Microsoft Enables Windows 10 19H2 Build 18363.387 for RP Insiders

Microsoft has made another step towards finalizing Windows 10 19H2 by enabling a new build for Windows Insiders within the Release Preview ring.

This time around, it’s build 18363.387, exactly the same one which the organization pushed to Windows Insiders in the Release Preview ring running Windows 10 19H1 (Windows 10 May 2019 Update) on September 25.

Because the company says, this update brings only small refinements, so no additional features are enabled.

“This is simply a small refresh update from Build 18363.385 with some fixes for uninstalling 19H2 updates,” the software giant explains.

Windows 10 19H2

Based on Microsoft’s typical release schedule, Windows 10 19H2 was said to be finalized in September, which means that the RTM build ought to be signed off any day now.

Windows 10 19H2 will land as Windows 10 version 1909, which is a direct hint in the RTM sign-off date – the very first two numbers represent the year when the update was complete, as the other two stand for the month; therefore, the completion date is September 2019.

Windows 10 19H2 won’t bring a lot of new features, as Microsoft focuses specifically on refining the performance under the hood and improving the update delivery system.

“To deliver these updates inside a less disruptive fashion, we will deliver this feature update inside a new way, using servicing technology (such as the monthly update process) for customers running the May 2019 Update that like to update to the era. In other words, anyone running the May 2019 Update and updating towards the era will have a far faster update experience because the update will install like a monthly update,” Microsoft explains.

Windows 10 19H2 doesn’t yet possess a name along with a release date, but more details ought to be shared in the future approaching the rollout kickoff date.

Best Windows 10 Antivirus for Home Users (July/August 2019)

New information conducted by antivirus testing organization AV-TEST evaluates the performance of the most popular security products on Windows 10, with simply three different suites getting the top score this time.

Specifically, Kaspersky Internet security software, McAfee Internet security software, and Symantec Norton Security each got 6 highlights from the more 6 for protection, performance, and usability tests, having a total of 18 points in the research.

On the other hand, a bigger group of apps, including Microsoft’s own Windows Defender, which comes pre-loaded in Windows 10, got pretty close to top performance having a final score of 17.5 points.

The lowest score this time would go to Protected.net Total AV, which received only 4 points for defense and gratifaction and 6 points for usability.

Windows Defender performance

Windows Defender received 6 points for protection and usability, but only 5.5 points for performance, whereas Bitdefender Internet Security scored 6 points for protection and performance but lost 0.5 points within the usability tests.

The study, which comprised two different rounds, in July and August 2019, respectively, included tests for protection against 0-day malware, detection of widespread malware, performance impact (such as slowdowns generated on app load and file copying), in addition to false positives.

Windows Defender, successfully detected 100 % from the 0-day malware samples and the widespread infections, beating the industry average of 98.9% in the case of unknown threats.

On the other hand, the native Windows 10 antivirus generated a 33% slowdown for the installing of frequently-used applications on low hardware, surpassing the average of 28%. The same to find the best apps on powerful hardware, with the industry average sitting at 25%, while Windows Defender produced a 31% slowdown.

Microsoft’s Windows 10 security solution generated just one false positive of a legitimate application during a system scan, but otherwise performed flawlessly within the false warnings evaluation.

How Windows 10’s Cloud Reinstall Feature Works

Windows 10 20H1, the feature update that will go reside in before summer 2020, will introduce a brand new cloud reinstall option that will permit users to begin on your own and reinstall the OS using nothing more than a method image stored in the cloud.

What this means is installation media is not required, using the whole process carried out via your network connection.

With respect to the speed of your network connection and also the hardware within your computer, reinstalling the OS using the cloud option can take anywhere from just a few minutes to many hours.

For the end user, the cloud reinstall option virtually comes down to clicking just a couple options within Windows 10, and this is exactly the way everything ought to be. Such a feature should be easy to use and simple, especially because it’s addressed to all categories of users, including beginners who unconditionally have to reinstall the OS.

Basically, kicking off the cloud reinstall requires users to follow along with the following path:

Settings > Update & Security > Recovery > Keep my files/Remove Everything > Cloud download

When you jump from one screen to another, Windows 10 actually performs a number of tasks in the background to make sure that the cloud reinstall process runs smoothly.

