Windows 10 20H2 build 19042.421
Set of features

Windows 10 20H2 build 19042.421 releases in the Beta Channel

Microsoft ships preview (build 19042.421) with the new features expected to arrive with Windows 10 version 20H2.

As part of Windows 10 version 20H2 development, Microsoft is now rolling out build 19042.421 in the Beta Channel of the Windows Insider Program. This is the third preview releasing to testers. It’s available as update KB4568831, and it introduces some new features and changes.

Windows 10 build 19042.421, according to the company, includes a new Start menu design, improvements to the taskbar for new users, better notification experience, tweaks for the Settings app, enhancements to the tablet experience, and changes for Microsoft Edge.

Windows 10 20H2 new features and changes

These are all the new feature and changes available with build 19042.421 for Windows 10:

Start menu new design

Starting with build 19042.421, Windows 10 introduces an updated version of the Start menu with a streamlined design that removes the solid color backplates behind the icon in the apps list and applies a partially transparent background to the tiles.

Windows 10 20H2 new Start menu
Windows 10 20H2 new Start menu

The new design works with the light and dark mode. However, if you want to use different colors, you first need to enable the dark mode, and then select the color.

Taskbar personalization

Using the user and device signals, Windows 10 can now offer a more personalized layout, cleaner, and less clutter taskbar experience.

Taskbar personalized (source: Microsoft)
Taskbar personalized (source: Microsoft)

The experience is only available for new account creation or first logon scenarios. Microsoft is not planning to alter the Taskbar layout on existing accounts.

Notifications improvements

On Windows 10 20H2, you’ll also see some changes to the notification experience, including an app icon at the top to understand where the toast is coming from, and now the system turns off the Focus Assist notification and summary toast by default. (You can always rollback the previous behavior using Settings.)

About settings page tweaks

The About settings page now includes more information that was previously available in Control Panel. Starting with build 19042.421, links that would open the System page in Control Panel will now direct you to the About page in Settings.

Windows 10 20H2 About settings
Windows 10 20H2 About settings

In addition, this flight includes the ability to copy the device information to the clipboard, and it’s removing the Windows Security status.

Tablet experience changes

Starting with build 19042.421, Microsoft is further tweaking the tablet experience by making the new experience (introduced with the May 2020 Update) the default mode when detaching the keyboard on convertible devices, instead of showing a notification asking to select a mode.

Also, to prevent confusion with some users getting stuck in tablet mode on non-touch devices, Windows 10 is removing the tablet mode quick action on non-touch devices.

Finally, with version 20H2, there’s a new logic to let users boot into the appropriate mode according to the mode they were last in and whether the keyboard is attached or not.

Microsoft Edge

As part of the Microsoft Edge improvements, open tabs will start appearing in Alt + TAB shortcut, not just the active one in each browser window.

If you’d like to see fewer tabs or the classic Alt + TAB experience, Windows 10 includes some settings under Settings > System > Multitasking. You can configure the Alt + Tab shortcut to show the last three or five tabs, or you can even select the option to disable this feature completely.

In addition, when you pin sites to the taskbar, you can hover over the pin to see all of the open tabs for that site across any of your browser windows.

Other build 19042.421 changes

Microsoft is also adding a new Local Users and Groups modern device management (MDM) policy for network administrators.

Also, it’s improving support for non-ASCII file paths for Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) Auto Incident Response (IR).

If all these features and improvements look familiar, it’s because they were already available in the Dev Channel along with many other changes, even though, the thinking was that these features were going to appear next year with the release of version 21H1. However, since the improvements in the Dev Channel are not tied to any specific release of Windows 10, Microsoft is deciding to push some of them with version 20H2.

Download Windows 10 build 19042.421

The preview is available immediately through the Beta Channel. It’ll download and install automatically on your device, but you can always force the KB4568831 update from Settings Update & security > Windows Update, and clicking the Check for updates button.

You can learn more about all the changes available in the current development process of Windows 10 in this guide.