What’s New In Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 17704?

Microsoft released Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 17704 (RS5) on June 27, 2018 to Windows Insiders in the Fast ring in addition to those who opted in to Skip Ahead. Here is summery of the improvements and new features added to Insider Preview Build 17704.

What’s new in Build 17704?

1. Microsoft Edge Improvements

New Microsoft Edge Beta logo: Microsoft introduced a new Edge “BETA” icon to help users visually differentiate between officially released versions of Microsoft Edge and preview builds where Microsoft Edge is in ongoing development. This logo only will be seen on Insider preview builds.

The Microsoft Edge icon with text saying “BETA” across it.

New design improvements: As a result of evolution, Microsoft Edge leverages the Fluent Design System for a more natural and usable experience, you may notice some subtle tweaks to the look of the tab bar in Microsoft Edge. In this build, a new depth effect to the tab bar has been added to help emphasize the active tab.

Showing the tab bar in Microsoft Edge with the new shadows.

Redesigned “…” menu and Settings: In this release, the Microsoft Edge settings page has been changed to make it easier to navigate, put commonly-used actions front and center, and allow more customization than ever.

Showing the “…” menu, now with a few items collapsed under chevrons (in this picture, “Show in toolbar” is expanded).

Customize toolbar items for Microsoft Edge: When you click “…” in the Microsoft Edge toolbar, you’ll find a refined menu that puts common commands like “New tab” and “New window” front and center. You can also customize which icons appear in the Microsoft Edge toolbar – you can remove them all for a tidier look or add as many as you like to bring your favorite functionality to your fingertips!

Last (but not least), this build breaks Settings out into subpages by category, with better-organized options and less clutter on each page. The new Settings experience is designed to match the experience in the Microsoft Edge hub, for a quicker and more familiar experience.

Redesigned Settings menu – looks more like how the Hub menu looks, with a navigation pane on the side.

Control whether media can play automatically: In this build you can control whether sites can autoplay media. You can find this setting under “Advanced Settings” > “Media autoplay,” with options to customize the behavior according to your preferences:

  • “Allow” is the default and will continue to play videos when a tab is first viewed in the foreground, at the site’s discretion.
  • “Limit“ will restrict autoplay to only work when videos are muted, so you‘re never surprised by sound. Once you click anywhere on the page, autoplay is re-enabled, and will continue to be allowed within that domain in that tab.
  • “Block” will prevent autoplay on all sites until you interact with the media content. Note that this may break some sites due to the strict enforcement – you may need to click multiple times for some video or audio to play correctly. Some sites may not work at all – in those cases, you can enable or block autoplay on a case-by-case bases from the website permissions pane (click the icon next to the address in the Address Bar).

New PDF icon: Windows 10 now has a new icon for PDFs in File Explorer when Microsoft Edge is your default PDF handler.

New PNG icon for Windows.

2. Skype for Windows 10 gets a big update!

This new Skype for Windows 10 update brings all the latest and greatest Skype capabilities to Windows 10 users.

Skype for Windows 10 update brings all the latest and greatest Skype capabilities to Windows 10 users.

Here’s a sample of what’s new:

  • Best in class calling experience – Microsoft has added several new calling features to make Skype’s calling experience even better than before.
  • Flexible group call canvas – You can customize your group call experience and decide who appears in the main call canvas.  Simply drag and drop people between the call canvas and the overflow ribbon to select who you want to focus on.
  • Take snapshots – Use snapshots to capture images of important moments within a call.  Snapshots makes sure you never forget important memories like your grandkid’s funny antics or crucial information like the content that’s been screenshared during a meeting.
  • Easily start screensharing – Sharing your screen during calls has been made even easier.  Look for the ability to share your screen with the top level call controls.
  • New layout – Microsoft has made your contacts easier to access and view
  • Customizable themes – Choose a color and theme for your Skype client through your application settings.
  • And much more – Improvements to our media gallery, notifications panel, @mentions experience and more!

3. See Your Videos Better Outside

There’s a new viewing mode for you to try out, designed to improve the visibility of your video when you are in a very bright environment. This feature uses the light sensor on your device to detect your ambient light, and automatically adjusts your video accordingly. To turn it on, navigate to Settings > Apps > Video playback, and turn on “Adjust video based on lighting”.

