Shell Updates and More

File Explorer Dark Mode

Windows 10 has offered a Dark Mode for quite a while now, but as with everything Windows, the legacy bits can take a while to clean up. But with the October 2018 Update, users using the Dark Mode setting will now also see the new dark mode in Windows Explorer.

Home Screen

The Home Screen has also gotten an updated look, and new functionality. You can easily open TimeLine from within the Home Screen, and searches within here offer previews for apps, documents, email, people, and more. You can also more easily filter searches for web results versus documents or files, and the preview pane lets you get a better feel for what you’ve found, showing modified dates and more.

Registry Editor

For those that love Regedit, the extra functionality of being able to type in a location has been improved with a dropdown that fills in as you type, and you can now do Ctrl + Backspace to delete the last word for easier navigation, or Ctrl + Delete to delete the next word.

Biometric Remote Desktop Sign-In

Windows 10 1809 also brings biometric login support for Remote Desktop when authentication to a VM over Active Directory or Azure Active Directory.

Wireless Projection

There’s also updates to wireless projection, to improve the experience across multiple scenarios. There’s now a control banner on the host device to let you set and configure the wireless display projection, and there’s three settings you can choose:

  • Game Mode: minimizes the screen-to-screen latency to make gaming over a wireless connection possible
  • Video Mode: increases the screen-to-screen latency to ensure the video on the big screen plays back smoothly
  • Productivity Mode: strikes a balance between game mode and video mode; the screen-to screen-latency is responsive enough that typing feels natural, while ensuring videos don’t glitch as often.

Storage Sense

Storage Sense is the feature that helps keep Windows clean, and in previous updates it’s gained the ability to empty your recycle bin or delete files in Downloads. New to 1809 is the ability to mark content as online-only in OneDrive if you not opened it for between 1 and 60 days, or never. For those on small SSDs, it should help keeping some space available.

Task Manager

The Task Manager now offers columns showing an applications power usage, and it’s power usage trend, so you can use it to track down where all your battery has gone


New to 1809 is the ability to install fonts from the Windows Store with no admin rights needed, or to install fonts on a per-user basis where admin rights also won’t be needed.

HDR and Wide Color Gamut Updates

If your display offers HDR and Wide Color Support, you enable support for video, HDR games and apps, and Wide Color apps in the new Windows HD Color Settings menu under Display properties. There’s a preview video as well so you can test the changes quickly. HDR still seems to be in its infancy on the PC, but with more displays now offering HDR it won’t be too long before it becomes more mainstream like it is in the TV industry.

Accessibility and Typing Updates Windows Subsystem for Linux
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  • jordanclock - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - link

    The biggest concern our sysadmins had with WSL is that as they understand it, they cannot restrict what we install under WSL. WSL has many limitations on what programs can do, but it does open up a huge library of software that sysadmins cannot properly vet.
  • MonkeyPaw - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - link

    I was going to comment about the same thing. Video ads are obnoxious, especially when you think you’re pausing it, only to load a new tab for the advertiser. Some sites won’t let you scroll until you stop them. If sites don’t want us using adblockers, they should dump these type of ads right away.
  • PeachNCream - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - link

    Disabling javascript or selectively blocking it with something like NoScript can also shut down those sorts of videos. Unfortunately, we have to get rather creative to block or otherwise defeat a large quantity of invasive and frustrating advertising content in order to obtain a small amount of useful information from the Internet.
  • Gigaplex - Thursday, November 15, 2018 - link

    Disabling Javascript disables too much of the modern web.
  • PeachNCream - Thursday, November 15, 2018 - link

    That's why NoScript is nice because you can selectively enable it based on the origin domain and decide for yourself whether to do so on a temporary per session or full-time basis.
  • TheinsanegamerN - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - link

    We have been telling that to website and advertisers for years, we blocked your ads because your ads were annoying and malicious. Their response was to make ads WORSE over time.
  • PeachNCream - Thursday, November 15, 2018 - link

    Honestly, I would block them either way at this point. Anandtech was one of the last few sites I didn't block, but after the auto-play video mess, it's painfully obvious that Purch or whatever other random company owns the site couldn't care less so now I don't either.
  • leexgx - Friday, November 16, 2018 - link

    when i have adblock off anandtech site is nearly unrecognizable (scam ads between the article and chat section and them silly anandtech video ads in between the article)
  • mkozakewich - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - link

    I've been using a Windows accessibility theme, High Contrast, for the last year. It's actually been pretty good! Most web pages are still intelligible, even if they haven't directly been designed for this.
    I've customized my colours, obviously, so I have a faded golden text and reddish borders instead of all those high-saturation colours.
  • tommo1982 - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - link

    Announced at Build to much fanfare, Microsoft has updated Notepad to support Linux line endings, which means you can use Notepad to open files from Unix/Linux, macOS, or Windows.

    Hell froze. If someone said it 10 years ago I'd think he's insane.

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