To begin with, it checks when the system is on battery power, and if it’s not, it prompts you to plug it in. Then, it verifies the status of the Windows Recovery Environment, or Windows RE/WinRE to determine if the feature is enabled on the device.

Other checks target optional features, languages, and the status from the Windows Update service. This last step is needed since the download process is carried out through Windows Update, so Windows 10 needs to make sure the files obtainable successfully and there’s enough space on the local storage to complete the procedure.

When the download is finished, Windows 10 automatically reboots the unit and enters the Windows RE screen to carry on the procedure. Windows RE may also be used to trigger the cloud reinstall to begin with, which is useful should you can’t log in to Windows 10, by using the next path:

Troubleshoot > Reset this PC > Keep my files/Remove everything > Cloud download

The next steps are performed in the background without users seeing anything else than a waiting screen with a progress bar.

So what Windows 10 does next is use the image it downloaded and import data in the previous OS installation to the new one. Including account information (if you selected the Keep my files option), drivers, optional features, and languages.

Next, the process changes the OS root folder and points it towards the new Windows 10 installation and deletes the files it downloaded to start the reinstall task. This is necessary to free up disk space before you register to Windows.

After a system reboot, a number of other quick optimizations are performed, including establishing drivers, OEM customizations, pre-loading the apps that include Windows 10 or even the device, and loading the Out of Box Experience. If you selected to keep your files, then your OOBE step is ignored and you may finally sign in back to Windows.

Just how much everything takes is one thing that will depend on a number of factors, including network speed and hardware performance. A new-generation device with a high-speed network connection will be able to complete this in 15-20 minutes, whilst in the case of older PCs with slow Internet connections it might take as much as hrs.

A Wi-Fi connection may also be used for the cloud reinstall, but only if the adapter drivers could be loaded in Windows RE.

The Classic Windows Control Panel Really Must Go

Windows 10 should really give a modern experience in one end to a different, but because many power users observed, there are parts of the operating system which are yet to endure this refined facelift.

Part of Microsoft’s push to create Windows 10 the best operating-system for just about any tool and any user is ditching the classic Control Panel and moving its choices to the new Settings app.

Many reasons exist why the company is pushing with this idea, and the most important are that the Settings app is simpler to use, more straightforward, offers this contemporary approach, and can be combined with discuss devices where such capabilities can be found.

While I’m certainly not one of the people who supported the idea of killing off the classic User interface, pretty much because I think it is very familiar, I do think that it now needs to go. And this must happen as soon as possible.

When it presented the very first Windows 10 version, Microsoft started migrating features from User interface to Settings. What this means is this transition started a lot more than 3 years ago, with the software giant using feature updates to succeed using its plans for any smooth and less intrusive experience.

Initially, this is the correct approach just because a gradual transition is the reason why the switch easier for the majority of users, but on the other hand, spending more than three years to make it happen isn’t something that is sensible for a company how big Microsoft.

This is actually the reason I think the classic Control Panel is going.

With simply a number of options quit behind, User interface looks and seem like an abandoned part of the operating-system, and while I understand that it takes time for you to complete this move, such an approach contradicts the current experience which i told you about in the intro.

And what’s worse is the fact that more and more users feel that the switch from Control Panel to Setting should happen faster. Here’s what one user who posted within the Feedback Hub says:

“Please migrate the ENTIRE Control Panel’s group of features to the new Windows Settings app. Having both since 2015, and now we are through Q1 of 2019 is COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS. Hire more coders, and deliver a COMPLETE MIGRATION already!”

Others come up with ideas that Microsoft could use to be able to migrate User interface options to Settings faster:

“Really don’t know why this really is taking so long to do… surely with a few from the old User interface items, such as Keyboard, Mouse and Phone and Modem you can simply create hyperlinks to launch these old applets within the relevant sections of the Settings app? Plus some products in Control Panel are just shortcuts to apps anyway — like Device Manager and Windows Mobility Centre. Surely these could either go within the Start Menu, and have hyperlinks added inside Settings to launch them?”

