Microsoft releases Windows 10 20H1 Build 18990 with automatic restart for UWP apps and Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) improvements

The next major update of Windows 10 isn’t due out until next May, but Microsoft is hard at work, rolling out new builds on a weekly basis.

Build 18990, released to Insiders on the Fast ring today, comes with a number of new features including Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) improvements and updates to the Xbox Game Bar.



Last month, Microsoft introduced a setting that allowed users to control which desktop apps restarted automatically when signing out and back in again. In this build, UWP apps will also automatically restart (in a suspended state). To try this new feature:

  1. Go to Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options and turn on "Automatically save my restartable apps when I sign out and restart them after I sign in." under "Restart apps".
  2. Start one or more UWP apps.
  3. Sign out and then sign back into Windows.

Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) improvements in this build are:

  • Improved the performance for directory listings in \wsl$
  • [WSL2] Injected additional boot entropy [Github Issue 4461]
  • [WSL2] Fixed Windows interop when using su / sudo commands [Github issue 4465]

Elsewhere, the Xbox Game Bar now gains an FPS counter and achievement overlay. You can get this update via the Microsoft Store.

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

  • Fixed an issue where right-clicking on File Explorer’s search box didn’t bring up a context menu that could be used to paste clipboard contents.
  • Microsoft has updated the default width of the search box in File Explorer to be a little bigger.
  • Fixed an issue impacting Action Center reliability.
  • Fixed an issue resulting in the credentials prompt sometimes not appearing when connecting to certain VPNs from the network flyout, so it said Connecting but never completed the connection.
  • Fixed Magnifier bugs at different DPI levels.
  • Fixed an issue where Magnifier UI wasn’t closing with Alt + F4 keyboard shortcut.
  • Fixed an issue where sometimes Magnifier window became completely black after switching from lens mode to dock mode.
  • Fixed an issue resulting in Magnifier not working when using the Russian display language.
  • Microsoft has made it clearer how "Read from here" works in Magnifier.
  • Microsoft has improved legibility of Magnifier reading highlighting rectangle.
  • Microsoft has improved reading while in Magnifier Lens mode.
  • Fixed an issue where text cursor indicator sometimes did not appear, even though the setting was enabled.
  • Microsoft has made the text cursor indicator shapes more legible and aesthetic.
  • Fixed an issue in Narrator where changing the speech rate with the keyboard commands would speak the new rate using the old rate.
  • Fixed Narrator’s whitespace sound.
  • Microsoft has improved Narrator’s automatic dialog reading experience.
  • Table navigation hotkeys are now allowed when entering a list view to allow one to navigate across columns while using Narrator.
  • Microsoft has improved the Narrator’s Page Summary dialog by allowing tab and shift-tab to loop around the dialog controls.
  • Narrator will no longer announce notifications from non-focused Chrome webpages.
  • Narrator now announces the current value of the "thumb" in legacy color picker controls.
  • Narrator is now presenting links and play buttons correctly in iTunes.
  • Microsoft has improved Narrator’s reading experience in Chrome and Firefox. Certain pages could cause Narrator to loop back up to previous content.
  • Narrator is now updating an attached braille display correctly when some XAML controls are expanded.
  • Microsoft has adjusted the design on the input mode switcher on the taskbar for the Simplified and Traditional Chinese IMEs. Feedback said that the icon glyph was large and blurry.
  • Fixed an issue where some Chinese characters in the Common Standard Chinese Characters dictionary couldn’t be input with the new version of the Simplified Chinese IME.
  • Fixed an issue where, when switching to English input mode and back to Chinese input mode, the punctuations would become Chinese punctuations, even if "Use English punctuations when in Chinese input mode" was enabled with the new version of Simplified Chinese IME.
  • Fixed an issue where the new version of Simplified Chinese IME candidate window would sometimes not appear.
  • Fixed an issue where the new version of the Traditional Chinese Bopomofo IME didn’t show candidates or next phrase candidates on touch keyboard.
  • Fixed an issue where characters typed with the new version of Chinese Traditional IMEs weren’t committed by Enter key when using certain games.
  • Fixed an issue where the legacy language bar didn’t show IME mode icons while using the new version of Japanese IME, Chinese Traditional IME, or Korean IME.
  • Fixed an issue where the new version of Japanese IME wouldn’t reconvert a word pasted from somewhere else by Henkan key.

Known issues are:

  • Certain 2D apps (like Feedback Hub, Microsoft Store, 3D Viewer) are incorrectly being treated as having protected content within Windows Mixed Reality. During video capture, these 2D apps block their content from being recorded.
  • When capturing a repro video while filing a bug via Feedback Hub in Windows Mixed Reality, you won’t be able to select Stop video, due to the protected content issue noted above. If you want to submit a repro video, you will need to wait 5 minutes for the recording to time out. If you’d like to file the bug without a repro video, you can close the Feedback Hub window to end the recording and resume filing your bug when you reopen the app in Feedback > Drafts.
  • When viewing Optional drivers in the new section on the Windows Update page, you may notice older drivers showing as available for download. If accepted, they will attempt to install and fail to do so. This is a bug related to revised Windows Update detection logic rather than this new UI. The root cause is understood, and a fix will be available in an upcoming build.
  • Devices configured for dual scan (WSUS and Windows Update) for updates may not be offered new builds in the Fast ring. Selecting Check online for updates from Microsoft Update will scan for updates, but may return with the message, "Your device is up to date." Microsoft is working on a fix for a future flight.

Photo credit: charnsitr / Shutterstock

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