What’s New in Windows 10 Anniversary Update

The Windows 10 Anniversary update is finally here with a lot of improvements and new features. Since the November update Microsoft has made substantial changes to the OS. If you are not a Windows insider and this is your first time installing the update, here are all the important changes and new features you get in this update.

The first change you will notice is the slightly redesigned Start Menu. The Start Menu now has a hamburger menu that houses all the quick access buttons like Settings, File Explorer, Power, etc., to the left. You can add a few select folders to this menu from the Start Menu settings. Also, there is no more “All Apps” button in the Start menu. Instead, all your installed apps are now in a scrollable list right below the “Recently used” and “Most used” section. If you are using the Start Menu in full-screen mode, only then will you see a dedicated button to switch from the Windows 8 style Start menu to All Apps view.

Windows 10 Anniversary Update start-menu

The Edge browser now has support for extensions. You can install the extensions directly from the Windows Store. There are currently a few extensions you can try. Some of these extensions include Lastpass, Adblock, Evernote Web clipper and Amazon Assistant. The good thing about Edge extensions are that they are quite similar to the Chrome extensions, which means that the Chrome developer can easily port their extensions over. Hopefully we will see more extensions ported to the Edge browser.

Windows 10 Anniversary Update edge extensions

Some other notable improvements include, but are not limited to, web notifications, click to play for Adobe flash content, the Paste and Go feature, and better bookmark organization.

Bash on Ubuntu on Windows is one of the biggest features in the Anniversary update. In the past you had to enable the Developer option to install it. With this update the Windows Subsystem for Linux is now built into your Windows system. This new feature allows you to run bash shell and almost any other commands and/or binaries that you run on Ubuntu.

Windows 10 Anniversary Update bash on windows10

Windows 10 App store has also been redesigned while unifying the user experience across the platforms. From the Windows store you can now buy and download games, movies, music and various Microsoft subscriptions with just a click or two. While purchasing or downloading the app you can now see what devices (such as a phone or Hololens) the app supports. Most of all, Microsoft improved much-needed sections like reviews, ratings, and system requirements for apps and games.

Windows 10 Anniversary Update windows-store

Of all the included apps, the Skype Preview is the best. It is much more streamlined and touch-friendly. With this app you can now reply directly to a message from the notification itself. Of course, the app is still in the preview state, which means that many features can be added or removed over time.

Windows 10 Anniversary Update sky preview

In the Anniversary update the Action center received some much-needed attention and can now display content-rich notifications rather than generic text notifications. All the notifications you see in the Action center are now grouped according to the apps. For compatible apps, you can reply to messages directly from the notifications. The Notification icon on the taskbar has also been moved to the rightmost corner so that it is easy to differentiate from all the other icons. The placement also makes it easy to click.

The notification icon also displays the app badges with the number of unread notifications. Moreover, you can set priorities for each app that send you the notifications in the Settings panel. Finally, you can now add, remove, or rearrange the quick actions in the action center. Depending on your PC, you can customize up to fifteen different quick actions in the action center.

Windows 10 Anniversary Update notifications-in-action-center

The Windows 10 virtual assistant Cortana has been improved to offer better services. With this update Cortana is now on your lock screen along with the taskbar. With this you can do basic stuff like controlling music, getting weather updates, etc., without actually unlocking your system. Moreover, Cortana has also improved its tracking abilities. It can now easily identify flier numbers, shipping details, and other key information. Most of all, Cortana notifications are now cross platform, so it doesn’t matter if you are using Android or iPhone; you can see your notifications on all your devices.

Windows 10 Anniversary Update cortana on lock screen

There are also other improvements like the ability to set a reminder without needing to set the time and place settings, ability to create rich reminders with images and photos, etc.

Windows 10 finally has the long-awaited dark mode, and it is pretty damn good. You can enable the dark mode from the Personalization settings. Apart from that, the entire Settings app got a facelift with new icons and subtle design changes and re-arrangement of options in certain sections. Moreover, you can also see a slew of new options that help you better customize your system. Obviously, Microsoft is slowly trying to do away with the Control Panel.

Windows 10 Anniversary Update widnows settings app

Besides all the features discussed above, there are still some other noteworthy features like the Windows Ink Workspace, integration of the calendar with the clock on the taskbar, improved sticky notes, etc.

