After three whole months, Windows 10 got its first major update dubbed “Threshold 2.” The update is available for everyone through the Windows Update, and if you want to you can also download it using the Media Creation Tool. This new big update has several bug fixes, improvements and new features that users asked for.
Here is the roundup of all the new features and improvements in the big Windows 10 fall update.
Windows 10 Activation Made Easy
When Windows 10 was first introduced, the activation process was kind of confusing. The reason for this confusion is simple: there is no straightforward answer to people who want to do a fresh installation for the first time rather than upgrade the system from the previous version.
This confusion is cleared in this update. From now on you can activate your Windows 10 system using the Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 product key. Once activated, you will get your digital entitlement certificate. If you click on the “Get More Info” link in the activation screen you can learn more about how activation works in Windows 10.
New Features and Improvements to Edge
Though there is no support for extensions, Microsoft made some significant improvements to the new Edge browser. The newly-updated Edge browser can now sync all your browser settings, favorites, as well as your reading list across devices. The browser can also display the tab previews if you hover over the tabs in the title bar.
The third major feature is that you can now cast media to DLAN-enabled devices on your network using the option “Cast media to device” in the settings panel.
On the backend, the updated engine in the Edge browser now supports all the new HTML5, CSS3, and ECMAScript.
Improvements to Cortana
The first major thing about the updated Cortana is that you can use it without a Microsoft account which simply means that you can use it with your local user account. Cortana can now read inked notes, read PDFs in the Edge browser, and track ticketed events like movies and other such things. Cortana can also warn when you have a missed call and send a message (SMS) if you want it to.
Colored Title Bars, Finally
In Windows 10, Microsoft replaced the color title bars with White color. Though it looks pretty, the White title bars are not that functional, as they are quite easy to miss when you want to drag the windows. So considering user feedback, Microsoft re-introduced the color title bars. The good thing is that you can even customize them with whatever color you want.
To customize the title bar color, simply navigate to “All Settings -> Personalization -> Colors.” On the right pane, you can either enable Windows to automatically pick the color from the wallpaper, or you can pick your own color.
Improvements to Snap Assist
The Snap Assist feature in Windows 10 is better than any other, and it has been improved further. When you snap two windows side by side and try to resize one window, the other will be automatically resized to fill in space.
This feature is enabled by default. If you don’t like this behavior, you can easily disable it from the System Settings panel under the Multitasking category.
Windows Can Now Track your Lost Device
With this new fall update, you can now track your devices natively. This feature was directly imported from Windows Phone. When configured, you can track your device location on the map using the GPS or location services. You can configure all those settings under the “Find My Device” section in the “Update and Security” settings panel.
Improvements to the Start Menu
In the previous version the Start Menu only supported 512 tiles or apps. However, with this new update Microsoft increased that limit to 2048 tiles or apps. Moreover, the apps or tiles in the start menu can now have their own jumplists.
Wallpaper on Sign-in Screen is now Optional
When you lock your computer you will see that the sign-in screen has the default Hero wallpaper. That wallpaper on the sign-in screen is now optional; i.e., if you don’t like the wallpaper then you can replace it with a plain color in a few color options.
To change the sign-in screen background, open the Settings panel and navigate to “Personalization -> Lock Screen,” and toggle the “Show Windows background picture on the sign-in screen” option.
You Can Now Install Windows 10 Apps on Another Drive
This is a good news for those who are running low on storage space. The new update now lets you install all the apps in another partition or on a separate storage device like your external hard drive or SD card. You can manage all the storage options by navigating to “Settings -> System -> Storage.”
Consistency in Context Menus
Ever since Windows 10 was released, there has been a huge debate over the design inconsistency in the right-click context menus. Rightfully, the context menus are random, and there is a huge inconsistency in the design. So Microsoft addressed the issue in this update and made the context menus unified. You can see the reflected changes in the power user menu, on the taskbar, in the start menu, on the desktop, etc.
Other Miscellaneous Things
The new update also has some new apps like Sway, Messaging, Phone, Skype Video, etc. The Start Menu now shows occasional app recommendations which can be turned off from the Personalization panel. With this update, Windows can now manage your default printer without any hiccups. Moreover, the update also comes with a host of new icons to match the Windows 10 theme.
There are many other under-the-hood improvements like better memory management, tweaks, etc.
How to Get the Update?
As I said before you can download this update using the general Windows Update, and the installation process is simple and straightforward. However, if you cannot find the update in the Windows Update screen, then you can manually download the update using the Media Creation Tool.
What is the Size of the Update?
A simple PowerShell command showed me that the update is around 3GB for the Home version. There may not be any change in the download size even if you are using the Pro version. You are essentially downloading the entire Windows 10 ISO from Microsoft.
Do comment below sharing your thoughts about the first major Windows 10 update.