Meanwhile, Microsoft certainly doesn’t seem to be in a rush.

With Windows 10 19H2 not bringing any changes about this front, the following feature update to accomplish the migration is Windows 10 20H1, which is due in the spring of 2020.

This release, currently available for testing within the Windows Insider program, moves the Japanese IME settings to the Settings up, together with pointer speed option under Devices > Mouse.

On the other hand, it’s pretty clear that Microsoft still needs additional time to get rid of User interface. This means that the classic User interface should still be around, probably with even fewer options, this time next year.

Enable Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA) Protection in Microsoft Edge

Microsoft isn’t any stranger to the fight against the so-called Potentially Unwanted Applications, or PUA because they are often referred to, because the software giant has long attempted to keep its customers protected against such threats.

Windows Defender itself, which is the core of the security arsenal in Windows 10, includes its very own PUA protection system, blocking malicious downloads and applications that may be dangerous for a device at OS level.

Microsoft, however, doesn’t stop here. With its focus on a Chromium-based browser advancing in a rather fast pace, the software giant has become adding PUA protection to Microsoft Edge as well.

This means users would be provided with another shield against potentially unwanted apps, all as long as the Chromium-based Microsoft Edge can be used on Windows or Mac. This is really one of the benefits from the implementation at browser level.

Because Microsoft Edge is available cross-platform, PUA protection can be offered not just on Windows 10, where such features already are available via the pre-loaded Windows Defender suite, but also on macOS.

Before I detail the best way to try out PUA in Microsoft Edge right now, let’s see what this idea means in the first place.

As Microsoft itself notes, PUA aren’t viruses, malware, or other kinds of threats, however they may help these, affecting device performance and leaving the door open to exploits. Microsoft says there are three different typical PUA behavior patterns:
Various software bundling
Ad injection into web browsers
Driver and registry optimizers that detect issues, request payment to repair the errors, but remain on the endpoint and make no changes or optimizations (also known as “rogue antivirus” programs)

Right now, Microsoft is already offering PUA protection in Microsoft Edge with an experimental flag that users can enable manually to test the feature, as noted by TechDows.

However, given we’re still in its early days, establishing PUA protection within the browser isn’t really the most straightforward process, albeit it should become one once the growth and development of the new Edge reaches the ultimate stages.

First of all, make sure that you are running the most recent version of Microsoft Edge Canary. In case your build is 79.0.280.0 or newer, you’re good to go.

Next, open the flag screen by typing:

edge://flags

Then, using the search engine at the top, search for the next flag:

Microsoft Defender SmartScreen PUA support

If you wish to use a shortcut, copy and paste the next code in the address bar from the browser:

edge://flags/#edge-smartscreen-pua

Next, you have to toggle this flag to Enabled using the drop-down menu within the Experiments tab. Reboot your browser and you’re ready for the following and final step.

What this flag does is only let the feature within the Settings screen, so one more step is required to activate it in the browser. To do this, navigate to the following location:

Microsoft Edge > Settings > Privacy and services > Services > Block potentially unwanted apps > Enable

Remember that the option here shows up once enabling the dedicated flag while using instructions above.

Probably, when the development of the new Edge browser reaches a far more advanced stage and also the PUA protection is more polished, this setting should be contained in the configuration screen by default, letting users enable it without the need for every other changes related to flags.

Microsoft is anticipated to produce the first stable build of Microsoft Edge early in the year of 2020 when the new browser could replace its old version because the new default in Windows 10 20H1.

Eliminating Jump Lists in Windows 10

I don’t what you think, but while I do find jump lists in Windows 10 useful, they something become rather annoying, as they might disclose information that I may otherwise not reveal to everyone considering my laptop.

Jump lists are, in essence, a helpful feature. Right-clicking an application pinned to the taskbar launches this so-called jump list, allowing you to access some documents, locations, pages, or another type that is supported by the app itself much faster.

For example, the jump lists of Microsoft Word display the newest documents you’ve done, so that you can technically open one of these files quicker because you get rid of the step of launching the app first or navigating to the location.

Clearing the jump lists isn’t necessarily the most difficult move to make, but it’s not so intuitive either.

