Here Comes the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

Posted on October 16, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 35 Comments

Here Comes the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

This week, Microsoft will begin rolling out its fourth feature update for Windows 10. Unlike its predecessor, however, the Fall Creators Update is a fairly substantial upgrade that should offer useful improvements for just about anyone.

Which is itself kind of interesting: So far, Windows 10 versions have pretty much followed an “every other” schedule, alternating between big releases and less impressive updates.

The initial version of Windows 10 shipped in mid-2015 and was obviously a big deal. It provided a nice return to the PC focus that Microsoft lost track of in the ill-fated Windows 8. But it was a bit unfinished, so Microsoft quickly shipped a Fall Update in November 2015 that focused mostly on fit and finish.

The biggest Windows 10 upgrade so far was the Anniversary Update from mid-2016. This release, sadly, was also a disaster, with reliability issues overshadowing its many new features. Then, in March 2017, Microsoft finalized the Creators Update, a minor upgrade that had little in the way of features for creators. That said, the Creators Update provided some important underpinnings for features that are finally now broadly available in the Fall Creators Update.

Given how much is happening in the Fall Creators Update, it’s fair to say that many of the improvements, especially the smaller ones, will only impact certain classes of users. So I’ve tried to identify the top new features and changes that will either impact the most users overall, or will at least impact Windows as a platform.

And, go figure, I came up with ten of them. They are:

Windows Mixed Reality. Microsoft’s hardware partners are now selling the first generation Windows Mixed Reality headsets, which provide access to a new spatial interface for Windows itself as well as new virtual reality (VR) and 3D games, apps, and other experiences.

Remix: Photos, videos, and 3D effects. One of the most stunning Microsoft consumer demos ever is now available as a feature inside of the Windows 10 Photos app. That may sound humble, but Photos can now be used to “remix” photos and videos into stunning presentations, and its built-in video editor is topnotch.

OneDrive Files On-Demand. One of the best features from Windows 8—OneDrive placeholders—is back and better forever as OneDrive Files On-Demand. This feature lets you navigate your entire OneDrive storage directly from File Explorer and access files and folders that are stored only in the cloud in a very seamless fashion.

Pick up where you left off. With the Fall Creators Update, Microsoft is finally getting serious about integrating your PC with your smartphone, and while some of these features will get better over time, the basics are there now. These include picking up where you left off in the Microsoft Edge browser (currently in preview) or via Cortana, which offers a wider range of options.

My People. It’s nice to see Microsoft bring its people-centric user experiences to the desktop. And while My People isn’t for everyone, those who prefer this type of interaction will wonder how they ever used Windows without it.

Fluent Design System. Another feature that is only partially implemented in the Fall Creators Update, the Fluent Design Systems marks the first change to Microsoft’s design language in several years. You can see it most obviously in the reveal highlight and acrylic effects throughout the OS, which are subtle and light-based.

Microsoft Edge improvements. As has been the case with each Windows 10 version, Microsoft Edge gets a major update this time around, adding big performance improvements, many more extensions, simple and consistent full-screen support, and many ink-based updates.

Gaming improvements. In the Fall Creators Update, Windows 10 gets several gaming-related improvements, including an improved Game Bar with easier access to Game Mode, improved Mixer broadcast capabilities, improved Game settings, and GPU performance tracking capabilities.

Inking improvements. Windows Ink has improved all across Windows 10, with new inking capabilities in Microsoft Edge for ebooks and PDFs, an improved handwriting panel with overflow and correction support, more customizable palm rejection capabilities, pen scrolling, and a new Find My Pen feature.

Security and privacy improvements. Windows Defender now includes ransomware protection for the first time, with controlled access to protected folders. And with the Fall Creators Update, Microsoft has once again tweaked the system’s privacy features to make them more transparent and easily managed.

