Windows 10 Insider Build 20161 Brings New Features

Hello Windows Insiders, Microsoft has released Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 20161 to Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel. This build brings some major enhancements and new features to Windows 10.

As you may know already, Microsoft has officially rolled out channels to the Windows Insider Program Settings page. You can check out more details in our blog post here.

Secondly, Microsoft has introduced cool new features in this build. But initially, these features are rolling out to small number of Insiders in the Dev Channel. It is being done to quickly identify issues that may have impact on performance and reliability. So, you may not see all these features right away, but they will be rolled out to everyone in the Dev Channel gradually.

Note: These builds are being released from Active Development Branch. And currently not tied to any upcoming Windows 10 release.

New Features in Insider Preview Build 20161

1. Theme-aware tiles in Start

Start menu has been streamlined in this build. Microsoft has improved Start menu tiles design. It now removes the solid color backplates behind the logos in the apps list. It now applies a uniform, partially transparent background to the tiles. The icons look better in this new design, especially the Fluent Design icons for Office and Microsoft Edge. The redesigned icons for built-in apps like Calculator, Mail, and Calendar also look cooler now.

Before and After: Windows 10 Start menu in dark theme insider preview build 20161

This refined Start design looks great in both dark and light theme.

Windows 10 Start menu in dark theme.
Windows 10 Start menu in light theme.

And if you want to experiment, first turn on dark theme and follow these steps. Go to Settings > Personalization > Color then under Show accent color on the following surfaces check the box next to “Start, taskbar, and action center” to elegantly apply your accent color to the Start frame and tiles.

Windows 10 Start menu in colorful theme.

Like this cool desktop background? You can download ‘Pride 2020 Flags’ theme from the Microsoft Store.

2. Switch between Apps and Sites using Alt + TAB

If you are a Windows Insider, probably you are a multitasker too. We have a great news for you! Starting with this build, you will be able to switch between apps and websites open in Microsoft Edge using Alt + TAB. All the tabs open in Microsoft Edge will start appearing in Alt + TAB. Earlier, only the active one displayed in Alt + TAB.

All tabs open in Microsoft Edge will start appearing in Alt + TAB. windows 10 insider preview build 20161

If you’d like to limit the number of tabs that appear in Alt + TAB or down’t want this new feature, you can change it in Settings > System > Multitasking. You can configure Alt + Tab to only show your last three or five tabs or turn this feature off completely.

This feature is currently rolling out to few insiders in the Dev Channel and you need to have Canary or Dev build of Microsoft Edge (version 83.0.475.0 or higher).

3. Personalized Taskbar for new users

In this build, Windows 10 will evaluate the performance of individual default properties. And will monitor diagnostic data and user feedback to customize the taskbar. Using this information, Windows will tune default taskbar layout to minimize clutter.

Please note that this experience is available only for new accounts or first logon scenarios. Windows 10 will not use Programmable Taskbar to alter the Taskbar layout of existing users.

Tailored default Taskbars for different users.

4. Improved Notification Experience

With the Insider Preview Build 20161, Microsoft has made some changes to improve the notifications experience in Windows 10.

  • Now you will see the app logo on the top of the notification. This will let you know which app is showing the notification. Just like before, you can simply click on X on the top right corner dismiss the notification.
Notification toast with app logo at the top and X on the top right corner to quickly dismiss.
  • You will no longer see Focus Assist notification and summary toast by default. Windows 10 will no longer tell the users that Focus Assist has been turned on through an automatic rule via a notification. You can change back to previous behavior in Settings.

5. Moving from Control Panel to Settings

Microsoft is bringing more capabilities from Control Panel to Settings app. In this Windows 10 Insider Preview Build, Control Panel’s System page has been moved to the Settings About page. You can access it under Settings > System > About. The links that would open the System page in Control Panel will now direct you to About page in Settings. There are some new improvements like making device information copyable and streamlining the security information.

Device information is now copyable and security information is streamlined under Settings > System > About. Windows 10 insider preview build

In the future Insider Preview Builds, you will see more improvements in the Settings. If you rely on settings that only exist in Control Panel today, please file feedback and let Microsoft know what those settings are.

6. Improvement in the Tablet mode for 2-in-1 devices

In the previous builds, when detaching the keyboard from a 2-in-1 device, a notification would appear asking to switch into tablet mode. Selecting yes would switch Windows 10 into tablet mode.

