Windows 10 Build 14942: hide app listing, Registry Editor, svchost changes
Microsoft pushed out a new Windows 10 Insider Build -- version 14942 today - that brings along with it a number of interesting changes.
The new version is available via Windows Update on devices running Fast Ring Insider builds.
While previous builds have not been overly exciting in regards to new features that might make the next feature update out in 2017, this build is different as it introduces some that users may find interesting and useful.
This article looks at some of them, namely an increase in active hours, changing to a one process svchost system, an address bar in the Registry Editor, and the ability to hide the huge application listing in the Start Menu.
Active Hours expanded
We talked about Active Hours before here on Ghacks. It allows you to set a time period in which Windows Update is blocked from restarting the PC automatically.
The core idea behind Active Hours is to make sure that users are not interrupted during work hours. Active Hours limited the time period to 12 hours, and Microsoft was criticized for that.
Starting with build 14942 on Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise or Education, Active Hours may be set to a period of up to 18 hours.
The new menu highlights the fact, and you may set any (up to) 18 hour period for Active Hours on a device running professional versions of Windows 10.
Active Hours can also be configured via Group and MDM policies, and if that is the case, it is highlighted on the Settings configuration screen.
Microsoft introduces Service Hosts (svchost.exe) in Windows 2000 to group services into processes. This was done for memory-saving purposes mostly.
Starting with the latest Insider Build, svchost.exe handling changes on machines with 3.5 or more Gigabytes of RAM.
Microsoft made the decision to disable the grouping of Service Hosts. This improves reliability and transparency. Reliability because one service crashing does not take down others with it anymore, and transparency because it is now easier for administrators and users to find out what is going on.
All services are listed in separate processes on machines with enough memory. You find each listed Service Host followed by a descriptor:
- Service Host: Local Service
- Service Host: Local Service (Network Restricted)
- Service Host: Local Service (No Network)
- Service Host: Local Service (No Impersonation)
- Service Host: Local System
- Service Host: Local System (Network Restricted)
- Service Host: Network Service
- Service Host: Network Service (Network Restricted)
- Service Host: Remote Procedure Call
- Service Host: Unistack Service Group
Hide the app listing
The app list was introduced in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. It moved the list of all applications installed on the device from a separate page to the main start menu.
While this meant one less click to access apps or programs, it caused a number of issues. The only sort option was alpha-numerical which meant that you ended up with entries such as 3D Builder at the top which you might not use at all.
While there was a way around this, it was a hack and most Windows users probably never used it to display other apps at the top.
Microsoft added a new option to the Settings that lets you collapse the app list in the start menu.
- Tap on Windows-I to open the Settings application.
- Go to Personalization > Start.
- Toggle the "hide app list in start menu" option that you find there.
Registry Editor with address bar
When you open the Registry Editor on the latest build you will notice that it sports an address bar now. This allows you to navigate easier, and use copy and paste to jump to certain Registry locations quickly.
Use the shortcut Alt-D to active the address bar in the Registry Editor.
Windows 10 Build 14942 ships with a couple of other changes that may be of interest to users:
- Apps that you removed from the system previously won't be installed anymore after upgrades. The same is now true for de-provisioned applications from OS images (used mostly in Enterprise / business environments).
- Custom printer names will be reserved across updates.
- Several fixes for issues, such as one that caused sfc /scannow to fail at 20% with the error "could not perform the requested operation".
You can check out Microsoft's blog post on the new build which offers additional details.Advertisement