Since the update is being delivered via Windows Update, there is  nothing extra you have to do to get the update. It should be downloaded automatically. However, Microsoft is releasing the update in waves so it might take some time to get the update delivered to all the Windows 10 users. The update is around 3 to 3.5 Gb, as you are essentially downloading the complete Windows 10 ISO in the background. If you are curious, you can use the below command in the Powershell to see the update size.

get-wulist

Windows 10 Anniversary Update update size

If you haven’t received the update and can’t wait to install it, then download the Windows Anniversary Update ISO. This is helpful if you want to clean install Windows.

As for me, the update is smooth, and I did not face any issues. Thankfully, Windows didn’t change any settings whatsoever. All my desktop icons are in the same spot as before, all the default app settings are intact, all the installed programs are working as they should, and I didn’t face any driver issues. That being said, always have a good backup of your system before updating. That way you can easily revert back in case anything bad happens.

Do comment below sharing your thoughts and experiences about the new Windows 10 Anniversary Update.

6 comments

  1. Loving this new update and especially the ability to finally use extensions on Microsoft Edge. Just have two questions first of all where in personalization do you go to change the settings screen dark as you have it shown above? Also how do you resize your chosen log in picture to fit the screen properly at log in? The picture I have chosen has the person huge to the point her head is cut off. So what resolution or size does a picture have to be so it fits the log in screen properly?

  2. i didn’t even notice that I had received the latest Windows 10 update until I tried to access my Synology NAS. I store all of my files created/downloaded via my desktop, laptop and notebook on my NAS and so I was not best pleased when I found I could not gain access to them. Thankfully, I can gain access to my NAS via Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and so all is not lost. I do hope that MS fix this problem soon. I feel that MS has egg on its face.

  3. I downloaded and installed the Anniversary Update (A.U.), but cannot find a confirmation of it. I would have thought going to the Settings/About window would confirm it but that’s not so. Any ideas where Windows 10 is documenting that the A.U. is actually on my PC?

  4. When I try to install W10 update, I receive the message ” ! Disk Controller. The current Active Partition is Compressed”

    Any suggestions to rectify the Problem???????

  5. I now have to manually shut down and restart my computer every time, to get it to boot up properly. The first time, it gets stuck on the Windows icon screen (blue logo, no dots) and the disk drive does absolutely nothing. The second time, everything sails along. I’m hoping today’s update will fix that, but I’m not optimistic. I hear this is a “known issue.”

  6. It installed on my system ok I guess – took ages and had to restart machine a couple of times when it seemed to get stuck – but when I then started it, I found that most of the modifications I had made to my system to make it suit my own style of use, had been removed. It deleted Classic Shell for instance! I also don’t now have any icon at all for opening the Action Center and moving my mouse to the right side of the screen also now does not work. I actually didn’t mind the Action Centre at all, but it seems that any of the parts I do like on Win 10 get removed or made unusable, and all the bits I hate get re-installed each update. I’m pretty certain that an OS is supposed to help its users achieve what THEY want, but I constantly feel frustrated with Windows 10. This update seems to have also introduced bugs that I’ve never seen before on my Win 10 system…I’ve now had 3 crashes since I installed it, yet not one crash previous to this. I also note that my battery which I used to get 7-8 hours from (it’s an Acer Switch) now only lasts for 4.5 to 5 hours. I also have had my clock changed which is also annoying as I also had a couple of other time-zones saved. It’s not a biggie, but when added to all the other things I now have to do to make my computer mine again, it starts to mount up. The thing is, I didn’t even want the update, but after starting up my machine, it just started to install. I don’t recall giving it permission, but I guess that’s the way Microsoft roll these days. Permission, personalisation and privacy seem to be ‘unused’ words at Microsoft these days! It seems to me that my choices are actually being limited by this OS instead of ‘opened up’ as somebody at Microsoft recently claimed Win 10 did. I can tell you now, having a post Win 7 Microsoft Operating System has had the opposite effect. Right now I’m sat typing this on a computer that I bought, but doesn’t feel like I own it any more. As I saw recently on a post “Windows 10 wasn’t made for humans, it was made for Microsoft”. This seems to be more and more true every time I get an ‘upgrade’ (very loose term that at the moment!).

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