Visual changes

Windows 10 build 20161 releases in the Dev Channel

Windows 10 gets a new Start menu visual design, personalized taskbar, notifications and Settings improvements, and Microsoft Edge tabs now appears in the app switcher.

Windows 10 new Start menu design (source Microsoft)

Microsoft is now rolling out Windows 10 build 20161 for devices enrolled in the Dev Channel of the Windows Insider Program. This is the preview number 27 available for testers, and it’s a small update with significant visual changes that will likely arrive with version 21H1.

Windows 10 build 20161, according to the software giant, introduces a new design of the Start menu that no longer focus on Live Tiles and removes the solid background behind the icons of the tiles and applies the same system color scheme with partial transparency.

Starting with this flight, all your open tabs from the Chromium version of Microsoft Edge will now appear in the app switcher feature when using the Alt + Tab keyboard shortcut.

If you don’t want to see all the open tabs or prefer the classic experience, you can reconfigure the feature from Settings > System > Multitasking. In the Settings, you can configure “Alt + Tab” to only show your last three or five tabs or choose to turn this feature off completely.

In addition, build 20161 includes a new taskbar experience that offers a cleaner, less clutter, and more personalized content tailor on your behavior and based on device signal. For example, if you link your Android phone, you’ll see the Your Phone app will be pinned in the taskbar, and if you have an Xbox Live account, then you’ll see the Xbox app.

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

The new experience will only be available when creating a new account or first login, and existing taskbar layouts won’t change.

As part of the notifications improvements, starting with Windows 10 build 20161, you can now click the app logo in the toast to confirm where the notification is coming from and then clicking the “X” will dismiss it.

Notification new design (Source: Microsoft)
Notification new design (Source: Microsoft)

Also, Focus Assist will no longer let users know that the feature has been enabled using an automatic rule through a notification. If you prefer the previous behavior, you can change it in the Settings app.

In this flight, Microsoft also continues to transfer information from the Control Panel to the Settings app. For example, links that would open the System page in Control Panel will now direct you to Settings > About.

Additionally, the About settings page now includes an option to make it easier to copy the device information, and it streamlines the security information shown in the page.

Finally, Windows 10 is updating the tablet experience for convertible devices. Starting with build 20161, the system is changing the notification behavior when detaching the keyboard, so that a notification will no longer show and instead will switch directly into the tablet experience, with some tweaks for touch. You can also adjust the feature on Settings > System > Tablet.

In addition to avoid confusion, Microsoft removing the tablet mode quick action from non-touch devices, and there’s a new logic to allow users boot into the appropriate mode according to the mode they were using and whether the keyboard is attached.

Microsoft is listing the complete set of improvements, fixes, and known issues for Windows 10 Insider Preview build 20161 at the Windows Blog.

Download Windows 10 build 20161

The preview is available immediately through the Dev Channel. This preview build will download and install automatically on your computer, but you can always force the 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.