From Windows Timeline and even some enhancements to Microsoft Edge, the Windows 10 April 2018 Update brings a lot of new features and fixes to Microsoft's nearly three-year-old OS. As great as that is, Microsoft recently explained that the update also removes some experiences in Windows 10, so here's what you need to know before you consider installing it on your PC.
First and foremost, Microsoft removed the Groove Music Pass option in Windows 10. This is not much of a surprise, especially because the company already ended support for it back in 2017. Microsoft instead urges users to consider Spotify, other music streaming services, or to buy music and store in OneDrive to stream with Groove Music Player.
Next up, Microsoft removed the HomeGroup feature from the File Explorer, the Control Panel, and the Troubleshoot menu. Any existing shared content will remain in place, and the ability to share printers, files, and folders have not been removed, and you can still share those via the features built into Windows 10.
Other notable features removed from Windows 10 can be seen below, complete with suggestions on alternatives:
- People - Suggestions will no longer include unsaved contacts for non-Microsoft accounts: You can instead manually save the contact details for people you send mail to or get mail from.
- Language control in the Control Panel: You can instead use the Settings app to change your language settings.
- Connect to suggested open hotspots option in Wi-Fi settings: You can manually connect to free wireless hotspots with Network & Internet settings, from the taskbar or Control Panel, or by using Wi-Fi Settings (for mobile devices).
- Conversations in the People app when you're offline or if you're using a non-Office 365 mail account: After you update to Windows 10, version 1803, in order to see new mail in the People app from these specific contacts, you need to be online, and you need to have signed in with either an Office 365 account or, for work or school organization accounts, through the Mail, People, or Calendar apps. Please be aware that you’ll only see mail for work and school organization accounts and some Office 365 accounts.
- XPS Viewer: If you have XPS Viewer and you update to Windows 10, version 1803, there's no action required. You'll still have XPS Viewer. However, if you install Windows 10, version 1803, on a new device (or as a clean installation), you may need to install XPS Viewer from Apps and Features in the Settings app or through Features on Demand.
Microsoft is also planning on phasing out--- or deprecating-- several other features in Windows 10. Some of these features are no longer being worked on and might be removed from a future update, or replaced with other features and functionality. See the list below for more information:
- Policies in Group Policy: Instead of using the Software Restriction Policies through Group Policy, you can use AppLocker or Windows Defender Application Control to control which apps users can access and what code can run in the kernel.
- Offline symbol packages (Debug symbol MSIs:) We're no longer making the symbol packages available as a downloadable MSI. Instead, the Microsoft Symbol Server is moving to be an Azure-based symbol store. If you need the Windows symbols, connect to the Microsoft Symbol Server to cache your symbols locally or use a manifest file with SymChk.exe on a computer with internet access.
- Windows Help Viewer (WinHlp32.exe:) All Windows help information is available online. The Windows Help Viewer is no longer supported in Windows 10.
- Contacts feature in File Explorer: We're no longer developing the Contacts feature or the corresponding Windows Contacts API. Instead, you can use the People app in Windows 10 to maintain your contacts.
- Phone Companion: Use the Phone page in the Settings app. In Windows 10, version 1709, we added the new Phone page to help you sync your mobile phone with your PC. It includes all the Phone Companion features.
It should not be too surprising to see most of these features going away, especially since the tech media has already covered most items mentioned in the list. At any rate, removing these features is only a good thing, since it allows Microsoft to put more development into new features, and making Windows 10 modern and more efficient.