Windows 10 Guide Updated: 11/13/18

Windows 1809

Major Changes to Windows in Windows 1809

Microsoft made Windows 1809 available on Oct 2, 2018 through Windows Update, and planned to begin the automated rollout to all users starting Oct 9, 2018. However, a serious problem reported by a number of users (unexpected deletion of personal files, e.g., from the Documents or Music folder) caused Microsoft to halt the distribution of Windows 1809 under all mechanisms. As of Oct 13, the cause of the problem had been identified and a correction had been devised (it's possible some people permanently lost data).

Microsoft finally resumed distribution of Windows 1809 on Nov 13, 2018.

Although short on fundamentally new features, Windows 1809 is a goodie bag of "quality improvements", enhancing the functionality of many existing features. Several of the enhancements will greatly improve use of Windows for most users and are designated "new features" here - for example, the new clipboard features and the greater interaction with cell phones, including Android and iPhone.

The following list is not exhaustive but does cover significant changes in Windows 1809, including simple rearrangement and renaming of some items:


The Your Phone app new feature: for Android (7.0 and greater) and iPhone users. Synch images snapped on your phone instantly with your Windows 10 PC. Also - send SMS text messages from your laptop over a connected phone. The Your Phone app is not yet available in China. Note: the Your Phone app replaces the Phone Companion app.


  • Find command now performs wrap-around search/replace (other enhancements as well).
  • Notepad supports search using Bing directly from Notepad
  • Text size: Notepad now enables zooming of text size:

    (you can also use keyboard shortcuts).

  • supports Unix/Linux LF and Macintosh CR line ending
  • Snip & Sketch: replaces the Snipping Tool, which Microsoft will no longer develop.

    Skype for Windows 10 Numerous upgrades to give it more of the capability available in the stand-alone app.

    Timeline: When you open a PDF using Microsoft Edge, the activity will now be listed in Timeline.


    Sound - Some device properties have now been moved into Settings > System > Sound.

    Storage - Improved support for High Efficiency Image File Format (.heic files)

    Clipboard new feature - "clipboard history" feature added - it will save data previously saved to clipboard for later re-use, instead of immediately overwriting with the latest clipboard item. New Settings section: Settings > System > Clipboard.

    Start Menu:

    - you can name tile folders.

    - Books pinned to Start will have a live tile indicating how much of the book you've read.

    Networking: Improvements in Mobile Broadband (LTE) connectivity

    Post upgrade setup: when performing an upgrade, you may be asked to answer the bank of Privacy Settings questions. Microsoft explains that, since Windows may have changed so much since your initial setup, they are "giving you an opportunity to go through the setup questions you may have missed to ensure your device has the best setup possible".


  • new Region Page (Settings > Time & language > Region) - split off from Region & language, allows override of default settings such as First Day of Week, Date Format.
  • Local Experience Packs (aka language packs) - now available as apps from the Store.
  • Improved search terms added (for searching Settings for a particular setting).
  • Acrylic: Acrylic enhancements will now show up in more places directly tied to the system (such as context menus)

    Task manager:

  • two new columns will appear:
    1. Power usage column (per app)
    2. Power usage trend (past two minutes)

  • the main memory column in Task Manager "Processes" tab will not include memory used by suspended UWP processes.

  • Registry - editing improvements: Ctrl+backspace to remove last term in address bar (making "backing up" easier when constructing addresses to find a key, and Ctrl + Delete to delete next following term.

    Remote Desktop: Active Directory and Azure Active Directory users of Windows Hello for Business can authenticate to a remote desktop session using biometrics.

    Time accuracy improvements:

  • support for leap-seconds (follow link for Wikipedia article).
  • eliminating a timestamping inaccuracy caused by the built-in delay of the Windows networking stack.
  • Text controls: enhancements to actions available for touch-reactive text boxes.

    File Explorer:

  • For those using Microsoft Edge as their default PDF reader, a new logo for PDFs in File Explorer lists.
  • When searching for files, the "size" filter has been updated to reflect file sizes that better correspond to modern file categories (such as multi-GB files):

  • File Explorer can now be viewed in Dark Theme.

  • Windows Security (formerly Windows Defender Security Center)

    Renamed: "Windows Security" is the new name for Windows Defender Security Center

    Third-party anti-virus software: Windows Security will now require that any such program be capable of running as a protected process to register with and appear in Windows Security. Windows Security will display more information for any such software as well.

    Windows Defender Exploit Guard: available for all users, including Home Edition users.

    Device Health: A time synch setting added (monitors how closely your device's time matches its time server):

    Windows Defender Application Guard Improvements:

  • Standalone users can now install and configure their Application Guard settings without the need to change Registry key settings. Available in Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise only.
  • users who are managed by enterprise policies will be able to view their settings.

  • Display and Video

    Projection: a control banner now appears at top of screen when you are in session.

    Video: if your device has a light sensor, you can take advantage of a new setting (Settings > Apps > Video playback > "Adjust video based on lighting") designed to improve viewing of videos in bright light conditions.

    HDR: a new HDR Color page will appear in Settings > System > Display for those systems that are HDR-capable.

    Windows Update

  • Delivery Optimization gets a new icon.
  • Improved prediction of when a restart after an update is convenient, including better estimation of whether a computer is truly idle (versus you got up to refill your coffee cup!).

  • Personalization

    Themes: Dark Theme added to File Explorer.

    Ease of Access

    Make text bigger: new section in Ease of Access > Display. Increases size of text "across the system", including icon names, notifications, text in UWP apps (apps from the Store), etc.

