Microsoft has released major updates to Windows 10 every 6 months since its release. Version 1903, or the May 2019 Update, adds features that improve your experience rather than adding major new functionality. Here are a few items that can benefit you.
The Spectre vulnerability caused widespread panic at the beginning of 2018. The patches that followed successfully blocked attacks but at a price. As a result, processors manufactured before 2016 ended up with reduced performance. The May 2019 Update fixes that issue. You can read the technical details from Microsoft if you’re interested. In simple terms, those pre-2016 PCs should get faster, and you didn’t even have to pay for an upgrade.
Better Windows Update
Windows Update has caused pain for many people. You’ve likely restarted your computer only to end up staring at a “Working on updates” message for long periods of time. Microsoft has heard the outcry. You finally have control over installing those updates… or not installing them.
Windows Home users can now pause updates. Windows Professional users could pause updates since the last update. Pausing allows you to delay updates for 7 days up to 5 times. Previously, checking for updates would automatically begin installing them. Now, you have the choice to pause or install.
We’ve been forced to update to the latest version of Windows 10 every 6 months whether you liked it or not. Now you can delay major updates for up to 18 months. You’ll continue to get security patches during that time. After 18 months, you’ll have to update in order to keep your devices patched and secure, but this is an improvement over the past.
Cortana invaded the search box some time ago. Thankfully, Microsoft decided to give us a separate Cortana icon. You can choose to hide the Cortana button, the search bar, or both. While Cortana probably hasn’t been too helpful, the search box is getting an upgrade.
The search box now searches every file on your computer. Before, it was limited to the Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, and Videos folders. Windows already indexes your files, so these searches remain fairly quick. You’re required to enable this feature before you’ll see it. Go to Settings->Search->Searching Windows and select “Enhanced (Recommended)”.
Windows Professional Sandbox
Windows Sandbox offers a protected, isolated environment to test out software without the risk of impacting your entire system. Windows deletes any software or files within the sandbox once you close it. Advanced users will likely be the only ones using it regularly, but it’s still a fantastic addition. Sorry, Windows Home users. Windows Sandbox is for Windows Professional users only.
Light Desktop Theme
It’s not a feature really and has no bearing on functionality, but you may appreciate a different look to Windows 10. Dark themes seem to be incredibly popular these days. However, Windows 10 has had that from the beginning. Now you can opt for a light theme that affects your Start menu, taskbar, notifications, and other various interface elements. Just right-click on your desktop and click Personalize. Switch to the Colors tab, and change the “Choose your color” option to “Light”.
If your PC hasn’t already installed the latest version, you have two ways to trigger the install. First, try checking for updates via Windows Update. If that doesn’t work, visit the Download Windows 10 page and click the “Update now” button. You’ll find more additions once you install the latest version of Windows. The items above just represent the newest additions that actually affect your day-to-day use. Enjoy!