Windows 10 R1903 April 2019 Update

April 18th 2019: Windows 10 May 2019 Update is now available on MSDN (Some weeks earlier than expected).

Update: April 25th 2019: People trying to upgrade to this latest update for Windows 10 are finding the upgrade install is being blocked if they have an external USB device or an SD card plugged into the machine.

Why? Microsoft explains that “inappropriate drive reassignment” can occur during the update if you have an external USB drive or SD memory card plugged into your computer for the early May 2019 Upgrade. This issue will be resolved in a future servicing update for Windows 10. For Windows Insiders, this issue is resolved in build 18877 and later builds.

Update: April 26th 2019: Quoting Microsoft Blog “We fixed an issue that could result in USBs and SD cards being unexpectedly assigned a different drive letter after upgrading.”

The official [public] release of Windows 10 1903 will occur sometime in May 2019.

This is the latest feature update in Microsoft’s new twice-a-year release cycle.

Windows Twice-a-Year Update Cycle
Windows Twice-a-Year Update Cycle

Microsoft is activating the [final] public release of Windows 10 version 1903 to May 2019. However, anyone can get their hands on this newest version simply by enrolling in the Release Preview ring. This is a straightforward process that enables you to install Windows 10 May 2019 Update.

If you are a enthusiastic Windows user you can easily enroll yourself into the Release Preview ring and download Windows 10 May 2019 Update right now by joining the Slow or the Release Preview ring. The steps are:

Go to Settings > Update & Security > WindowsInsider Program > “Get started”.

Click on Link an account and link your Microsoft or Azure Active Directory account.

From the three options, select “Just fixes, apps, and drivers” to join the Release Preview ring and get the May 2019 Update. Remember, this will make sure you get the stable version and not the builds that are in active development roles.

Download Windows 10 R1903 via Insider Release
Download Windows 10 R1903 via Insider Release

On the next screen, click on Confirm and then click on Restart Now to complete the process.

Once your computer device is booted, go to Settings > Update & Security and click on the “Check for updates” button to download Windows 10 May 2019 Update.

Microsoft will start releasing cumulative updates once you have downloaded the May 2019 Update. However, if you are someone who’s looking for a completely bug-free, no-issues update, then wait a few more weeks until version 1903 has been released to the public.

In this update, Microsoft have improved the update process to stop Windows 10 updates from totally breaking user machines. A recovery response would be as per the image below:

Windows 10 Improved Update Recovery
Windows 10 Improved Update Recovery

From Microsoft’s April 4 blog post about plans to change the Windows 10 update experience in the name of improved quality:

“Our commercial customers can begin their targeted deployments in late May, which will mark the beginning of the 18-month servicing period for Windows 10, version 1903 in the Semi-Annual Channel. We recommend IT administrators start validating the apps, devices and infrastructure used by their organizations at that time to ensure that they work well with this release before broadly deploying. The May 2019 Update will be available in late May through Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), Windows Update for Business, the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) for phased deployment using System Center Configuration Manager or other systems management software.”

Microsoft’s plans for 1903 was to give the “RTM” bits longer to bake in the Windows Insider Release Preview ring, as well as inside Microsoft, its OEM, and ISV partners before making the new bits available to mainstream customers. Microsoft pushed out the Windows 10 1903/May Update bits to Insider testers in Release Preview on April 8.

Microsoft has stated that business customers would be able to start testing the commercially available 1903/May update internally in late May, and that Microsoft would use the late May date when it begins roll-out as the start of the 18-month support period for Windows 10 1903.

It appears that the May 2019 Update is already available (via Tero Alhonen) for businesses.

Some of the most important improvements in this update

Watch the following YouTube which will offer a walk-through in this Windows 10 Update:

Windows Security

The Windows 10 May 2019 Update ships with several changes for Windows Security, which includes a new “Protection history” experience.

Windows 10 1903 Protection History
Windows 10 1903 Security Protection History

The new experience will continue to show Windows Defender Antivirus detections, but it’ll now give you more and easier to understand information. In addition, you can now see information about Controlled folder access, along with any information which are made through organizational configuration of Attack Surface Reduction Rules.

If you use the Windows Defender Offline scanning tool, any detections it makes will now show in your history. Additionally, if there are any pending recommendations, you’ll see them with a red or yellow state across the experience in the history list.

Also, Windows Security is adding a Tamper Protection setting for Windows Defender Anti-virus, which when enabled, it’ll provide additional protection against changes to key security features, including limiting changes which are not made directly through the Windows Security app. You can find this setting under Windows Security > Virus & Threat Protection > Virus & Threat Protection Settings.

Windows Security Tamper Protection
Windows Security Tamper Protection

Windows Defender Application Guard

Windows 10 version 1903 also includes an updated version of Windows Security, which introduces new Windows Defender Application Guard options that allows you to manage access to your camera and microphone while browsing using this security feature for Microsoft Edge.

If you are using a device managed by your company, you can check the settings that have been configured. For this to be turned on in Application Guard for Microsoft Edge, the camera and microphone setting must already be turned on for the device in Settings > Privacy > Microphone & Settings > Privacy > Camera.

Windows 10 Defender Application Guard
Windows 10 Defender Application Guard

Windows 10 Start Menu Gets Its Own Process

With this update the Windows Start Menu will run under its own process called “Start“. This is being done to increase performance and to make it easier to recover from hangs in the Start Menu.

In previous versions of Windows, the Start Menu was integrated into the Windows shell and did not run as dedicated process. This led to performance issues and problems in the Start Menu when other parts of Windows would hang or freeze.

Windows 10 1903 uses a dedicated process devoted to the Start Menu.

The Start Menu process

Under Windows 10 Build 1903, the Start Menu is accessible up as a process called Start in the Windows Task Manager.  If this process is terminated, the Start Menu will no longer function until you re-launch the “start” process.

Start Process in Task Manager
Start Process in Task Manager

The new “start” process is associated with an Windows app named StartMenuExperienceHost.exe, which is located in the C:\Windows\SystemApps\Microsoft.Windows.StartMenuExperienceHost folder as shown in the image below.

StartMenuExperienceHost Folder
StartMenuExperienceHost Folder

When the Start Menu hangs or no longer opens, you can terminate the Start process in Task Manager and relaunch it by starting the StartMenuExperienceHost.exe app located in the the C:\Windows\SystemApps\Microsoft.Windows.StartMenuExperienceHost folder.

This process makes it much easier to fix issues in the Start Menu without affecting the rest of the Windows shell or the operating system’s operation.

More ‘pre-installed’ apps can now be removed

In addition to creating a dedicated application for the Start Menu, Microsoft have increased the amount of pre-installed apps that can now be removed.

“This all began with a popular request from Insiders: expand the ability to remove pre-installed apps from Start. In 19H1, we more than doubled the number of pre-installed apps that can be removed.”

More removable pre-installed apps

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