New Windows 10 Insider build brings more personalization options for news and interests in the taskbar

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Microsoft has just released the Windows 10 Insider build 21354 for Dev channel testers, which brings new personalization for news and interests in the taskbar and improvement to display settings. If News and Interests is still gradually rolling out to Insiders in the Dev channel, those who already have the feature will notice a “Manage interests button” at the top of the window that will allow them to choose the topics they’re interested in.

This build also introduces a new “Tune your feed” feature in the left part of the “My interests" page. "This experience makes it easy to explore and follow publishers from our partner ecosystem and select example articles that pique your interest,” the Windows Insider team said today.

News and interests on the windows taskbar showing a new “manage interests” button and personalization card to help new users get started with their feed.

Another new feature in this build is the ability to turn off Content adaptive brightness control (CABC) in the Display settings via Settings > System > Display. CABC can improve battery life on laptops but also lead to unexpected brightness changes, and the Windows Insider noted that disabling CABC has been a top-requested feature from Insiders.

The build 21354 also adds a new page in the settings app for managing webcams or ONVIF IP cameras connected to your local network. "Each camera has a “Configure” button that lets you make changes to the default brightness and contrast – letting you get rid of the pesky backlight that always shadows your face in your video calls,” the Windows Insider team explained. You can find this new page at Settings > Devices > Camera.

The configure page for cameras allows you to adjust default image settings such as brightness and contrast.

Insiders installing the build 21354 will also notice that Microsoft Paint is now updated via the Microsoft Store and has a Fluent Design-inspired icon. Snipping Tool is getting the same treatment, and both Paint and Snipping Tool have been promoted out of the Windows Accessories folder in the Windows 10 Start Menu.

In other changes related to Start Menu, the Windows Accessories, Windows Administrative Tools, Windows PowerShell, and Windows System folders have now been removed from the Start Menu and all apps within these folders can now be accessed via the new Windows Tools entry point. This is all part of an ongoing effort to re-organize all the admins and system tools in Windows 10, but all these apps will still appear in Windows Search.

You can find a list of other minor changes, bug fixes, and known issues in the build 21354 below:

Changes and Improvements

  • [News and interests] As mentioned previously, we have enabled the ability to deselect “Open on hover” in the “News and interests” taskbar options. This is based on your feedback.
  • The default path to access Linux files from Windows using the Windows Subsystem for Linux has been changed from `\\wsl\\` to `\\wsl.localhost\\` to improve performance and reliability. You will still be able to access Linux files using `\\wsl$\\`.
  • Under Settings > Update & Security > Change active hours, you will find the toggle turned on for “Automatically adjust active hours for this device based on activity”, if you have never adjusted this feature. We are starting a roll out a change for Insiders that makes this setting on by default. With this setting turned on, Windows Update will be able to schedule automatic restarts when you are typically not using your device more accurately.
  • As of the latest versions of Microsoft Edge, all pinned sites (regardless of what version you were using when you pinned them), should now use the taskbar behavior described here without you first having to unpin and re-pin the site.
  • On ARM64 devices, you can now toggle compatibility settings for x64 applications.
  • Under Settings > Personalization > Device usage, you can select all the ways you plan to use your device to get customized suggestions for tips, tools, and services.