So that’s the major improvements. But there is so much more in the Fall Creators Update, of course, from Eye Control to Windows Sonic, a way to emulate Dolby Atmos surround sound with headphones. So I’ll continue to document the new features, both here on this site via Feature Focus articles and in the Windows 10 Field Guide. There’s really a lot going on, and while it’s easy to dismiss what Microsoft is trying to do to in the PC space, I find its efforts to be both fascinating and useful. You will too, no matter what your needs.


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Comments (37)

37 responses to “Here Comes the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update”

  1. nightmare99

    I think Microsoft will roll this one out more agressivly as they have refined the in place upgrade feature update process. Some people only got the creators update a couple of months ago.

  2. junjunralriosa

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  3. rickski

    Windows 10 Pro multiuser pc built with v1607. Upgraded to v1703 using windows download ISO without any problems . Upgraded to v1709 from settings, update while logged in to built in Administrator account. Problems experienced in all user accounts include

    Start menu, Is missing the majority of Windows 10 tiles but retain our own tiles

    Start menu, Settings button does not open settings

    Task bar, Edge and Store icons are not displayed. Apps still open. Tried unpin and repin but now gone, apps have to be opened from start menu.

    Windows Store, five apps require repair but will not reinstall. MSN weather, app installer, sticky notes, people and messaging. Inspected registry and Administrator user has subkeys for these apps but other users are missing registry entries

    Tried using Powershell to remove an app and reinstall but status still requires repair.

    Looks like Windows 10 is only suitable for single user Pcs and make sure you are logged in as that user when upgrade starts.

  4. Lane

    I was excited to check out some of these new features in the Fall Creators Update. I went through the update process by the auto update processes in Settings/Updates.

    Now I am missing about 70% of my Store Apps not to mention some of the default Windows programs like the Calculator, Pictures, People and even the Store App itself is missing. I have tried a few different ways to make them re-appear. The Store says they are already installed but they do not show up on the Start Menu.

    I have been waiting a few days to see if they would magically reappear. After a couple more updates from Microsoft my system is still missing Store Apps and Windows programs.

    I am not finding any information online about this issue. Am I the only one?

  5. NoLaNM5150

    Fall Creators Update has bricked two of my (HP) desktops. So far, not too impressed... Now waiting on Microsoft Level 2 support to hopefully undo this tragic deployment... #Fallpocalypse

  6. jpr75

    Not impressed. Windows 10 is better than past iterations of Windows, but the new features don't mean a lot to me. it almost seems like Microsoft is struggling to come up with something new to add to Windows. Fluent Design System is a good example. Without someone pointing out the differences, could you really tell, and what purpose do they serve? Looking through the list above, they sound like minor updates. This is more like Windows 10.0.4, with the original Windows 10 being 10.0.0.

  7. Manteno

    I just got the update but it looks like Onedrive's files on demand feature is still not there yet.

  8. Tim

    Really large files aside (that you wouldn't want to wait for a download) is there any reason why you need to store one drive files locally anymore?

  9. Lauren Glenn

    Not a bad update but only one thing I've found broken so far...... Remote Desktop UWP app. If you try to use it, it constantly shifts between focused and not focused at rapid pace. You can't use it. AND if you uninstall it and reinstall it, you lose all the stored RDP credentials that you saved in it because they apparently don't have a cloud service they could use to store this information. They should get on that. :(

  10. Win74ever

    This update is as pathetic as the first "creators" one. Windows 10 is done.

  11. Tony Barrett

    You may highlight a lot of 'features' that will appear in the FCU, but in reality, as usual, this will mean absolutely nothing to about 98% of Windows 10 users. Really, they won't even notice the vast majority of changes, let alone actually use any of them. If anyone actually even notices 'fluent' changes I'd be surprised, and then it will be very 'meh'!

    Honestly, just where are MS going with Win10? Does it actually have a development plan, or is it just a bunch of people sitting in a room in Redmond throwing feature requests into a hat? Do MS think that if they cram enough unnecessary things into one OS, eventually everyone will like it? Why don't they just call the next release the 'Kitchen Sink Update'. That sort of sums it up.

