Windows 10 Creators Update: new and removed features

The Windows 10 Creators Update is the third big feature update for Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system (after the November Update, and the Anniversary Update).

The following guide provides you with an overview of new features of the Windows 10 Creators Update, of features that changed, and of features that Microsoft removed.

While called the Creators Update, only some of the features introduced assist users when it comes to "creating things". Microsoft itself never failed to mention the new Paint 3D application for instance, which adds 3D creation options as a core new feature to the operating system. There is also Windows Ink, and a couple of other features.

Microsoft features Paint 3D, Mixed Reality, and gaming on its website as the core features of the Creators Update.

Windows 10 Creators Update: new features

Compact Overlay Windows

pip

Windows Apps may use a new feature called Compact Overlay Window which displays one app on top of another in a small picture.

Microsoft's screenshot showed Excel, and in the top right corner a video that played at the same time. Can be used for video chat apps like Skype as well.

Verdict: may be useful,if you use the supported apps.



Dynamic Lock

windows 10 dynamic lock

Dynamic Lock is a new feature that requires a compatible Bluetooth device. It allows you to have Windows 10 lock the PC automatically when you move away from the device.

Once set up, Windows 10 monitors the Bluetooth device constantly, and locks the PC if the device is not detected for 30 seconds at a time.

You find the new option in the Settings application under Account > Sign-in options

Verdict: may be useful to users who forget to lock their PC regularly, and take their PC with them when they move away from it.

Game Mode, Broadcasting and other gaming improvements

game mode

Microsoft rediscovered the PC as a gaming machine recently. This resulted in Play Anywhere among other things which brought games designed for Microsoft's Xbox to PCs at no additional cost.

The new Game Mode feature is a specialized mode designed to improve game performance on devices running Windows 10.

You may turn Game Mode on or off in the Settings application under Gaming > Game Mode.

We ran benchmarks when it came out, and were not impressed. PC Gamer ran benchmarks in February 2017, which confirmed our findings. It looks a lot like any other game booster out there right now, unless we have overlooked something.

Microsoft stated that Game Mode would be more beneficial to Windows Store games, and less to desktop programs.

The built-in Game DVR feature of Windows 10 supports broadcasting now. It allows you to stream games to Xbox Live. Friends receive a notification when you start to stream. The feature is limited to streaming to Xbox Live though.

Windows Store games may be distributed with drivers when the Creators Update lands. This is done to make sure that compatible or required drivers are used to play those games.

Additionally, support for Windows Display Driver Model 2.2 (WDDM 2.2) and HDR is now available.

Verdict: a mixed basket. Game Mode does not look like the killer feature that Microsoft made it look like. Broadcasting is interesting for Xbox One owners who use Xbox Live and a Windows PC for gaming. Support for new features is always welcome.

Mixed Reality

windows mixed reality

Microsoft rebranded Windows Holographic to Windows Mixed Reality. The new "mixed reality shell" of Windows 10 allows users to purchase virtual reality headsets -- low cost -- to experience virtual reality on the device.

Recommended specs:

  • CPU: Intel Mobile Core i5 (e.g. 7200U) Dual-Core with Hyperthreading equivalent
  • GPU: Integrated IntelĀ® HD Graphics 620 (GT2) equivalent or greater DX12 API Capable GPU
  • RAM: 8GB+ Dual Channel required for integrated graphics
  • HDMI: HDMI 1.4 with 2880 x 1440 @ 60 Hz
  • HDMI 2.0 or DP 1.3+ with 2880 x 1440 @ 90 Hz
  • Storage: 100GB+ SSD (Preferred) / HDD
  • Bluetooth: 4.0 and above for accessories.

Verdict: niche, but in preparation of things to come.

Night Light

night light mode

Night Light, formerly known as Blue Light mode, reduces blue light at night as it is beneficial to a person's circadian rhythm.

The built-in feature works similar to features that third-party applications like F.Lux have offered for years.

You find the option to enable and configure Night Light mode in the Settings under System > Display.

You may run the feature manually at any time, schedule it to run automatically from sunset to sunrise, set hours manually, and set the desired color temperature at night.

Verdict: useful, especially if you work on the computer late at night or early in the morning.

Paint 3D

paint 3d

One of the major new features of the Windows 10 Creators Update, at least when it comes to Microsoft's promotion of new features, is Paint 3D.

Paint 3D is a modernized version of the classic Paint desktop application. The focus of Paint 3D is the creation of 3D content. Microsoft showcased a new Windows Capture 3D application for that during presentations which used the device's camera to capture an object in 3D.

