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Windows 10 May 2019 update (Version 1903): All changes, new features (Categorized changelog)

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On this page, we have collated all the changes and new features brought by Windows 10 May 2019 update aka 19H1 (Version 1903). You can bookmark this page to refer back to see the collated changelog for Windows 10 19H1 (Version 1903).

Windows 10 19H1 (Version 1903): Release Date

Windows 10 19H1 aka Version 1903 will reach RTM status sometime in March 2019. The public release of 19H1 update can be expected in May as announced by Microsoft.

Version 1903 Top New features

Windows Light Theme:

Ever since we introduced the ability to choose between light and dark in Windows 10, we’ve heard feedback asking for a truer separation between the two options. When you select Light under Settings > Personalization > Colors, the expectation is that the system color would be lighter too. And it didn’t do that before – the taskbar and many other things stayed dark. Now, if you choose Light under Settings > Personalization > Colors, all system UI will now be light. This includes the taskbar, Start menu, Action Center, touch keyboard, and more.

When you update to this build, your system color won’t automatically change to the new light system color. This is because we want everything to be exactly as you left it before you did the update. We’re leaving the choice up to you! If you had light mode selected prior to the update, this is what Color Settings will look like after updating:

To try the full light experience, just click the “Choose your color” dropdown and select Light.

As part of this work we’re also adding a new default wallpaper! Showcased above, you can use it on your PC today by going to Settings > Personalization > Themes and selecting “Windows Light”. This will also change your PC to be light themed.

Enhanced Mode for Search Indexer:

To improve our search indexing, we created a new feature that enables Windows to search all your folders and drives, instead of limiting search to your documents, pictures, videos, and desktop by default. To turn it on, search for Windows search settings, and in the Searching Windows settings, under “Find My Files”, select Enhanced to begin the one-time indexing process. It will take about 15 minutes for search to begin returning these additional files in results. If you have lots of files, it may take longer. Make sure you plug in before you start, indexing is a resource-intensive activity.

When the indexing is complete, you’ll be able to find all your files almost instantly when you use Windows Search. To exclude a folder from search, add it to the Excluded Folders list. Thanks for your feedback about search and the indexer. These improvements were made because of your input. Keep the feedback coming!

EMOJI 12.0 UPDATE

With Build Build 18277, Insiders got their first look at the Emoji 12.0 emoji. In early February, the set of emoji to be included with Emoji 12.0 was finalized by Unicode, and with today’s build when you press WIN+(period) or WIN+(semicolon), all of these emoji now have keywords hooked up to make them easy to search for. Try it once you install the build! Keywords include otter, sloth, waffle, ballet shoes, and more.

If you haven’t tried it already, be sure to also check out our new Kaomoji and Symbols section in the picker – makes it super easy to type things like em dash!

Uninstall additional inbox apps:

In 19H1, we are adding the ability to uninstall the following (preinstalled) Windows 10 inbox apps via the context menu on the Start menu All Apps list:

  • 3D Viewer (previously called Mixed Reality Viewer)
  • Calculator
  • Calendar
  • Groove Music
  • Mail
  • Movies & TV
  • Paint 3D
  • Snip & Sketch
  • Sticky Notes
  • Voice Recorder

In the Windows 10 October 2018 Update and prior, only the following inbox apps could be uninstalled via the context menu on the Start menu All Apps list:

  • Microsoft Solitaire Collection
  • My Office
  • OneNote
  • Print 3D
  • Skype
  • Tips
  • Weather

Introducing Windows Sandbox!

Windows Sandbox is a new lightweight desktop environment tailored for safely running applications in isolation.

How many times have you downloaded an executable file, but were afraid to run it? Have you ever been in a situation which required a clean installation of Windows, but didn’t want to set up a virtual machine?

At Microsoft, Microsoft regularly encounters these situations, so Microsoft developed Windows Sandbox: an isolated desktop environment where you can run untrusted software without the fear of lasting impact to your device. Any software installed in Windows Sandbox stays only in the sandbox and cannot affect your host. Once Windows Sandbox is closed, all the software with all of its files and state are permanently deleted.

Windows Sandbox has the following properties:

  • Part of Windows – everything required for this feature ships with Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise. No need to download a VHD!
  • Pristine – every time Windows Sandbox runs, it’s as clean as a brand-new installation of Windows
  • Disposable – nothing persists on the device; everything is discarded after you close the application
  • Secure – uses hardware-based virtualization for kernel isolation, which relies on the Microsoft Hypervisor to run a separate kernel which isolates Windows Sandbox from the host
  • Efficient – uses integrated kernel scheduler, smart memory management, and virtual GPU

To install Windows Sandbox, go to Settings > Apps > Apps & Features > Programs and Features > Turn Windows Features on or off, and then select Enable Windows Sandbox.

To start Windows Sandbox, open the Start menu, enter Windows Sandbox and then select it.

Windows Sandbox respects the host diagnostic data settings. All other privacy settings are set to their default values.

For more information, please visit Windows Sandbox at Windows Kernel Internals.

