for group tiles and folders
Start menu with unpin option for group tiles and folders

Taskbar

In the taskbar, more specifically in the notifications section, Windows 10 is also including a new “disconnected” icon when there’s not an internet connection on your device. This icon will appear when no connection to the internet is detected for Ethernet, Wi-Fi, and Cellular adapters.

Windows 10 taskbar disconnected network icon on build 18252
Windows 10 taskbar disconnected network icon on build 18252

In addition, there’s a new microphone icon in the system tray which appears when your microphone is in use.

Action Center

Starting with this new version, Action Center add a new slider to quickly adjust the brightness of the screen.

Action Center brightness slider on Windows 10 build 18277
Action Center brightness slider on Windows 10 build 18277

In addition, you can rearrange and add buttons without having to open the Settings app.

If you need to add or remove buttons, right-click a button, select Edit, and then click the unpin button or click the Add button add more buttons.

What’s new with Settings experience

In the update planned for April 2019, the Settings app is also getting a number of refinements.

Focus assist

In the Focus assist setting page, Windows 10 is adding a new automatic rule to let remove distractions while you’re working on anything full screen. (The option is called “When I’m using an app in full screen mode.”)

Focus assist on Windows 10 19H1
Focus assist on Windows 10 19H1

Storage

The Storage settings page has been redesigned to see at glance how space is been utilized, instead of having to select each drive to see the same information, which wasn’t very intuitive for many users.

As a result of this change, you’ll no longer find the Storage sense section, but you can still access the settings to enable, disable, and configure the feature by clicking the Configure Storage Sense or run it now link under “Storage.”

Storage settings on Windows 10 19H1
Storage settings on Windows 10 19H1

Under the More Storage settings section, you’ll now find options to access the Optimize Drives settings to use defragmentation, and you’ll find another option to view storage usage on other drives.

Advanced scaling settings

Since the April 2018 Update, Windows 10 includes an option to automatically fix scaling for apps that may look blurry after your display settings change. However, it was an option that you needed to enable manually, but with the April 2019 update, the option is now enabled by default on Settings > System > Display > Advanced scaling settings page.

Printers & Scanners

The Printers & Scanners settings page have been updated with a link, in the right pane, to open the troubleshooter in case you need fix problems with your printer or scanner.

Apps & features

Starting with version 1903, Microsoft is making changes to allow you to uninstall even more built-in apps that you don’t use, including:

  • 3D Viewer.
  • Calculator.
  • Calendar.
  • Groove Music.
  • Mail.
  • Movies & TV.
  • Paint 3D.
  • Snip & Sketch.
  • Sticky Notes.
  • Voice Recorder.

Previously, you were only to able uninstall these:

  • Microsoft Solitaire Collection.
  • My Office.
  • OneNote.
  • Print 3D.
  • Skype.
  • Tips.
  • Weather.

Sign-in options

On version 1903, Windows 10 is updating the Sign-in options settings page to make it easier for users to set up an authentication method, including Windows Hello Face, Windows Hello Fingerprint, password, and Picture Password.

Sign-in options settings page for version 1903
Sign-in options settings page for version 1903

Ethernet 

Inside the properties page to manage Ethernet settings, you can now configure the static IP address and DNS server preferences. (Although this is new to Windows 10 version 1903, you’ve been able to configure these settings for wireless adapters for a long time.)

Windows 10 Ethernet TCP/IP settings
Windows 10 Ethernet TCP/IP settings

In addition, the corresponding Ethernet adapter name will now be listed in the sidebar under the “Ethernet” header so you can easily differentiate Ethernet entries at a glance if there’s more than one.

Colors 

In the Colors page, the options to change your default app mode and enable or disable transparency have moved to the top of the page to make them easier to find.

Colors settings page for Windows 10 19H1
Colors settings page for Windows 10 19H1

Language

In the Language settings, when adding a new language, Windows 10 will offer separate options for installing the language pack and setting the language as the Windows display language. In addition, you’ll see separate options for installing the “Speech recognition” and “Text-to-speech” features, when these features are available for the language.