Support for 3D objects has been added to Office PowerPoint and Microsoft Edge as well. There is also a new View 3D app that allows you to view 3D models.

Verdict: very niche, and the changed interface may not be to everyone's liking.

Start Menu: App Groups

app groups

App Groups allow you to group apps or programs into single tiles on the Windows 10 Start Menu. They act like folders for the most part, but expand on the start menu when you click on them.

To create a new app group, simply drag one tile on another. A group is created automatically that you can move around just like any other tile.

Verdict: useful if you have lots of tiles on the start menu and want more order.

Windows Store: ebooks

windows store ebooks

Windows Store features a new ebook section in the Creators Update. The new Books section is listed in the top menu on Windows Store.

Click on it to open the selection, and browse bestsellers, new books, or featured collections there. The store features a selection of free ebooks, but you need to add a payment method to the Store prior to downloading any of them to the local device.

The ebooks are offered as PDF documents, and are meant to be read in Microsoft Edge which Microsoft improved for that purpose.

Verdict: if you are invested in Windows Store already, you may like the ebook section.

Windows Store: theme downloads

windows store themes

The second new feature that Microsoft did integrate in Windows Store is themes, or more precisely, an option to download themes for the Windows 10 operating system.

Read also:  Tiny Hot Corners for Windows 10

There is no direct themes link when you open the Store, and the only option you have to my best knowledge is to right-click on the desktop, select personalize from the menu, then themes when the Personalization settings app opens, and finally on that page the new "get more themes in the Store" option.

The themes are basic Windows 10 themes. This means that they change wallpapers and the color scheme for the most part, but leave icons, and other interface elements untouched.

Verdict: useful to users who like pretty background pictures.

Windows 10 Creators Update: Improvements

Cortana improvements

Microsoft's work on Cortana continues. The personal digital assistant supports a whole range of new features including:

  • Control the system volume.
  • Full-screen display when PC is idle.
  • Notification sync.
  • Option to continue where you stopped on different Windows 10 PCs.
  • Recurring reminders.
  • Support for Azure Active Directory sign-ins.
  • Universal Clipboard to sync clipboard data across devices.
  • Voice commands to change the PC's power state (restart, lock, sleep, turn off)
  • Windows Setup Experience supports Cortana.

Improved DPI support

high dpi windows 10 creators update

The Windows Creators update ships with improved support for desktop apps on high DPI displays. Some apps ship with these improvements by default, but you can enable them for applications where this is not the case as well.

You enable this by right-clicking on the executable file and selecting properties. Switch to compatibility when the properties window opens, enable "override high DPI scaling behavior", and set it to "System (Enhanced)".

Verdict: very useful if you run Windows 10 on a high DPI screen.

Microsoft Edge

microsoft edge creators update

Microsoft Edge received a lot of new features and improvements. The browser blocks Flash by default now, and supports WebRTC 1.0 among other new technologies now. Other new features of the default browser include:

  • Better bookmarks importing functionality.
  • EPUB support.
  • Full color emoji.
  • Jump List support.
  • Read Aloud mode for ebooks.
  • Run option for downloads.
  • Set aside tabs for later reading, and sharing.
  • Tab Preview bar.
  • Web-to-app linking.
  • Web Notes improvements to "leverage the familiar Windows Ink experience".
  • Web Payments support.
  • WebVR support.

Verdict: useful if you use Microsoft Edge

Privacy changes

windows 10 creators update privacy

Microsoft been criticized since day one for the lack of privacy options on Windows 10, and the lack of information in regards to what the company collects and how it processes what it collects.

One of the changes is a new setup experience. It offers a "choose privacy settings for your device" page that allows you to make some privacy related choices on a single page.

Microsoft did remove the "enhanced" Telemetry level. Users may select Basic or Full now, but still not "none" unless they run an Enterprise version of Windows 10.

Verdict: changes may simplify things, but they don't address the main complaints that privacy advocates have. Still necessary to run privacy software.

Registry Editor

registry editor address bar

Microsoft added a location bar to the Registry Editor in the Creators Update. This allows you to paste addresses to jump quickly to the location.

Verdict: very useful if you use the built-in Registry Editor regularly.

Windows Ink

windows ink suggestions

Microsoft continues its work on Windows Ink in the Creators Update. The Windows Ink Workspace features a link to the settings now. When you follow it, you will notice that they have improved and include new options such as hiding the cursor when you use a digital pen.

Some apps, the photos app for instance, supports Windows Ink in the Creators Update now, so that you can use a pen for annotations.

Verdict: useful additions if you use a digital pen on a Windows 10 device.

