Microsoft takes Insiders into next year, with the release of the first Windows 10 20H1 build

Microsoft is currently hard at work finishing off the next big feature update for Windows 10, codenamed 19H1. This is due out in a couple of months’ time, and will be followed by 19H2, out in the Fall.

Insiders who opted into the Skip Ahead branch (if you missed your chance to join the ring before it closed, follow these instructions to gain access) are likely expecting to receive builds from the 19H2 branch, but surprisingly today Microsoft is rolling out Build 18836 from the future 20H1 development branch.



20H1 is the branch that follows 19H2, and is for the feature update due out next spring. This might seem crazy, but as Microsoft explains: "Some things we are working on in 20H1 require a longer lead time."

Skip Ahead Insiders will start to receive 19H2 "bits" later this spring, once 19H1 is nearly finished and ready.

It’s worth pointing out that because this is a very early build, if you encounter problems with it you won’t be able to simply switch back to the Fast or Slow rings, you will need to do a clean install of Windows and start over, so be warned.

General changes, improvements, and fixes in this release include:

  • REMINDER: The new tamper protection setting in the Windows Security app protects your device by helping to prevent bad actors from tampering with the most important security settings. The setting is designed to be on by default, however the default state is not currently in effect for current Insider Preview builds. You may see a new recommendation in the Windows Security app suggesting you turn this setting on.
  • Fixed an issue where turning off Location from the Action Center might take multiple clicks to react.
  • Fixed an issue resulting in being unable to re-arrange pinned folders in Start’s tile grid.
  • Fixed an issue where newly installed apps might not show up in search results.
  • Fixed an issue resulting in some Insiders not being able to open Cortana when in Tablet Mode.
  • Fixed an issue from the previous flight where right-clicking the desktop would bring up a light colored context menu in dark theme.
  • Microsoft is updating the name of the "Windows Light" theme to "Windows (light)".
  • Fixed an issue where Cortana’s icon on secondary monitors wouldn’t update colors after switching between light and dark theme.
  • Fixed an issue where when using light theme + small icons + a vertical taskbar orientation, text written on the taskbar would stay white and thus wouldn’t be readable.
  • Fixed an issue that could result in open apps not being shown on the taskbar (but being visible in Alt + Tab).
  • Fixed an issue resulting in build unable to log into WinRE with an admin account in the last couple of flights.
  • Microsoft has made another fix to address reports of devices getting stuck with "Hibernating…" text on the screen on resume from hibernate.
  • Fixed an issue resulting in greys having an unexpected slight pinkish/purple-ish tinge on some devices in recent flights.
  • Fixed an issue in Ease of Access’s Cursor and pointer settings, mouse pointer size and color are now retained on upgrade.
  • Fixed an issue where the Windows Security app may show an unknown status for the Virus & threat protection area, or not refresh properly.
  • The issue impacting Creative X-Fi sound cards has been fixed.

Known issues

  • Launching games that use anti-cheat software may trigger a bugcheck (GSOD).
  • While Microsoft has done some work to improve night light reliability in this build, It is continuing to investigate issues in this space.
  • When performing Reset this PC and selecting Keep my files on a device that has Reserved Storage enabled the user will need to initiate an extra reboot to ensure Reserved Storage is working again properly.
  • Some Realtek SD card readers are not functioning properly.
  • File Explorer may hang when trying to rename, delete, or move MKV files.
  • In Windows Sandbox, if you try to navigate to the Narrator settings, Settings app crashes.

Photo credit: charnsitr / Shutterstock

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