    Narrator: Many improvements, including:

  • identifies tabs as "Tab N of M" as you move between tabs

  • Scan mode now supports selecting content in Microsoft Edge, Word, Outlook, Mail and most text surfaces.

  • A new standard keyboard layout; also, new commands added

  • Automatic reading of dialog boxes
  • Narrator Find: you can search for text using this feature, and Narrator will move to the text if found.
  • List of Objects: Narrator can present a list of the links, headings, or landmarks present in an app or in content.
  • "Stop on" controls: in Scan Mode, select text by pressing F9 to start selecting and F10 to close it, and the Down key will stop at interactive elements.
  • Quickstart: new tutorial available from login screen. In addition, Quickstart re-launch is now easier and more reliable.
  • Updated Ease of Access > Display Settings UI
  • Flyout on login screen: Narrator now has an on/off toggle
  • Additional Narrator improvements in overall reliability.
  • Braille: Improved usage of Braille commands when using the Narrator key from the braille display.
  • Providing Feedback: The keystroke to provide feedback has changed.
  • Keyboard command changes: The keystrokes for Move to beginning of text and Move to end of text have been simplified.

  • Search

    Search Previews enhanced - now includes apps, documents, and more

    Microsoft Edge

  • The "Settings and more" menu has been redesigned (again!). Options have been increased and grouped. Here's what it looks like:

  • You have some additional control over whether sites can autoplay media (videos, sound). There is a new setting: Edge Settings > Advanced > Media autoplay:

    Also, autoplay permissions can be set for entire sites at a time.

  • Downloads pane: "Show in folder" and "Copy link" commands added:

  • Local files such as PDFs that you open in Edge will now appear in History.
  • Reading View: "Learning tools" added, including text options (background color and font size), grammar tools (needs to be downloaded from the Store) and "Line focus" (you can choose to highlight a span of 1,3 or 5 lines as a visual aid during reading).
  • PDF tools more readily available - just hover the mouse over the top of the document.
  • A dictionary lookup has been included for Books, PDFs, and Reading View.
  • Books: right-clicking a book in the Microsoft Edge Books pane will display an option to share the book.
  • new Group Policies and Mobile Device Management settings allow IT administrators to enable/disable full-screen mode, printing, the favorites bar; prevent certificate error overrides; manage extension; and perform certain other configuration changes.

  • Touch Keyboard and Handwriting


  • SwiftKey support added for these keyboards: English (American and United Kingdom), French (France), German (Germany), Italian (Italy), Spanish (Spain), Portuguese (Brazil), and Russian
  • .

  • Typing insights: Microsoft maintains stats on typing quality features such as spellcheck. Go to Settings > Devices > Typing and click on "View typing insights" link to see stats about each of these features.
  • Shapewriting on the touch keyboard is now available when using English (Australia)
  • Handwriting:

    Handwriting panel: "Delete" button now a top level button, "switch languages" moved to "..."

    The embedded handwriting experience will now be the default for text entry using a pen in modern applications.


    The Microsoft Pinyin and Wubi IMEs have been improved:

  • new logo for Pinyin, a new IME toolbar, and dark theme support
  • updated context menu (a number of options added)
  • Same Expressive Input (Emoji) UX as other languages

  • Privacy

    Settings: The Privacy section of Settings has been reorganized; "Speech, inking & typing" has been split into separate pages for Speech and for Inking & typing.

    Microphone: if you've chosen to disable your device's microphone, you will now see a warning the first time an attempt is made to activate the microphone and you'll be allowed an opportunity to retain or change the setting.

    Windows Diagnostic Data Viewer: you'll now be able to view Problem Reports, the kinds of data that is (sometimes automatically) sent to Microsoft as the result of an app or system crash.


    You can now install a font for use by a specific user. Users can do this without admin privileges.


    Selecting skin tone has been made easier


    Focus Assist now turns on automatically when you are playing a game.

    The Game Bar is now available at any time from either the Start Menu or by using Win + G.

    Windows 10 October 2018 Update will be compatible with all Tencent games.

    Mixed Reality

  • Flashlight: opens a small portal into the "real" world within your virtual reality experience so that you can search for a safe place to put down that coffee cup without removing your VR gear.
  • You can stream audio to both the headset and the PC speakers simultaneously
  • "Backpack PCS" no longer require a physical monitor to be connected while running Mixed Reality. (Setting up WMR for the first time in Mixed Reality Portal and unlocking the PC on the sign in screen still require a monitor to be connected initially)
  • Apps running in Windows Mixed Reality can now make use of the Camera Capture UI API to capture images of the mixed reality world using the system capture experience
  • Stopping videos from the Start menu has been made easier.
  • The Mixed Reality Portal App will begin updating through the Store
  • Mixed Reality now has its own set of Quick Actions.

  • Developers

  • Kernel debugging improvements: support for IPv6 is being added.
  • Edge improvements for developers: more WebAuthN support.
  • RSAT (Remote Server Administration Tools) now available on demand, meaning it can be turned on once and for good in Settings > Apps > Manage Optional Features.
  • WebDriver (updated to the latest W3C recommendations) is now a "feature on demand" (Settings > Apps > Apps & features > Manage optional features)
  • IIS support for HTTP/2 and CUBIC

  • Windows 10 Server

    RSAT (Remote Server Administration Tools): now available on demand, meaning it can be turned on once and for good in Settings > Apps > Manage Optional Features.

    Windows Containers:

  • a third container image (the windows image) has been made available; it contains more components than the two server images previously released. For details see:
  • Group managed service account reliability: improved scalability and reliability of containers that use group managed service accounts (gMSA) to access network resources.