Beginning with the May 2020 update, if you chose no, it would give you the new tablet posture experience. Which is similar to the desktop on earlier versions of Windows 10.

Starting with Windows 10 insider preview build 20161, this notification no longer appears and will switch you directly into the new tablet experience. You can change this behavior in Settings > System > Tablet. You might have already seen this change if you are using Surface device.

And to avoid the confusion with some users getting stuck in tablet mode on non-touch devices, Microsoft removed the tablet mode quick action on non-touch devices.

Additionally, Windows 10 now let users boot into the appropriate mode according to last mode they were in and whether the keyboard is attached or not.

Other Updates in Insider Preview Build 20161

Windows Calculator Graphing Mode

Microsoft released the graphing mode feature to Insiders in January. It is now rolling out to the general public. It was one of the top feature requests by Insiders. This is finally available for users now. Graphing capabilities are quite useful for students learning linear algebra. This feature will definitely help the students to learn mathematics.

Windows Calculator showing multiple equations with variables plotted on the graph as the variables update live.

Key features of Graphing Mode

  • Plot one or more equations on the graph. You can enter multiple equations so that you can compare the graphs and find the points of interaction.
  • Add equations with variables. You can also enter the equations which have variables (e.g., y = mx + b). You will have option to update the value of those variables and see the changes live on the graph.
  • Analyze the graph. You can trace plots with your mouse or keyboard and analyze equations to help identify key graph features, like the x- and y-intercepts.
Windows Calculator showing multiple equations in dark theme.

Since the release of this feature earlier this year, lots of improvements have been made. Here is quick list:

  • Introduced a brand new dark theme graph
  • Added more line customization options
  • Adding error handling for when you try to plot an equation that isn’t quite right, and
  • Improving the overall experience when tracing or plotting multiple equations at the same time.

Note: You need to have the Windows 10 May 2020 update and the latest version of Windows Calculator to access this feature.

Updates for Developers in Insider Preview Build 20161

The Windows SDK is now available with the Dev Channel. Whenever a new build is released to the Dev Channel, the corresponding SDK is also released. You can always install the latest Insider SDK from aka.ms/InsiderSDK. You can find more details about SDK flights Flight Hub along with OS flights.

What is fixed in this Insider Build

  • An issue resulting in Insiders experiencing bug checks when connecting and interacting with an Xbox controller has been fixed.
  • Fixed an issue causing some games and applications to crash at launch or fail to install.
  • An issue resulting in Microsoft Edge not navigating to websites when WDAG was enabled on the last 2 flights has been fixed.
  • Fixed an issue which was increasing log off time in recent builds.
  • An issue with the Chinese Pinyin IME where after setting your preferred IME toolbar orientation, you may not be able to change it again after rebooting your PC, has been fixed.
  • Fixed an issue causing Reset this PC to always show the error “There was a problem resetting this PC” when launched from Settings in the last few builds.
  • An issue resulting in some Bluetooth devices no longer showing their battery level in Settings in the last few builds has been fixed.
  • Fixed an issue where Settings would crash if you went to Settings > Privacy > Microphone while a win32 app was recording audio.
  • An issue where if Sound Settings showed “no input devices found” in the input dropdown and you clicked it, then Settings would crash has been fixed.
  • Fixed an issue where when adding a printer, the dialog might crash if you navigated through to the “Add a printer driver” dialog in recent builds.
  • A graphics related issue resulting in some users experiencing bugchecks has been fixed.

Known issues with Build 20161

  • An issue causing some systems to crash with a HYPERVISOR_ERROR bugcheck.
  • The update process hanging for extended periods of time when attempting to install a new build.
  • An issue where Notepad might fail to reopen files which were automatically saved during a PC restart (if that option is enabled in Settings). Documents can be recovered from %localappdata%\Notepad.
  • The screen becoming dimmer after upgrading to the previous build.
  • Task Manager reports 0.00 GHz CPU usage in the Performance tab.
  • When you press space while using the Korean IME in certain apps, the last character is deleted.
  • The tile animations in Start shows flashes of color.
  • For Insiders with the new Alt+Tab experience mentioned above, please note that the setting under Settings > System > Multitasking to set Alt+Tab to “Open windows only” currently doesn’t work.

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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