Updating the Windows 10 Setup experience

We’re making some adjustments to the design of Windows 10 Setup! This is the experience you see when running setup.exe from an ISO – it will look like this now:

Note: Windows 10 Setup for this build will not include the Microsoft logo, Supportlink, or Legal link in the bottom left hand corner of Windows Setup. The Retail release will include these and the links are included here for reference.

Windows Update Notifications

Starting with 19H1, when your device has an update requiring a reboot (including new builds we release), you will see the Power button in the Start menu with orange indicator alerting you to restart your device.

Version 1903 Core feature improvements

Separating Search and Cortana

Going forward, we’ll be decoupling Search and Cortana in the taskbar. This will enable each experience to innovate independently to best serve their target audiences and use cases. Some Insiders have had this update for a few weeks now, and we appreciate all the feedback we’ve received about it so far! For those new to this update, when it rolls out to you, you’ll find clicking the search box in the taskbar now launches our experience focused on giving you the best in house search experience and clicking the Cortana icon will launch you straight into our voice-first digital assistant experience.

Other available Search and Cortana settings have also now been split between the two, along with the familiar group policies.

This change is one of several we’ve made throughout this release to improve your experience in this space, including updating the search landing page design, enhancing your search results, and integrating Microsoft To-Do with Cortana. If you have any further feedback, please don’t hesitate to share it with us here.

Note: Cortana is currently only available in supported markets.

The next step in improving Start reliability

As some of you may already know, up until now Start in Windows 10 has been hosted by something called ShellExperienceHost.exe. In order to provide you the best possible Start experience, we’re separating it into its own process, called StartMenuExperienceHost.exe. This has a number of benefits, including simplifying debugging and insulating Start from potential issues impacting other surfaces. This has been running as an experiment for a few weeks now and we’ve seen measurable improvements in the reliability amongst those that have the change, so we’re rolling it out to everyone.

We’re also making a change so that Start no longer suspends, which improves launch time.

A Better Font management experience in Settings

Insiders today can now drag and drop font files from File Explorer into the modern Settings > Fonts page to install them. After installation, click on the font in the Font page, to view the different font faces associated with the font and all the details of the font. You can also uninstall the font from this font details page. Drag and drop font installation by default is installed as a per-user font which does not require elevation, hence it will not be available for other users. To install the font for all users in the device, use the “Install for all Users” option by right clicking the font on file explorer.

A simpler Windows Insider Program Settings page

We are introducing a simplified Windows Insider Program Settings page via Settings > Update & Security > Windows Insider Program with Build 18317. The goal is to make the end-to-end experience of signing up for the Windows Insider Program and setting up your PC to take new builds much easier by simplifying the experience and removing some of the clutter. You’ll find that all the same functionality is still there.

GitHub issue 296 where the incorrect mouse button ID was being reported when a mouse button was released, resulting in an “unexpected mouse-drag behavior” regression

  • Fixed GitHub Issue 313, enabling colors above index #15 to be set via VT OSC 4
    • Colors <= 99 fixed in this build
    • Colors > 99 fixed in up-coming build
  • Corrected sizing issues for Linux alt-buffer apps (e.g. vim, emacs, etc.) resulting in more reliable resizing
  • Fixed some issues with Consoles growing in height if scroll-forward is disabled
  • Fixed ConPTY, enabling underline VT sequences to now pass correctly, allowing ConPTY-enabled apps (e.g. VSCode’s integrated terminal) to correctly receive and display underlined text
  • Made ConPTY flush its output buffer before terminating ensuring apps receive all input and display correct output
  • When running Tmux, correctly restore state after Win + D, resulting in Tmux’s last line of text rendering correctly
  • Fixed Console to preserve a Console window’s currently colored text when executing Cmd.exe
  • If using raster fonts, Console now correctly preserves the user’s font after running .NET Core code (which defaults to UTF-8 codepage 65001)
  • Correct how Console scrolls text region, fixing how text is rendered in Linux’ `screen`
  • Significantly improved performance of ConPTY – perf now very close to “raw pipe
  • Game bar updates

    Check out the new Gallery experience in Game bar! Without ever leaving your game, you can now view screenshots and videos taken through Game bar and even share your favorite screenshots directly to Twitter:

    Notepad Updates

    UTF-8 Encoding: We’ve made significant improvements to the way Notepad handles encoding. Starting with this build, we are adding the option to save files in UTF-8 without a Byte Order Mark and making this the default for new files. UTF-8 without a Byte Order Mark is backwards-compatible with ASCII and will provide better interoperability with the web, where UTF-8 has become the default encoding. Additionally, we added a column to the status bar that displays the encoding of the document.

    Modified indicator: Notepad will now show an asterisk (*) in the title bar before the title of a document to indicate that a document has unsaved changes.

    Send Feedback: You can now send feedback directly from Notepad! Click Help > Send Feedback to open the Feedback Hub with the Notepad category selected and get your feedback directly to the product team.

    Other Improvements include: 

    • We’ve added support for some additional shortcuts:

      • Ctrl+Shift+N will open a new Notepad window.
      • Ctrl+Shift+S will open the Save as… dialog.
      • Ctrl+W will close the current Notepad window.
    • Notepad can now open and save files with a path that is longer than 260 characters, also known as MAX_PATH.

