Microsoft never sleeps. Even before the Windows 10 Anniversary Update was rolled out, the company began work on the next two major updates to Windows 10, code-named Redstone 2 and Redstone 3. (Redstone 1 was the code name for the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.) Redstone 2 will likely be fully ready in the spring of 2017. It's not yet clear when Redstone 3 will be finished.
If you want to test drive the upcoming updates, you don't have to wait until their final releases. As it did with the Anniversary Update, Microsoft has been releasing public preview builds, each a little bit closer to the final version. The updates are being tested and delivered the same way that those for the Windows 10 Anniversary Update were -- first to members of Microsoft's Insider Program via a series of public preview builds and then, when they are final, via Windows Update.
We're making it easy for you to keep track of when builds are available. What follows is a list of every preview build of Redstone 2, starting with the most recent. When Redstone 2 is finished and Redstone 3 builds become available, we'll list those as well.
For each build, we've included the date of its release and a link to Microsoft's announcement about it.
(Note: This covers only previews for the PC version of Windows 10, not the phone version.)
We'll update this page as new builds are rolled out so you'll always be up to date.
Release date: November 17
This minor build adds several minor features. You can now read unprotected e-books in the EPUB file format with Microsoft Edge. The Paint 3D Preview app is included as part of Windows for the first time -- previously it was a separate download. PowerShell becomes the default command line for Windows. There are also a variety of minor bug fixes, such as improving the reliability of the protractor and inking in Sketchpad, and fixing an issue with the Magnifier’s keyboard shortcuts.
Release date: November 9
This minor build adds minor features. The Sticky Notes app has been updated to include more languages, improved text input while typing and a few bug fixes. Windows Ink Workspace gets some minor improvements, including an upgraded protractor and faster loading of Sketchpad. It’s also now easier to connect to an external monitor from a tablet -- you can do it from the virtual touchpad instead of a mouse. There are also the usual host of bug fixes and small improvements, including one that stops Internet Explorer from crashing right after loading.
Release date: November 3
This minor build is the first to use a new Microsoft platform for publishing updates, called the Unified Update Platform (UUP), although only the mobile build is delivered with UUP -- it will still be a while before PC updates will be delivered using it. Microsoft says that UUP will lead to smaller update download sizes -- 35% smaller from one major update to another. Aside from that, build 14959 can support an app that runs on just-announced Microsoft hardware, including the Surface Studio: Paint 3D Preview, which adds 3D modelling tools to Microsoft Paint. (The app isn't in the new build; it has to be downloaded separately.)
The build also includes a variety of bug fixes and small improvements, such as better controlling of scaling of virtual machines in Hyper-V Virtual Machines, and squashing a bug related to Windows' automatic brightness setting.
Release date: October 25
This minor build includes updates to Windows’ built-in Mail and Calendar apps. You can now open mail messages in a new window. You can also use @mentions: When you type the @ symbol in the body of an email and follow it with your contact's name, Windows pulls the contact's email address from your contact list and adds it to the To: field. The build also includes a variety of fixes. For example, it fixes a bug which wouldn’t allow people to sign into some apps -- such as MSN News and Groove -- with their Microsoft account.
Release date: October 19
This minor build adds new features for users who have a precision touchpad. It allows you to record your favorite keyboard combinations and assign them to gestures; you can also change the audio volume with a gesture. Windows Ink gets some improvements as well, including the addition of stencils and the ability to use Windows Ink in the Photos app. The camera interface has been simplified and there are a variety of bug fixes and minor improvements.
Release date: October 13
This minor build lets you customize how your touchpad works, notably by letting you customize three- and four-finger gestures and taps. To do it, go to Settings > Devices > Touchpad and look for the “Other gestures” section. The Wi-Fi settings page has been redesigned, and includes a new setting that lets you have a turned-off Wi-Fi turn back on automatically after a certain amount of time elapses. The build also includes a variety of bug fixes.
Release date: October 7
This minor build updates the Photos app, including a horizontal bar that makes it easier to navigate and view photos. The build also lets you collapse the app list on the Start menu by going to Settings > Personalization > Start and turning on “Hide app list in Start menu.” Windows Update gets a new icon. There are also a variety of bug fixes and minor improvements.
Release date: September 28
This minor build adds several new extensions to Microsoft Edge, including the Microsoft Personal Shopping Assistant, which lets you save products from several web sites in one location, along with price alerts and comparison shopping. Also new is the Turn off the Lights extension that lets you turn a web page black around a video you’re watching, so you can more easily focus on the video. The build also includes a variety of bug fixes for problems such as Explorer.exe crashing frequently.
Release date: September 21
This minor build focuses mainly on small bug fixes. In addition, you can now track traffic in the Maps app by tapping the traffic icon in the app bar. You can also send SMS and MMS messages using Skype on a Windows 10 PC if you have a Windows 10 phone with Skype and Skype is set as the default messaging app.
Release date: September 14
This minor build adds a “Snooze” feature to Edge so that you can set Cortana reminders on pages you’re viewing. The Cortana reminder appears as a notification and in Action Center, which lets you open that site in Edge. This is helpful for people who keep tabs open as a way to remind them to do something on a site.
Insiders will appreciate another change: If you’ve uninstalled an app, that app won’t be reinstalled when you upgrade to the newest Preview build. So, for example, if you uninstall the Amazon Kindle app, it won’t be re-installed when you go to a new Preview build.
There are also a number of bug fixes in the build as well.
Release date: August 31
This minor build has only one new feature: It enables Windows Insiders to download their Insider preview builds, OS updates and app updates from other PCs on their network and from PCs on the internet. This should lead to faster downloads and updates. It needs the Windows Update Delivery Optimization feature to be turned on (it's turned on by default). If you want, you can turn off the feature entirely and just download your updates the usual way, straight from Microsoft.
There are also a variety of bug fixes -- for example, to make the power button on the Start menu work and to correct an issue that had turned off Cortana's text-to-speech capabilities.
Release date: August 11
This first public preview build of Redstone 2 included no new significant features; instead, it focused on Windows 10's plumbing. An announcement about the preview build on Microsoft's Insider Hub (accessible only to those who are running Windows 10) noted that in the first Redstone 2 build, "You won't see any big noticeable changes or new features just yet...we are focusing on making some structural improvements to OneCore."
OneCore, the announcement went on to note, "is the shared core of Windows across PC, tablet, phone, IoT, Hololens and Xbox. It is essentially the heart of Windows."
The announcement warned that the build might be buggy.