Windows 10 version 1909, 19H2 development
Service Pack

Windows 10 version 1909, November 2019 Upate: All new features and changes

UPDATED 11/11: Windows 10 version 1909, November 2019 Update, is expected to release in October, and here are all the new features and changes that Microsoft has added to the new version thus far.

Windows 10 version 1909, “November 2019 Update,” will be the eight major refresh since the original release, which Microsoft is expected to release on November 12, 2019, as part of its Patch Tuesday schedule.

The November 2019 Update will be the second semi-annual update arriving in 2019, and while it’ll include new features and improvements, unlike previous releases, this is expected to be a minor update available as a quality update, similar to a service pack.

According to the company, the new approach will help to complete the update on time, and it’ll be a less disruptive deployment as the Windows 10 version 1909 won’t require a full installation of the OS. However, because it’ll be an incremental update, devices will require the Windows 10 May 2019 Update before you can install the 19H2 update manually.

In this guide, we’ll highlight the new features and improvements shipping with Windows 10 version 1909.

Quick info: This guide will get updated and republished with features and improvements as they become available through the Windows Insider Program. However, depending on when you’re reading this guide, some features and changes may still be missing. If this is the case, you can check this section with the latest updates.

What’s new with desktop experience on Windows 10 November 2019 Update

These are the new desktop experience features arriving with Windows 10 version 1909.

Taskbar

As part of the new features, in this new version, Windows 10 introduces the ability to create calendar events from the taskbar without the need to open the Calendar app. The Start menu left pane will expand automatically to reveal the name of each option.

Create calendar events from taskbar on Windows 10 19H2
Create calendar events from taskbar on Windows 10 November 2019 Update

Action center and Notifications

In Action Center, update 19H2 now shows the options to configure and turn off notifications from an app and website right on the notification, both as a banner and in Action Center.

Toast notifications on Windows 10 201H1
Toast notifications on Windows 10 201H1

You’ll now find a new “Manage notifications” button to the top of Action Center, which launches the main “Notifications & actions” settings page.

Start menu

In the Start menu, you won’t see a lot of changes, but hovering over the left rail will now expand the menu automatically for all users.

Start menu with left rail expanded on Windows 10 October 2019 Update
Start menu with left rail expanded on Windows 10 November 2019 Update

File Explorer

Starting with Windows 10 version 1909, the search box in File Explorer is now controlled by Windows Search. This also means that the search box in File Explorer integrates with OneDrive content online, just like when using search from the taskbar.

File Explorer search on Windows 10 version 2003
File Explorer search on Windows 10 version 2003

The File Explorer app has been updated with a drop-down list with your search history when you click the search box (or when using the CTRL + E shortcut to set focus to it), and the search experience has been updated to be dark when using the dark system mode.

What’s new with Settings experience on Windows 10 November 2019 Update

The Settings app is also getting a few new tweaks with the November 2019 Update.

Notifications

In the Notifications & actions page there’s a new setting to disable sound for all notifications, and the page will now default to sorting notification senders by most recently shown notification, rather than sender name.

Notifications settings on Windows 10 19H2
Notifications settings on Windows 10 November 2019 Update

In addition, the page to configure notifications for apps now includes visual changes to help you understand the “banner” and “Action Center” settings.

Notifications settings for Windows 10 apps
Notifications settings for Windows 10 apps

What’s new with system experience on Windows 10 November 2019 Update

As part of the new features under the hood, Windows 10 version 1909 will ship with support for third-party digital assistants, containers, improved multi-core processor logic, better battery life, and more.

Digital assistant

Starting with version 1909, another new feature includes the ability for Windows 10 to support third-party digital assistants to voice activate above the Lock screen.

Containers

Windows containers require matched host and container version. This restricts customers and limits Windows containers from supporting mixed-version container pod scenarios This update includes several fixes to address this and allow the host to run down-level containers on up-level for process (Argon) isolation.

Processors

Windows 10 is introducing a new processor rotation policy that distributes work more fairly among these favored cores (logical processors of the highest available scheduling class).

Battery life

Windows 10 version 1909 also improves general battery life and power efficiency improvements for devices with certain processors.

Other changes

Computer manufacturers can now implement inking with reduced latency based on the hardware capabilities of their devices rather than being stuck with latency selected on typical hardware configuration by the OS.

Also, in this release, Key-rolling or Key-rotation feature enables secure rolling of Recovery passwords on MDM managed AAD devices upon on demand request from in-tune/MDM tools or upon every time recovery password is used to unlock the BitLocker protected drive. This feature will help prevent accidental recovery password disclosure as part of manual BitLocker drive unlock by users.

Windows 10 November 2019 Update score

3.5 out of 5

Overall the Windows 10 November 2019 Update is a good feature update that anyone running the May 2019 Update should install, as this release enhances the work available in the previous version. However, it’s not a significant update, and you won’t find huge features.

If you’re already running the May 2019 Update, the November 2019 Update will be available as a minor cumulative update through Windows Update, but if you’re running the October 2018 Update or an earlier version, the upgrade process will not change, and full reinstallation of the operating system will be required.

Editor’s note: This guide includes features and improvements that appeared until Windows 10 build 18363.449. 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 July 8, 2019, and last updated on November 11, 2019.)