Microsoft Software Updates

Windows 10 Redstone: A guide to the builds

Get the latest info on new builds of Windows 10 Redstone 5 as they roll out from Microsoft. Now updated for Insider Preview Build 17672, released on May 16, 2018.

Microsoft Software Updates

Show More
1 2 3 Page 2
Page 2 of 3

Preview builds for the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (Redstone 3, version 1709)

Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 16299

Release date: September 26, 2017; updated October 2, 2017

Note: On October 2, Microsoft released an update to 16299, called Insider Preview Build 16299.15, that appears to be the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) version of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. From this point on, updates will be made via Cumulative Updates with Windows Update, rather than through the Windows Insider program.

As with all the builds over the last several weeks, 16299 focuses on bug fixes. In this case they’re all minor. They include one in which Microsoft Edge might crash when scrolling embedded PDFs, and another in which some Insiders’ optical drive wouldn’t be listed under This PC after upgrading to a recent build.

(Get more info about Insider Preview Build 16299.)

Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 16296

Release date: September 22, 2017

The bug-fix builds are coming fast and furious before the release of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. As with all the builds over the last several weeks, and all Redstone updates until the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is released, this build focuses on bug fixes. This one is the smallest yet: It has only three very minor fixes.

One takes care of a problem in which Hyper-V couldn’t create a VM on third-party network storage. Another fixes an issue in which for the first few minutes after clean installing a non-English build, many inbox app names might unexpectedly appear with English app names. And the third fixed a problem in which gaming apps using WebView with heavy use of HTML canvas might have unexpectedly had very low frame-per-second (FPS) rates.

(Get more info about Insider Preview Build 16296.)

Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 16291

Release date: Sept. 19, 2017

Here’s yet another bug-fix build in preparation for the release to the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. Note that there’s a serious bug with this build and a previous release, Build 16288.1, in which a Surface Pro 3 becomes essentially “bricked” — it gets stuck on a “spinning dots” screen with no apparent way to get out of it. Microsoft has posted a fairly complex workaround, which the company claims will fix the problem. Microsoft also claims, “We will have a permanent fix with no required workaround steps in our next flighted build that is 16294 or greater.”

As with the last several builds over the last few weeks, and all Redstone updates until the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is released, this build focuses mainly on minor bug fixes. One small new feature has been added: Cortana users can now resume articles [and] news from their iPhones and Android phones to their PCs from within the Cortana app.

Aside from that, there are very few bug fixes, including one in which Microsoft Edge crashes if you add a Favorite to a Favorites folder and then immediately sort that folder by name.

What IT needs to know: Given the serious issue with this build on Surface Pro 3 devices, you may want to skip installing it and wait for Build 16294 or later.

(Get more info about Insider Preview Build 162891.)

Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 16288

Release date: Sept. 12, 2017

Here’s yet another small, incremental build in preparation for the release to the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. As with the last several builds and all Redstone updates until the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is released, this build only has minor bug fixes, with no new features introduced. You may notice that the usual watermark in the lower-right-hand corner of the desktop has vanished. That usually indicates a build is a final one. But don’t be fooled: In this case it isn’t.

Microsoft notes: “This is NOT the final build as we’re not done yet. We’re just now beginning the phase of checking in final code to prepare for the final release. So we will have more builds to release to Windows Insiders between now and then. And the desktop watermark may re-appear in these builds.”

The fixes include a variety of improvements to Edge, including an issue where the tab preview for PDFs was just black with two white stripes, and another in which website tooltips could end up displaying behind the Microsoft Edge window after opening a link in new tab in the background. A variety of other minor changes were made to input, the Windows shell, gaming, devices, and a host of other unrelated ones.

(Get more info about Insider Preview Build 16288.)

Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 16281

Release date: Sept. 1, 2017

Here’s one more minor build en route to the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. As with the last several builds – and all Redstone updates until the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is released – this build focuses only on bug fixes, with no new features introduced. Those bug fixes are all minor, including one in which the Train Simulator 2017 game wouldn’t launch and another in which you couldn’t use your mouse because of sudden, brief CPU spikes.

 (Get more info about Insider Preview Build 162781.)

Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 16278

Release date: Aug. 29, 2017

Microsoft is accelerating its sprint to release the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update — this newest build is the third in less than a week. As with the previous builds in the last week, and with all Redstone updates until the release of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, this build is all about, and only about, bug fixes. The fixes in this build are all relatively minor, such as one in which Microsoft Edge crashed after you pinned certain websites to Start, and another in which the battery flyout sometimes incorrectly displayed “PC not charging” while the device was, in fact, charging.

(Get more info about Insider Preview Build 16278.)

Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 16275

Release date: Aug. 25, 2017

The pace of updates is being picked up, with some coming as soon as two days after another. As with all Redstone 3 updates from now until the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is released, this build focuses on bug fixes. No new features are in it.

There are no major fixes, either, only very minor ones, including taking care of an issue that caused minimized per-monitor DPI-aware windows to miss DPI changes and end up with a mix of DPI scaling upon restoring. Also fixed was an issue that caused in the taskbar to be unexpectedly thick if you booted up the PC while plugged in to an external monitor with a different DPI.

(Get more info about Insider Preview Build 16275.)

Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 16273

Release date: Aug. 23, 2017

With this build, Microsoft starts to make a sprint toward releasing the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. The builds have been branched into their own “fork,” called RS3_RELEASE — the exact same thing Microsoft did when it began to get close to releasing the Windows 10 Creators Update, when it branched into RS2_RELEASE.

Dona Sarkar, software engineer with Microsoft’s Windows and Devices Group, explains, “We are now at the point of the development cycle for the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update where our focus is now on stabilization for release to the world. This means that we intend to release these builds to Insiders more quickly to both the Fast and Slow rings as these builds [will] include mostly bug fixes.”

So don’t expect many feature changes, and expect those that are released to be minor. This build shows that. It has a new font called Bahnschrift, but apart from that, it’s mainly bug fixes, including one in which the Action Center icon showed it had a number of notifications that weren’t really there. Quite a few bugs were squashed in the Edge browser, including one in which some websites did not render correctly in inPrivate mode.

What IT should know: If you want to get a peek at what the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update will look like, this is a good build to try, although of course it can be buggy. Also see our story “Windows 10 Fall Creators Update: 9 key enterprise features.”

(Get more info about Insider Preview Build 16273.)

Install Windows S: In other Redstone news, you can now install a preview version of Windows S, Microsoft’s stripped-down version of Windows. To do it, download the setup tool — but you should check out the information at the following links before installing:

Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 16237

Release date: July 7, 2017

This build makes a variety of miscellaneous changes throughout Windows, including Microsoft Edge, the Windows shell, gaming, the Task Manager, and improvements to input. Microsoft Edge gets a read-aloud feature, which will read the contents of a web page. It can also read PDFs out loud. Edge also gets a variety of bug fixes and very minor interface tweaks.

In the Windows shell, you no longer have to log out and back into Windows to fix the problem of blurry desktop applications after docking, undocking or using remote access. In addition, the Action Center gets a variety of small improvements. Notification buttons now span the entire bottom of the notification, instead of being justified to the right. You can also expand the first notification in each notification group in the Action Center, so you can easily eyeball emails, snooze reminders, and accomplish other tasks without having to individually expand every notification.

As for input improvements, Microsoft continues its devotion to emojis by supporting Emoji 5.0. You can also hover your mouse over any emoji in the Emoji Panel and see its exact Unicode character name. The touch keyboard gets minor fixes, notably several that make it more accurate.

In this build, Microsoft updates the Task Manager yet again, this time with very minor changes to the layout of the new GPU performance tracker introduced in Build 16226. More Task Manager changes are on the way in future builds.

There have also been the usual bug fixes and exceedingly minor changes, including correcting a bug that sometimes caused the Network & Internet Status Settings page to indicate that a network was public even though it had been set to be private in the Control Panel.

What IT needs to know: IT staff who like to participate in the regular Bug Bashes that Microsoft holds will be pleased to know that the next one will start at 12:00 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time on Friday, July 14th and end a little over a week later at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time on Sunday, July 23rd.

This build offers the first hands-on look at some of the new end-to-end security features to be officially released in the Windows 10 Fall Creators update, and so is well worth examining. To get a fuller picture of the security changes in store, go to “Announcing end-to-end security features in Windows 10” on Microsoft’s Windows 10 blog.

(Get more info about Insider Preview Build 16237.)

Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 16232

Release date: June 28, 2017

This build is all about security, and includes a host of new features designed to harden Windows against attack. Many of them were previously announced by Microsoft in a blog post outlining the new security features it will build into Windows 10 in the upcoming Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.

Windows Defender Application Guard, which integrates with the Microsoft Edge browser to protect against online malicious attacks and malware, has been updated so that favorites, cookies and saved passwords will be carried across Application Guard sessions.

With this build, you can also audit, configure and manage Windows system and application exploit mitigation settings from inside Windows Defender Security Center. Expect there to be potential issues with this right now; as Microsoft warns, “remember that Exploit Protection is a work-in-progress and might not be fully functional just yet.”

The build also has a new feature called “Controlled folder access” in Windows Defender, which protects data against attacks, including ransomware. This feature monitors changes that applications make to files in protected folders. When an application tries to make a change to the files, and the application has been blacklisted by the feature, you’ll get a notification about the attempt, and the files won’t be allowed to be modified.

