Windows 10 20H1 build 18963 is out with improvements for Task Manager, Virtual Desktops, and Windows Search

That was a bit unexpected, but Microsoft has just released a new Windows 20H1 build for Fast Ring Insiders, and it’s a pretty big one. Indeed, The preview build 18963 brings GPU temperature to Task manager for PCs with dedicated GPUs, something that PC gamers should appreciate.

Power users who juggle between multiple virtual desktops all day will also be pleased to know that it’s finally possible to rename virtual desktops in this build, and name changes will persist after a reboot. For now, this feature will only be available for 50% of Fast Ring Insiders, and Microsoft says it will roll it out to more Insiders in the futures.

There are many other new features in this build, including a Mouse Cursor speed in Settings, improvements to Windows Search, and Microsoft also made some changes to make an new account picture in Windows appear more quickly across Windows apps.

Another important change in this build is that Notepad is becoming a Microsoft Store app. After years of neglect, the has been updated with a couple of new features recent in recent months, and this change will allow Microsoft to update it separately from Windows updates.

You can check out everything that’s new in this build below:

GPU temperature comes to Task Manager

One of the longstanding requests we’ve been tracking for Task Manager is to add temperature monitoring support, and with today’s build we’re making progress on that ask. If you have a dedicated GPU card, we will now bubble up the current temperature next to its listing in the Performance Tab.

Showing the temperature of the GPU in Task Manager.

We hope you like the change! If you have any further feedback for Task Manager, please don’t hesitate to share it. To make suggestions or report issues in this space, press WIN+F and file the feedback under Desktop Environment > Task Manager in the Feedback Hub.

Notes:

  • Showing the GPU temperature in Task Manager is currently only supported if you have a dedicated GPU card.
  • You may need an updated graphics driver to see the temperature. Specifically one which supports version 2.4 (or higher) of WDDM is required. To check which version your PC has, press WIN+R and enter dxdiag. Under the Display tab, it will say your WDDM version next to Driver Model.
  • Currently the temperature value is only supported in Celsius.

Renaming your virtual desktops

Showing virtual desktops in Task View, all of which have names set.

Virtual Desktops exist to help you visually and cognitively separate different tasks on your PC. They can also be handy when doing presentations – enabling you to prepare demos on different desktops. Something we’ve heard loud and clear is that you want to be able to set names for your different desktops, in order to help cement the separation between workspaces, and we’re excited to share that rolling out to Insiders in the Fast ring is exactly that!

Wanna try it out? With the change, when you open Task View (by selecting the Task View button in the taskbar, or by pressing WIN+Tab,) clicking the name of your desktop will now switch it to be an editable fiel where you can set the name to be anything you’d like (including emoji). You can also right-click the thumbnail of the desired desktop in Task View, and a context menu with a Rename entry in it should appear. If you don’t have any additional desktops created yet, select “New desktop” in Task View to get started.

And yes, since we know you’ll ask – the names persist reboot. 🙂

Currently this change is live for 50% of Insiders in the Fast ring, and we’ll be expanding the rollout over the next few weeks as we evaluate the quality of experience.

Improving the Optional Features page in Settings

Based on your feedback, we’ve made a number of usability improvements to the Optional Features page in Settings (Settings > Apps & Features > Optional Features), and they’re now starting to roll out to Insiders in the Fast ring.

  • Multi-select: You can now select and install multiple optional features at the same time.
  • Better list management: You can now search through lists of optional features and sort them by Name, Size, and Install date.
  • More useful information: You can now see the install date for each optional feature in your ‘Installed features’ list. We’ve also added feature dependencies to the description of each optional feature in the list of features available for install.
  • Easier page navigation: View the status of your latest installs/uninstalls/cancels right on the main page in the ‘Latest actions’ section. You can now add optional features and view your history via pop-up dialogues, so you never have to navigate away from the main page

We’re excited for you to try it! Currently these changes are live for 50% of Insiders in the Fast ring, and we’ll be expanding the rollout over the next few weeks as we evaluate the quality of experience. Here’s a peek at what you’ll see once it’s available on your PC:

Showing the landing page for optional features – you can see two optional features installing at the top.

Showing the search box when adding a new optional feature.

Adding Mouse Cursor speed to Settings

As some Insiders have noticed, you can now set your mouse cursor speed from within Settings! This is the latest piece of our larger ongoing effort to converge Settings and Control Panel experiences. You can find the setting under Settings > Devices > Mouse.

