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Microsoft has announced that the Windows 10 October 2020 Update (20H2) has begun rolling out to eligible systems.

The update includes various improvements designed to make the OS easier to use (e.g., tweaks to the Settings and Notifications panels), but the most immediate and apparent change lies with the Start menu, which has finally received a fresh coat of paint after five years.

After installing the Windows 10 October 2020 Update, users will find a sleeker, streamlined Start menu that ditches the solid squares of the original for transparent tiles. These tiles echo the color of the system theme, resulting in a more consistent and pleasing look. Users who are tired of the standard “dark” and “light” themes may also set a custom accent color to change the overall color of the Start menu.

Here are some of the other additions that users will find in the Windows 10 October 2020 Update, as described by Microsoft:

  • Smooth Settings. Settings continues to become a more robust place to access security and device details. Also, now when you go to Settings > System > Display, Advanced display settings, you can change the refresh rate of your display. A higher refresh rate allows for smoother motion of visuals, and depending on what kind of display or monitor you have, you may be able to really crank it up—makes for a great gaming experience.
  • 2 in 1 toast elimination. 2-in-1 devices now naturally switch by default to the new tablet experience without the notification toast asking you to switch into the tablet mode when you detach the keyboard, helping to keep you in your flow.
  • Noticeable notifications. New app logos at the top of notifications now make it much easier to identify who they are from. And the new “X marks the spot” lets you quickly click, close and get back at it.
  • A Taskbar tuned to your liking. Getting a new Windows PC? You will enjoy a cleaner, more personalized, out-of-box experience featuring a taskbar specifically curated for you—less clutter and more content that you’ll love. (This experience is limited to new account creation or first logon scenarios.)
  • [Microsoft Edge] Alt + Tab = The quick way to access your apps and web tabs. With this handy keyboard shortcut not only can you easily access the apps you have open on your desktop, but now you can also access your open tabs in Microsoft Edge.
  • [Microsoft Edge] All the tabs you were looking for. If you’re someone who likes the convenience of pinning your favorite websites to the taskbar, you’re going to love this new feature. Now when you hover over the website icon, you’ll see all the open tabs of that site.

The Windows 10 October 2020 Update may be rolling out now, but we’re not making any guarantees that you’ll be seeing it any time through Windows Update. Some users claimed that it took months before they could install the last major update – version 2004 – due to supposed hardware incompatibilities.

Of course, those of you who want it today can install 20H2 manually via Microsoft’s Windows 10 update tool.

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16 Comments

  1. Am I the only one that doesn’t really use the Start menu anymore?

    For anything that I don’t use so often as to have a shortcut squirreled away for, I’ve gotten so used to hitting the Windows key and just typing what I want, I don’t even bother looking any longer. I couldn’t even tell you what’s on my Start menu. I know there’s something called Live Tiles, or at least used to be, but I have no idea what they are or how to use them.

    That was the absolutely best (and maybe only good) thing about Windows 8 – the "type to search" in Start feature.

    It’s not that I hate it or anything. I think it looks nice. I just don’t bother with it any longer. I still think of Start as a folder somewhere with subfolders and shortcuts in it, but I’m sure it’s grew way beyond that now.

  2. And, they, from what I’ve heard and read, fixed most all of the issues that the early 2004 update was causing.

    I’m still running 1909 on all of my win 10 systems due to the issues with the 2004 update.

    I have my figures crossed that these issues have in fact been taken care of.

    Like you @Brian_B , I very very rarely ever use the start menu anymore. Most everything I do I have a short cut in a folder on my desktop that I go to.

    EDIT: Meant to include these two update ISO’s earlier and spaced it out.

    https://software-download.microsoft…1603299861&h=c8a7e00a2ab62e6ed119bf34d9482a50

    https://software-download.microsoft…1603299861&h=53a89d64a136e142ecf1deb565ab7e9e

    Don’t know why anyone would need the 32 bit, but hey, figured I’d include it also.

  3. I only got 2004 like a month ago, running mostly fine, not sure about the function to remove what windows thinks is malware but other then that no complaints so far.
    1. I’ve got 2004 on both my laptop and desktop. The desktop is fine. The laptop, despite MS saying it was ready for 2004, has had all sorts of problems. The fact that MS no longer lets the nvidia control panel control video card affinity sucks. The win10 method is garbage making me guess what executable is responsible for the video. Nvidia let me pick the processes using the video. It’s made webex, zoom, etc. near unusable.

      Then there’s windows audio graph. Which finished making them unusable. Because despite having a super common audio chipset, the thing seems to work poorly with it and just starts using 30-40% cpu because reasons.

  4. I’ve been running this for awhile myself without issue on my main rig.. been running the 2004 update on my laptop, wife’s setup and my daughters setup without issue too .. but will get this update on those setups as soon uncle Microsoft lets me
  5. The edge stuff is pretty smart.
    Get tired of guessing like an idiot which tab it I was at.
    The color stuff is okay so is the touch stuff.
    Windows 8.. glad I skipped.
  6. I only just moved clients, friends, and family to v2004 in recent weeks. I always wait a few months after a new version of Win10 comes out before I move myself and others over to it. Will be no different with this new update. However I do have a test system where I move to new versions of Win10 sooner to start ****ing around with them before I approve a mass rollout.

    Does anyone know if Task Manager finally ****ing reflects the Dark theme yet?

  7. I always wait a few months after a new version of Win10 comes out before I move myself and others over to it.

    Yeppers, same here. Kind of like new hardware LOL. I usually wait for a few months and read and listen to all the people complaining. Wait for the fix, and then install or buy.

  8. Anyone here who is using edge noticed some changes today?

    My favorites don’t automatically show anymore when I hover over a map, I need to click on the map to open the list, also the look seems off ( due to bad eyesight I use 150% zoom and it seems to break the tab)

    Also using back seems to not work anymore most of the time. I tried resetting Edge to no avail, can’t find anything about an update in update history either.

  9. Anyone here who is using edge noticed some changes today?

    My favorites don’t automatically show anymore when I hover over a map, I need to click on the map to open the list, also the look seems off ( due to bad eyesight I use 150% zoom and it seems to break the tab)

    Also using back seems to not work anymore most of the time. I tried resetting Edge to no avail, can’t find anything about an update in update history either.

    Are you using it… on purpose?

  10. Not the only browser I use, but yes, these days it’s almost the same as chrome anyways.

    It’s better than Chrome, but worse than the original Edge. I still can’t believe Microsoft cucked and went with Chromium in the new version. It was the most compatible browser with HTML5 until they went this direction.

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