In addition to the security changes, there are a variety of bug fixes in this build, including one that caused Word 2016 to crash if you attempted to ink in it, and one where auto-complete in the URL bar of Microsoft Edge failed on some devices.

What IT needs to know: This build offers the first hands-on look at some of the new end-to-end security features to be officially released in the Windows 10 Fall Creators update, and so is well worth examining. To get a fuller picture of more security changes in store, go to “Announcing end-to-end security features in Windows 10” in Microsoft’s Windows blog.

(Get more info about Insider Preview Build 16232.)

Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 16226

Release date: June 21, 2017

This build offers a variety of changes throughout Windows, particularly in Microsoft Edge. You can now more easily close tabs in Edge, because the X for closing them is always available, even if a JavaScript dialog such as an alert is showing. There are also a host of changes to Edge’s EPUB reader, including better integration with Cortana so that you can, for example, do research while reading an EPUB book. If you have a touch device, you can write notes in a book. The build also tweaks Edge’s Favorites feature in several ways, including letting you view favorites as a directory tree.

Emoji fans will be pleased to see that the build support the latest Unicode updates, including new snacks, actions, dinosaurs and fantasy characters like genies, fairies and zombies. All are accessible from the touch keyboard and Emoji Panel.

The touch keyboard now supports “shape writing” for more languages. In shape writing, you can swipe your fingers across letters instead of tapping them, which makes for faster text input. The keyboard also adds text predictions for more languages.

Those who use Task Manager to track the performance of their PC get a new feature to obsess over: It tracks your GPU use. Find it on the Performance tab, where you’ll see GPU utilization information for each GPU component (such as 3D and Video encode/decode) and graphics memory usage statistics. If you head over to the Details tab, you’ll see GPU utilization information for each process. (Note: Microsoft warns that this feature might be buggy, so expect some problems with it.)

The overall Windows shell gets a few tweaks, including the ability to share a file in File Explorer via the right-click context menu. Beyond that, there are small tweaks in the Calculator, Settings, ease of access and other places. There is also a long list of bug fixes, including for one that prevented PDFs from opening in Microsoft Edge on some devices with enterprise configurations.

What IT needs to know: IT admins can now configure Edge favorites by using group policy and mobile device management, including defining and locking preconfigured favorites in addition to the user’s favorites.

For security reasons, Microsoft is continuing its several-year process of removing the SMB1 networking protocol from Windows by default, in order to reduce the “attack surface” of Windows 10. All Enterprise and Education editions now have SMB1 uninstalled by default. In Home and Professional editions, though, only the SMB1 server component is uninstalled by default, but the SMB1 client remains installed. Note that the removal of SMB1 means the legacy Computer Browser service is being removed as well, because it cannot function without SMB1.

(Get more info about Insider Preview Build 16226.)

Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 16215

Release date: June 8, 2017

Addendum: As of June 13, a new feature called OneDrive Files On-Demand is being made available to Windows Insiders in the Fast Ring who are on Build 16215. With Files On-Demand, OneDrive users can see and access all of their files in the cloud, even if those files aren’t on their local computers. The online files can be opened in the same way as any local file, by using desktop applications, Windows Store apps or File Explorer.  

OneDrive Files On-Demand is being rolled out in waves over several days to Windows Insiders in the Fast Ring who are on Build 16215. It can also be downloaded and installed from Microsoft.

June 8 release: This build offers many minor changes throughout Windows. It shows off a new user interface for the Start menu and the Action Center, which use some elements of Microsoft’s new Fluent Design System, a design language which the company announced at its Build 2017 event in May. The Start menu can now be resized diagonally, and it’s easier to resize it because you can more easily “grip” the edge of the frame. The Action Center’s new interface separates information more clearly and better differentiates categories of information.

Microsoft Edge has received minor improvements. Favorite websites can be pinned to the taskbar, e-books can be annotated in Microsoft Edge, and PDFs get more highlight colors. Cortana has received small improvements as well, including the ability to use your computer’s camera to perform actions such as taking a picture of a flier for an upcoming event and creating a reminder based on it.

In addition, improvements to the touchscreen handwriting recognition feature make it easier to write longer pieces of text and correct handwritten mistakes within the handwriting panel. And anyone who has ever misplaced a pen for their touchscreen will welcome the new Find my Pen feature, which shows you where you were the last time you used it on your computer.

It’s also now easier to enter emoji on your keyboard. And a new touch keyboard was introduced on the Desktop, which offers improved text prediction and a new settings menu.

The Windows shell has seen new work as well, including making it easier to share links in the Share user interface. Settings gets several deeper features, notably new video playback settings and a new context menu for Wi-Fi networks.

