Wow! Microsoft releases action-packed Windows 10 Redstone 5 build with dark theme for File Explorer, acrylic in Sets, Cloud Clipboard, and more

With Redstone 4 builds of Windows 10, the new features and changes came to users quite gradually. That’s certainly not the case with Redstone 5 releases. The latest build rolling out to Insiders on the Fast ring and Skip Ahead today is the perfect case in point.

Build 17666 (it's a beast of a build, so the number is apt) is chock full of exciting new features that you really won’t want to wait to get your hands on, including Cloud Clipboard, a dark theme for File Explorer, major improvements to Sets, the ability to search Bing in Notepad and much, much more.


First up in this new build is a series of improvements to Sets, the big new feature in Redstone 5 that allows you to access different apps in the same window using tabs. Microsoft has introduced acrylic (a component from its Fluent Design system) to the title bar, making it see through.

Recent Microsoft Edge tabs now show in Alt + Tab and you can choose whether apps and websites should open in a new window or a new tab. You can now mute web tabs, and tabs restore in the background and don’t use any resources until you switch to them.

Other changes and fixes to Sets include:

  • Task Manager has now been added by default to the list of apps where not to enable Sets.
  • Fixed an issue where right clicking a tab in the Sets title bar didn’t bring up a context menu.
  • Fixed an issue where if Microsoft Edge wasn’t already open, clicking the plus button in Sets would open all of your default websites along with the new tab page.

A big -- no huge -- addition to this build is the introduction of Cloud Clipboard, which was originally teased for inclusion in the April 2018 Update. Launched by pressing Win+V (which will take some getting used to) this will let you paste items from your clipboard history, as well as pin the items you need regular access to. Copied items can be synced across devices too, although this feature is optional.

The new addition can be enabled in Settings > System > Clipboard.

Also in Build 17666 is a dark theme for File Explorer. Windows 10 has offered a dark theme for a while and this can be accessed under Settings > Personalization > Colors. This theme hasn’t -- to date -- been available for File Explorer, but from today that changes. There’s also dark theme support to the File Explorer context menu, as well as the Common File Dialog (the Open and Save dialogs).

Like the look of it in the screenshot above? Well that’s not quite what you’ll get in today’s build. The dark theme in Build 17666 includes some "unexpected" light colors in File Explorer and the Common File Dialog, but will be fixed in a future release.

In addition, this build introduces extended line endings support for Notepad, which is something we covered here and you can now search Bing directly in Notepad too.

Search previews have been added to apps, documents, and more, and you can now name tile folders. Microsoft explains:

To create a tile folder in Start, just drag one tile on top of another for a second then release. Continue dropping as many tiles into the folder as you’d like. When you expand the folder, you’ll see a new option to name it. The name will be visible when the folder is medium, wide, or large-sized.

The Settings page now displays links to common questions (via Bing) that might help you with any problems that you’re having.

Finally, you can now, from this build onwards, connect your PC to your mobile device using Your Phone.

Other general changes, improvements, and fixes in this build include:

  • Fixed an issue with dll from the previous flight that could result in explorer.exe crashing every few minutes.
  • Fixed an issue resulting in VPN potentially not working after updating to the previous build.
  • Fixed an issue from the previous build where apps may appear to be missing in secondary accounts after receiving app updates from the PC’s primary account.
  • Fixed an issue from the previous flight resulting in a bugcheck with the error IRQ_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL in tcpip.sys.
  • Fixed an issue where a border would be visible when you maximized windows in the last few flights.
  • Updated the design of This PC so that there’s no longer space displayed for the cloud files state icon (which isn’t relevant on this page).
  • The snipping toolbar (with WIN + Shift + S) will now follow your desired theme, light or dark.
  • Fixed an issue that could result in the Emoji Panel and the touch keyboard not displaying correctly if invoked immediately after restarting explorer.exe.

Known issues include:

  • If your PC appears stuck at "Preparing to install…" somewhere between the 80 -100 percent in Windows Update -- please be patient and wait up to 30 minutes (or in some cases -- longer than 30 minutes) for this stage to complete.
  • After completing the Windows Mixed Reality First Run experience, OOBE is black. Motion Controllers are also not recognized in exclusive apps. For Insiders who want to keep Windows Mixed Reality working -- you might want to consider hitting pause on taking new Insider Preview builds until these issues are fixed. You can pause Insider Preview builds by going to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Insider Program and pressing the Stop Insider Preview builds button and choosing Pause updates for a bit.
  • On resuming from sleep, the desktop may be momentarily visible before the Lock screen displays as expected.
  • When Movies & TV user denies access to its videos library (through the "Let Movies & TV access your videos library?" popup window or through Windows privacy settings), Movies & TV crashes when the user navigates to the "Personal" tab.
  • Microsoft is aware of an issue that causes Narrator to read extra text when invoking Alt + Tab, and is working on a fix.
  • If you complete the setup for a Windows Mixed Reality headset on this build, the headset will remain black until it is unplugged and reconnected to the PC.

Known issues for Sets and Office include:

  • Sets UX for Office Win32 desktop apps is not final.  The experience will be refined over time based on feedback.
  • The top of some Win32 desktop app windows may appear slightly underneath the tab bar when created maximized. To work around the issue, restore and re-maximize the window.
  • Closing one tab may sometimes minimize the entire set.
  • Tiling and cascading windows, including features like "View Side by Side" in Word, will not work for inactive tabs.
  • The Office Visual Basic Editor window will currently be tabbed but is not intended to be in the future.
  • Opening an Office document while the same app has an existing document open may cause an unintended switch to the last active document. This will also happen when closing a sheet in Excel while other sheets remain open.
  • Local files or non-Microsoft cloud files will not be automatically restored, and no error message will be provided to alert the user to that fact.

Photo credit: Antonio Guillem/ Shutterstock

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