    • We’ve fixed a bug where Notepad would count lines incorrectly for documents with very long lines.

    • We’ve fixed a bug where, when you select a placeholder file from OneDrive in the File Open dialog, we would download the file to determine its encoding.

    • We’ve fixed a recent regression where Notepad would no longer create a new file when launched with a file path that didn’t exist.

    Consolidating your sign-in options

    With Build 18272, we set out to simplify sign-in settings, to increase visual clarity, and improve ease of use. Our goal is to give you a one-stop shop for all your sign-in settings, and today we’re adding one more to the list: You can now set up a security key straight from Settings.

    Streamlined Windows Hello PIN reset experience now available on all Windows editions

    We know remembering a PIN can be tricky, so we wanted to provide our Microsoft account users with a revamped Windows Hello PIN reset experience with the same look and feel as signing in on the web. Check it out in today’s build by clicking the ‘I forgot my PIN’ link when signing in to Windows with a PIN.

    When originally announced on Build 18305, this experience was only available for Insiders on the Windows 10 Home edition. With today’s update, Insiders can try it out on all Windows 10 editions.

    Signing in to Windows with password-less Microsoft accounts on all Windows 10 editions

    We’re pushing forward on eliminating passwords and keeping your accounts safe with another cool feature. With Build 18305, we announced support for setting up and signing in to Windows 10 with a phone number account, without having to create, or deal with the hassle of a password for Insiders using the Windows 10 Home edition. Today, that support is extending to all Windows 10 editions!

    If you have a Microsoft account with your phone number, you can use an SMS code to sign in, and set up your account on Windows 10. Once you’ve setup your account, you can use Windows Hello Face, Fingerprint, or a PIN (depending on your device capabilities) to sign in to Windows 10. No password needed anywhere!

    Creating a password-less phone number account

    If you don’t already have a password-less phone number account, you can create one in a mobile app like Word on your iOS or Android device to try it out. Simply go to Word and sign up with your phone number by entering your phone number under “Sign in or sign up for free”.

    Add your password-less phone number account to Windows 

    Now that you’ve created a password-less phone number account, you can use it to sign in to Windows with the following steps:

    1. Add your account to Windows from Settings > Accounts > Family & other Users > “Add someone else to this PC”.
    2. Lock your device and select your phone number account from the Windows sign-in screen.
    3. Since your account doesn’t have a password, select ‘Sign in options’, click the alternative ‘PIN’ tile, and click ‘Sign in’.
    4. Go through web sign in and Windows Hello set up (this is what you’ll use to sign in to your account on subsequent sign ins)

    You can now enjoy the benefits of signing in to Windows with your password-less phone number account.

    See DPI Awareness in Task Manager:

    Interested to know which of your running apps is DPI Aware? We’ve added a new optional column to the Details tab of Task Manager so you can find out the DPI awareness per process – here’s what it looks like:

    To show the column, right-click on any of the column headers in the Details tab, click “Select Columns”, then add “DPI Awareness” to the list. To learn more about DPI Awareness, see here.

    Snip & Sketch (Version 10.1809.2964.0):

    Thank you to everyone who’s shared feedback so far! It’s been great seeing all of your comments, and we’re making progress on addressing them with our latest app update that’s in the process of rolling out to Insiders in the Fast ring. The update brings several improvements, including:

    • Adding some emphasis. Planning to paste your screenshot somewhere? Does that place have the same color background as the background of your screenshot? When you update to the latest app version you’ll find a new option to add a border to your screenshots – giving them that little bit extra needed to stand out.
    • Printing! Sometimes you want to keep a physical copy of your screenshots – we hear you that it took too many steps before, and have added a button in the toolbar so you can print directly from the app (you can also print to PDF!)

    • Refining our save options:
      • If you have unsaved changes and go to close a window or open a file that will now pop a confirmation.
      • The default proposed file name will now include a timestamp.
      • We’ve heard your feedback and saving now also supports jpg and gif file types.
    • Also, we have a new settings page! We’re replacing our old the old About flyout with a full settings page where you’ll find the aforementioned option to add a border, an option for updates made to your snip to copy automatically to your clipboard, and more!

    Have an opinion as to what’s next? We have a few things on our list already and would love to hear your thoughts! Head to the Feedback Hub to see some of the things we’re already tracking and share your voice.

    Sticky Notes 3.1 (Version 3.1.32):

    Thank you for sharing your feedback on 3.0 release with us. We think you are going to love this update!

    • We tested the waters with the Charcoal Note and you all seemed keen to go even darker! Introducing full-on Dark Mode support in Sticky Notes.  We support Windows Dark Mode as well as the ability to set your color mode in Sticky Notes to suit your mood independent of your system settings.
    • Everyone seemed excited about Sticky Notes syncing, so we spent some time making it even faster! Check it out and let us know how it feels.

    Please give it a shot and let us know on Feedback Hub your thoughts on the new update.

    Want to get to your notes from anywhere? How about on the web at http://www.onenote.com/stickynotes! It will be rolling out worldwide soon – take a look and let us know what you think.

