The important changes of the Windows 10 Preview

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 1, 2014
Updated • Jul 5, 2017
Windows, Windows 10

The Windows 10 Preview is out and interested users can download ISO images or an upgrade executable file to install Windows 10 as a standalone operating system or upgrade an existing version of Windows instead.

You can install Windows 10 in a virtual machine for example if you don't want to mess with a current installation of Windows. With that said, the preview's core audience are businesses and tech experts and it is not recommended to upgrade a desktop system to Windows 10 just yet.

The preview build resembles Windows 8.1 in many ways and can easily be confused with that operating system. The functionality remained the same in many areas which can be explained by the short development period.

There are changes however and this guide looks at the most important ones. You may have read about some already while others may be new to you.

Start Menu

start menu

I have mentioned the start menu before and don't want to get into too many details again. Only this much: you can remove all live tiles and tiles from it you don't want to use them.

This is done with a right-click and the selection of "unpin from start". It is furthermore possible to make the Start menu the default so that the Start screen itself is not used anymore.

To do so, right-click on the taskbar and select properties from the context menu. The only difference between both modes is what a click on the start icon or a tap on the Windows-key does.

I had to enable the Start Menu after upgrading to Windows 10 from a Windows 8.1 test system.

Apps in windows

apps in windows

Microsoft started to display window borders in Windows 8.1. This seems to have been in preparation for launching apps in windows instead of fullscreen.

You can resize app windows and run them like any other desktop program.

You may notice some odd behaviors though, like horizontally scrolling windows instead of vertically scrolling ones.

Command Prompt

The command prompt has not changed a lot, but the ability to copy and paste directly using Ctrl-c and Ctrl-v is a welcome addition which should improve it significantly for users who use it regularly.

New File Explorer Home

windows explorer home

File Explorer, the system's default file browser, displays a new Home screen on start. Here you frequent folders and recent files listed as well as the system's favorites.

It is a simple change but one that can speed things up for some users. Just saved a file to the system and cannot find where? Just open the Home screen and you see it listed there.

Task View

Another new feature is the Task View. When you click  on the Task View icon or use Alt-Tab, thumbnail images of all open windows are displayed on the screen.

You can use it to quickly switch to another window or check what is open and what is displayed in it. The thumbnail representations of open windows are updated in real-time.

Another search

When you click on the Search icon next to start, another search interface opens. Here you find listed trending searches (pulled from the web it seems), and a list of recent searches you made.

This search module displays the same results that the start menu or start screen search produces.

The only explanation that I have for it being there is that it provides users who use the Start Screen interface with options to search on the desktop.

Should be removed automatically when you switch to the start menu in my opinion.


windows multi desktop

This feature is not explained anywhere and users may not even realize it is integrated into the preview. Press Windows-Tab to display all desktops that are currently available and options to remove or create desktops.

Opened windows are displayed using the Task View feature when you use the shortcut.

Desktops are displayed as thumbnails when you do so and you can either switch between them with a click on a thumbnail or by using Ctrl-Windows-Left or Ctrl-Windows-Right to cycle through them.

I was not able to find out if there are shortcuts to switch to a specific desktop right away.

Snap Assist

The integration of the snap to side or maximize feature in Windows 7 was welcome by many users. Windows 10 improves upon that by adding more options to the process.

It is possible now to snap windows in different ways now, for instance so that four are displayed at the same time using the same amount of space on the screen.

Now You: What's your take on Windows 10 so far? Have you had time to test it yet?

The important changes of the Windows 10 Preview
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The important changes of the Windows 10 Preview
The article lists the important changes of the Windows 10 Preview that Microsoft has added to the operating system or improved in it
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  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–Error-Message-of-Windows-11-Update-KB5029351-Preview-142215

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–caused-BSOD-on-MSI-s-Intel-700-and-600-Series-Motherboards-142277

  14. Raphael Benzo said on September 24, 2023 at 9:52 pm

    I try to disable the Diagnostics Tracking Service (Connected Devices Platform User Services) but it wont let me disable it, any help will be greatly appreciated.
    Tank you for your help

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