Language options on Windows 10 version 1903
Language options on Windows 10 version 1903

Also, there’s a new page that allows you to select the input method to always use as default, and access to adjust language bar options and input language hotkeys.

Input method default options
Input method default options

Searching Windows 

Starting with version 1903, the Settings app introduces a new page in the Cortana section called “Searching Windows,” which you can now use to manage search indexing settings.

Technically, Windows 10 is making available the indexing settings already available in Control Panel in the Settings app, but with additional features. For example, now you can select the Enhanced mode, which is a new feature that enables the operating system to search all your folders and drives, instead of only your documents, pictures, videos, and desktop.

You can also exclude folders that you don’t want participating in search, and there links to customize additional advanced search settings and fix common problems with the feature.

Searching Windows settings on Windows 10 build 18267

Troubleshoot

In the Troubleshoot page, you’ll find a new option called “Recommended troubleshooting,” which allows Windows 10 to detect and fix common problems automatically, removing the need for you to manually run a troubleshooter to resolve an issue.

Recommended troubleshooting settings on Windows 10 version 1809
Recommended troubleshooting settings on Windows 10 version 1903

“This feature uses diagnostic data you send to deliver a tailored set of fixes matching problems we detect on your device and will automatically apply them to your PC.” — Microsoft says.

What’s new with input experience

Language

This new feature update also introduces the Windows Ebrima font to read your ADLaM documents and websites.

Windows 10 with Ebrima font
Windows 10 with Ebrima font

According to Microsoft: “ADLaM is enabling literacy and growing in use for commerce, education, and publishing across western Africa. It was added to Unicode in Unicode 9.0. The Ebrima font also supports other African writings systems N’ko, Tifinagh, Vai and Osmanya.”

Narrator

Narrator gets updated to work better with Google Chrome. Starting with Windows 10 19H1, you can use the up and down arrows in scan mode. You can navigate using the tab keys. You can use the continuous reading commands, and you can navigate by headings and links.

BRLTTY version 5.6 is now available with USB support for Inceptor and Orbit 20 displays. In addition, the BrailleNote Touch is recognized when using USB. Baum displays can now use B9 and B10 interchangeably. Liblouis binaries and tables have been updated to version 3.7.0.

The UI for Automation framework now includes support for IAccessible2 information from Google Chrome, which supports IAccessible2 rather than UI Automation. This enables UI Automation clients to receive the IAccessible2 information through the UI Automation client interfaces.

Narrator now includes “Read by Sentence,” which allows you to read next, current, and previous sentences with Narrator. The new feature is available with the keyboard and with touch. (Move by sentence doesn’t yet work for Braille.)

  • Caps + Ctrl + Period (.): Reads next sentence.
  • Caps + Ctrl + Comma (,): Reads current sentence.
  • Caps + Ctrl + M: Reads previous sentence.

Sentence is now a new Narrator view and can be reached using the Caps + Page Up or Caps + Page Down keyboard shortcut, and then, you can navigate with Caps + Left arrow for move by previous sentence and Caps + Right arrow for move by next sentence.

Also, moving forward Narrator will now alert you when you’re accidentally typing with Caps Lock turned on. The setting is enabled by default. To adjust this setting, open the Narrator Settings (Ctrl + Win + N), then navigate to the “Change how much content you hear” heading and review the combo box for “Change when you receive Caps Lock warnings while typing”.

Input

If you write in Vietnamese, Windows 10 now includes Vietnamese Telex and Number-key based (VNI) keyboards for the touch-based keyboard.

As part of the input improvements, you can now access even more symbols and special characters from the touch keyboard. Once in the number and symbols view (&123) on the touch keyboard, just tap the new ‘Ω ‘ key and you’ll now see a number of tabs with lists of symbols.

