By now you’ve probably got the October 2018 update on all your PCs and laptops which run Windows 10, but what’s coming next? Well, Microsoft has two updates planned for 2019, one in the first half of the year and another in the second half. Don't expect any big changes, though, as this next update is all about refinements and improvements to the interface to make Windows 10 easier and nicer to use.
Windows 10 May 2019 Update release date
Along with everyone else, we thought this would be called the April 2019 Update, but because Microsoft has decided to do extended beta testing it has pushed the release back a few weeks so the official name is the May 2019 Update. The codename is 19H1, rather than the expected Redstone 6, but it’s no secret that Microsoft’s roadmap is for twice yearly updates to Windows 10, so it makes sense.
There's still no exact date when the update will be available, so keep this page bookmarked as we'll update it when there's new information.
One big change is that - based on user feedback (i.e. people not liking big updates being forced upon them) - Microsoft is putting the decision on when to update in your hands. You'll also be able to pause updates in all versions of Windows 10 for up to 35 days.
Windows 10 May 2019 Update new features
There aren't really any major new features in this update. The much-vaunted Sets, a new way to group apps that you want to keep together, seems to have been quietly dropped. The changes are mostly quality-of-life tweaks, such as the ability to customise the shortcuts in Action Centre instead of being redirected to the Settings app. Also, when this version of Windows 10 is installed fresh or arrives on, say, a brand new laptop, the Start menu is simplified with fewer tiles and now offers the ability to unpin whole groups.
It's still in beta, but you can already try out the May 2019 Update! Just sign up to the Windows Insider Program, join the Fast Ring (which receives updates more frequently) and then in the Settings app click on Update & Seciruty > Windows Insider Programme > Get started. From the menu pick 'Skip ahead to the next version of Windows'.
Naturally, you won’t want to run these beta versions of Windows 10 on a computer you rely on since bugs are common and it is intended only for testing, not general use.
Anyhow, here are the main new features you can expect from the May 2019 Update.
There's a new light mode which makes the Start menu, Taskbar and other windows a white colour and lends them a modern, airy feel.
As shown above and below, you can mirror your Android phone's screen to your Windows 10 laptop or PC and use your keyboard and mouse to control apps and type more easily. Also, soon you will be able to get Android notifications in Windows 10.
The login screen features new Acrylic blur effects, but it’s the actual sign-in settings which have seen the biggest changes. In the Settings app you’ll see a cleaner, less-confusing interface for choosing how you log in, including Hello Face, Hello Fingerprint and Hello PIN.
Cortana & Search
Cortana and search are going their separate ways. This means you can enable or disable the Cortana icon and search box independent from each other and have only the features you want on the Taskbar.
Within search you will now see suggestions for apps as well as documents and websites. Here's how it looks:
Snip & Sketch
This app was new in the October 2018 Update, but it will be improved. There’s a full settings page now and you can even make Snip & Sketch open when you hit the PrtScr key. It will now capture app windows, which makes it much easier to take a screenshot of just one app (although that's always been possible with the Alt-PrtScr shortcut, which captures the app currently in focus).
You can add borders to snips and it’s also a lot easier to print thanks to a new Print option on the toolbar.
It's hard to believe that until now Windows 10 has offered basically no easy way to open RAW photos. That is only partially changing now with the introduction of a downloadable app which, once installed, lets you view RAW images.
As we’ve seen with subsequent Windows updates, the Settings app is slowly but surely adding the more advanced options which previously were available only in the Control Panel.
In the April update there are advanced network settings, such as the ability to set static IP addresses and DNS server settings.
More pre-loaded Windows apps can be uninstalled via Settings including Calendar, Groove Music, Films & TV, Paint 3D and others.
Although SwiftKey is already in Windows 10, more languages will be added in the 19H1 update including:
- English (Canada) – en-CA
- English (India) – en-IN
- French (Canada) – fr-CA
- French (Belgium) – fr-BE
- French (Switzerland) – fr-CH
- Portuguese (Portugal) – pt-PT
- German (Switzerland) – de-CH
- Spanish (United States) – es-US
This isn’t a benefit reserved for the on-screen keyboard as suggestions will be offered in all these languages if you’re using a physical keyboard too.
One of our favourite features from the October update was the fact that sticky notes sync across your devices and live in a dock. This makes them infinitely more useful.
In the update, they will take on a new appearance when you enable Dark Mode.
Even better, your notes will be available online on the OneNote website so you don’t need to be signed in on a Windows 10 machine to see them.
Something you're very unlikely to see is Windows Sets. Sets was expected in the October 2018 update but was delayed because – put simply – it wasn’t ready.
Sets gives you a new way to group apps that you want to keep together. It works much like the tabs in a web browser, as you can see in the video below.