Please note:

  • In order for this feature to work, your device must have a light sensor. There are a couple different ways you can check:
    • Go to “Display Settings” in the Settings app. If you have the option to turn on Auto-brightness, you most likely have a light sensor
    • Go to Device Manager. If you have something that sounds like “Light Sensor” under Sensors, you likely have a light sensor.
  • Currently, not all devices have light sensors that are well-calibrated. If you are on a device where video looks really, really bad with this setting on, please let us know via the Feedback Hub!

4. Typing Insights

Windows now shows you insights about how its AI has been helping you type with efficiency. If you use the software keyboard on Windows, there are many features built into the typing experience that leverage AI and ML to help you be more efficient. Some examples include autocorrecting your spelling mistakes, prediction of the next word you would type, word suggestions as you start typing so you don’t have to type the full word and the number of words you’ve typed by swiping over the letters on the software keyboard (yes, you can do that, try it out if you have not yet).

Windows now shows you stats about each of these features. Go to Settings > Devices > Typing and click on “View typing insights” link to see them.

Showing Typing Insights page with stats described above.

Currently these stats cover the typing insights for software keyboard usage and hardware keyboard prediction features. If you like to see additional insights in the future releases, head over to the Feedback Hub and share your thoughts.

5. Font installation for non-admin users

In the past, fonts in Windows have always been installed for all users. Because that is a system-wide change, it always required admin privilege. The need for an admin was reflected in the user interface. For example, if you browse in File Explorer to a folder containing a font file and right-clicked on the file to bring up the context menu, then the “Install” option would appear with the security badge, which means that it requires an admin.

If you tried to install a font but didn’t have admin privileges, then you would be presented with a User Account Control dialog, so that an admin could approve the change. If you’re a non-admin user and often need to install (or uninstall) fonts, then that could be a big hassle.

Context menu when right-clicking a font in file explorer, showing the two options described above.

Often font files come within a compressed folder (that is, a .zip file). The “Install” context-menu option isn’t available in File Explorer when you view the contents of a compressed folder, but you can double-click the font file within the compressed folder to open it in the font previewer, and that provides an “Install” button. In the past, the button in the font previewer had the security badge, and it would do a system-wide install, requiring an admin. Now the security badge is gone, and the “Install” button in the font previewer performs a single-user font install, which can be done by non-admins.

Showing the font previewer with the install button, now available for non-admins.

6. Contextual Commanding Improvements to Text Controls

Inbox text controls are now taking advantage of the new CommandBarFlyout control. This allows a number of exciting improvements including:

  • The ability to quickly cut, copy, and paste in textboxes with touch
  • New icons for common actions
  • The ability to bold, italicize, etc. in our rich text surfaces
  • New animations, acrylic treatment, and depth support

Windows Settings search box, the text “test” has been selected and right clicked, showing a commanding menu with cut/copy/undo/select all with both icons and informational hotkeys.

This change will apply to any XAML based text boxes on this build.

7. Windows Security Improvements

The Virus & threat protection section now displays all threats that need action. You can quickly take action on threats straight from this screen.

Screenshot of the Windows Security app showing a scan in progress under the Current threats heading on the Virus & threat protection page.

You can enable a new protection setting, Block suspicious behaviors, which brings our Windows Defender Exploit Guard attack surface reduction technology to all users. To enable this setting, go to the Virus & threat protection section and click Manage settings under the Virus & threat protection settings heading, as shown in the following screenshot:

Screenshot showing Block suspicious actions toggle in the Windows Security app, in the Virus & threat protection section.

With Controlled folder access you can help prevent ransomware and other destructive malware from changing your personal files. In some cases, apps that you normally use might be blocked from making changes to common folders like Documents and Pictures. You can now easily add apps that were recently blocked so you can keep using your device without turning off the feature altogether.

When an app is blocked, it will appear in a recently blocked apps list, which you can get to by opening the Virus & threat protection section, clicking Manage settingsunder the Ransomware protection heading, and then Allow an app through Controlled folder access. After the prompt, click the plus button and choose Recently blocked apps. Select any of the apps to add them to the allowed list. You can also browse for an app from this page as well.

