Windows 10 Update: Here's What's New

John Lister's picture

Microsoft has released the latest major update to Windows 10 for 2018. The main changes are most useful for people who do a lot of work on their PC, particularly if they use multiple computers.

The update is part of Microsoft's new approach to evolving Windows 10. It continues to issue monthly security fixes, but has dropped the old approach of issuing new features as and when they are ready, then rounding them up in a 'service pack' every year or so before eventually moving on to the next version of Windows.

Instead, the idea is to never have a completely new version, but rather to add new features to Windows 10 around twice a year. Previous major updates have had titles such as the 'Anniversary Update', 'Creators Update', and 'Fall Creators Update', but this time round Microsoft is coming straight to the point by calling it the 'April 2018 Update'.

Timeline Makes Searching Past Month Easy

The most prominent addition is a feature called "Timeline" that aims to make it easier to find information from your activity over the past 30 days. It's designed to be a much simpler and more intuitive alternative to having to use the Windows Explorer search tool to look for files by modification date. (Source:

Timeline covers all the files and folders you've worked on or created during the past 30 days, including on multiple computers if you use the same Microsoft account on each. It also brings in activity from the Edge browser and the Office 365 tools on mobile devices, including Android and iOS machines. It's an interesting move as it's very reminiscent of Google's approach which brings together data from your activity on computers, tablets and phones alike.

Another new feature is called Focus Assist, which will be most useful for people who have a lot of notifications and tiles activated on their Windows Desktop. Users can now either switch on Focus Assist for a set period or schedule it in advance. While it's turned on, notifications and other distractions are hidden. When it's switched off again, the user gets a quick summary of the information they missed.

Edge Browser Slowly Improving

There's also a few additions and improvements to the Edge, albeit ones that are standard in many rival browsers. These include a one-click icon to mute sound on a web page, auto fill on web forms, and an option to automatically format and clean-up a page for printing.

Perhaps the most welcome change to Windows 10 involves notifications from the Windows Defender security tools. Users can now set their computer to only tell them when there's a problem, rather than have a message pop-up after every scan even if everything is fine. (Source:

What's Your Opinion?

Does Timeline sound useful? Would you benefit from Focus Assist or have you switched off notifications anyway? What new features would you like to see added to Windows 10?

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Dennis Faas's picture

Does anyone remember the stink that Windows MRU created when that feature was first introduced in (I believe) Windows XP? Users screamed that Windows was spying on them. The way it worked was that MRU would remember your most frequently used / opened files and placed them in the Start menu for easy access.

Fast forward 17 years and now Windows 10 is watching what you do on multiple computers and presenting you with that information in a much more convenient and detailed way - and it even forecasts what you want.

My oh my, things have come a long way. It's also interesting to note that when other companies do this sort of thing, it's considered "visionary," but when Microsoft does it (or did it previously), it's spying.

Navy vet's picture

As usual, just like the previous update, webcam app no longer works, home network destroyed, (IP addresses changed), mapped network drives need to be remapped. Other than that the "new" features do not offer a compelling reason for the update. The feature needed the most is a smoother update process, still sorely lacking.

kitekrazy's picture

Screws up shared drives. This was rare in W7. I feel like I'm the only one that suffers from this. There is some bonehead developer as MS screwing this up. Unfortunately complaining to MS is like shouting on a deserted island.

Turn off password protection is broken.

NickyK's picture

I had to reinstall my Office 2016 which disappeared. Of course I have the product code. This was not asked for in the re-install.

Update went in fine, but no new stuff I want.

If it wasn't broke, don't fix it. However, perhaps there are other features I do not use which will benefit others.

pdriddell_4818's picture

To me this sounds similar to Google's history which I use all the time to find websites I had visited in the past. I think Timeline is something that I would find very useful, can't wait to try it.

PayPaul's picture

I'm very upset with the loss of my ability to change text sizing on menu items, Icon names etc. Scaling is a dismal and disastrous substitute for the precise control over fonts and the sizes of those fonts viewed in menu items and other text based elements in applications. I want control placed back in my hands again. The fall "creators" update has created a mess of my computer screen.