Just when we were getting used to Windows 10’s user interface, Microsoft is making more changes with the soon-to-arrive Anniversary Update.
Fortunately, the changes are more tweaks — and for the most part, they’re improvements.
A preview of Win10’s next evolutionary branch
Unless Microsoft has played a monumental joke on all of us, the latest Windows 10 Insider Preview build — 14393 — posted July 18, should be extremely close to the official Anniversary Update release. The build’s announcement lists just two improvements and fixes: better reliability for Start, Cortana, and Action Center plus the ability to mount iPods as mass-storage devices. No doubt there are many other bugs still to be squashed before the reported Aug. 2 formal release. But there shouldn’t be any significant UI changes from the current preview build. This next branch of the OS evolution will be a short one for most PC users.
With that in mind, here are some changes Win10 users should look for when the Anniversary Update lands on their PC.
Start: Just as most Win10 users have become familiar — if not entirely comfortable — with the new Start menus, Microsoft has shuffled things around a bit. As shown in Figure 1, a new left-hand column as icons for key tasks, including Documents, File Explorer, Settings, and Power. At least on my desktop system, the “hamburger” at the top of the column seems a waste; it only expands the left column and adds text to the icons.
You can easily change some of what’s shown in the left Start column — if you know where to look for it. Click Start/Settings/Personalization/Start; then click the link “Choose which folders appear in Start.” In the window that appears, you can add or remove a selection of items, as shown in Figure 2.
While you’re in settings, review the rest of the Start menu options. You might, for example, want to turn off “Occasionally show suggestions in Start.”