A host of other overall improvements focus on Narrator, the Gaming bar, ease of access, and fonts. There are also the usual assortment of minor changes, improvements and fixes to bugs, such as Microsoft Edge crashing when enabling or disabling extensions.

What IT needs to know: This build improves the ability of Task Manager to accurately show resource attribution, resource management, and fault tolerance. You can now run Bash on Windows without having to use Developer Mode. And when you’re using Hyper-V, you can now see your machine’s battery status.

(Get more info about Insider Preview Build 16215.)

Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 16199

Release date: May 17, 2017

This minor build includes several new features for the My People app. You can pin your favorite contacts to the taskbar and see emoji from your pinned contacts. Pinned contacts also display counters for messages you haven’t yet read from them. And you can now share files with contacts by dragging and dropping files onto pinned contacts, which creates an email message to the contact with the file attached.

The build also includes several minor changes to settings, notably the addition of a health section that pulls information from the Windows Defender Security Center, making it easier to see the overall health of your PC in a quick glance.

Beyond that are the usual assortment of minor changes, improvements and bug fixes, such as Windows Defender Security Center not flagging disabled drivers as issues.

(Get more info about Insider Preview Build 16199.)

Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 16193

Release date: May 11, 2017

The big news in this build is the release of Story Remix, a major upgrade for the Windows 10 Photos app. It lets you mix together photos, videos, music, transitions, inking and 3D objects to create “stories” -- essentially, screen shows on steroids. It does more than that, though: It also will create these stories itself, at your bidding. So, for example, you can click the Remix button for a collection of photos or videos, and Remix will put together a suitable soundtrack, transitions, and so on. You can then edit what Remix has done.

Story Remix uses what Microsoft says is “deep learning and AI” to tag people, places and things, so they're easier to find via search.

Beyond that, this release offers the usual assortment of minor changes, improvements and bug fixes, such as making the Settings app more stable so it doesn’t crash when navigating to Settings > Personalization > Lock screen.

(Get more info about Insider Preview Build 16193.)

Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 16188

Release date: May 4, 2017

This build features several improvements for Microsoft Edge’s PDF reader. The reader now lets you fill in PDF forms and annotate PDFs. The app's navigation has also been improved, and you can also finally rotate PDFs.

Edge also gets a security improvement: The Windows Defender Application Guard, which offers increased protection against malware and Zero Day attacks. There’s also a related change that anyone who has ever been confused about Cortana’s settings will be pleased to see: Cortana settings are now available in the Settings app, rather than separately.

This build also includes a variety of minor changes, improvements and bug fixes.

(Get more info about Insider Preview Build 16188.)

Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 16184

Release date: April 28, 2017

This build introduces a new feature called My People that Microsoft promised was on the way last October, but that was delayed until after the Creators Update. My People is a social app that lets you pin your favorite people to the taskbar, and makes it easy to contact them in a variety of ways, including the ability to share files and photos, chat, and include emojis. The app remembers the way you've shared with each person previously and uses that method each time afterwards, unless you decide to change it.

There are also a variety of minor changes, improvements and bug fixes for the OS, including the ability to disable the Night Light feature (which reduces the amount of blue light produced by your display).

(Get more info about Insider Preview Build 16184.)

Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 16179

Release date: April 19, 2017

This early build has few changes in it. A new feature introduces automatic checkpoints to Hyper-V for developers so that they can easily undo mistakes by being able to always revert to the last time they started a virtual machine. Power throttling, which can save up to 11% in CPU power consumption, has been turned on. There are also a variety of minor changes, improvements and bug fixes.

(Get more info about Insider Preview Build 16179.)

Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 16176

Release date: April 14, 2017

Because this is an extremely early build of the next upgrade to Windows, there are no noticeable new features. Microsoft has mainly worked on OneCore, which is the heart of the operating system that works not just on the PC version of Windows 10, but also on Windows 10 Mobile, Windows Server, Xbox 10, Windows 10 IoT and the HoloLens operating system. There are some very minor changes and bug fixes. The Narrator, which had been broken in the build 16170, now works, for example.

(Get more info about Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 16176.)

Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 16170

Release date: April 7, 2017

Well, that didn’t take long, did it? Even before the official rollout of Windows Creators Update, Microsoft released the first preview build update for the next upgrade to Windows 10, due out by the end of the year.

Given that it’s the earliest public build of the next upgrade, there’s very little new here, only the most minor of bug fixes, such as an update to the share icon in File Explorer. However, there are a number of known issues with the build. Narrator doesn’t work in it, for example, and some apps and games may crash. So if you decide to try it, proceed with caution.

(Get more info about Insider Preview Build 16170.)

Related:
1 2 3 Page 2
Page 2 of 3
How to handle Windows 10 updates
Shop Tech Products at Amazon