New symbols for touch keyboard on Windows 10
New symbols for touch keyboard on Windows 10

In addition to the Indic Traditional INSCRIPT keyboards already available, with this new version, Windows 10 is adding Indic Phonetic keyboards for Hindi, Bangla, Tamil, Marathi, Punjabi, Gujarati, Odia, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam.

“How does a phonetic keyboard work? Basically, it’s a convenient way of typing that leverages the English QWERTY keyboard – as you type, we use transliteration to suggest possible Indic text candidates. For example, if you typed “namaste” using the Hindi Phonetic keyboard we would suggest नमस्ते.” — Microsoft explains.

SwitfKey

The SwitfKey feature that provides more accurate autocorrections and predictions when using the touch keyboard experience is now expanding to more languages, including:

  • English (Canada) – en-CA
  • English (India) – en-IN
  • French (Canada) – fr-CA
  • French (Belgium) – fr-BE
  • French (Switzerland) – fr-CH
  • Portuguese (Portugal) – pt-PT
  • German (Switzerland) – de-CH
  • Spanish (United States) – es-US

If you’re using a hardware keyboard, text suggestions are also supported with the above languages.

In this version, Windows 10 is updating the Japanese IME by redesigning how it works with applications, and the candidate window interface has been updated to be cleaner and more polished.

As part of this work, all your Japanese IME settings have now been fully integrated into Settings. If you would like to see them, the fastest way there is to right-click the IME mode indicator in the taskbar and select Settings.

Japanese IME settings on Windows 10
Japanese IME settings on Windows 10

Finally, this flight also ships with emoji 12, but it’s still a work in progress.

Emoji 12 for Windows 10 19H1
Emoji 12 for Windows 10 19H1

What’s new with system experience

As part of the 19H1 development, Microsoft is also introducing a new group policy for prevent the use of security questions for local accounts. This can be found under Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Credential User Interface.

Registry

In the Registry, when pressing the F4 key, you’ll see a caret at the end of the address bar, expanding the autocomplete drop-down.

Windows Console

Ctrl + Mouse Wheel Scroll to zoom in text is now supported in Command Prompt, PowerShell and Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL).

In addition, when using dark system theme, the scrollbars for Command Prompt, PowerShell and WSL will now become dark as well.

Command Prompt and PowerShell with dark scrollbar
Command Prompt and PowerShell with dark scrollbar

What’s new with built-in apps

Here are the changes for built-in apps on Windows 10:

Windows Defender Application Guard

Windows 10 version 1903 also includes an updated version of Windows Security, which introduces new Windows Defender Application Guard options that allows you to manage access to your camera and microphone while browsing using this security feature for Microsoft Edge.

If you’re using a device manage by your company, you can check the settings that have been configured. For this to be turned on in Application Guard for Microsoft Edge, the camera and microphone setting must already be turned on for the device in Settings > Privacy > Microphone & Settings > Privacy > Camera.

Windows Defender Application Guard for Windows 10 19H1
Windows Defender Application Guard for Windows 10 19H1

Snip & Sketch

In the new experience to take screenshots on Windows 10, you’ll find a few additions, including:

  • Option to add a border to your screenshots.
  • Button in the toolbar so you can print directly from the app.
  • If you have unsaved changes and go to close a window or open a file that will now pop a confirmation.
  • File name now includes a timestamp.
  • You can now save images as jpg and gif.
Snip & Sketch printing option
Snip & Sketch printing option

In addition with version 10.1809.2964.0, Snip & Sketch now has a settings page that replaces the old About page. In this new page, you’ll find the option to add a border, an option for updates made to your snip to copy automatically to your clipboard, and more.

Sticky Notes

Sticky Notes is also getting some additional improvements, including:

Sticky Notes in dark mode
Sticky Notes in dark mode

Editor’s note: This guide includes features and improvements that appeared until Windows 10 build 18267. It should be noted that this guide focuses on features for consumers, as Microsoft is also adding other features aimed for enterprises, which aren’t included here. (This guide was originally published on September 4, 2018, and last updated on November 9, 2018.)