Here are the big features to look out for in the upcoming Windows 10 19H1 update

Microsoft Surface Laptop press kit stock photo
Microsoft Press Photo/Microsoft

It was only last month when, after a rough initial release, Microsoft finally made its October 2018 Windows 10 update available to all users of the company’s latest operating system.

But now Microsoft has already announced the release of a preview of its next Windows 10 features update. It was announced on January 3 that this features update preview would be released to Windows Insiders within the Fast Ring. The update itself is known as Build 18309 and has been code-named 19H1.

Even in its preview version, 19H1 already offers a laundry list of changes and new features addressing a wide variety of Windows 10 concerns, such as security and passwords changes and Ease of Access improvements.

Among the long list of improvements that will be available in 19H1, there were a few new features in the update that caught our attention. The big features to look out for in the 19H1 update include the creation of password-free phone number Microsoft accounts, the availability of new voices in other languages for use in Narrator, and a fix for those who experienced “random yet frequent” explorer.exe crashes.

The 19H1 features update will allow users to sign in to Windows with a phone number account, rather than having to create and remember a password. While support for a password-free phone number Microsoft account was available in Build 18305, it was only available for Insiders who used the Windows 10 Home edition. Now, 19H1 will offer that same support for all editions of Windows 10.

Narrator, the native screen reader app for Windows 10, will also undergo some changes. Most notably, it will now offer new downloadable voice options in other languages instead of requiring users to download language packs.

And for those users struggling with explorer.exe crashes, the 19H1 update will bring a fix involving a “server-side change” that will hopefully be a welcome resolution of the crash issue.

In addition to the big changes above, there were also a few small yet intriguing changes to the appearance of Windows 10 that we think are worth mentioning: First, Search and Cortana are expected to be separate in the new update. Second, a new light theme will also be available. This theme is supposed to turn aspects of the Windows Shell white, such as the Start menu. And last but not least, 19H1 will also offer 11 more mouse pointer sizes for a total of 15 sizes to choose from.

The forthcoming features update for Windows 10 is slated for an April 2019 release, according to Windows Central.


Microsoft is getting ready for a coming wave of foldable Windows 10 devices

Windows 10 might soon have a new look. A leaked string for an internal Windows 10 19H1 build shows that Microsoft is getting ready to build Windows 10 for a future wave of foldable devices.

Our favorite Windows apps will help you get the most out of your new PC

Not sure what apps you should be downloading for your newfangled Windows device? Here are the best Windows apps, whether you need something to speed up your machine or access your Netflix queue. Check out our categories and favorite picks.

Getting Windows 10 updated doesn't have to be so painful

Windows update not working? It's a more common problem than you might think. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot it and in this guide we'll break them down for you step by step.

Protecting your PDF with a password isn't difficult. Just follow these steps

If you need to learn how to password protect a PDF, you have come to the right place. This guide will walk you through the process of protecting your documents step-by-step, whether you're running a MacOS or Windows machine.

Secure your Excel documents with a password by following these quick steps

Excel documents are used by people and businesses all over the world. Given how often they contain sensitive information, it makes sense to keep them from the wrong eyes. Thankfully, it's easy to secure them with a password.

Style up your MacBook Air with one of these great cases or sleeves

Whether you’re looking for added protection or a stylish flourish, you’re in the right place for the best MacBook Air cases. We have form-hugging cases, luxurious covers and padded sleeves priced from $10 to $130. Happy shopping!

Beam up the videos: AirPlay support is coming to VLC player

At CES 2019, the developers of VLC player announced they are adding support for Apple's Airplay feature, allowing consumers to beam video and other content from their iPhone and Android devices to an Apple TV. 

Reluctant to give your email address away? Here's how to make a disposable one

Want to sign up for a service without the risk of flooding your inbox with copious amounts of spam and unwanted email? You might want to consider using disposable email addresses via one of these handy services.

Problems with installing or updating Windows 10? Here's how to fix them

Upgrading to the newest version of Windows 10 is usually a breeze, but sometimes you run into issues. Never fear though, our guide will help you isolate the issue at hand and solve it in a timely manner.

Still miss Windows 7? Here's how to make Windows 10 look more like it

There's no simple way of switching on a Windows 7 mode in Windows 10. Instead, you can install third-party software, manually tweak settings, and edit the registry. We provide instructions for using these tweaks and tools.

Lost your router? Here's how to find its IP address to help track it down

Changing the login information for your router isn't always easy, that's why so many have that little card on the back. But in order to use it, you need to know where to go. Here's how to find the IP address of your router.

Is it worth spending more for the Surface Pro, or is the Surface Go good enough?

The Surface Go versus Surface Pro -- which is better? While the higher price tag of one might make you think it's an easy choice, a deeper dive into what each offers makes it a closer race than you might assume.

Pinning websites to your taskbar is as easy as following these quick steps

Would you like to know how to pin a website to the taskbar in Windows 10 in order to use browser links like apps? Whichever browser you're using, it's easier than you might think. Here's how to get it done.

Stop your PC's vow of silence with these tips on how to fix audio problems

Sound problems got you down? Don't worry, with a few tweaks and tricks we'll get your sound card functioning as it should, and you listening to your favorite tunes and in-game audio in no time.