The second big update to Windows 10 has landed. Going by the name of Creators Update, this free refresh of the operating system brings with it a whole range of new features.
- What is Creators Update
- Features of Creators Update
- How to Install Creators Update
- Problems in Creators Update
Just like the previous release, the Anniversary Update, this major new update continues to develop, improve and evolve the OS. In fact, this is now the goal for Microsoft — making Windows 10 better with each new update, and offering a more complete and cohesive user experience, one that is more secure and optimized than the releases before it. Gone are the days of minor update, while waiting for the next version number.
The biggest advantage of this strategy of two large updates each year for the OS, however, is that Microsoft can add new features to Windows 10, while refining and polishing the additions that are already there.
Indeed, the Windows 10 Creators Update is the best version of the OS to date — as it should be.
Let’s take a look at what’s new in this update, how and where you can grab it, some pointers on how to install it on your PC, along with a few basic instructions on certain problems that you could encounter as you upgrade your devices to this newest version of Windows 10.
What is Windows 10 Creators Update?
Microsoft now considers Windows 10 to be a service. In other words, the OS is continually updated with new features and fixes in small increments and big releases. The regular monthly security fixes, app updates, and feature refreshes make up the former.
The Creators Update, then, is the latest big one.
It started rolling out for Windows 10 users for free on April 11, though people signed up for the Windows Insider Program had access to the final bits a couple of weeks earlier. The software giant calls this version 1703, with the numbers 17 denoting the year, and 03, the month of March, when this major update for Windows 10 was finalized.
Aside from the name Creators Update, version 1703 is what most technical documents will refer to this iteration of Windows 10 as.
You may also see it called Redstone 2. This is the codename of this line of updates the Redmond based company is working on. The first Redstone releasing being the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, which made its way out a year after the initial release of the operating system.
The software titan is currently working on Redstone 3, scheduled for launch by the end of the year. It is sure to build upon the features introduced in the Creators Update, while also bringing to the table a range of new options, as usual.
Creators Update’s Features
As the name gives away, many of the included features in this version have been designed to boost the creativity of users.
The most notable of the bunch being improved support for 3D across the operating system, along with the new Paint 3D app.
The Creators Update is also packed with an impressive array of other new options in almost all areas that, while not targeting creativity, should still come in useful for users, and help them be more productive.
Below is a very quick rundown of the new additions, the briefest of introductions, so to say.
- Paint 3D: A revamp of the classic Paint app in Windows, this application makes it easy for anyone to create and edit 3D content that can be added to documents, websites and applications, or shared on social media.
- Mixed Reality: Microsoft has also laid the groundwork for mixed reality with the Creators Update, integrating holographic technology into the platform, and opening up Windows Holographic to all manufacturers. These low-cost virtual reality headsets should greatly expand the use of VR, both for consumers and businesses.
- Windows Ink: Several small, but notable, improvements are also in for users that loving using their stylus for writing on their devices. The Sticky Notes app, for example, can detect addresses, phone numbers, time, stock symbols, and flights, while the Photos app can be used to easily annotate and share images. Better controls for inking have also made the cut.
- Microsoft Edge: The default web browser in Windows 10 may have seen smaller updates this time around, but it now blocks Flash content by default, and offers improved battery life on mobile PCs like tablets and laptops. Security and performance has also been improved, while welcome additions like better tabs management and support for more extensions help make the new browser a tad more usable.
- Ebooks On Windows Store: If you love reading ebooks, then the Windows 10 Creators Update has got you covered, with native support for EPUB files in the Edge web browser, and a read aloud feature. Ebooks also now have their very own section on the Windows Store.
- Windows 10 Themes: Along with allowing users to set custom accent colors, Creators Update also brings support for downloadable themes.
- Night Light: This is basically a blue light filter that can reduce the amount of blue light that is emitted from the screens in the later hours of the day. Very helpful for users that stare at their displays for long periods of time, particularly before going to bed.
- Improved High-DPI Support: Although this is something that still requires a lot of work, Microsoft has made several improvements when it comes to better support for desktop software on high-resolution 4K screens.
- Start Menu Folders: Something that Windows Phone users will already be familiar with, the latest version of Windows 10 comes with the ability to group apps together into folders in the Start Menu on PCs. The process is as simple as dragging a tile on top of another one.
- Better Sharing: This was an area that had not seen any update since the Windows 8 days. But the Creators Update makes way for a new design that Microsoft says is app-focused and integrated, streamlining the process of sharing content via social sites or email.
- Picture-In-Picture Mode: Does exactly what it says on the tin, the new Compact Overlay feature for Windows 10 apps. It lets users multitask by watching a video, for example, while they work on another application or window.
- Cortana: The company’s digital assistant picks up a lot of new additions in the Creators Update, starting with the ability to turn off, restart, or lock a computer using voice commands, improved support for reminders, the ability to pick off working where they left off on another device, as well as the power to control music playback and volume in certain apps.
