Windows 10 20H2 build 19042.421 is out with Start Menu, Taskbar, and Notifications improvements

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Email Twitter: @LaurentGiret Jul 24th, 2020 inNews

It’s been quite some time since Microsoft released a new build on a Friday, but Windows Insiders on the Beta channel are up for a treat today. The Windows 10 20H2 build 19042.421 has just been released, and it brings pretty much all of the new features and improvements that Microsoft has been testing in the Beta channel recently.

In this build, you’ll see that Live Tiles in the Start Menu are now theme-aware, with a much slicker partially transparent background that will adapt to your current theme. You can go into Settings > Personalization > Color to apply your accent color to the Start frame and tiles.

Before and After: Windows 10 Start menu in dark theme.

The new Alt + Tab experience that has been in testing in the Dev channel is also available in this new 20H1 build. Microsoft Edge tabs will now show up when you use use Alt + Tab on your PC, but you can still go back to the previous experience in Settings > System > Multitasking.

All tabs open in Microsoft Edge will start appearing in Alt + TAB!

Starting with this build, clicking a pinned site on your Taskbar will now show you all of the open tabs for that site across any of your Microsoft Edge windows. This feature only works with recent Edge Insider builds from the Dev and Canary channels, and be aware that it will not work with existing sites on your Task Bar (you’ll have to re-pin them).

Clicking a pinned site on the Taskbar will now show you all of the open tabs for that site across any of your Microsoft Edge windows.

Microsoft has also changed how notifications work in this build, adding app logos at the top of toast notifications. The Focus Assist notification and summary toast you usually see after Focus Assist has been turned on and off automatically have also been disabled by default, though you can re-enable them in Settings.

Notification toast with app logo at the top and X on the top right corner to quickly dismiss.

If you’re using a 2-in-1 device with a detachable keyboard, you’ll now switch directly into the new tablet experience when you detach your keyboard. Previously, a toast notification would ask you if you wanted to switch into tablet mode, and you can go back to this experience if you prefer. Microsoft has also removed the tablet mode quick action on non-touch devices in this build to prevent any confusion.

You’ll also notice some minor changes in the Settings app, with Microsoft bringing information found in Control Panel’s System page into the Settings About page under Settings > System > About. Microsoft plans to bring more settings from the legacy Control Panel to the Windows 10 Settings apps going forward.

Device information is now copyable and security information is streamlined under Settings > System > About.

This new 20H2 build also brings a long list of fixes you can see below. Microsoft didn’t mention any known issues in today’s blog post, though:

  • We fixed an issue that causes error messages to display in the English US (en-US) language instead of in the non-English language you selected. This occurs when you install a non-English language pack before installing the latest cumulative update.
  • We fixed the toast notification that appears at restart when you update from Windows 10, version 2004.
  • We fixed an issue that causes non-English strings to disappear, which might affect the text on the tiles of the Start menu.
  • We fixed an issue that prevents you from using sharing functionality in Microsoft Office. This occurs when Conditional Access is enabled.
  • We fixed an issue that occurs when a third-party application loads hidden tabs into Internet Options.
  • We fixed an issue in Microsoft Edge IE mode that occurs when you open multiple documents from a SharePoint site.
  • We fixed an issue in Microsoft Edge IE mode that occurs when you browse using anchor links.
  • We fixed an issue with pasting mixed content of images and text from Microsoft Word into Internet Explorer.
  • We fixed an issue that might cause Microsoft browsers to incorrectly bypass proxy servers.
  • We fixed an issue in the Windows Push Notification (WNS) service that prevents you from selecting a virtual private network (VPN) interface to make outbound connections. As a result, you lose connectivity with the WNS service when forced tunneling is used.
  • We fixed an issue that might cause the Magnifier to stop working in Microsoft Excel in certain scenarios. As a result, Microsoft Excel might also stop working.
  • We fixed an issue that prevents you from installing some .msi apps. This occurs when a device is managed by a Group Policy that redirects the AppData folder to a network folder.
  • We fixed an issue that might display 4K high dynamic range (HDR) content darker than expected when you configure certain non-HDR systems for HDR Streaming.
  • We fixed an issue that causes new child windows to flicker and appear as white squares on server devices that are configured for stark visual contrast.
  • We fixed an issue that causes the Settings page to close unexpectedly, which prevents default applications from being set up properly.
  • We fixed an issue that causes all open Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps to close unexpectedly. This occurs when their installer calls the Restart Manager to restart File Explorer (explorer.exe).
  • We fixed an issue that prevents Windows 8.1 apps from projecting to a secondary display when those apps use the StartProjectingAsync API.
  • We fixed an issue that prevents family safety features, such as time limits and activity reporting, from working on ARM64 devices.
  • We fixed an issue with File Explorer’s preview of .msg files when Microsoft Outlook 64-bit is installed.
  • We fixed an issue that causes a KERNEL_SECURITY_CHECK_FAILURE (139) stop error when Windows resumes from Sleep and turns on certain Bluetooth headsets.
  • We fixed an issue that might prevent certain display driver reset utilities from properly reinstalling the same driver on the system.
  • We fixed a reliability issue in WDF01000.sys.
  • We fixed an issue that causes memory leaks when an application calls the CryptCATAdminCalcHashFromFileHandle() function. The leaked memory is reclaimed when the application closes.
  • Improves support for non-ASCII file paths for Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) Auto Incident Response (IR).
  • We fixed an issue that prevents some machines from automatically going into Sleep mode under certain circumstances because of Microsoft Defender ATP Auto IR.
  • We fixed an issue that prevents some machines from running Microsoft Defender ATP Threat & Vulnerability Management successfully.
  • We fixed an issue that prevents Microsoft Defender ATP from applying file exclusions in some cases, which leads to application compatibility issues.
  • We fixed an issue in Microsoft Defender ATP that prevents some machines from reporting the installed applications to Threat & Vulnerability Management.
  • We fixed an issue that causes automatic investigations to fail in Microsoft Defender ATP.
  • Improves Microsoft Defender ATP’s ability to identify malicious code injection activities.
  • We fixed an issue that prevents some applications from printing to network printers.
  • We fixed an issue that might cause a printer to be a hidden device in Device Manager after a restart.
  • We fixed an issue that might cause the Print Management console to display script errors when you enable the Extended View option.
  • We fixed an issue that causes printing to fail in certain scenarios.
  • We fixed an issue that might prevent a Windows 10 device from reaching the internet when using a wireless wide area network (WWAN) LTE modem. However, the Network Connectivity Status Indicator (NCSI) in the notification area might still indicate that you are connected to the internet.
  • We fixed an issue that might prevent internet connectivity on some cellular modems after upgrading to Windows 10, version 2004.
  • We fixed an issue that causes telephony applications to lose the first four digits.
  • We fixed an issue with in-memory parity bitmaps that can cause data integrity issues on Parity Storage Spaces.
  • We fixed an issue that prevents the creation of a storage pool using Manage Storage Spaces in Control panel.
  • We fixed an issue that might cause the Microsoft Remote Assistance process (msra.exe) to stop working when a user is receiving assistance during a computer session. The error is 0xc0000005 or 0xc0000409.

The Windows 10 20H2 update will be released later this year, and it’s good to see that some features that have been in testing in the Dev channel are now making their way to Beta channel. Last year’s 19H2 update was pretty a minor one, but it does seem that 20H2 could bring more new features than expected. We’ll see what happens in the coming weeks, but so far the Beta channel has been getting just one new build every month. Indeed, this is just the third 20H2 build that Microsoft has released following the first 2 flights on June 16 and July 14.

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