It’s official, Windows 10 v1703 out on April 11th

Microsoft has confirmed that Windows 10 Creator Edition [a.k.a. v1703, a.k.a. build 15063, a.k.a. Redstone 2] has been released and will be available through windows Update on April 11th.

Links to create ISOs or force installation will be available soon.

Microsoft already released a small update – already at build 15063.2.

 

Windows 10 v1703 goes RTM?

According to some reports, Windows 10 [a.k.a. v1703 (not v1704), a.k.a. Redstone 2, a.k.a. Creators Update] may have been RTMed [“release to manufacturing”] this past week with a rumored/leaked release date of April 11th – the same day the dreaded Vista gets its last updates and goes unsupported. Build number is 15063.

There are probably good indications of both as there hasn’t been any builds since 15063 was released over a week ago and Microsoft has started to release builds for “Redstone 3” [due on November].

In addition, “RTM” was mentioned in various XML files as part of the 15063 build.

As for the actual release date, Microsoft tends to prefer Patch Tuesdays. In addition a leaked and later pulled file mentioned April 11th.

Those part of the windows Insiders program [or have connections!] should be able to get the bits. Others will wait until they get notified sometime on or after April 11th.

Note that any systems upgraded to v1607 build within the past 30 days will not get the upgrade notice at least until after the 30 days are up.

Of course domain and enterprise level systems will not get the upgrade until the administrators approve.

 

How to reset Microsoft Edge in Windows 10

This blog page will show you how to reset Microsoft Edge to its defaults. Unlike Internet Explorer, Edge does not use Internet options in the Control Panel.

If you can access Edge while open:

  1. Press on the three dots near the upper right corner of Edge [I wish they would use the “hamburger” symbol, but I digress].
  2. Under “Clear browsing data”, select “Choose what to clear” and then select “Show more.” You are better off clearing everything if the issue is major. Click on them all and click “Clear.”
  3. Restart your computer and re-open Edge and everything should be as if you opened it for the first time.

If you can’t access Edge [i.e. got hit with malware and you believe it is just affecting Edge and nothing else], opening it won’t help:

You need to use an administrative tool called PowerShell.

Note: It is recommended that you create a System Restore point before continuing.

First, go to the following location and delete everything inside [replace myloginname with your actual login name]

C:\Users\myloginname\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe

Note: Don’t delete Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe, just the contents inside.

Right-click on the Start menu and choose “Windows PowerShell (Admin)”. If you can’t find it, it should be in the menu `as well.

Copy and paste the following at the prompt [on one line]:

Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml" -Verbose}

You should see three lines in yellow with the third line saying something like “VERBOSE: Operation completed”.

 

Some more information on what to expect with Windows 10

[The information below based on Insider Preview build 15042.]

As Microsoft works out the kinks in Windows 10 Creator Update [a.k.a. Redstone 2, a.k.a. v1704] in time for an expected April release [I am guessing somewhere around April 25th], Microsoft continues to test the Unified Update Platform [UUP].

UUP is similar to the windows update technology that is used for the current cumulative updates [where while the size of the update is (say) 1GB, it only download what it needs]. The same will apply for installing the Creator update from an earlier update. Instead of downloading 2.5GB to 3.5GB of binaries [many which haven’t changed since your current release], it will only download the installer portion plus what has changed. Microsoft estimates that it should be about one third of a full installation. So if you are updating a 64-bit Windows 10, it will need to grab maybe 1.2GB instead of 3.5GB.

Those who upgrade to the Creator Update get the technology immediately. Obviously if you buy a new computer with the Creator Update, it will be included for the next update [Redstone 3 or v1711].

Of course you can still download the ISO file to upgrade if you wish.

Microsoft has also made the Windows 10 installing experience a bit less business orientated and more casual. In addition to a voice guiding you through [which you can mute if you get annoyed], the way things are described on the screen are more like everyday usage.

Such as if you want to create a local account instead of a Microsoft account [which seems easier to find now], it asks you to “create a super memorable password” in big letters and a warning that there is no way to retrieve the password if lost [hah!].

Or during updates during the installation it will say “Don’t turn off your device, please! It will mess things up.”

Patch updating as changed. For “home” users, you can install and reboot right away, schedule a time within the next 3 days or snooze the alert for 3 days [you can’t snooze again]. Pro users as well as those on a domain will have other options. The “quiet” time for no updating has also increased from 12 hours to 18 hours.

Ed

PS – At this time, if you are running Windows 10 in VMware Workstation 11, it may crash after installing VMware Tools. So don’t. Windows 10 actually picks up sufficient drivers. The same for older version. No idea about VMware Workstation 12 or later.

 

How to restore an uninstalled Windows 10 app

If you have somehow uninstalled a Windows 10 app [the ones that came with Windows 10], you can restore the app. There are a number of ways but this method seems the least confusing [well to me]:

Find PowerShell in the Start menu [choose one that says “PowerShell” and not “PowerShell (x86)” or the others].

  • Right click on it and select “Run as administrator”. A big deep blue window opens up.
  • Run the command:

Get-Appxpackage –Allusers

  • Because of the number of applications, I would suggest you redirect the output to a text file.