For instance, removing just one entry within the jump list can be achieved by following the following steps:

Right-click taskbar icon to produce jump list > Right-click jump list item > Remove from this list

Needless to say, this clearly isn’t probably the most convenient solution if you want to remove greater than a number of items or clear the jump lists for those apps on your pc, then you may use another method.

This one is dependant on browsing to the following location and deleting all files within the folder – this can remove absolutely all jump lists for those apps on your device; you are able to technically remove only one to pay off all jump lists for any specific app, but given they will use highly-complex names, it’s pretty difficult to tell which is associated with what app:

%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\AutomaticDestinations

If jump lists aren’t your cup of tea in the first place, you can simply disable the feature altogether. Doing this in Windows 10 isn’t hard, and you actually have two different ways to do it, with respect to the form of the operating-system running on your computer.

First of all, you can do so in the Settings screen by following this path:

Settings > Personalization > Start > Show recently opened items in Jump Lists on Start or the taskbar and in File Explorer Quick Access

Clicking the toggle should take care of the whole thing for you and a system reboot is not required to use the alterations.

After which, you can rely on the audience Policy Editor to disable jump lists having a dedicated policy. Launch the GPE by typing gpedit.msc in the Start menu after which browse to the following location:

Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Start Menu and Taskbar

The policy you need to use is called:

Do not keep good reputation for recently opened documents

The outline from the policy virtually speaks by itself:

“If you enable this setting, the machine and Windows programs don’t create shortcuts to documents opened while the setting is in effect. Also, they maintain but do not display existing document shortcuts. The machine empties the current Items menu around the Start menu, and Windows programs don’t display shortcuts at the end of the File menu. Additionally, the Jump Lists from programs in the Start Menu and Taskbar do not show lists of recently or frequently used files, folders, or websites.”

By default, the insurance policy is placed to Not Configured, which means you have to look into the Enabled option. Once you’re done, just close all windows and so the policy should be enforced, with jump lists disabled in your device.

Botched Update Breaks Down Windows Defender Antivirus

A recent update released by Microsoft for the Windows Defender engine earlier this week stops working the manual scanning feature from the antivirus on Windows systems.

The update, which increases the engine version to 4.18.1908.7, was designed to correct a System File Checker error that a previous update introduced included in the July 2019 rollout.

The glitch originally caused a sfc /scannow check to incorrectly flag Windows Defender components as corrupted, and the update released now was supposed to fully resolve this unexpected behavior.

But as reported by Gunter Born, the brand new update actually stops working the manual scanning feature of Windows Defender, as the antivirus is no longer able to complete fast and full scans initiated by users. The automated scans that Windows Defender performs regularly weren’t affected.

The bug affected not only Windows Defender on Windows 10, but also on Windows 8.1. Microsoft Security Essentials, that is readily available for Windows 7 devices and uses exactly the same engine as Windows Defender, was impacted too.

Fix already available

Most users report that after beginning a system scan, the procedure ends prematurely, with only a handful of files scanned. Custom scans of all hard-disk contents worked correctly though.

Microsoft has already acknowledged the problem and confirmed the problem only affected manual scan options, explaining that real-time protection and automatic scans worked as expected.

The organization has released a fix included in Security Intelligence version 1.301.1684.0, and users are suggested to install it as soon as possible.

To check this version in Windows Defender to check out updates, take this road:

Windows Defender > Virus & threat protection > Virus & threat protection updates > Check of updates

At the time of penning this article everything should work correctly on devices in which the latest Security Intelligence update was installed.

Windows 10 Cumulative Update KB4515384 Now Said to Break Down PIN Logins

The September 2019 cumulative update for Windows 10 is quickly being a huge fiasco, as at least one of the patches that Microsoft shipped this month keeps causing one issue after another.

This time, a report from AskWoody indicates that cumulative update KB4515384 stops working the PIN login system on devices running Windows 10 version 1903, or Windows 10 May 2019 Update.

For now, this doesn’t appear to be a widespread problem, but a person report cited through the linked source suggests that out of 4 systems, at least 3 encountered the bug.

