Microsoft begins rolling out Windows 10 build 15002 for PC enrolled in the Fast ring. The new test preview of the operating system is part of the Creators Update, and it’s a huge update with a slew of new features and improvements over the previous official release.
Windows 10 build 15002, according to the company, includes improvements in the Start menu, Cortana, and the Out-Of-Box-Experience (OOBE). Microsoft is also introducing new changes to improve desktop applications scaling on high-DPI display and multi-monitor setups.
The Settings app gets reorganized, and it introduces new features, such as Blue light and improved display settings, a new theme management system and color options, new device settings, the ability to pause updates, and lot more.
This new test preview also brings a new version of Microsoft Edge with new features, such as “tab preview tabs” and “set these tabs aside”. The web browser now blocks Adobe Flash by default, there is web payment support, and a lot more.
As always, this test preview for the Creators Update release ships with a number of fixes as well as some known issues.
What’s new on Windows 10 build 15002
The Out-of-box-experience (OOBE) is the experience that helps users through the configurations settings after the installation process. On the Windows 10 Creators Update, Microsoft is updating the experience to make it easier for anyone to independently complete the Windows 10 setup.
Starting with build 15002, when doing a clean install of Windows 10, the new Out-Of-Box-Experience will feature Cortana to help you every step of the way, even with voice commands.
Start menu and Desktop
Tile Folders: On Windows 10 build 15002, the Start menu adds the ability to group tiles into folders just like in Windows 10 Mobile.
To create a new group of tiles, simply drag and drop a tile on top another tile, and then click the folder tile to expand and access the group.
Share experience: Long gone is the Windows 8-style flyout for share (Windows key + H), on the Creators Update there is a new Windows Share experience that will appear on top of the app, such as Microsoft Edge or other apps, including when using File Explorer with a list of apps you can share to.
Capture region of the screen: Windows 10 now lets you use the Windows + Shift + S keyboard shortcut to capture a region of your screen and copy it to the clipboard. You can then paste it in OneNote or any other app.
High-DPI for desktop applications improvements : Even though, Windows 10 does a good job to scaling the user experience on high-DPI displays, desktop applications still don’t scale very well. However, this is changing starting build 15002, as Microsoft is introducing a few new high-DPI improvements. First, the Performance Monitor has been updated to look more crisp on high-DPI screen. Second, there are new scaling improvements, and in the Creators Update some desktop applications will automatically look more crisp on displays with high density pixels.
Microsoft is even adding a new compatibility option called “System (Enhanced)”, which you can use to enable the new DPI scaling improvement on your favorite apps.
To change a desktop application DPI, you’ll need to right-click the .exe file, select Properties, then on the Compatibility tab, you’ll need to turn on the System (Enhanced) option, and click OK to apply the settings.
Windows resize improvements: Starting with this flight, you’ll notice that when resizing apps (e.g., File Explorer, Task manager, and Notepad) and on Windows Store apps the performance and smoothness have been improved.
Icons improvements: Currently desktop icons don’t scale or arrange properly, especially after docking/undocking your device, when using a multi-monitor setup with different scaling settings. On the Windows 10 Creators Update, when working with a multi-monitor configuration (e.g., dock/undock device, project to an external display, and add or remove monitor), icons should now scale properly.
Faster VPN access: Windows 10 build 15002 introduces an updated Network flyout, which now allows you to click connect within the flyout without needing to open the VPN settings.
App sign-in improvements: Microsoft has improved the app sign-in experience for users with multiple accounts. The new sign-in dialog shows your available Microsoft, Work, or School accounts and gives you the ability to add new accounts to Windows.
Notification improvements: Windows 10 now provides a way for app developers to create custom subgroups for notifications in Action Center, which will give users more flexibility to organize notifications. Also, to address issues where notifications might have the wrong time stamp, Microsoft is enabling app developers to override the notification timestamp.
Cortana’s app specific commands: For apps that support Cortana commands the operating system will offer more suggestions commands as you type the app name in the search box. Clicking a particular suggestion launches the app with that command. Once you know the command, you can also trigger it by simply saying it to the digital assistant.