Get-Appxpackage –Allusers > c:\temp\output.txt

  • You can use a different name. Use a location to save the text file and you have rights to save it there. You will be deleting it after.
  • Open your output.txt file.
  • Find the application that you want to restore. For our example, it will be the “Windows Store”.
  • So look for and copy the text to the right of “FullPackageName” under “Windows Store”.
  • So for this version of Windows 10 that I’m using [Windows 10 Pro v1611 64-bit] it is “Microsoft.WindowsStore_11610.1001.10.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe”.
  • Now build/copy the following line:

Add-AppxPackage -register “C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\XXX\AppxManifest.xml” –DisableDevelopmentMode

  • Replace XXX with “Microsoft.WindowsStore_11610.1001.10.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe” [no quotes] in my example and you should be left with

Add-AppxPackage -register “C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\Microsoft.WindowsStore_11610.1001.10.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe\AppxManifest.xml” –DisableDevelopmentMode

  • Copy the full line [to the clip board].
  • Go into the big deep blue PowerShell window, and right click on the top line where you have the PowerShell command prompt. It should automatically insert the line that you “built” two lines above. Hit the “Enter” key.

If there is no error, it will bring you back to the PowerShell command prompt. Now if you go to the Start menu, your application should be back [in our example, it show up as “Store”].

Note: I am not a PowerShell expert. So, if something is missing, I can’t help. At worst case, this procedure should do nothing.

 

Updated features in the Windows 10 Creator Update

The list below is based on the latest Windows Insider build that beta testers are using [and may change] when Windows 10 v1703 is released in the spring. It is being dubbed the Creator Update by Microsoft. It is not the complete list but highlights some of the updates.

  • You can now to organize and personal your tiles in Start menu into folders.
  • OneNote 2016’s popular screen capture feature is built into Windows 10. Use Win+Shift+S to capture a region of your screen and copy it to anywhere. It is expected to be removed as a feature of OneNote 2016. [Note: If using OneNote but not using windows 10, there is a registry fix to bring it back].
  • PC’s health section includes more options for Device performance and extra health scans for an in-depth report.
  • When running Windows for the first time [after an upgrade or a new computer], a female voice will guide you and exclaim some options. The voice can be disabled.
  • Added is an option that will enable you to pause updates on your computer for up to 35 days and allow you to decide whether or not to include driver updates. This capability will not be available on the Home edition.
  • Also added is logic to better detect if the PC’s display is actively being used for something, such as projecting, and avoid attempting to restart.
  • Home edition of Windows will now have Active hours increased to up to 18-hour maximum.
  • You will now be able to change resolution straight from the main Display Settings page.
  • An improved performance and smoothness when resizing GDI-based Desktop applications [such as File Explorer, Notepad, Task Manager, ….] and UWP apps [such as Outlook Mail, Photo]. When resizing UWP apps, the window frame background will be transparent as the app adjusts.
  • The new device settings combine the Bluetooth and Connected devices pages to offer a single place to manage all of your devices/peripherals. They can all now be discovered and managed from the same place using the same UI. You can also disconnect and reconnect your Bluetooth audio devices directly from the settings page.
  • High DPI support will be enabled for GDI-based applications.
  • Settings pages now contain additional information on the right or bottom [depending on the window size} that will provide feedback, support links, etc.
  • App related settings have moved out of System into a new category called Apps.
  • The header on the landing page for each Settings category will now stay in place as you pan the page.
  • You can easily pick between the colors you’ve decided on in the past on some screens.
  • The Settings app now contains the theme management [formerly in the Control Panel.

 

Some more Windows 10 tips

Tip #1: Start menu scrolling

The Windows 10 Start menu includes a handy scrolling list of all the apps and desktop programs you’ve installed. It also offers a hidden alphabetical index. To jump to a specific spot in the list, tap any of the lettered headings. That collapses the list to an index, with highlighted letters. Tap any letter to jump to that spot in the list and scroll up or down.

Tip #2: Temporarily disabling updates

As you know, Microsoft’s history of updates both security and non-security are sketchy at best. So why not delay them from getting pushed.

The fix below will delay getting “quality” updates for Windows 10 [defined as security & non-security updates] for the number of days you want.

The last line [in hex] determines how many days it will check for updates. Below is set to 30. The maximum is 35, the minimum is 1.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate]

“DisableOSUpgrade”=dword:00000001

“DeferQualityUpdates”=dword:00000001

“DeferQualityUpdatesPeriodInDays”=dword:0000001e

After applying, reboot. Search the Internet for DeferQualityUpdatesPeriodInDays if you want more information. When the fix is applied, it will show no updates available even though some have been released.

Note: As usual, use at your own risk when editing the registry.

Tip #3: Changing Cortana’s search behavior

If you want to change Cortana’s search behavior, you can limit the parameters of the search itself. For example, Cortana can be told not to search the Internet at all.

Click the Cortana search box in the Taskbar and then navigate to the Cortana settings screen. At the bottom should be a setting that says Search Online And Include Web Results. Switch that to Off and Cortana won’t display any more web results no matter which search engine is the default.