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Windows 10 Anniversary Update: Best New Features

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

Windows 10, which is now installed on more than 350 million devices, has been around for about a year. For its birthday, Microsoft is giving it an update, called appropriately enough, the Anniversary update.

Editor's Note: Microsoft has acknowledged that the Anniversary Update can cause PCs to freeze up, but only on computers with SSDs where apps are installed on a different drive than the one where Windows 10 is installed. The company recommends you move all apps to the drive where Windows 10 is located, while in Safe Mode. You can also fix this problem by downgrading to a previous Windows version, but this option is valid only for the first 10 days after deploying the Anniversary Update. An update to this issue is expected soon.

Some folks have been playing with this version of Windows for some time now through the Insider Program. Those early adopters have spent 50,000 years worth of hours giving 5,000-plus enhancements to Microsoft. Before you download the new update, however, be aware that it changes how long you have to down grade to an earlier version. Now Microsoft only gives you 10 days, not the previous 30. 

MORE: 8 Reasons Windows 10 is Right for the Enterprise


The most exciting new security features launching with the Anniversary update include the Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (WDATP) and the Windows Information Protection. The WDATP works to detect, investigate and respond to advanced attacks on networks. It provides you with a better knowledge of threats and attacks. The Windows Information Protection lets your business separate personal and organizational data, which in turn helps protect corporate data.

Windows Defender anti-malware service, which comes preinstalled, now offers the option to schedule periodic quick scans and send notifications when scans are complete and threats are found. But that's far from the only changes.

Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge extensions let users add new functionality to their browser. A few ready out of the gate include AdBlock, Adblock Plus, Amazon Assistant, LastPass and more. Web Notifications are integrated into the notifications platform and Action Center. Improvements to battery efficiency mean you don't have to mess with settings to turn on power saving mode. A new accessibility architecture supports HTML5, CSS3 and ARIA. You can choose to have your browser data cleared when you close it. Plus, the Microsoft browser also natively supports biometrics for supporting sites.

Windows Ink

Through this little app you can make notes using your digital pen, and access them through the lock screen. This can be particularly helpful in Office. It interprets your scribbles and transforms it into actual shapes and letters. It is built into Cortana and Microsoft Edge, but it also works with other software makers such as Adobe.


Microsoft's smart assistant is now on the lock screen, which I'm not wild about for security reasons. You can use your voice to search documents, check travel plans and get reminders. By adding Cortana to Android and iPhone, you can also get cross alerts for things like WhatsApp and low phone battery life.

Other Changes

  • The Action Center is now on the far right with a badge of the number of outstanding notifications.
  • 14 Quick Action tiles (VPN, Quiet hours, Tablet Mode, etc.) can be arranged in any order in the Action Center
  • Dark Mode now also applies to UWP apps (Mail, Calendar and Store)
  • You can auto-hide the taskbar in Tablet Mode (formerly known as Continuum)
  •  The All Apps list in Tablet Mode is displayed in full-screen view
  • Tapping a Live Tile will take you to the exact content that was previewed on the button.
  • There's now a Recently Added apps list
  • The All Apps list is now at the top of the Start menu
  • A new emoji keyboard has more skin tone options
  • Windows Store and Xbox Store have been combined

Microsoft's Windows 10 Anniversary Update is available now.

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