    Sign-in Options Redesigned for Windows Hello:

    Security shouldn’t be intimidating, and we aspire to help you eliminate passwords. That’s why we want to make sure you can easily set up your first line of defense securing your device with Windows Hello. Your feedback that the previous design was cluttered, and confusing is what drove us to simplify the Sign-in options Settings. We believe this update will help you choose the safest and fastest sign-in option for your needs, whether that’s using a PIN or a biometric factor like fingerprint or facial recognition.

    Ultimately, we want to help you make the right decision for your situation. By condensing each sign-in option into a list that explains individual properties and next step for setup, we hope you feel more informed the next time you decide how you want to sign in using enhanced security features with Windows Hello.

    Improving your modern printing experience:

    You’ll notice a few differences once you update to today’s build:

    • First and foremost, the modern print dialog now supports light theme!
    • Second: In order to improve clarity, we’ve updated a number of the printing options to now include icons to help you easily and quickly identify the one you’re looking for. We’ve also added a line of description to some of the dropdown settings. This can be seen in the Pages example below, and in other settings if you click More Settings at the bottom of the print dialog.
    • Finally: If you have a long printer name, it will now wrap rather than being cut off.

    If you have any further feedback in the printing space, please don’t hesitate to tell us! You can log feedback for this in the Feedback Hub under Devices and Drivers > Print.

    Updating Windows Update:

    Based on customer feedback, we’re introducing two important new features to provide more control over updates:

    Pause Updates: We’re making the Pause Updates feature easier to find by surfacing the existing option directly on the ‘Settings > Update and Security > Windows Update’ page. Just like before, when Pause is enabled, some updates, like Windows Defender definition updates, will continue to be installed. In addition, Pause can be enabled for either a pre-defined number of days or until the specific day (day selector is available on Advanced options page).

    Intelligent Active Hours: Setting your active hours will let Windows know when to avoid rebooting your device. However, we understand some of our users have shifting productivity schedules and remembering to adjust Active hours can be a challenge. Now, Windows can automatically adjust active hours for you based on your device activity. Just go into ‘Settings > Update and Security > Windows Update > Change active hours’ page to turn this setting on and know that reboots will not disrupt your productive time.


    Display brightness changes when going to battery power:

    We’ve heard your feedback about a specific case where a display can become brighter when transitioning from a battery charger to battery power. For 19H1, we’re modifying the display brightness behavior so that this can no longer happen. If a person adjusts their display brightness, that brightness will now be remembered as their preferred brightness whether they are on battery or connected to a charger. This new behavior results in a more consistent and battery friendly experience. This does not affect battery saver mode settings; if a person has opted into lowering the screen brightness in battery saver mode, their display will still dim when the battery is below the threshold selected.

    Please use Feedback Hub to tell us what you think! You can file the feedback under the category “Device and Drivers” and subcategory “Display and Graphics”.

    Windows Snip:

    Today we are really excited to announce that window snip is on its way to Insiders too!

    Start your snip via your preferred entry point (WIN + Shift + S, Print Screen (if you’ve enabled it), directly from within Snip & Sketch, etc.), and select the window snip option at the top, and snip away! That selection will be remembered the next time you start a snip.

    Currently the window snipping experience is available for 50% of Insiders, as we want to ensure a smooth rollout – we’ll let you know once it’s live for 100%.

    Reserving disk space to keep Windows 10 up to date

    In 19H1, we’re making a few changes to how Windows 10 manages disk space. Through reserved storage, some disk space will be set aside to be used by updates, apps, temporary files, and system caches. Our goal is to improve the day-to-day function of your PC by ensuring critical OS functions always have access to disk space. With reserved storage, updates, apps, temporary files, and caches are less likely to take away from valuable free space and should continue to operate as expected. Reserved storage will be introduced automatically on PCs that come with 19H1 pre-installed or on PCs where 19H1 was clean installed. For Windows Insiders who want to try this feature out right now – just run through this quest. After completing the quest, reserved storage will kick off with the next flight. (If you do the quest before installing Build 18312 – reserved storage should kick off for this flight.) For more details on reserved storage coming in 19H1, read this blog post here..

    FLS Slot Limit Increase

    As PCs get more powerful, musicians have created increasingly complex projects with more tracks, more instruments, and deeper effects chains. As a result, some of those musicians were running up against a FLS (Fiber Local Storage) slot allocation ceiling that prevented them from loading into their DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) as many unique plugins as they’d like. This build greatly raises that per-process FLS slot allocation ceiling, allowing loading potentially thousands of unique plugins. Beyond musicians, this change will positively impact any application that dynamically loads hundreds or thousands of unique DLLs that have statically-linked Visual C++ runtimes, or otherwise allocate FLS slots.

    Version 1903 UI changes & Improvements

    Reset this PC UI Improvements

    We added new UI for Reset this PC as part of Settings > Update & Security > Recovery. The new UI provides a more consistent experience across devices with different configurations and requires fewer clicks to complete.

