The hidden gems of the Windows 10 April 2018 Update

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 30, 2018
Windows, Windows 10

If things go as planned, Microsoft will start the distribution of the April 2018 Update for the Windows 10 operating system on April 30, 2018.

The company postponed the release of the first feature update of 2018 for Windows 10 earlier this month because of stability issues of the selected RTM build.

I wrote an article in March that listed the major features and changes of the then-called Spring Creators Update. It included information about the new Timeline feature, the ability to view and delete diagnostic data, or Windows Defender Application Guard in Windows 10 Pro.

The following list focuses on hidden gems of the update that are not known at all or relatively unknown.

Elevation in Run Box

run box elevation

You can launch the Run Box on Windows with the shortcut Windows-R and use it to run programs by typing program names or shortcuts. It was not possible up until now to elevate programs when using the Run Box.

The Windows 10 April 2018 Update changes that by adding the shortcut Ctrl+Shift to the Run Box. You may know the elevation shortcut from the Start Menu already as you may use it there to run any program with elevated rights when you hold down the two keys.

Less offline time during upgrades

great windows 10 upgrade scheduled

Microsoft worked on reducing the time systems are offline during upgrades to a new version of the Windows 10 operating system.

Offline time describes the time in which users cannot interact with the system as the upgrade is processed.

Microsoft managed to reduce the offline phase to about 30 minutes. A noticeable improvement over the 51 minutes offline phase of the Fall Creators Update and 82 minutes of the Creators Update (both released in 2017).

Privacy Improvements

Microsoft is still under heavy fire when it comes to the collection of data on Windows 10. The company added several new features in this version of Windows that improves user control over certain privacy related features.

  • Camera hardware settings affect Win32 programs now as well.
  • Diagnostics & feedback lets you view the collected data and delete it.
  • New Activity History page under Settings > Privacy to control "Let Windows collect my activities" feature.
  • Users can now block system-wide access to Account Info, Calendar, Call History, Contacts, Documents, Email, Messaging, Pictures, Tasks and Videos to block permission requests outright.

Windows Update bandwidth limits in Settings

windows update limits

If you wanted to limit the update bandwidth for downloading updates in the foreground you had to use the Group Policy or other means for that.

Microsoft added a new option to the Windows 10 Settings application which integrates that option right into the Update preferences.

  1. Use Windows-I to open the Settings application.
  2. Go to Update & Security.
  3. Click on Advanced Options.
  4. Select Delivery Optimization on the next screen.
  5. Select Advanced Options.
  6. Check "limit how much bandwidth is used for downloading updates in the foreground" and use the slider to select a percentage value.
  7. You may set the limit for background bandwidth limits and uploads as well on the screen.

Other useful changes

The following changes may be useful to some Windows 10 users as well:

  • Default operating system language and keyboard can be set individually under Settings > Time & Language > Region & Language.
  • Language resource files are distributed via Windows Store which makes it easier to distribute updates.
  • Limit background data for Windows and apps under Settings > Network & Internet > Data Usage > Background data.
  • You may set data limits for Ethernet or WiFi network connections under Settings > Network & Internet > Ethernet > Select Connection > Set a data limit to help control data usage on the network (replace Ethernet with WiFi if you want to control bandwidth for wireless connections)

Now You: What's your take on the Windows 10 April 2018 Update?

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The hidden gems of the Windows 10 April Update
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Microsoft's Windows 10 April 2018 Update includes a number of hidden gems that are not known at all or relatively unknown.
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  1. Adam Smith said on May 1, 2018 at 2:22 pm

    The only upgrade I am interested in is the option to completely stop telemetry of personal data, and an the ability for Windows 10 to just accept Security updates

    The scandal is that Microsoft Windows Enterprise edition LTSB is exactly this – no upgrades, only essential Security updates
    Microsoft Home users are punished with endless updates which threaten the stability of a computer users current hardware and software configuration

    If Microsoft was decent, all Windows users would be offered the features of the LTSB version – only essential Security update are provided

    1. KeZa said on May 2, 2018 at 6:25 pm

      Is it not possible to buy Microsoft Windows Enterprise edition LTSB?

  2. Adam Smith said on May 1, 2018 at 2:15 pm

    These ‘hidden gems’ are hardly worth the upgrade, to make for the inconvenience

    Seems like these updates are fundamentally altering the OS, and that basic applications, including the Firefox browser, becomes incompatible with Windows after the upgrade !
    Fact: you have to upgrade your Firefox if you accept the new Windows 10 upgrade

    I dont care really about Firefox
    Much more concerning are the new incompatibilities with all the other applications we have on our systems after accepting these upgrades

  3. George said on May 1, 2018 at 12:31 am

    About the Windows Update bandwidth limits in Settings, I see them in 1709 (16299.371).

  4. John Fenderson said on April 30, 2018 at 5:38 pm

    I dread every Windows update. I think that every single one of them has cost me significant work time.

  5. chesscanoe said on April 30, 2018 at 5:25 pm

    It will be interesting to see what hardware is uniquely supported with Windows 10 April Update.

  6. lkpsp said on April 30, 2018 at 4:54 pm

    why there is autoplaying ads videos in ghacks pages ?

    1. Martin said on April 30, 2018 at 7:06 pm

      Because they censor everything else.

    2. Gary D said on April 30, 2018 at 6:08 pm

      There are NO autoplay ads when I access ghacks, and I have ublockO and Disconnect disabled.

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on April 30, 2018 at 6:49 pm

        We run a limited test. The video unit activates only when you reach it on the page, and the videos are created specifically for us and showcase content on the site (with a short ad playing before).

  7. John C. said on April 30, 2018 at 12:14 pm

    Despite M$ saying that they’re allowing end users to have more control over how much spying the company does on private data, always remember that we have to take their word for that. Hardened IP addresses, encrypted packets and proprietary OS code ensure that this will always be the case.

    I still remain adamant that I’d rather eat dirt than have a computer with Windows 10 on it.

    1. Weilan said on April 30, 2018 at 11:38 pm

      Me too Windows 7 forever… or until programs and games start dropping it. Then either Linux or IDK.

    2. Womble said on April 30, 2018 at 4:06 pm

      If you take a look at how much Linux Marketshare has increased since Windows 10 came out that should give you a clue how much interest there is in your comment.

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