Windows Update

pause windows updates

Microsoft improved Windows Update in several ways. Probably the biggest change is an option to pause updates.

This allows you to block updates for a set time period -- the latest Windows Insider release states for a period of up to seven days.

You may also see other pause options there: 35 days for regular updates, and up to 365 days for feature updates.

Another change comes to the Active Hours feature introduced in the Anniversary Update. Microsoft extended the maximum period of Active Hours from 12 to 18 hours in the Creators Update.

Behind the scenes, improvements to how updates are delivered shrink update sizes, and may also reduce the processing power needed to update.

Some features are not available for Windows 10 Home devices.

Verdict: useful, but not as good as simple options to turn off updates, or defer them indefinitely.

Other changes

Here is the list of (some of the) other changes of the Windows 10 Creators Update:

  • App throttling to improve battery life.
  • Block installation of legacy programs.
  • Braille support.
  • Command Prompt removed from Windows-X menu. Use PowerShell.
  • Connect to VPNs directly from the network menu.
  • Create Screenshots with the Windows-Shift-S hotkey.
  • Custom Accent Colors.
  • File Explorer notifications (used for ads, better disable the feature).
  • Hyper-V improvements: quick virtual machine creation, display scaling, resizable machine connection windows.
  • Microsoft promises that built-in applications that you uninstall won't get installed again.
  • New Share menu that opens in the center and no longer on the side.
  • NumLock field is no longer a issue if you sign-in with a PIN.
  • On-screen touchpad added.
  • Remove more system apps that you could not uninstall previously.
  • Settings app changes. Apps are moved to their own group, information about related settings are now shown, and more.
  • Show or hide the All Apps listing in the Start menu.
  • Storage Sense: free up disk space automatically. You can enable the feature under Settings > System > Storage > Storage Sense.
  • Symbolic links can be created without elevation.
  • Unified Extensible Firmware Interface conversion tool.
  • Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection enhancements.
  • Windows Defender features a new interface.
  • Windows Hello setup improvements.
  • Windows Upgrade Analytics.

Windows 10 Creators Update: removed features

The following features are no longer available on devices running the Windows 10 Creators Update:

  1. AllowUserDecryption policy of Windows Information Protection.
  2. Apndatabase.xml.
  3. Apps Corner (Windows Phone).
  4. Flash autorun in Microsoft Edge.
  5. IPsec Task Offload.
  6. Microsoft Paint for languages not on the full localization list.
  7. NPN support in TLS.
  8. Reading List.
  9. TCP Chimney.
  10. The Interactive Service Detection Service.
  11. Tile Data Layer.
  12. TLS DHE_DSS
  13. WSUS for Windows Mobile.

Now You: are you excited about the Windows 10 Creators Update?

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Windows 10 Creators Update: new and removed features
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The Windows 10 Creators Update is the third big feature update for Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system, and the first feature update of 2017.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Responses to Windows 10 Creators Update: new and removed features

  1. seeprime March 28, 2017 at 5:11 pm #

    Dynamic lock would be useful if they also allow typing in your password to log in, when your smartphone isn't with you for any reason.

    • Don March 28, 2017 at 5:19 pm #

      I've read nothing about it automatically unlocking when you return. You always will need to enter your password.

      • seeprime March 29, 2017 at 5:14 am #

        If it doesn't automatically unlock when you return, I don't see how it's really a useful feature.

      • Martin Brinkmann March 29, 2017 at 5:42 am #

        I suppose it is mostly used as a security feature, and not as a convenience feature.

      • Robert E April 3, 2017 at 2:02 pm #

        Of course it does not unlock when you return because the intent is enhanced security to lock your computer when you leave. Allowing someone else to be able to pick up your phone and unlock your computer would be the exact opposite of enhanced security.

        I'll give you a great example. Using group policies all our computer go to screen saver requiring password after 15 minutes of activity. Now consider someone working in the evening with nobody else in the building except the janitor.

        Two scenarios:
        1) The employee walks out the door and the Janitor sits down to irresponsibly surf the web and hits a "watering hole".

        2) The employee walks out the door with his phone and the computer locks before he even exits the building.

        It's a great feature!

  2. Don March 28, 2017 at 5:30 pm #

    I was looking for the Start Menu App Groups feature when I first moved to Windows 10 years ago. I wanted to recreate folders of favorite apps I had in my old system. But I couldn't. So I just added lots of tiles, with most used apps at the top.

    With my touch screen, it's extremely easy to scroll the Start Menu. I don't think I'm going to use the new App Groups feature.