    File Explorer Improvements

    Updated File Explorer Icon: We’re updating the File Explorer icon, so it looks better with the new light theme. Thanks everyone who shared feedback about this! Here’s what it looks like now:

    Updating the default downloads folder sorting:

    More often than not, when you download a file, you don’t change the name before downloading it. Because of that, the names aren’t always very memorable (cake_134_small_red.jpg anyone?). This makes sorting by name less optimal since it’s hard to find the file you’re looking for, so we’re updating the default sorting to show the most recently downloaded file at the top of the list instead.

    Note: If you’ve already altered the current sorting from the default in any way, we will not change it – this is only for people who haven’t changed it. If at any point you want to switch sortings, you can do so from the View tab in File Explorer. Some Insiders have had this change for a little bit now, and based on positive feedback we’re now rolling it out to 100% of Fast.

    Start menu improvements

    Quick unpin for groups and folders: Sometimes you just wanna quickly start fresh – over the last few weeks we’ve been rolling out the ability to unpin groups and folders in Start via a new context menu entry. As of today, that option is now available to all Insiders in the Fast ring! Thanks, as always, to everyone who’s shared their feedback so far!

    A simplified Start layout

    Based on feedback, Microsoft is introducing a simplified default Start layout for new devices, new user accounts, and clean installs. The new layout has been simplified into a sleek one column design with reduced top-level tiles. Commercial and education customers will also see a simplified layout tailored to these scenarios.

    Coupled with earlier changes providing the ability to uninstall additional inbox apps, and a new way to easily to unpin a folder or group of tiles, the simplified Start layout is part of an ongoing effort designed to enhance the Start experience in the upcoming release of Windows.

    Note: When you update to this build, your Start layout won’t automatically change to the new layout because Microsoft wants everything to be exactly as you left it before you did the update.

    High DPI Improvements:

    As many of you know, we’ve been working over the past few years to improve the High DPI story for Win32 (desktop) apps on Windows. As part of this, some of you may recall getting a toast about fixing your apps that led you to this setting we added with Build 17063:

    In 19H1, we’re enabling this setting by default, to help automatically address some of your scaling feedback, and reduce the number of times you see that “Fix blurry apps” notification.

    We’d love your feedback! Notice that some of your apps seem blurry after docking/undocking, or other mixed DPI scenarios? You can let us know by reporting it here!

    If you’re interested to learn whether or not an app is DPI aware you can find out using this feature we rolled out to Task Manager a few flights ago.

    Evolving Focus assist:

    Starting with the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, we embarked on a journey to help r,educe the number of distractions you encounter when you’re trying to get in the zone. With today’s build, we’re taking this to the next level: We’ve added a new focus assist option so that when you’re doing *anything* full screen we can automatically turn on focus assist.

    Watching a movie? Poring over some excel tables? Studying? Focus assist is here for you, and will keep your notifications quiet until you exit full screen mode.

    Like our other focus assist settings, this can be found under Settings > System > Focus Assist. Make sure you take a moment to customize your priority list to ensure any notifications you want to break through the rule will appear! If you’d like to turn off the warning notification that’s shown in Action Center after entering focus assist, you can do so by clicking the rule in Focus Assist Settings which prompted the notification.

    Improving your Action Center experience:

    One of the top requests we’ve heard from you is that you’d prefer the brightness Quick action to be a slider instead of a button, and with today’s build we’re making it happen!

    But wait, there’s more!

    You can now easily customize your Quick actions right from the Action Center itself, rather than having to go into Settings. That means not only can you re-arrange in the moment, but you can also add any Quick action you need on the fly, without needing for it to always take up space.

    We’d love for you to try it out and share feedback!

    The OneDrive flyout now supports dark theme:

    In case you didn’t hear last week, OneDrive is rolling out an update so that the OneDrive flyout will now be dark if you have dark mode selected in Settings!

    Version 1903 Microsoft Edge Improvements
    Version 1903 Cortana improvements

    Version 1903 Security improvements

    Windows Security gets an additional Windows Defender Application Guard setting:

    Insiders will notice that Isolated browsing has an additional toggle that lets users manage access to their camera and microphone while browsing using Application Guard for Microsoft Edge. If this is managed by enterprise admins, users can check how this setting is configured. For this to be turned on in Application Guard for Microsoft Edge, the camera and microphone setting must already be turned on for the device in Settings > Privacy > Microphone & Settings > Privacy > Camera.

    Version 1903 Accessibility improvements

    Narrator Improvements

    • Add more voices: Users can download additional voices in other languages without having to download language packs.  To do that, go to Narrator Settings and select the “Add more voices” link.
    • Narrator Home navigation: The main actions on Narrator Home, such as QuickStart and Settings, are now buttons and not Listview items. You are now able to tab between all of them.
    • Read Current character phonetics: Added Narrator + 5 twice Narrator command to render current character phonetics.
    • Other improvements:
      • Improved reading of controls while navigating and editing
      • Improved table reading in PowerPoint
      • Improved reading and navigating experiences with Chrome and Narrator
      • Improved interacting with Chrome menu’s with Narrator

    Ease of Access Improvements

    • Cursor and Pointers: Building on our mouse work announced with 18298, we’ve added 11 additional mouse pointer sizes in the Cursor and Pointers settings.  There are now 15 sizes.