Screenshot showing how to add a recently blocked app by navigating to the Virus & threat protection section, opening the Manage settings link under the Ransomware protection heading, and then interacting with the Allow an app through Controlled folder access link and choosing an app.

In the Device performance & health section you will find a new assessment for the Windows time service. If Windows detects that your device’s time is not properly synced with Microsoft’s time servers and the time-syncing service is disabled, Windows will provide the option for you to turn it back on.

There’s a new page called Security providers that you can find in the Settings section of the app. Click Manage providers to see a list of all the other security providers (including antivirus, firewall, and web protection) that are running on your device. Here you can easily open the providers’ apps, or get more information on how to resolve any issue that they have reported to you through the Windows Security app.

Screenshot showing the Security providers page in the Windows Security app. The pointer goes to the Settings link on the navigation pane, and then opens the Manage providers link under the Security providers heading.

This also means you’ll see more links to other security apps within the Windows Security app. For example, if you open the Firewall & network protection section, you’ll see the firewall apps that are running on your device under each firewall type (domain, private, and public networks).

8. Task Manager Improvements

Task Manager now includes 2 new columns in the “Processes” tab to show energy impact of the running process on their system. This should help our customers to understand which apps/services are using the maximum power vs. the least power-hungry apps. The metric takes CPU, GPU & Disk into evaluation when calculating power usage.

  • Power usage: This column will provide an instantaneous view of apps/services using power.
  • Power usage trend: This column provides a power usage trend over 2 mins for each running apps/services. This column will be blank when you start an app but will populate based on the power usage every 2 mins.

Power usage metrics in Task Manager, showing two additional columns "Power usage" & "Power usage trend".

9. A note about Snipping Tool

As we mentioned with Build 17661, Microsoft is in the process of consolidating and modernizing the snipping experiences in Windows. When you upgrade to today’s build you’ll see a note about this in the Snipping Tool. Currently, Microsoft is not planning to remove the Snipping Tool in the next update to Windows 10 and the consolidation work underway will be a feedback and data-driven decision. If you haven’t already, please take a moment to try out the Screen Sketch app and let us know how it’s working for you. Screen Sketch gives you all of the functionality of the Snipping Tool with additional improvements. You can launch the app directly and start a snip from there, or just press WIN + Shift + S, click the back of your pen, or press the Print Screen key (the later two you will need to turn on in Settings – details here).

The Snipping Tool showing a link saying Snipping Tool will be removed in a future update. Trying improved features and snip like usual with Screen Sketch.