Fixes

  • [Gaming] We fixed an issue where certain games may crash, will not sync save data when a game is played on a different device, or will not save when a new game is installed.
  • [File Explorer] We fixed an issue resulting in all folders pinned to Quick Access in File Explorer disappearing if you installed Build 21343. Please note that this fix prevents the issue from occurring going forward, it will not bring back the ones that were unpinned if you installed the impacted build previously.
  • [File Explorer] We fixed an issue resulting in some Insiders experiencing that the entire folders section of Quick Access was missing after installing the previous flight.
  • We fixed an issue impacting Search reliability in the previous flight.
  • [News and interests] Fixed an issue where news and interests could occlude other content on the taskbar especially on smaller screens.
  • We fixed an issue where the tooltip text for items in Start’s Power button menu wasn’t displaying correctly.
  • We fixed an issue resulting in a crash if you entered WinPE and tried to enable Narrator using WIN + CTRL + Enter.
  • We fixed an issue resulting in some Insiders experiencing a bug check with error SYSTEM_THREAD_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED when rebooting or shutting down in the previous flight.
  • We fixed an issue that could result in a bugcheck when starting WSL.
  • We fixed an issue that could result in the Windows Update Settings page showing progress dots but never loading.
  • We fixed an issue where navigating to Power and Sleep in Settings would crash Settings.
  • We fixed the issue where a random toggle that didn’t do anything was appearing under Settings > Personalization > Lock screen.
  • We fixed an error resulting in some Insiders recently seeing an error when trying to add a password to a local account that was created without a password.
  • We fixed an issue where if you opened the Pinyin IME settings via Search, the Settings page would be unexpectedly blank.
  • We fixed an issue that could result in your desktop background going black after snapping an app to the side of your screen.
  • We fixed an issue where some of the text in Snipping Tool wasn’t displaying correctly.
  • We fixed an issue causing the Handwriting Input Panel to not work for pen input on ARM64 PCs.
  • We fixed an issue impacting clipboard history reliability.
  • We fixed an issue resulting in characters being duplicated in certain apps when typing with the Korean IME.
  • We fixed an issue resulting in not being able to insert composition strings when typing with an IME after copying and pasting a text box in PowerPoint.
  • We fixed an issue resulting in key events being lost when renaming files in File Explorer while typing with an IME.
  • We fixed an issue where when typing with the Japanese or Chinese IMEs in certain apps that have their own UI for IME candidates, the IME candidates were not displayed in the app’s UI.
  • The fix we mentioned in Build 21327 to address an issue where a toggled key on the touch keyboard had the wrong background color is now rolling out to all Insiders in the Dev Channel.
  • We fixed an issue causing an increase in login time in the previous flight.
  • We fixed an issue resulting in some Insiders finding that boot time was longer in the previous flighting.
  • We fixed an issue resulting in the network button on the login screen not working and potentially crashing.
  • We fixed an issue causing some logins to hang on a black screen. If you continue to see a similar problem, please file a new feedback in Feedback Hub.
  • We fixed an issue that could result in freezes when watching videos in Chromium-based browsers in recent Dev Channel builds.

Known issues

  • We’re looking into reports of the update process hanging for extended periods of time when attempting to install a new build.
  • [News and interests] Pressing ESC key to dismiss an opened context menu in the flyout dismisses the whole flyout instead.
  • [News and interests] Sometimes the news and interests flyout cannot be dismissed with pen.
  • [ARM64] Insiders who installed the preview version of the Qualcomm Adreno graphics driver on the Surface Pro X may experience reduced brightness of the display. This issue is fixed with an updated version of the preview graphics driver at https://aka.ms/x64previewdriverprox. If you are experiencing this issue, please see the feedback collection for more information.
  • We’re investigating an issue where elements of Search (including the search box in File Explorer) are no longer displaying correctly in dark theme.
  • We’re working on a fix for an issue introduced in the previous flight impacting WSUS users where the “Check online for updates from Microsoft Update” option is greyed out. If you are impacted, you can run the following command from an elevated Command Prompt to set the reg key so that scan will check Microsoft servers:
    • reg add “HKLM\Software\Microsoft\WindowsUpdate\UX\Settings” /f /v ScanMicrosoftOnly /t REG_DWORD /d 0x01

Then click the regular “Check for updates” button in Windows Update Settings. Please note, if the scan needs to be done repeatedly the reg key will need to be re-added each time, as scanning reads and erases the key.

  • Due to an issue with migrating the shortcuts into the new Windows Tools location, This PC shows up with the display name “computer.” We already have a bug fix on the way to address this issue.
  • Some non-administrative apps, such as 3D Viewer and Print 3D, that were previously in the Windows Accessories folder are now in Windows Tools. These app shortcuts will be moved back into Start with an upcoming bug fix. They are still searchable and accessible via Windows Tools in the meantime.
  • The Windows Camera App currently does not respect the default brightness setting set via the new Camera Settings page.
  • Some cameras currently may not support adjustment in the Camera Settings App when the camera is also in use by another app.
  • Accessing the virtual GPU is broken for Windows and Linux guests, adding a vGPU to a VM will have no effect and the VM will continue running with software rendering

Last but not least, the Windows Insider team explained today the build 21354 is coming from the CO_RELEASE branch instead of the RS_PRERELEASE branch. "Just like we did back in October when we released builds from the FE_RELEASE branch, we are practicing our ability to change which branch flight builds from. As our engineers work in development cycles internally, we may prioritize work being done in a specific branch and may need to move Insiders between branches," the blog post reads.

The Windows Insider team added that Microsoft is treating builds from the CO_RELEASE branch the same as builds from the RS_PRERELEASE branch, though this probably doesn't tell the full story. Presumably, "CO_RELEASE" refers to the Windows 10 "Cobalt" release planned for the second half of 2021, also known as Windows 10 version 21H2. Microsoft isn't discussing what to expect from 21H2 yet, but several reports have been suggesting a big design update for Windows 10 codenamed "Sun Valley" internally.

If you want to do a clean install of the Windows 10 Insider build 21352, ISOs are available from this page.

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