    Narrator Read by Sentence:

    You can now read next, current and previous sentences in Narrator. Read by sentence is available with the keyboard and with touch. Move by sentence doesn’t yet work for Braille.

    • Caps + Ctrl + Period (.) to Read next sentence
    • Caps + Ctrl + Comma (,) to Read current sentence
    • Caps + Ctrl + M to Read previous sentence

    Sentence is now a new Narrator view and can be reached via Caps + Page Up or Caps + Page Down and then you can navigate with Caps + Left arrow for move by previous sentence and Caps + Right arrow for move by next sentence.

    Narrator Caps Lock ON alert while typing:

    Narrator will now alert you when you are accidentally typing with Caps Lock turned on. The setting is on by default. To adjust this setting, visit Narrator Settings (Ctrl + Win + N), then navigate to the “Change how much content you hear” heading and review the combo box for “Change when you receive Caps Lock warnings while typing”.

    It will work even if you have character echo option (“Hear characters as you type”) disabled, and it will work in edit fields as well as password field. By default, Narrator will always alert you regardless of presses of the Shift key as you type alphabetic characters. But you can choose to only be alerted when you press the Shift key together with an alphabetic character, or you can disable the feature altogether.

    In this initial release, the sound effect you hear will sound like the standard Narrator error sound effect which we are working on improving. We look forward to your feedback on this new feature!

    • Narrator works better with Chrome now! Using up and down arrows in scan mode, navigating with tab key, continuous reading commands, and navigating by headings and links have initial support for Chrome, with more functionality coming in future flights.

    • Narrator Braille: BRLTTY version 5.6 is now provided which adds USB support for Inceptor and Orbit 20 displays. In addition, the BrailleNote Touch is recognized when using USB. Baum displays can now use B9 and B10 interchangeably. Liblouis binaries and tables have been updated to version 3.7.0.

    • UI Automation framework IAccessible2 Support: The UI Automation framework now supports translating IAccessible2 information from Chrome, which supports IAccessible2 rather than UI Automation. This enables UI Automation clients to receive the IAccessible2 information through the UI Automation client interfaces.

    Narrator Verbosity Improvements:

    We are improving the amount of information you hear while interacting in Windows and you will see these changes filter in throughout future builds. In the current release we have a new Narrator Setting entitled “Hear advanced information about controls when navigating”. When this feature is off you will not hear the advanced information previously spoken on controls. In addition, Tooltips will not be read by default. Use the Narrator Advanced Information command (Narrator + 0) to read a tooltip on a given item. In addition, you will notice that some control information will now begin to speak in a more consistent manner. Checkboxes and radio buttons will be the first controls with this new behavior.

    More consistent reading experience:

    Narrator text reading commands (previous/next for character/word/line/sentence/paragraph/page) can now be used to scan a full window from top to bottom. It is no longer possible to get the “not on explorable text” error and only when you reach the boundary of the window will you receive “no next/previous text.” Also, the views options are now consistent whether you are within text content or not. For example, you can now use the views option to search for a link anywhere within the active window.

    Read by Sentence Braille support:

    The new read by sentence commands are now available via a braille display by pressing dots 2-3-4 or 2-3-4-7 in command input mode. Note, we are still working on fixing a couple issues.

    Narrator character phonetic reading optimization:

    In a previous release, Narrator received support for reading characters phonetically. That is, reading out “a Alfa, b Bravo, c Charlie” while navigating “abc” by character.

    Since then, we have received feedback that you didn’t want to hear the phonetic information announced automatically. Instead, this should be an on-demand feature, to be called upon only when you needed it. In this release, we will no longer announce the phonetic information automatically. As you navigate by characters, this information will be omitted. If you need the phonetic information to disambiguate characters, you can issue a command to hear the phonetics. Use the keyboard command of Narrator key + Comma twice quickly. If, for example, you are using the Standard Keyboard layout with the default Narrator key setting of “Caps Lock or Insert”, you would issue the command of Caps Lock + Comma (or Insert + Comma), where the Comma key is pressed twice quickly while depressing the Caps Lock (or Insert) key.

    If you need to hear phonetics for a string of characters in a sustained fashion, the phonetics can be read out continuously as you move forward or backward through a range of characters with the Read Next Character command (Narrator key + Period) or Read Previous Character command (Narrator key + M). However, in this mode, you will only hear the phonetics announced and not the characters themselves (e.g., “Alfa Bravo Charlie”). To stop hearing the phonetics, press any other command (e.g., Left arrow, Right Arrow, Tab, etc.) or re-issue the Read Current Character command (Narrator key + Comma). Subsequent reading of next and previous characters via Narrator key + Period or Narrator key + M will return to reading just the characters, without phonetic information.

    If you prefer the original character phonetic reading behavior, a setting has been added for you to toggle on the automatic reading of phonetics.

    Narrator Improvements

    • Introducing Narrator Home: Every time you turn on Narrator, you’ll be taken to Narrator Home, which gives you one place where you can access everything you need for Narrator—whether you want to change your settings or learn Narrator basics with QuickStart.
      In settings, you can remove Narrator Home from the Alt + Tab list, and instead minimize it to the system tray. You can access your settings through Narrator Home or by pressing Windows logo key + Ctrl + N.