- Improved Gaming: Microsoft has made it a point to embrace PC gaming in Windows 10 like no other version of the operating system before it. And this shows in additions like the new gaming mode, integrated game streaming with Beam, enhanced support for the Game Bar, and even a dedicated new gaming section in the Settings app.
- Accessibility Enhancements: The Creators Update comes with a bunch of improvements that make the OS more accessible for people globally of all abilities. Major additions include support for braille input and output, enhanced Narrator features, new audio experiences, and boosted integration of the assistive technologies in Windows 10 with other products, like Office 365.
- Stronger Security: Windows Defender, the built-in malware protection in Windows, got an overhaul in the Creators Update. This new iteration makes it a little easier for users to manage their security settings. And along with a new UI, it also gets some health checkup features to keep the PC running smoothly.
- Privacy: The Creators Update also comes with new privacy controls that are sure to please privacy aficionados. It asks, upon first start, what type of settings you want to keep on, providing details of the various options and the data it collects from your system. Along with this new privacy dashboard, a whole slew of options is also available in the Settings app. More granular controls and a default start that tracks nothing would be welcome, but we are getting there.
How to install Creators Update on Windows 10
If you’re sold on what the Creators Update offers, and ready to take the dive, then you have a number of ways you can install this new version of the OS. Before you get down to business, you will have to decide whether you want to upgrade your current Windows 10 installation, or start from scratch and go in with a clean install.
Most people choose to upgrade, particularly now that Microsoft has really streamlined the upgrade process. The company even has a dedicated page set up for upgrading to the Windows 10 Creators Update, complete with an ‘Update now’ button that lets users initiate the installation.
Of course, the company is also automatically upgrading all compatible devices to this new version. The Creators Update was made available for manually installing on April 5, and Microsoft followed it with the official rollout on April 11. The process is expected to take several months to complete, as this new version of Windows 10 will be offered to all compatible devices running the OS.
And while you will receive a notification in due time, if you have not yet, you can obviously also go to the Windows Update section of your Settings panel, and check whether the Creators Update is available for your device.
But while beginners will find these upgrade methods useful, more experienced users will want to manually install this new version by clearing things up on their system, backing up their data, document and personal files, and setting up an installation media.
Install Creators Update Manually
This is usually a USB flash drive loaded with the ISO file downloaded directly from Microsoft servers. The software titan maintains a section on its official website where it houses all the latest versions of Windows 10, like Home, Pro and Enterprise, as well as the various regional and language variants.
The build number you are looking for is build 15063, which is the one for the Creators Update.
ISO files for both 32-bit and 64-bit variants of the Creators Update can easily be downloaded from here, and you can activate your copy of the operating system once it is installed. A tool like Rufus comes in really handy here, and this free software can easily set up a bootable USB drive for you in just a few clicks. It also comes with full support for all versions of Windows.
Ultimately, even with all these options for users to install the Creators Update, Microsoft is not rushing in and making this version available to all from the get go. It has rolled out this new version in phases, targeting newer devices first, especially those that is has tested together with OEM partners.
At the same time, it continues to gather feedback from customers.
And this is why the company is making sure that the Creators Update is only made available to systems where it can ensure 100% that the device will not encounter any problems after installation. That is the reason why Microsoft has gone in with a staged rollout.
That’s not to say that it’s all smooth sailing, as there have been a few reports of bugs here and there.
Creators Update Problems
At the end of the day, Windows 10 Creators Update is simply a software. And just like most software, users can encounter bugs and issues when running it. While Microsoft has very thoroughly tested the Creators Update, and tens of millions of Insiders have helped the company optimize it, there have been some reports of problems and installation issues.
The most common ones are those related to compatibility — either hardware or software. For example, users of some security programs like Comodo Antivirus have report severe graphical issues after upgrading to the Creators Update. These can mostly be fixed by removing the antivirus completely and reinstalling it.
Other times drivers or hardware problems can wreak havoc on PCs. Mostly users running old peripherals and outdated devices like scanners and printers experience these problems. But then again, this has been the case with almost every Windows release ever.
There are, however, little bugs and errors scattered across the OS, which Microsoft continues to fix with each monthly update. As an example, one widely reported oversight was how the Action Center icon in the taskbar showed a yellow notification icon when the screen was set to full brightness. It disappeared when turning it down. But this is more of an annoyance than a severe critical issue, of course.
The easiest way to prevent any hardware or software issues is by manually deploy it, by creating a USB flash drive for installation. The upgrade process then bypasses any checks that can cause critical problems, and you end up with a fresh, clean, installation of Windows 10.
At the end of the day, Windows 10 Creators Update is just like any other major update for the operating system. Secure and stable, rich with new features and improvements to old ones, and offering a streamlined installation and upgrade experience for users. At this point in time, if you’re already running Windows 10, then there is no real reason to delay the deployment of the Creators Update, provided all your devices are compatible with it.