    • Win74ever

      In reply to ghostrider:

      They aren't fooling anyone. November update was some finishing touches to RTM. Anniversary was another meaningless update. They finally started with new features and cool stuff with Creators. Or so they said. After two versions of Creators we have a Photo Remix and Paint 3D joke. I thought they would release lots of interesting versions after the November update. Guess not. The years are passing and nothing interesting is going on with Windows 10. They really lost. The next 2018 version will also be a joke. Windows 10 won't get any more market share.

  12. wright_is

    Any news of when Cortana for Android / iOS will be available internationally? I've been using it on Windows for a couple of years and would like to use it on Android... If it is available here on Windows, I don't understand why the Android version isn't being made available...

  13. red.radar

    Not really excited about any of these features with the exception of OneDrive improvements.

    I set my machine to wait 180 days before upgrade. I can wait. Nothing hear is lighting my world on fire.

    the photos app improvement makes little sense to me because photo storage has moved to the cloud with my mobile ecosystem. so I don’t need a desktop app to do this function anymore.

    • wright_is

      In reply to red.radar:

      For me, my smartphone is much too small for working on photos. I use my 34" display and Capture One. The smartphone also struggles with RAWs. Heck, an afternoons worth of photography would swamp the memory on it!

      • red.radar

        In reply to wright_is:

        In my case I don’t fiddle with photos. I take them as they come off the sensor, for the volume of photos I take I am hardly concerned about perfection. This is documentation of my family and memories not art. In my case.

        So so unless the camera app adjusts the photo upon snap, I don’t ha e time to edit them.

        Just my perspective of where I am coming from

  14. Jeffery Commaroto

    I did my first and probably last run with the Insider builds this round. The thing I learned was how little most of the features beyond stability and security mean to me. Windows 10 in general is fine. Looks nice, works nice. I have the software and solutions I need either in Office 365 or from third parties like Adobe or services like Google Photos.

    AR/VR isn’t my bag. I will never use My People, Edge, Inking. Pick up where I left off doesn’t matter to me because I don’t use Cortana or Edge.

    I have a 2 in 1 that stays basically as a 1 because the tablet optimized software just isn’t there on Windows. Sorry it just isn’t.

    Almost all of my content consumption has been taken over by an iPad. I spend most of my non work time on my phone. Web apps are taking over many roles in my job and Chrome keeps everything in sync across all the different tech I use. The rest of my computing is inside of a shell usually connecting to a Linux system of some kind or another. Not much more I need directly from Microsoft when it comes to Windows updates.

    This update just feels very, meh, to me.

  15. LordPhantom

    Are we sure files on demand is coming? I'm running 16299.15 and I do NOT have it (I'm off the insider program right now).

  16. gabbrunner

    Sounds good, and a surprisingly positive analysis from Paul, who likes to write about MS heaping piles of unnecessary features on top of its OS.

    For me, I think many users will be happy with this update, and I think it's an unfortunate side effect of the insider program that most hard core users spend more time with unstable features than with the finished product. It's something MS should be thinking about.

  17. lezmaka

    Is Edge finally going to be updated through the store? Or is it still tied to the major Windows updates?

  18. PanamaVet

    I am very pleased with Windows 10 1703 desktop setup.

    I am fully updated and backed up. I never have problems with updates.

    I play games, listen to music through a high definition sound card connected to Klipsch speakers, browse the internet via inexpensive FTTH over a VPN from a sandbox and write code.

    At some point I will move into mixed reality but it seems a little early.

    I like the idea of being able to sit outside a Paris Café drinking Costa Rican coffee perusing the scenery until I get bored and go somewhere else.

    Happiness requires effort. I made the effort to learn how to use Windows properly and I am very happy with the result.

    Paul played a big part in getting me here and I appreciate it.

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