    I'm looking forward to trying the new high-DPI settings. I had too many problems with apps on my high-DPI laptop - tiny buttons, tiny font in some places but not others. I cut the resolution in half and have been happy. But maybe the new settings will give me back that high resolution for which I paid.

    • happysurf March 28, 2017 at 6:51 pm #

      I agree with you, the FHD (1920x1080) resolution in notebook with 15" monitor is crazy for me, in a 24" monitor, the native resolution (1920x1200) is practically the same!
      In any case I don't understand because Microsoft don't allow to enlarge the font in Explorer list.
      I hope the new high-DPI settings help many user like you.
      I bought an FHD laptop on Amazon but after one month I replaced it with a similar one but HD and now all is perfect.

  3. X March 28, 2017 at 6:22 pm #

    Totally unrelated: LastPass scrambles to fix another major flaw!
    Look @ https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/03/27/lastpass_confirms_major_flaw/

  4. Anonymous March 28, 2017 at 8:09 pm #

    No, I'm not excited about this update. It contains not one single feature of interest or use to me. I don't understand why MS insists on foisting all of their dubious features on all users, instead of making them optional. Optional modules for the OS is the way to go.

    • www.com April 1, 2017 at 5:06 am #

      Totally agree with you here. These changes are nothing more than window dressing to keep people off balance then tackling the meat of the real problems here. Like...

      > Verdict: changes may simplify things, but they don't address the main complaints that privacy advocates have. Still necessary to run privacy software.

      Or allow people to pick and choose what updates to install like with earlier versions of Windows.

      Or kill the endless reboots the way they're set up.

    • Robert E April 3, 2017 at 2:19 pm #

      I guess in a way they are optional in that you don't need to use them or in some cases available in the store but consider that to make things totally optional they would still need to make upgraded to the base product.

      However, keep in mind that in these "feature updates" you are also receiving more stable Kernels and better protection. I know "joe blow" could care less about security features, but he should.

      I just had a user come into my office looking for XP install disks to reformat his home computer from scratch.
      I bet millions of people are still using XP on the internet and there hasn't been an exploit patch released since 2005, 2006 or 2009 depending on the version. The internet is a pretty hostile place and yes, people do get hit with ransomware and their bank accounts do get compromised. Old OS's and old exploits are a very common target. I'd suggest updates are a good thing whether you use all features or not.

  5. nonqu March 28, 2017 at 8:53 pm #

    Is the option to defer feature updates for 365 days available to Home users or only to those who bought Windows 10 Pro?

    • Martin Brinkmann March 28, 2017 at 9:11 pm #

      Good question, I cannot answer that as I have no access to a Home edition of Windows 10.

      • Jed March 29, 2017 at 4:34 pm #

        No, it isn't available on Home.

  6. asd March 29, 2017 at 2:15 am #

    how about refreshing Windows Firewall after many years and making it easy to use so that you won't need crotches like Windows Firewall Control? naah, themes and ads and voice commands are more important!

    • chesscanoe May 1, 2017 at 8:37 pm #

      Good point. AVG Internet Security has what seems a more effective firewall when it blocked a legitimate program I use to drive the USB2 port on my router. I chose this router to drive my USB2 only old printer in a wireless environment. AVG IS can be configured to unblock the block.

  7. jupe March 29, 2017 at 2:31 am #

    No not excited, pretty bland update IMO. Edge seems to get all the attention.

    I will be excited when OneDrive placeholders make a return though, hopefully they do.

  8. Mike March 29, 2017 at 3:06 am #

    I will be curious to see how Edge performs after this update. It has grown on me, though it has its obvious limitations still. Maybe this update will take some steps towards ridding it of those limitations.

  9. Harushi March 29, 2017 at 6:06 am #

    The only new feature interesting me is location bar for Registry Editor. It's a pain to browse between keys

    • Martin Brinkmann March 29, 2017 at 6:53 am #

      I agree, that is a pretty handy feature.

    • jupe March 29, 2017 at 1:26 pm #

      yeah nice feature, but minor, it would have taken like 5mins to add

    • Yoda San March 29, 2017 at 8:40 pm #

      I'm already using Registry finder which has this feature and free.
      http://registry-finder.com/
      I would have been more enthousiast if MS pushed out with creator update improvements for virtual desktops
      ( no desktop rename , no different background , a hassle to move apps between desktops etc )
      so this update is pretty pointless for my personal use .

      Dexpot is unbeatable but a built in app is best !

  10. Jon March 29, 2017 at 9:07 am #

    I would be interested to know how Dynamic Lock affects your phone's battery life. I would imagine pinging the phone every 30 seconds would kill the battery pretty quickly.