Cortana reminders improvements: When creating reminders, now there is a new option to set recurring time-based Cortana Reminders for “Every Month” or “Every Year”.
Invoking Cortana: The Windows key + C keyboard shortcut to invoke Cortana in listening mode is now turned off by default. However, you can always go to the Cortana settings to enable it.
There is a new update for the Windows Ink pen, pencil and highlighter control to now visually indicate which color is selected.
Additionally, Windows 10 build 15002 adds point erase on Sketchpad and Screen Sketch. With this improvement, you now have the option of deleting your whole ink stroke or erasing only pieces of it. You’ll find the new option under the eraser menu, and the name of the option is “Stroke eraser”.
The taskbar logic has also been updated so that when Windows Ink Workspace is enable the taskbar will display on every monitor.
Narrator support for WinPE and WinRE: This flight now supports the use with Narrator from WinPE for installing Windows as well as troubleshooting options with WinRE.
Braille support in Windows: The Windows 10 Creators Update will include braille support, and you will find a new button that offers the ability to download support for braille on Settings > Ease of Access > Narrator.
Narrator keyboard shortcut change: To reduce accidental launch of Windows Narrator, Microsoft is updating the hotkeys to be more intentional from Windows key + Enter to Ctrl + Windows key + Enter.
Narrator Improvements: Windows 10 build 15002 includes new improvements to Scan mode. You can now navigate to headings of a specific level by typing the number of the heading level you want. Add shift for the previous heading.
Additionally, Scan Mode now lets you to press Home and End to move to the start and end of a line of text. Finally, in Scan Mode, you can press Ctrl + Home and Ctrl + End to move to the start or end of the web page or other content you’re reading.
Windows Store apps accessibility improvements: Microsoft updated the XAML framework to display an opaque layer behind the text and coerce semi-transparent UI to be fully opaque. This addresses the most common issues in apps like in the before/after screenshot below. These adjustments are applied by default in high contrast and apply to all XAML Store applications.
Finally, Windows Ink adds support for rich color range experience when using your device in high contrast.
On the Creators Update, the Settings up is getting a few improvements and a number of new options.
Settings pages now contain additional information on the right or bottom (depending on the window size) providing links to support, feedback, and any other related settings if available.
System settings: The System settings is now split in two section, including System and Apps.
Devices settings: The Device category now combines the Bluetooth and Connected devices pages to offer a single place to manage your devices. And based on feedback, Microsoft added the ability to disconnect and reconnect your Bluetooth audio devices directly from this Settings page.
Display settings: This category page has been updated to make it easier to find settings and even to change the screen resolution.
On the Display page, you’ll find the Blue Light feature that allows Windows to automatically lower the amount of blue light emitted from your PC at night. Settings to turn this functionality on or off and use a local sunset and sunrise or custom schedule. If you need to quickly override the schedule or always want manual control, you can enable this quick action in Settings > Notifications & actions.
Surface Dial settings: App developers now have the option of providing custom tools for the Surface Dial when using it within their app. In addition, with the Windows 10 Creators Update, you can customize the default tool set for individual apps starting with this build.
Recent colors: Sometimes you pick a new color, close Settings, only to discover that the color you picked wasn’t quite what you were looking for. Now in Settings > Personalization > Colors, you’ll find a new “recent colors” section that allows you to re-apply previous color scheme.
Themes: Management of themes has now moved out of Control panel and into the Settings app. It can be found, along with all your other familiar personalization options, under Settings > Personalization. You can pick one of your recent themes, or create and save custom new ones.
Cross-Device Experiences Settings: Previously, Microsoft added the ability for app developers to create cross device experiences. Users could enable or disable this feature for their account via Settings > Privacy > General “Let apps on my other devices open apps and continue experiences on this device”.
On Windows 10 build 15002, the setting has been moved to Settings > System, and the page has been renamed to “Cross-device experiences”, and there is also a new dropdown to allow you to switch between My Devices or Everyone.
Metered Ethernet Connection Support: You can set Ethernet connections as metered. Simply go to Settings > Network & Internet > Ethernet and enable the “Set as metered connection” option.
