The wait is finally over as Microsoft begins the roll out of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update to the masses. After eight long months of development, on Tuesday, August 2, 2016, the next major update of Windows 10 arrives on PC, Mobile (in the coming weeks, not today), Xbox, and shortly on everything else that runs Windows.
The Anniversary Update for Windows 10 is the second and perhaps the most significant update the operating system is receiving. It’s available for download now as a free update for anyone running Windows 10.
Windows 10 version 1607 aims to make the experience safer and secure, as well as more personal than ever before.
How to get the Windows 10 Anniversary Update
If you’re already on Windows 10, you’ll be getting the update automatically. However, the update is rolling out slowly, so it may take some time (maybe a few days) before you get it. However, if you want to can force the Anniversary Update download by going to Settings > Update & security > Windows Update, and click Check for updates. It’s just like any other update the name of the update is “Feature update to Windows 10, version 1607” (Windows 10 build 14393).
Microsoft is also updating its Media Creation Tool to let you do an in-place upgrade without losing your file, programs, or settings. Or to do a clean installation of Windows 10 with the Anniversary Update for a fresh start.
The Windows 10 Anniversary Update ISO file is also available for download to do a clean install of the operating system or in-place upgrade. This is a great alternative option for a lot technical users, as you can simply download the operating system once create an USB bootable media to quickly upgrade all your computers in the house. (You can also use the Media Creation Tool to create an ISO.)
Once you updated to your PC, don’t forget to free up over 10GB of hard drive space using the Settings app.
Windows 10 Anniversary Update: What’s new
The Anniversary Update isn’t a major overhaul, but it brings a lot of new features and improvements especially for mobile devices.
Windows Ink is perhaps the most important feature coming with the update. While the operating system has included pen support for many years, the new update improves all aspects of the experience with the Windows Ink Workspace, and three new apps: Sketchpad, Screen sketch, and Sticky Notes. Something that Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book users will appreciate.
Microsoft Edge finally brings support for extensions, which is a big deal. The new web browser also gets many improvements under-the-hood, new settings, the ability to pin tabs, and Windows Hello brings biometric authentication to certain websites.
Cortana receives a lot of improvements, including the ability to create photo reminders or create a reminder using a web link. You can now use the digital assistant on the Lock screen to query things like weather and calendar information. And you can now sync your phone notifications with your PC — heck, you can even reply an SMS text message from your PC.
The Start menu gets some useful tweaks with a new unified list of apps, a left rail to access the power options, setting, and File Explorer, and chaseable Live Tiles that let you click a photo or headline and open the app on the content you’re intending to see.
Badge notifications brings iOS like notifications to the taskbar. Now you’ll see notifications badges on taskbar buttons. The time and date flyout now integrates with the calendar app. Action Center gets rich notifications with hero images and the ability to do quick replies, and you can rearrange or remove quick action buttons.
The Settings app gets a facelift and now includes a lot new features. On the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, you will see new battery saver options, new features to customize Windows Ink and active pen.
There is also a new Mobile Hotspot feature that let you share your internet connection with other people. On personalization, you can now use the new Dark mode for apps. Active Hours prevents sudden restarts when apply new Windows updates. And Windows Defender introduces Limited Periodic Scanning to let Windows 10 scan and remove viruses your third-party antivirus missed to detect.
Version 1607 even includes a new refresh tool to quickly and easily do a clean install of the operating system without the need of a bootable media.
Best deal on devices ready for Windows 10 Anniversary Update
Kicking off the Anniversary Update Microsoft is even offering great deals on Windows 10 PCs.
- ASUS Q524 – $150 off + Students save an additional $150
- Dell Inspiron 2-in-1 17.3” touch screen laptop – $100 off + Students save an additional $150
- Dell XPS 13 – $100 off
- HP Pavilon x360 – $100 off
- HP Spectre x360 – $150 off; Students save an additional $150 at Microsoft Stores and Best Buy
- Lenovo Flex 4 – $150 off
- Lenovo Yoga 710 15” – $100 off + Students save an additional $150
- Samsung Galaxy TabPro S – $100 off
- Surface Book i5 128 GB – $150 off + Students save an additional $150
- Study & Play Deals for Surface + Xbox One, and Dell PC + Free TV
While this isn’t an update that will change the way we use computers, it’s a significant update that just brings devices closer together and makes you more productive and secure.
The Windows 10 Anniversary Update official release hands-on demo highlights everythings you need to know about the update.
For more information, you can check the Anniversary Update coverage here. And you can also check these interesting articles:
- How to fix Windows 10 Anniversary Update download and installation problems
- 25 Best hidden features inside the Windows 10 Anniversary Update
- How to uninstall the Anniversary Update from your Windows 10 device
- How to prevent Windows 10 from installing the Anniversary Update
- Windows 10 Help
Do you like the new changes on the Windows 10 Anniversary Update? Let us know in the comments below.