UPDATE 4/4: Windows 10 May 2019 Update, version 1903 — formerly known as the April 2019 Update — is expected to release in late May, if there are not delays or significant bugs that could force Microsoft to push the rollout.
Windows 10 version 1903 is the seventh major refresh Microsoft is releasing to devices, and the first in 2019, and it includes a new set of changes and features to improve security, performance, and productivity.
Windows 10 May 2019 Update rollout
The May 2019 Update will be different to previous rollouts, as this time around, Microsoft will no longer force the feature update to device. Instead, once it’s officially availble, users will receive a notification, and only when the user initiates the process manually, Windows Update will download and install the new version of automatically. However, if your device is running a release that is nearing to the end of service, then Windows 10 will try to install the feature update automatically.
Of course, you’ll still be able to upgrade manually using the Media Creation Tool and Update Assistant. Alternatively, you’ll be even able to download the Windows 10 May 2019 Update ISO file directly as soon as it’s officially available using the Media Creation Tool.
In order to reduce problems Microsoft is planning to ship a smaller update that will be finalized with enough time before the deadline, and once the update is complete, the company may also offer several previews in the Release Preview ring before shipping the final version to the masses.
Similar to previous versions, the May 2019 Update rollout will take month as only devices known to be compatible will be getting the feature update first. Then as the new version has been tested further, it’ll be available more broadly. Also, during the entire rollout, Microsoft will remain vigilant and block computers with compatibility problems from receiving the update until the issue has been resolved.
Once available, if your computer isn’t upgrading automatically, then there’s a good chance that the update is currently not compatible for you. If you want to avoid problems, it’s not recommended to force a new version of Windows 10, unless you know exactly what you’re doing, and you understand the risks.
Windows 10 May 2019 Update new features
While we’ve seen updates adding a lot of features and changes in the past, this time around, the Windows 10 May 2019 Update is just a smaller incremental update with a lot of refinements and several new features.
For example, with version 1903, you’ll find a new system light theme that expands to the Start menu, taskbar, action center, and flyout menus, and you’ll notice several Fluent Design changes, such as shadows for context and drop-down menus and acrylic effect in the Sign-in screen.
Cortana and Search are now two seperate features, which you can disable independently from the taskbar, and the Search experience has been updated with a new interface, activities from Timeline, and a short list of your most frequent applications.
Windows Sandbox is another big feature that introduces a lightweight isolated environment to test untrusted applications without affecting your device or files. Basically, it’s a tiny installation of Windows 10 of around 100MB in size, enough to install and run classic applications separate from the main installation.
In order to reduce issues while installing updates, starting with the May 2019 Update, there’s a new feature called “Reserved Storage,” which sets aside part of the system storage for updates. When a new update is available, Windows 10 will delete the files on the reserved storage automatically allowing updates to install successfully.
The Settings app introduces a new homepage with a header design, which surface your personal information, alongside status for Windows Update, Microsoft rewards, and Your Phone feature, very similar to the visuals that you’ll see in the Microsoft account online. Also, there’s a new feature that detects and fixes common problems on your installation of Windows 10 automatically, and this update delivers a new Emoji panel that include symbols, such as for punctuation, currency, geometric, math, Latin, and language symbols.
You can learn more about all the new features and improvements coming this year in this guide.
Although we all are waiting for Windows 10 version 1903 to arrive, during the early days major releases are known to ship with unknown issues, bugs, and compatibility problems. As a result if you’re planning to wait a little longer, it’s now the time to configure your system to prevent Windows 10 from installing the May 2019 Update to a later date.