The May 2020 update for Windows 10 is on its way to a PC near you, and we’ve got the lowdown on five of the features it’s bringing with it.
By the time you read this your PC may have downloaded and applied the update, but there’s also a chance it might not.
This time around Microsoft is rolling the update out in a phased manner, meaning not all devices are going to get it at the same time. Keep an eye on your update status (Windows key + I, Updates & Security) to see if you have it.
This isn’t just a regular security update; the May 2020 update is all about adding new features and enhancing what Windows 10 can do for you.
If it’s not yet available to you via Windows Update and you really must have it now, you can always force the installation by downloading and running the Windows Update Assistant tool, which you can find here.
Here are just five of those features that will be within your grasp soon.
Cloud download option when resetting Windows
Techies are going to really love this one: the new update allows you to reset Windows 10 by pulling the most up to date version of the operating system from Microsoft’s servers.
That means when Windows boots back up, it won’t require any additional updates. What a time-saver!
The only catch is this must be done with a full reset of Windows, so you need to go to Updates & Security -> Recovery and choose the option that removes everything before you’ll get the option to download Windows from the cloud during the reset process.
Limiting bandwidth for Windows Update
It’s really not idea when Windows decides it needs an update and you’re busy doing something else, not least of all because it uses valuable bandwidth that you could otherwise be using for downloads, video streaming, surfing the web etc.
This new feature lets you choose how much of your valuable bandwidth Windows can use for updates. Set it low, and never have your internet throttled or interrupted again when you least expect it.
Go to Windows Update -> Advanced options -> Delivery Optimisation -> Advanced Options to set limits in Mbps and throttle Windows Update downloads to your liking.
Renaming Virtual Desktops
Another simple but welcome change is the ability to give your Virtual Desktops a name: No longer will you be stuck with Desktop 1, Desktop 2, Desktop 3 etc., you can give each one a personalised name by simply clicking on their name and typing in whatever you’d like to call them.
Access virtual desktops by pressing the Windows key + Tab; and they are great for grouping specific applications to separate desktop views.
Faster Windows Search
Windows Insiders are power users that effectively test Windows features for Microsoft and provide their feedback. This next change is from their feedback on the Windows Search Indexer, a feature that runs in the background and scans your PC’s files to make a searchable database that helps in locating things when you type in the Search bar.
Microsoft discovered that many users turned the Search Indexer off, and feedback from Windows Insiders was that it generated excessive disk usage, created performance issues, and they didn’t think it was particularly useful overall.
This is why in the May 2020 update, it’s been changed: Windows will detect peak usage times in order to ensure the indexer runs at a more appropriate time. That means it won’t run when notebooks are on battery mode, when power is low, when CPU usage is already above 80%, and when disk usage is greater than 70%.
Disk type and GPU temperature in Task Manager
It’s a surprise this took so long, but a good one nonetheless: Task Manager will now indicate different storage types (HDD, SSD) in the Performance view, and show the temperature of the integrated graphics hardware.
The only catch with the GPU monitoring is that the hardware must support the WDDM 2.4 driver model. This is only something to worry about if your hardware is very old; newer notebook and desktop parts should already be using it.
They are small changes, but important ones for anyone that uses third-party tools to monitor temperatures, and people who like to see their storage devices differentiated so that performance graphs and statistics make more immediate sense.
There have been a few issues with the update, but Microsoft is working hard to resolve them before it rolls out to every Windows 10 PC.
More than just these
There are many other tweaks and changes in the May 2020 update; these are just a few. For more details, check out Microsoft’s May 2020 update page.