    • Verbosity improvements: In settings, there are five new verbosity levels that control the amount of information you hear about text, controls, and other document attributes. Press Narrator + V to cycle through verbosity levels.
      When you don’t want to hear advanced information, you can turn off “Hear advanced information about controls when navigating.” You can also get the tooltip of the focused item by pressing Narrator + 0.
    • Read URLs with a new command: Narrator will tell you when you’ve navigated to links, but it doesn’t read the entire URL aloud by default. If you want to hear the entire URL, press Narrator + 0. Note: If the Narrator setting for “Hear advanced detail, like help text, on buttons and other controls” is checked, you will continue to hear URLs read out automatically.
    • Easier table-reading: In Edge, Narrator no longer announces “non-selected” when you navigate between cells in a table if the aria-selected property hasn’t been set. Narrator also won’t announce when you exit and re-enter a table when you’re reading a single table continuously. Narrator will also not announce parent table information when you navigate to a nested table.
      In Excel, Narrator now prioritizes reading the data in a column header before announcing whether a filter is on. Narrator also now correctly reads out column headers in a grid formatted as a table when you use the “Read current column header” command.
    • Updated capitalization reading: Capitalization reading is now available in all reading modes. You can turn it on and off quickly by pressing Narrator key + 4 when you need extra detail while reading or writing. You can also press Windows logo key + Ctrl + N to access your settings, then choose Increase pitch or Say cap under Change how capitalized text is read.
      If you choose Increase pitch, Narrator will accentuate capitalized, mixed-case, and upper-case words with increasing levels of voice pitch. If you choose Say cap, Narrator will say “cap” to identify capitalized words, “mix cap” for mixed-case words, and “all cap” for uppercase words.
    • Stay focused when you’re reading content: It’s now easier to stay focused when you’re reading content on the web: Reading and navigation commands stay within webpage content areas when you’re using most web browsers, like Microsoft Edge. This also works when you’re reading email in Outlook or the Mail app. You can still move out of content areas using Tab or shortcut keys.
    • Move your cursor as Narrator reads: When you’re reading text, your cursor doesn’t move from where you placed it. Now, you can choose to have it follow the Narrator cursor by checking the box next to the setting Move my cursor as Narrator reads text.
    • More consistent reading experience: You can now use Narrator text-reading commands (previous/next for character, word, line, sentence, paragraph, or page) to read a full window from top to bottom. Views options are consistent whether or not you’re reading text. For example, you can use views to search for a link anywhere within an active window. You’ll also notice a smoother reading experience, with more natural-sounding pauses and phrasing.
    • Hear when you’re pressing certain keys: Narrator settings offers new groups of keyboard keys you can choose to have spoken when pressed. You can independently select Hear letters, numbers, and punctuation as you typeHear function keys as you typeHear arrow, Tab, and other navigation keys as you typeHear when toggle keys like Caps lock and Num lock are turned on or off, and Hear Shift, Alt, and other modifier keys as you type.
    • Combo edit support: Narrator now recognizes combo edit controls and will speak them as “combo edit” instead of just “edit.”
    • Narrator stays on while you reset your PIN or password or password: If you forget your PIN or password for your Microsoft account, Narrator will stay on the whole time while you reset it.

    Ease of Access Improvements

    Bigger and brighter cursors: We’ve introduced new cursor sizes and colors to make Windows easier to see.   Go to Ease of Access Settings (Windows + U), under the “Vision” category, select “Cursor & pointer” to see the list of options.   We are still working on a couple issues where some cursor sizes may not work correctly on DPI’s larger than 100%.

     

    Version 1903 Input improvements

    Touch keyboard improvements

    We’ve heard your feedback, and with today’s build we’re rolling out some updates to the touch keyboard to improve your experience:

    • Type faster with more accuracy: When you’re typing quickly, sometimes your fingers miss the actual key you’re trying to hit by a small margin. This is totally normal, but can impact the text prediction accuracy (if you ending up pressing a different letter than expected). To address this, as you type, under the covers we will now dynamically adjust the hit target of each key, based on prediction of what letter most likely will be typed next. The keys will look no different to the eye, but here’s an example of the what’s going on underneath if you’re curious:

    • We’re making some improvements to reduce the number of times in tablet mode where the touch keyboard ends up occluding the text field when docked.

    If you’re a touch keyboard user, we’d love it if you spent some time typing on today’s build, and let us know how it feels for you now.

    Refreshing the Japanese IME:

    We’ve already made a few announcements about how we plan to improve your typing experiences in Windows with this release, and we’re excited to add one more to the list today! To provide increased security and reliability, we’re updating the Japanese IME by redesigning how it works with applications. Not only that, but we’ve updated the IME candidate window interface to be cleaner and more polished:

    You’ll notice that each text prediction candidate now has an index so you can quickly select it, just like the conversion candidates! We’re looking forward to you trying it out, and that’s not all! As part of this work, all of your familiar Japanese IME settings have now been fully integrated into Settings. If you’d like to check them out, fastest way there is to right-click the IME mode indicator in the taskbar and select Settings, although you can also get there from the Language Settings page.