    • Avian April 5, 2017 at 6:25 pm #

      It uses the normal connect/disconnect information so it shouldn't affect your phone's battery life at all beyond what it takes to have Bluetooth enabled to begin with.

  11. Tim B March 29, 2017 at 11:32 am #

    Themes sounded cool, until I read the description... Windows 3.1 allowed wallpapers. Windows 95 added proper theming. XP even had skinning of window decorations (which MS failed to take advantage of, and the signing requirement meant 3rd party skins weren't allowed).

    But here we are, almost 22 years on from MS Plus coming out, and we're back with wallpapers being the big customisation.

  12. MazTerGee March 30, 2017 at 2:16 pm #

    Also in Windows update you have the option to Disable Automatic Driver Updates, which is very handy. :D

    • chesscanoe March 30, 2017 at 2:59 pm #

      You can disable driver updates in Windows 10 Version 1607 (OS Build 14393.970) as well.

  13. beergas March 31, 2017 at 12:10 am #

    LIke the DPI changes and a few other improves to Cortana, Edge and such.

  14. Brett Cooper March 31, 2017 at 10:41 am #

    "Create Screenshots with the Windows-Shift-S hotkey."
    So they don't want to use the PRTSC button (print screen)...

    • Martin Brinkmann March 31, 2017 at 10:45 am #

      You may still use Print-key for that. The difference is that you can draw a rectangle around the area if you use Windows-Shift-S, and get the whole screen when you use the Print-key.

  15. John in Mtl March 31, 2017 at 9:05 pm #

    Love the title of your article, Martin -:)
    "Windows 10 Creators Update: new and removed features"

    Usually we would say "Windows 10 Creators Update: new and IMPROVED features" but in the case of this win 10 product, well... the title suits the mess.

  16. Jackal April 3, 2017 at 3:07 am #

    The whole privacy Windows 10 thing is a gigantic load of FUD. Probably fired by the same crowd who then happily run back to gmail, chrome and all things google while they happily collect everything about you.

    • John Key April 3, 2017 at 8:03 am #

      Such great imagination, you should be a function conspeciary writer.

  17. JACOB DE BOER April 8, 2017 at 9:52 pm #

    Received Creators yesterday.
    Windows Defender would not work unless I deleted my paid for MalwareBytes.
    IWindows defender still takes 38 seconds to load

    • Brett Cooper April 9, 2017 at 7:07 am #

      Could you reinstall MalwareBytes the update?

      • Anonymous April 11, 2017 at 7:13 pm #

        Same behaviour. Windows Defender has comments about "another virus". When I remove the free or paid version of Malware, the complaints stop. I have written Malware two notes, but no answer so far. I am disappointed about the later because I had a paid for version.

      • Jacob De Boer April 15, 2017 at 11:22 pm #

        I installed the free Malwarebytes and it works fine in conjunction with Defender.
        However, I had a paid version, and that still does not work well with Defender
        (Defender complains about me running anti-virus programs, i.e. the paid version.)
        I don't have other anti-virus programs.

  18. Joe H April 9, 2017 at 9:15 pm #

    Since I updated to the Creators Update I notice there is no screen saver.
    Did the Creators update do away with the screen saver?

    • chesscanoe April 11, 2017 at 4:28 pm #

      I believe a screen saver in CU can be thought of as a "slideshow". If you go to Settings - Personalization - Lock Screen - Background - Slideshow you can set it up to work with your requirements. If you need more screensaver function, try John's Background Switcher ( JBS ) which gives you options you might never have thought of. I use it under Windows 10 CU myself.

    • coraphise April 13, 2017 at 4:49 am #

      I don't think it's gone, but I can't find how to access the screensaver now. Mine is still active (Ribbons), but if I want to change or disable it... how do I access this?

      • Kusagai May 1, 2017 at 5:32 pm #

        Settings>Personalization>Lock Screen and scroll down to screen saver settings

    • coraphise May 1, 2017 at 5:57 pm #

      I can't seem to reply to Kusagai, but thank you! I figured that was for lock screen only, silly me, mainly because I've seen third party tools that specified lock screen and regular essentially, so you could run different screen savers.

      I also think it's odd to not be able to just search in the start menu; that's how I was accessing it before instead of trying to dig through to find it.

  19. Jeff April 15, 2017 at 5:22 am #

    Immediately after CU install I went to display settings to reset desktop icon font size etc. and there was no "Advanced Display Settings" option. Went straight to chat and was informed that was no longer an option but "their engineers are working on it and will be fixed on update soon" Yea, right! Vangee M. said I could go back to AU until settings is fixed. I have no way of knowing when that will be. The struggle continues.

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