Everything You Need to Know About the Windows 10 Creators Update
On Wednesday, April 5th, Microsoft released the Windows 10 Creators Update. The first major update since the Anniversary Update in August, 2016, it includes a massive assortment of more than a hundred new apps, features and improvements. Today we reveal some of the highlights and tell you how you can get the Creators Update.
Highlights of the Windows 10 Creators Update
An exciting update to Microsoft’s venerable drawing app includes a module for drawing and doodling in 3D.
Night Light changes your monitor’s color temperature during evening hours to emit less blue light. This reduces both eye strain and interference with your sleep cycle.
Game Mode allocates more system resources to your games. It also prevents many background processes and applications from interrupting game-play or degrading performance. Games running at low fps rates benefit the most from Game Mode along with those designed for the Universal Windows Platform (UWP). For now, most UWP games are available through the Windows Store.
Augmented and virtual reality (VR) games, apps and hardware continue to increase in popularity. Microsoft is meeting this demand by integrating support for these capabilities into Windows 10. Inclusion of the Mixed Reality app/portal and related features are a step in that direction. Most of these experiences require the use of a VR appliance such as a head-mounted display (HMD).
eBooks are available through the Windows Store and you can read them with the Edge browser.
Updated Bluetooth features are consolidated into an improved interface making it easier to attach and use Bluetooth devices.
There are several improvements to Windows Update that provide better control over this function. The new Unified Update Platform allows for smaller and faster updates. Updates that were previously removed will no longer install themselves during subsequent update cycles. You can also defer updates for a period of time.
Cortana, Microsoft’s answer to Siri (the personal voice-activated assistant in Apple products), has several new capabilities. You can set time-based reminders quickly and easily by typing or speaking to Cortana. New commands facilitate things such as changing volume, shutting down, restarting or locking your device. Saying “Hey Cortana” activates a full screen user interface (UI) that is visible from a distance.
Our Creators Update Installation Experience
Our test system (a three year old HP laptop with an Intel i3 processor and 4GB of RAM) had no data on it. However, it is a best practice to backup any important data or media files before a major update. Any external media such as a flash drive or external hard drive will do.
The process took approximately two hours from start of the download to completion of the installation. We did not use the computer while the installation was running and you shouldn’t either. It is also a good idea to turn off your antivirus application (if you know how to do so). The download and installation process ran smoothly for us and we experienced no problems.
How can I get the Windows 10 Creators Update?
Microsoft plans to “push” the Creators Update out to all Windows 10 users via Windows Update over the next several months. If you don’t want to wait in line, you can follow the procedure below to upgrade your system whenever you are ready.
- Download the Update Assistant from Microsoft.
- Double-click the downloaded file to run the assistant.
- Compatibility is checked and if all the requirements are met the files needed for installation are downloaded.
- If you are monitoring the installation, restart when you are prompted; otherwise, the system restarts automatically after 30 minutes.
- The process is automatic at this point unless you experience something unexpected.
The Windows 10 Creators Update adds new functionality, stability and enhancements to Windows 10. We highlighted a few of the more noteworthy features and improvements. There are several dozen other tweaks and adjustments that fix annoyances and make the user interface more intuitive. In our opinion, Creators Update is a substantial and worthy addition to Windows 10.