    Some Insiders have had this change for a few flights now, so we wanted to take a moment to say thank you for all of your great feedback so far! Please don’t hesitate to continue sharing thoughts with us about typing in Windows – our ears are open and we’d love to hear from you.

    Expanding SwiftKey’s Typing Intelligence to More Languages:

    In RS5 we started working on bringing SwiftKey’s AI technology to Windows, and we’re excited to announce that we’re expanding support to the following languages:

    • English (Canada) – en-CA
    • English (India) – en-IN
    • French (Canada) – fr-CA
    • French (Belgium) – fr-BE
    • French (Switzerland) – fr-CH
    • Portuguese (Portugal) – pt-PT
    • German (Switzerland) – de-CH
    • Spanish (United States) – es-US

    If you’re a touch keyboard user that writes in any of these languages, please try out the text predictions and shapewriting in this build and let us know how it feels for you. If you’d like to compare how the keyboard feels with and without this change, check the options for supported languages under Settings > Devices > Typing > Suggestions and Autocorrections.

    Using a physical keyboard? Hardware keyboard text suggestions are also supported with the above languages now. Text suggestions for the hardware keyboard is a learning tool we originally introduced in RS4, and expanded language support for with RS5. If you’d like to try it out in one of the supported languages, you can do so by enabling the “Show text suggestions as I type” feature under Settings > Devices > Typing.

    Indic Phonetic keyboards now available for PC: Do you write in an Indic language? We’ve heard your feedback, and in addition to the Indic Traditional INSCRIPT keyboards already available, with today’s build we’re adding Indic Phonetic keyboards for Hindi, Bangla, Tamil, Marathi, Punjabi, Gujarati, Odia, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam!

    How does a phonetic keyboard work? Basically it’s a convenient way of typing that leverages the English QWERTY keyboard – as you type, we use transliteration to suggest possible Indic text candidates. For example, if you typed “namaste” using the Hindi Phonetic keyboard we would suggest नमस्ते, as you can see in the below gif:

    If your native language is one of the above languages or you have some knowledge of Indic languages, please try this out with either the hardware or touch keyboard and let us know how it feels.

    Here are the steps to get started:

    1. Select Start > Settings > Time & Language-> Language from the navigation menu.
    2. Select the + icon labeled [Add a preferred language] (or skip ahead to step 4 if your preferred Indic language was already added).
    3. Type the name of an Indic language into the search box and select it – for example “Hindi”. Click the Next button and install the Indic language on your device, which will return you to the Language page.
    4. Now back on the Language page, click the one you just added, and then click the Options button. This will take you to that language’s options page.
    5. Select the + icon labeled [Add a keyboard].
    6. Enable the Phonetic keyboard, for example [Hindi Phonetic – Input method editor] – now the languages options page will look something like this:

    1. Click input indicator on the taskbar (or press the Windows key + Space) and select the Indic Phonetic keyboard. Time to type something!

    Note: The dictionaries used for the Indic Phonetic keyboards need to be downloaded. Right after adding the keyboard, please connect to Internet – you may need to wait a bit for the dictionary download to finish.

    Vietnamese Telex and Number key-based keyboards are now available on your PC: 

    Do you write Vietnamese? We want you to have the best possible typing experience, so we’re happy to announce that with this build you can now use Vietnamese Telex and Number-key based (VNI) keyboards for typing Vietnamese! Bringing these keyboard options to PC has been one of the top feature requests in the input space, so we’re looking forward to you trying it out!

    Here’s a short gif of what it looks like (using the touch keyboard so you can see what we’re typing):

    If your native language is Vietnamese or you have some knowledge of the Vietnamese language, please try them out with hardware keyboard or touch keyboard and let us know how it feels.  Here are the steps to get started:

    1. Select Start > Settings > Time & Language > Language from the navigation menu.
    2. Select the + icon labeled [Add a preferred language] (or skip to step 4 if Vietnamese was already added)
    3. Type “Vietnamese” in the search box and select Vietnamese. Click Next button and install Vietnamese on your device, which will return you to Language page.
    4. Click Vietnamese, and then click Option button. Which will navigate you to Language options: Vietnamese.
    5. Select the + icon labeled [Add a keyboard] (or skip to step 7 if your target keyboard was already added)
    6. Enable the Vietnamese Telex keyboard or Vietnamese Number key-based keyboard (whichever you prefer).
    7. Click the input indicator button on the taskbar (or press Windows key + Space) and select Vietnamese Telex or Number-key based keyboard. Input anything via your hardware keyboard or touch keyboard.

    More symbols are now available on the touch keyboard: 

    Now you can easily access more symbols and special characters directly from touch keyboard. After changing to the number & symbols view (&123) on the touch keyboard, just tap the new ‘Ω ‘ key and you’ll now see a number of tabs with lists of symbols.

    Version 1903 major app improvements

    Version 1903 Developer improvements

    Console Updates

    As of Windows 10 build 18298, when you open the properties page of any Console window, you’ll notice an additional “Terminal” tab containing several new settings for some experimental features we’re working on for future OS releases. Read the Console team’s detailed blog post for more details.

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