The October update for Windows 10 is known as 20H2. It’s not a massive release but there are a few key changes under the hood. So what are the new features in Windows update 20H2?
Windows 10 version 2009, or build number 19042.572 finally got to my machine near the end of November, even though it was released October 20th. This is how long Windows updates can take to roll out.
Last year’s 19H2 (the November 2019 Update) was a smaller update, followed by the larger update 20H1 (the May 2020 Update). 20H2 is another smaller update, but Microsoft insists this is not a pattern of minor Fall updates and major Spring updates.
20H2 is a small download and doesn’t take a long time to install. This one is mainly focused on bug fixes and performance improvements, but a couple of big ticket items stand out.
The classic System pane in the Control Panel is gone
The contents of the System pane is now moved into the Windows 10 System Settings Modern-UI app.
Trying to open the classic “System” page in the Control Panel takes you to the About page in the new Settings app where all of those System settings now live. This is another step in the migration of controls to the new Settings app which will ultimately replace the traditional desktop Control Panel.
Advanced system settings like BitLocker settings and Device Manager can be found at the bottom of this new page.
The New Chromium-based Microsoft Edge is the default browser
Released in January 2020, the Chromium-based edge is now officially the default Windows 10 browser. The previous versions are now referred to as ‘Edge Legacy.’
“You Phone” app now runs Android apps from your Samsung phone
The “Your Phone” app has a remote execution feature designed for “select Samsung devices.” It allows access to Android apps running on these phone models, accessed and operated from the Windows 10 desktop.
The Start menu has “theme-aware tiles”
This just makes the tile background is light or dark to match whichever Windows 10 light or dark theme is selected. This generally makes for better contrast between icons and background than the Start menu using the chosen accent color as it did before. The default Windows 10 theme used variously blue icons on a blue background.
Alt+Tab Includes Edge Browser Tabs by Default
The alt-tab task switcher now includes the browser tabs from Edge. That’s multiple browser tabs in your task list, not one task item for each browser window.
Pinned sites in the taskbar
One instance of a pinned site in the taskbar – say Hotmail – will now list all instances of Hotmail open in Edge browser tabs.
Set the Focus Assist behaviour to be less intrusive (why anyone used this annoying ‘feature’ to begin with is a mystery.
Control the display refresh rate in the Settings app, not Control Panel
Tablet mode switching by default
You can change what happens—for example, to prevent Windows 10 from entering tablet mode automatically—by heading to Settings > System > Tablet.
Bug fixes and performance enhancements.