Just like mobile broadband and Wi-Fi connections, this option helps you to restrict background data usage from some applications and gives you more control over how data is used over the Ethernet connection.
Touchpad settings: New improvements in the touchpad settings page, includes two new groups for three and four finger swipes, updated search terms to make them more discoverable, more flexibility to control how taps work, and fixed an issue where Touchpad Settings wasn’t showing an icon next to the name.
Windows Update: On the Windows 10 Creators Update, Microsoft is adding a few new improvements to Windows Update, including the ability to pause update for up to 35 days. You can now decide whether or not to include driver updates when you update Windows.
You can change these new options on Settings > Update & security > Windows Update > Advanced options. However, it’ll only be available for Professional, Education, and Enterprise editions of Windows.
On the Settings app, the Windows Update page includes a green checkmark badge making it easier to see if your PC is up to date at glance.
Windows 10 will no longer restart to install updates on certain scenarios, such as when your PC is connected to a projector. And Windows 10 Home can set Active Hours up to 18 hours.
Volume control experience: When assigning three or four-finger swipes to control volume, the volume control interface now appear as you’re changing the volume.
BSOD is now GSOD: The popular Blue Screen of Death is now known as the Green Screen of Death, but only for Windows Insiders builds to help Microsoft distinguish between Windows Insider reports vs the reports of those on production builds. The final release will continue to have the BSOD.
Quick Virtual Machine Creation: In Hyper-V Manager has a new page that makes it faster and easier to create virtual machines. Simply open Hyper-V Manager and click ‘Quick Create’ to create a new VM.
On the new Windows Defender app that Microsoft is building for the Creators Update features a few new improvements, including: New options to run quick, advanced, or full scans. Device performance and health scans give you a health report on your PC. And there are new settings pages to change configuration on the app or learn more about it.
In addition, there is a new Refresh Windows on-demand feature in Windows Defender. If your device is running slow, crashes or is unable to update the operating system, you can use this option to start fresh by reinstalling and updating Windows. This option will remove most of your apps, but keep your personal files and some Windows settings.
On Windows 10 build 15002, Microsoft Edge jumps to version 39.15002, and it brings a number of great improvements to make easier to keep tabs and pick up where you left off.
Microsoft Edge’s new tab preview bar is a feature that allows you to easily get a glance to every tab you have open without leaving the current page. Clicking the button next to the new tab button will open the new preview, which you can scroll with the mouse wheel, touch, or touchpad.
Then there is the “Set these tabs aside”, which help you keep all your tabs organized, and pick where you left off. On the new version of Microsoft Edge, there are two new buttons next to the first open tab in the top-left corner. You can click the button on the right to set your current tabs aside and start clean again. Then you can click the button on the left to see the tabs you set aside. You can reopen tabs one by one or by group.
The browser now also support Jump List to launch a new window or new InPrivate window for Microsoft Edge straight from its Taskbar icon. Simply right-click or swipe up on the Microsoft Edge icon in the Taskbar, and pick the task.
In addition, this release introduces a new Universal Windows Platform architecture for Microsoft Edge’s multi-process model, including a new visual tree and new input model. These changes will help improve stability and input responsiveness and make the browser UI more resilient to slow or hung web page content.
Microsoft Edge will now block untrusted Flash content by default until the user explicitly chooses to play it. This small change improves security, stability, and performance for you, while preserving the option to run Flash when you choose.
Finally, the web browser now supports new Payment Request API, which allows sites to make checkout easier using the payment and shipping preferences stored in your Microsoft Wallet.
Alongside the massive number of improvements, Windows 10 build 15002 also includes various improvements for the Input Method Editor (IME) for the Chinese and Japanese versions of the operating system.
And there are new changes in the Windows Information Protection for business customers, including changes placing Work Files on removable drives, and new warning message when trying open work files using un-allowed apps.
Microsoft is listing the complete set of the features, fixes, and known issues for build 15002 at the Windows Blog.
You can also use the following resources:
Windows 10 build 15002 is available immediately through the Fast ring. It’ll download and install automatically on your PC, but you can always force the update from Settings > Update & security > Windows Update and clicking the Check for updates button.