Showing the Cursor speed slider in Mouse Settings.

Making Notepad store-updatable

Notepad has been a well-loved text editor in Windows for over 30 years. Over the last few releases, we’ve been making a number of small improvements to Notepad based on your feedback (including expanded line ending support, wrap around search, and indicating when there’s unsaved content.) Starting with this build, we’re making a change so that future Notepad updates will be automatically available via the store. This will allow us the flexibility to respond to issues and feedback outside the bounds of Windows releases. As always, if you have any feedback for Notepad, we welcome it in the Feedback Hub under Apps > Notepad.

Traditional Chinese IME improvements

Thank you everyone who’s shared feedback about the new Traditional Chinese Bopomofo, ChangJie, and Quick IMEs. The developer team has been working on improving the quality and fixing bugs. With today’s build:

  • Toolbar Improvements: We fixed an issue where toolbar shows up even when [Use IME toolbar] is turned off in the setting. We also added [Hide toolbar] button in the toolbar menu.

Showing the IME toolbar with settings menu.

Note: Other ways to show/hide toolbar:

  • From settings: Right click [中/英] icon > Click [Settings] > [General] > [Use IME toolbar]
  • From right click menu: Right click [中/英] icon > [Show/hide IME toolbar]

 

  • Candidate Window Improvements: We have been working on improving candidate window quality.
    • We fixed an issue where candidate window sometimes only showed limited number of candidates.
    • We fixed an issue where candidates shown in table view cannot be selected by number keys.

Please keep trying out this new IME, and let us know your feedback.

Changes to your account picture in Windows

Changing the picture for the account you use to sign in to Windows is now better than ever! Your updated picture will now show up quickly across Windows, apps, and many of the Microsoft sites you use every day. Previously, you might see as many as three or four different pictures for your account in different apps and sites at one time. Its super easy to try out – just go to Your info in Windows settings and change your picture there!

Steps

  1. Open “Your info” in Windows settings by pressing the Windows key, and typing “Your info,” and selecting “Your account info.”
  2. Use the options in ‘Create your picture’ to select a new picture for your account.
  3. Check if your picture has been updated in Windows, and on the sites and apps you use.

Note: We’re still working with many sites and apps that will need to be updated to work well with this new feature. For example, the account manager control that appears in the upper right of many Microsoft websites currently updates every 24 hours. This will be changed in the next few months to update quickly when your account picture changes.

Other updates for Insiders

Windows Search improvements 

We wanted to take a moment to cover some of the server-side search improvements we’ve been rolling out based on your feedback:

Improved spell correction for Apps & Settings searches

Windows Search has built-in spell correction to help you find what you’re looking for. When you’re typing quickly sometimes mistakes happen – we’re excited to announce that we’ve updated our spell correction technology to intelligently understand and correct small typos like “powerpiont” and “exce;,” which previously would return no results. With these updates, you get better results faster. This feature is now available on both Insider and retail builds in English-language markets.  

Hints to improve Best match results

Showing Windows Search – “free” has been entered in the search box, and “Storage Sense” is the top result. Under it, it says “Related: free up.”

Our goal with Windows Search is to provide a simple, to-use experience, and a key aspect of this is making results easy to understand. Something we’ve heard from you is surprise that sometimes settings search results don’t match your search. To help address this, in certain cases where the Best match result isn’t an exact match for your search, a “Related:” line will be included below the result to help clarify why this result is appearing.  We’ll be expanding this feature to include Apps search in the coming weeks.  This feature is now available on both Insider and retail builds in English (United States).

Bringing the latest Search Home experience to more users

With the Windows 10 May 2019 Update we updated Search Home to help you save time by adding quick access to your Top apps and Recent activities. After receiving positive feedback and comments about this new experience, we’re now making it available to more users by rolling it out to everyone using the Windows 10 October 2018 Update as well. We hope you find them useful and that they help make Search Home more productive for you.

Here’s a glance at what it looks like for those on the Windows 10 October 2018 Update:

Showing Windows Search Home on the Windows 10 October 2018 update. Screen now shows search filters at the top, below which are Top apps and Recent activities.

We hope you like the changes, and if you have any further feedback about search, let us know!

As usual, there are a couple of quality fixes in this new build, including a fix preventing Insiders to setup Windows Hello in Settings in recent builds. Moreover, starting with this build Microsoft is making its Connect app available as an optional download in the Windows 10 Settings app. You can learn more about bug fixes, changes and known issues in our separate post.

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