General changes, improvements, and fixes for PC

  • If you have a Surface Studio, you should be able to update to Build 17698. Previously – Surface Studios were unable to update to Builds 17682, 17686, and 17692.
  • Fixed an issue that could result in seeing a 0x80070057 error in Windows Update when upgrading to the last few flights.
  • Fixed an issue from the last two flights resulting in the lock screen crashing in a loop when Picture Password was selected.
  • Fixed an issue resulting in some Insiders experiencing a high volume of Start reliability issues in the last few flights.
  • Fixed an issue where if you used WIN+A to open the Action Center you couldn’t immediately press Esc to close it.
  • If clipboard history isn’t enabled, you can now enable it straight from WIN+V.
  • Have multiple items in your clipboard history (WIN+V)? You can now start fresh in one shot by clicking the new clear all button.
  • Fixed an issue resulting in noticeable lag when launching Task View on high DPI devices.
  • Fixed an issue where Task View would still have a launch animation if “Show animations in Windows” was turned off.
  • Fixed an issue where some cards in Timeline would appear with the text drawn twice, once normally, and a second time dimmer and with slightly different line spacing.
  • Fixed an issue resulting Cortana crashing when attempting to edit reminders in the last few flights.
  • Fixed an issue when using Cortana causing search results to sometimes not do anything when clicked in the last few flights.
  • Fixed an issue where the People flyout was using the old Microsoft Store icon.
  • Fixed an issue resulting in Credential Manager having white on white text when using Windows in dark theme.
  • Fixed an issue where the string “Don’t use the index when searching…” in File Explorer’s Folder Options dialog had corrupted text.
  • Added some new keywords to help you get to the settings you’re looking for – for example “rename” will now find “View your PC name” (from which you can rename your PC).
  • Fixed an issue resulting in Settings crashing when changing the default browser in the last flight.
  • Fixed an issue where after a reboot, settings for Background Apps would revert to default.
  • Fixed an issue where on demand features that were less than 1 MB (such as RSAT: IPAM Client) would fail to install.
  • Fixed an issue where if your Bluetooth was turned off when upgrading to recent builds, the toggle for turning on/off Bluetooth wouldbe missing in the Settings page and the Bluetooth quick action button in the Action Center will not work. Note: this fix willprevent the issue from happening again, however if you are already impacted you will need to uninstall the radioadapter and re-enumerate it to get yourself back into a good state. You can do this by opening Device Manager, finding the radio adapter listed under Bluetooth, right-clicking and selecting Uninstall (make sure “delete the driver software for this device” is left unchecked), clicking Uninstall, then going to the Action menu and selecting “Scan for hardware changes”.
  • Fixed an issue resulting in certain Bluetooth devices, like the NOAHLink, not connecting after upgrading.
  • Fixed the bug that was impacting driver testing scenarios where executing HLK Component/Device driver tests might havecaused abugcheck that blocked test execution.
  • Fixed the issue causing the Game bar to crash on x86 machines.
  • To improve clarity, Microsoft has separated Settings > Privacy > Speech, Inking & typing into two settings: Settings > Privacy > Speech and Settings > Privacy > Inking & typing personalization.
  • Fixed the issue that caused Settings > Ease of Access > Narrator, Choose Keyboard settings to be missing text as well as visible values in the two combo boxes.
  • Added DTS:X to the list of spatial audio technologies you can use.
  • Addressed a crash in the audio troubleshooter if querying the volume or mute state failed.
  • Fixed an audio service issue that could cause some previously-recoverable hangs to become unrecoverable.
  • Updated Microsoft Edge so that even if a tab is not actively playing audio you will now be able to preemptively mute it from the context menu when right-clicking the tab.
  • We fixed an issue for certain languages where when loading tabs in Microsoft Edge you may briefly see a formatting placeholder (%) in the tab name.
  • Fixed an issue where drag events in Microsoft Edge (after moving a tab) could arrive out of order, leading to not being able to close that window.
  • Fixed an issue where Microsoft Edge would exit full screen video mode if focus was set to an Outlook window on a secondary monitor.
  • Fixed an off-by-one error when using the up arrow to go through your command history in Command Prompt in recent flights.

Known issues with Build 17704

  • You may see some unexpectedly light colors in some surfaces when in dark mode and/or dark on dark text.
  • When you upgrade to this build you’ll find that the taskbar flyouts (network, volume, etc) no longer have an acrylic background.
  • Some users will not be able to enable/disable HDR display support.
  • Applications that use ICC color profiles may encounter errors such as Access Denied. This includes the Color Management control panel, and color profile switching on certain Surface devices.
  • When you use the Ease of Access > Make Text bigger setting, you may see text clipping issues, or find that text is not increasing in size everywhere. Also if your System > Display > Scaling and layout is not set to 100%, some text might appear unexpectedly tiny after reverting the “Make text bigger” value back to 0%.
  • Windows Mixed Reality may get stuck after going to sleep and display a persistent error message in Mixed Reality Portal or a “Wake up” button that doesn’t work. To work around this, restart your computer or explorer.exe to use Windows Mixed Reality again.
  • The framerate counter chart sometimes doesn’t show up correctly over known games.
  • The CPU chart shows an incorrect percentage of usage in the top left corner.
  • Charts in the performance panel don’t update immediately when clicking through tabs.
  • The user’s gamerpic doesn’t display correctly, even after signing in.

About Aslam Khan

Hi there, I am a blogger, engineer and a computer geek. I love kittens. I spend some of my time blogging besides full time job as Senior Windows Administrator. I like to learn new things.

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