Microsoft’s next major and much-awaited update for Windows 10, the Creators Update, is now available for manual download for those interested in getting the update early. Alternatively, said update would be made available as an automatic download beginning on April 11th.
Much like the Anniversary Update, the Creators Update introduces a number of new features to Microsoft’s latest operating system, and while most of it are easily accessible, some of it can be a bit harder to find.
For those who are looking to take advantage of Windows 10’s latest update, here are some of the key features of the Creators Update and how you’ll be able to activate and use them.
As the name implies, Paint 3D is a version of Microsoft’s own Paint application that operates in the 3D space. Available immediately once the Creators Update is installed, Paint 3D lets users create 3D projects via its built-in tools, or by converting 2D images into 3D objects.
Paint 3D will also play well with Remix 3D, a website that lets people download 3D projects onto their devices or upload their own onto the website.
Is Paint 3D the most sophisticated tool when it comes to 3D projects? No. That being said, the application is certainly the most accessible considering the fact that it is both easy to use and free for anyone who has the Creators Update installed.
New Privacy Dashboard
Privacy is one of the biggest concerns that many people have when Microsoft first rolled out Windows 10, and with the Creators Update, the company has taken its first steps to rectify that by introducing a new privacy dashboard.
Upon successfully installing the Creators Update to Windows 10, users will be brought to the new privacy dashboard where they can choose the amount of data Microsoft collects from their devices. From here, users can opt to give Microsoft full access to all of the data, or limit them to just the basics.
Should the user wish to modify the privacy settings later, they can opt to do so via the Settings menu.
While it is true that the new privacy dashboard doesn’t give users fine control over the data that Microsoft is able to receive, the inclusion of this feature does show that Microsoft is, at the very least, serious about addressing any privacy concerns that Windows 10 users have.
Windows Update Improvements
Every Windows user has experienced the… displeasure of having the OS reboot without warning in order to install an update. With the Creators Update, Microsoft is giving Windows 10 users some control over these unscheduled restarts.
For Windows 10 Home users, you will now be given access to the "Active Hours" setting. With it, you can now dictate the timeframe in which Windows would not restart in order to install an update. As for Windows 10 Professional, Education and Enterprise users, you will be given the additional option to hold off on new updates for up to 35 days.
Apart from update schedules, the Creators Update also brings with it Microsoft’s new Universal Update Platform which promises smaller, more streamlined updates moving forward.
Start Menu Folders
If you’ve ever wanted to group together multiple apps on the Start Menu into a single folder, you’ll be able to do that with the Creators Update.
All you have to do is drag and drop an app onto another to form a folder. Once a folder is formed, clicking on it will cause the folder to collapse, displaying all the apps found within said folder. For those who like to keep their Start Menu clean and organized, this feature will be something you will enjoy.
For those who like to tinker with Windows itself, you’ll be pleased to know that Microsoft has made PowerShell the de facto shell with the Creators Update, relegating the old Command Prompt to the background.
Once the update is installed, you will be able to launch PowerShell by right-clicking on the Start button and selecting the PowerShell option.
As for Command Prompt, you’ll still be able to access it manually.
Deleting temporary files in order to free up more space on your computer is a tedious job, so why not delegate it to Windows instead. With the Creators Update, Microsoft has introduced a feature called Storage Sense that automatically removes temporary files on your computer.
It will also assist you in clearing files that have been sitting in your Recycle Bin for over 30 days.
Apple isn’t the only one that has introduced a F.lux-like feature of its own as Microsoft has introduced a similar feature with the Creators Update.
Called Night Light, this feature will cause Windows 10 to automatically reduce the output of blue light during a set period of time, making it easier on your eyes.
For those who sleep near their computers, the reduction of blue light also means that you’ll be able to fall asleep easier.
Microsoft Edge Improvements
With the Creators Update, Microsoft has brought two new features to its Edge browser.
The first of the two new features is Tab Preview, and it can be seen by clicking on the arrow located next to the New Tab button. Clicking on the arrow would open up a bar that showcases previews of all of your currently opened tabs. Alternatively, hovering over a tab will also give you a preview of it.
Set Aside Tabs
The second new feature is called Set Aside Tabs. This feature is activated via the buttons on the upper left hand corner of the Edge browser. By clicking on the right button, all current tabs are minimized and stored in the browser for later use.
In order to reopen the tabs, clicking on the left button will bring up a list of tabs that have been set aside. From there, you can choose to restore the tabs individually or all in one go.
Windows 10 Holographic Shell
Rounding up the list of features that comes with the Creators Update, we have the Windows 10 Holographic Shell. Unlike the rest of the features showcased in this post, the Windows 10 Holographic Shell will be a feature that many will have no access to.
Why is that the case? Because in order to leverage it, you’ll need to own either a Virtual Reality headset, or Microsoft’s own HoloLens, both of which are still prohibitively expensive at the time of writing.
However, if you do in fact own a VR headset, the Creators Update would allow you to experience Windows VR, a virtual reality/augmented reality take on Windows 10.