Microsoft releases Windows 10 20H1 Build 18970 with cloud recovery feature and redesigned tablet experience

A number of previous Windows 10 Insider builds from the 20H1 branch have featured a new "Cloud download" option in the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE) under Reset this PC. Despite the feature’s presence in these builds, Microsoft has yet to release a working version. That changes in the latest flight.

Build 18970 allows users to download Windows over a high speed internet connection when resetting a PC. The option reinstalls the same build, version, and edition that's currently on your device.

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To use it, you just need to go to Settings > Update & Security > Recovery, and click Get Started under Reset this PC and go from there. You can see the process in the below GIF. It will remove all of the apps you currently have installed.

There is a known issue to be aware of, which is:

The cloud download option is not currently working when specific optional features are installed. The process will begin, but an error will occur and roll back the changes. To work around this issue, remove the optional features before trying the cloud download option. We’ll let you know once this issue has been resolved. The optional features are: EMS and SAC Toolset for Windows 10, IrDA infrared, Print Management Console, RAS Connection Manager Administration Kit (CMAK), RIP Listener, all RSAT tools, Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), Windows Fax and Scan, Windows Storage Management, Wireless Display, WMI SNMP Provider.

In addition, this build has a new tablet experience for 2-in-1 convertible PCs.

This gives users the familiar desktop experience but with the following touch improvements:

  • Increased spacing between Taskbar icons.
  • Search box on taskbar collapsed into an icon.
  • File Explorer switches to touch optimized layout.
  • Touch keyboard auto invokes when you tap text fields.

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

  • Fixed a DWM memory leak that was impacting the previous two flights.
  • Fixed an issue resulting in some WSL distros not loading (Issue #4371).
  • Fixed an issue impacting a small number of Insiders, involving a lsass.exe crash and resulting in a message saying, "Windows ran into a problem and needs to restart."
  • Fixed an issue resulting in WIN+(period) closing if you tried to search for an emoji when focus was set to a text field in an Electron app.
  • Fixed two issues that could result in Settings crashing when interacting with options on the Search page.
  • Done some work to help improve the launch performance of Settings when the Settings header is visible.
  • Fixed an issue resulting in some Insiders experiencing a bug check with BTHport.sys in recent flights.
  • It’s important to periodically back up your data. Starting in recent Insider builds, Windows Home and Pro users without a first party backup solution will now see a friendly reminder to consider setting up a backup option that is included with Windows. If you’d prefer to turn this off, there’s an option to do so in the notification.
  • Working on addressing feedback about the acrylic in certain surfaces not appearing immediately. In this build, it’s fixed for Start menu, the volume flyout, the network flyout, the clock & calendar flyout, and notification toasts.
  • Made some bug fixes and improvements to Magnifier reading capabilities.
  • Improved Magnifier performance when moving the mouse around the screen.
  • Resolved an issue where Control + Alt + L would not put Magnifier into Lens mode.
  • Microsoft squashed several bugs related to the new text cursor indicator. Text cursor indicator now appears and disappears more reliably. It also fixed an issue where text cursor indicator preview in settings did not change size when text scaling was on.
  • Made improvements in Magnifier reliability.
  • Fixed an issue where the File Explorer search suggestions weren’t being read out by Narrator.
  • Fixed an issue in Narrator where it would speak "unknown" if you had the "Header Status" column enabled within Outlook as you arrowed between different email messages.
  • Fixed a couple Narrator dialog reading issues. Narrator would sometimes speak "empty document" or stop the dialog reading too early.
  • Fixed an issue where Narrator would not always speak the group name of a radio button on web pages.
  • Fixed an issue with Narrator and Excel not speaking the column header when arrowing between cells in a table.
  • Fixed an issue where Narrator would only speak "item" when navigating by table cells in an Outlook email instead of reading the entire cell’s contents.
  • Narrator will now read webpages from the top of the page and not at the main landmark with a fallback to find a paragraph.
  • Narrator now supports the aria-haspopup property.
  • Improved Outlook performance and stability when reading mail messages in Outlook.
  • Improved Narrator reliability.
  • Made a change to Narrator input learning, so you just have to press Narrator + 1 once to turn input learning off.
  • Fixed an issue when a user navigated to a webpage in Edge, Narrator would read just the URL field and not the webpage.
  • Fixed an issue when a user was replying to an email in Outlook, Narrator was automatically reading the message while the user was trying to type.

Known issues are:

  • There has been an issue with older versions of anti-cheat software used with games where after updating to the latest 19H1 Insider Preview builds may cause PCs to experience crashes. To minimize the chance of running into this issue, please make sure you are running the latest version of your games before attempting to update the operating system.
  • Some Realtek SD card readers are not functioning properly.
  • Microsoft is working on a fix for an issue resulting in the minimize, maximize, and close title bar buttons not working for certain apps. If you’re using an impacted app, Alt+F4 should work as expected to close the app if needed.
  • Text on Devices pages in Settings for "Bluetooth and Other Devices" and "Printers and Scanners" isn’t rendering correctly.
  • Search isn’t working for Insiders using certain display languages, including Polish. If you are impacted by this, switching your display language to English then back to your preferred display language should resolve it.

Photo credit: charnsitr / Shutterstock

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