Microsoft today released a new Windows 10 preview for PCs with settings and input improvements. This build is part of the RS4 branch, which represents the next Windows 10 update the company has yet to announce.

Windows 10 is a service, meaning it was built in a very different way from its predecessors so it can be regularly updated with not just fixes, but new features, too. Microsoft has released four major updates so far: November Update, Anniversary Update, Creators Update, and Fall Creators Update.

Windows now lets you adjust how bright SDR content appears when running in HDR mode on the desktop. If your computer supports HDR, you will see a slider under Settings => System => Display => “HDR and advanced color settings.” In Ease of Access Settings, there are new “Change cursor thickness,” “Change pointer size and color,” and “Change touch feedback” options.

The Fall Creators Update brought shape-writing input for the one-handed keyboard. With this build, shape-writing is now available on the wide touch keyboard.

The insertion gesture (to add space between words or letters) has been updated to now be a small caret.

A new gesture (a 90 degree angle bracketing the end of your text) lets you automatically commit your text and clear out the handwriting panel.

Chinese (Simplified) handwriting has a layout similar to the one announced for other languages with the previous build — the buttons in the handwriting panel are collapsed by default.

This desktop build also includes the following general bug fixes and improvements:

  • Added settings that let you view and manage your activity history, which Cortana uses to let you pick up where you left off. Find these settings in Settings > Privacy > Activity history.
  • Fixed an issue where network profiles might change from Private to Public after upgrading to the previous build.
  • Fixed an issue resulting in checkboxes being missing from certain win32 apps.
  • Fixed a typo in the Windows Defender Security Center’s Controlled Folder Settings.
  • Fixed an issue resulting not being able to fully remove Windows.old in the last two flights.
  • Fixed an issue resulting in Narrator not saying anything when the candidate bar for hardware keyboard prediction opened and fixed an issue where Narrator wasn’t reading the word candidate when the focus moved into candidate bar.
  • Fixed an issue where the “Working on updates” screen was black with a small theme colored box instead of entirely theme colored.
  • Fixed an issue resulting in some Insiders experiencing a green screen on the previous flight with the error BAD_POOL_CALLER.
  • Fixed an issue resulting in UWP app sometimes leaving drop shadow leftovers after closing the window.
  • Fixed an issue where inactive window scrolling wouldn’t work if Excel 2016 was in focus.
  • Fixed an issue resulting in a noticeable flicker when using hotkeys or a precision touchpad to switch between virtual desktops.
  • Fixed an issue where the XAML Reveal light wouldn’t follow your mouse until the first mouse click – instead showing the entire element lit. This issue was visible in Settings and other XAML based UI in the last few builds.
  • Fixed an issue resulting in changes to Feedback Frequency in Feedback & Diagnostics Settings not persisting after leaving the page and returning.
  • Fixed an issue where Start wouldn’t open if you pressed the Windows key when the system menu from elevated Command Prompt or Task Manager window was open.
  • Fixed a rare issue where if you had certain streaming-capable apps on your PC before upgrading you might end up seeing a black screen with only a cursor for some time after logging in.
  • Fixed an issue from recent flights where the “Add” button in the PIN section of Sign-in Option Settings didn’t work for local accounts.
  • Updated the icon for Collections in Cortana.
  • Updated the touch keyboard so that the margin between each key is visual only. This change will be noticeable if you accidentally overshoot the key press by just a tiny bit – before it might seem as if key presses were being dropped in this scenario.
  • The feature to restore applications that have registered for application restart after you reboot or shutdown (through power options available on the Start Menu and various other locations) has been set to only occur for users that have enabled “Use my sign-in info to automatically finish setting my device after an update or restart” in the Privacy section under Sign-in Options Settings.

Today’s update bumps the Windows 10 build number for PCs from 17035 (made available to testers on November 8) to build 17040.

This build has seven known issues:

  • If you are experiencing broken functionality in Mail, Cortana, Narrator, or missing some features like Windows Media Player, see this post.
  • Popular Tencent games like League of Legends and NBA2k Online may cause 64-bit PCs to bugcheck (GSOD).
  • VPNs that use custom pop-up windows during connection attempts may fail to connect with error 720.
  • Due to a bug that was introduced on this build, you may not receive all of your notifications from Cortana. Reminders are unaffected by this bug, but you may not receive other Cortana notifications that you are expecting. We are working to resolve this issue and will release the fix in an upcoming flight.
  • The Properties dialog for This PC in File Explorer isn’t working and can’t be invoked from the context menu.
  • Insiders with certain third-party antiviruses and OneDrive Files on Demand enabled may see an error citing “OneDrive cannot connect to Windows.”
  • ADDED: [DEVELOPERS] Deploying an x86 app to a x64 PC remotely result in “FileNotFound” deployment failures if the target PC is running Build 17040. Deploying an x64 app to a x64 PC remotely or a x86 app to a x86 PC will work fine.

As always, don’t install this on your production machine.

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