Initially, the only workaround appears to involve deleting the contents of the NGC folder, which holds all settings associated with the PIN system.

“Delete the items in the folder C:\ Windows\ ServiceProfile\ LocalServices\ AppData\ Local\ Microsoft\ Ngc , then reboot, and your prompted for that Pin login again. Don’t know why it’s requiring a 6 digit PIN, because I’ve never set that rule. The files in the Ngc folder is going to be rebuilt whenever you reboot,” one user is cited as saying.

Old issue, new problems

As Woody Leonhard notes, this isn’t necessarily a brand new bug, albeit showing up once more in September is unquestionably unexpected.

Microsoft delivered a fix in the late-August cumulative update KB4512941 to correct the error wearing down the PIN system, but at this time, it’s not known when the two are related or this can be a new problem in Windows 10 version 1903.

“Addresses an issue that prevents the personal identification number (PIN) prompt from appearing when authenticating in Internet Explorer,” Microsoft said in the release notes from the August update.

Microsoft is yet to understand the bug within this new cumulative update, so for the time being, we still don’t have a confirmation if this sounds like a problem that could hit others or only an isolated report.

This really is Microsoft’s Reinvented Calendar App for Windows 10

Microsoft is focusing on a new Calendar app for Windows 10, even though the company itself has remained completely tight-lipped on this project, screenshots of an early version already are here.

The folks over at Italian site Aggiornamenti Lumia published the very first images using the refreshed Calendar app for Windows 10, by the design of things, Microsoft is planning for a a lot more modern approach as compared to what we should have finally in Windows 10.

This redesigned Calendar app has a brand-new theme and a new UI for creating events, using the whole approach as being a much more straightforward overall.

Microsoft tight-lipped around the visual refresh

Since Microsoft hasn’t said anything relating to this new Calendar app, the redesigned UI might be an indication that the visual refresh might be on its way for that other Windows 10 apps too, especially as Microsoft is aiming to offer a consistent approach over the entire OS.

Clearly, the main focus remains Fluent Design, the essence of pretty much everything in Windows 10 these days, but at the same time, Microsoft is targeting a glance that feels more modern overall.

It’s not yet clear at this point when this new app is supposed to go love everyone, as well as the moment, it just seems like we’re not far from getting a welcome refresh with a minimum of some Windows 10 apps.

Microsoft happens to be giving the finishing touches to a different Windows 10 feature update, currently codenamed 19H2, and this may be the right timing to introduce a new search for the Calendar app. Windows 10 19H2 is projected to be finalized this month and then released to production devices beginning with the month of October or November the most recent.

What’s New in Windows 10 Cumulative Update KB4515384 for Version 1903

The September 2019 Patch Tuesday rollout also includes a cumulative update for Windows 10 May 2019 Update, or Windows 10 version 1903 as Microsoft calls it.

The cumulative update under consideration is KB4515384, and the first change that it produces on the device where it’s installed is definitely an increase of the OS build number to 18362.356,

You are able to determine the OS build by clicking the beginning menu and typing winver.

Such as the other cumulative updates published on Patch Tuesday, KB4515384 comes with both security and non-security improvements, and one of the most notable concerns protections from the speculative execution side-channel vulnerabilities known as Microarchitectural Data Sampling and affecting 32-bit versions of Windows.

Moreover, this update fixes our prime CPU usage bug in Cortana, whilst sporting refinements for Edge, Internet Explorer, the Microsoft Scripting Engine, Windows Authentication, along with other Windows components.

No known issues

Microsoft says the same cumulative update includes improvements for verifying passwords, but in addition for storing and managing files.

There are no known issues within this cumulative update, and this is definitely the best thing because of the issues that so many users encountered in the past after Patch Tuesday rollouts.

You should check out the entire changelog in the box following the jump.

Windows 10 version 1903 is easily the most recent stable form of the operating-system, with another feature update ready for the fall of this season. Specifics on if this version is projected to start rolling to users continue to be not available.

On the other hand, version 1903 is still while being pushed to devices in stages, as Microsoft embraced a more cautious update for this release. The update, however, can be downloaded by anyone from Windows Update using a manual look for updates on the Windows 10 device.