Windows 10 Build 16215: usability improvements across the board

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 9, 2017
Updated • Jul 5, 2017
Windows, Windows 10

Microsoft released the new Windows 10 Insider Preview build 16215 yesterday, and it ships with a massive list of usability improvements.

Windows Insiders who are on the Fast Ring can check for the update right away using Windows Update. The PC should pick it up automatically, and install it on the device.

Make sure you read through the list of known issues first however, as there may be some deal breakers in the release. For instance, on-demand features from Windows Update such as Microsoft .NET 3.5 or Developer Mode are not available in this build. Also, WiFi may get turned off on devices like the Surface Pro 1 or 2, and the only option you have at that point is to roll back to a previous build.

Windows 10 Build 16215

insider preview

The new features and improvements list is massive, and it will take you a while to go through it completely.

New Keyboard shortcuts:

  • Windows-H to open Dictation
  • Win+. or Win+; to open the new Emoji Panel.
  • F11 for toggling full screen mode in Microsoft Edge.

Lets take a look at some of the highlights first (in no particular order).

Start Menu improvements

The Start Menu resize logic was updated. You can now use vertical, horizontal and diagonal resize operations, and are not limited to fixed width anymore for horizontal resize operations.

Dictation Support

Plenty of new features and changes landed to improve the touch keyboard experience. Probably the coolest, in my opinion, is support for dictation on the desktop. Simply tap on the microphone icon to start a new dictation, or use the new hotkey Windows-H instead.

The feature supports English and Chinese simplified only right now, with more languages planned for future updates. Apart from dictating text, you may also use voice commands for a hands-free experience:

  • press backspace
  • clear selection
  • press delete
  • delete that
  • delete last three words
  • stop dictating
  • end spelling
  • go after <word or phrase>
  • go to the end of paragraph
  • move back to the previous word
  • go to start of <word or phrase>
  • go to the start of paragraph
  • go down to next sentence
  • go to the end of the sentence
  • move to the start of the word
  • go to the left
  • move right
  • Say “select <word or phrase>
  • select that
  • select next three words
  • start spelling
  • comma” (or “period”, “question mark” etc.)

Other features and improvements:

  • New Touch keyboard launches with this build.
  • Text Prediction enhancements.
  • Improved emoji experience.
  • One-handed touch keyboard. (new layout for one-hand use).
  • New Touch Keyboard settings menu.

Shell Improvements

shell improvements

The Share menu finally got an option to copy the link. All it displays in current stable versions of Windows 10 are share options for installed apps, e.g Mail or Twitter, but no option to copy a link to share it with a program not on that list.

Another improvement is better local media folder detection according to Microsoft. UWP applications like Photos, Groove Music or Music & TV will detect "relevant folders" with media now to suggest adding them to the collection. The limit seems to be set to 30 or more media items right now.

Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge got a bunch of improvements in the new build.

  • The classic "pin to taskbar" option is back for websites. To use it, simply select the Settings menu in Microsoft Edge and there the "pin this page to the taskbar" context menu option.
  • New Full Screen experience. Hit F11 to toggle between full screen mode, or use the full screen icon in the Settings menu for that instead.
  • Book annotation support. You can highlight EPUB books now, add underlines and comments.


cortana camera roll insights

If you use Cortana, you may find the new "vision intelligence" feature useful that launched in Windows 10 Build 16215. It enables Cortana to identify time and date on images or sites.

  • Cortana Camera Roll Insights -- give Cortana permission to access the Camera Roll, and Cortana will from that time on ask you each time you take a picture of a flier for an event whether you want to create a reminder for that. (insights work only when plugged into  apower source, and on an unmetered network).
  • Cortana Lasso -- Use your pen to circle relevant information on the screen to have Cortana recognize the time for upcoming events. To use it, visit Settings > Device > Pen & Windows Ink > Press and hold, and select Cortana Lasso from the dropdown. (works only with pens that support Press and hold).

Changes to Settings

Microsoft's work on the Settings app continues. Windows 10 Build 16125 introduces quite a few changes and new options:

  1. Settings > Personalization > Video Playback --
  2. Settings > System > Display > HDR and advanced color settings for devices with at least one display supporting HDR.
  3. Settings > Apps > Default Apps > Set defaults by App -- Previously, you could only manage defaults per protocol or file type. With this build, you can select an app, e.g. Microsoft Edge, and pick the default file types and protocols for it. This removes the page that was used for this in previous from the classic Control Panel.
  4. Network Connection Properties page updated -- Make this PC Discoverable is now more prominent and easier to find.
  5. Group Policy policies in regards to Windows Update are now highlighted when you open the Windows Update Settings page.
  6. Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update lists the individual update status and progress. So, if multiple updates are downloaded and installed at once, you can keep track of each individually.

Handwriting Improvements

A new XAML-based handwriting panel is introduced in Windows 10 Build 16125. It brings along with it improvements in several areas:

  • New Conversion and overflow model -- words that you write get converted to text as you write, and text will shift now to the left if you lift your pen so that you can continue writing.
  • Option to edit selected text while the handwriting panel is open.
  • Make text corrections from within the handwriting panel, or using ink gestures.
  • Better protection against finger inking when using a pen (Pen & Windows Ink Settings come with a new option to enable finger inking explicitly.
  • New Find my Pen feature under Settings > Update & Security > “Find My Device”.
  • Scrolling with pen is now supported (only for UWP apps right now).
  • Selection with pen has been revised.

Game Mode changes

Game Mode, a special mode that aims to improve game performance on Windows 10, received several improvements as well:

  • The Game Bar, which you can launch with Windows-G, features a button to enable or disable Game Mode for the active game now.
  • Game Bar lets you take screenshots of games running in HDR.
  • Mixer improvements, e.g. bitrate changes during game broadcasting should be smoother and "more seamless".
  • Resources for Game Mode have been tweaked for popular PC configurations, for instance for 6 and 8 core CPU devices which results in improved game performance according to Microsoft.

Other changes

color filters windows

Finally, a quick look at other changes introduced in the new Windows 10 Insider Preview build:

  • Windows Subsystem for Linux no longer depends on Developer Mode.
  • Runtime Broker is per app now. Previously, all UWP apps used a session-wide Runtime Broker. This should help "improve resource attribution, resource management, and fault tolerance" according to Microsoft.
  • The Registry Editor is per-monitor DPI aware now.
  • Accessibility improvements for Narrator and Braille, color filters support under Settings > Ease of Access > color and High Contrast (supports Greyscale, invert, Greyscale inverted, Deuteranopia, Protanopia, Tritanopia).
  • Japanese Input Method Editor and Traditional Chinese Input Method Editor improvements
  • Language Packs can be installed via Settings > Time & Language > Region & Language.
Windows 10 Build 16215: usability improvements across the board
Article Name
Windows 10 Build 16215: usability improvements across the board
Microsoft released the new Windows 10 Insider Preview build 16215 yesterday, and it ships with a massive list of usability improvements.
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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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