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Fast ring Insiders get first taste of Windows 10 Redstone 5 with build 17661

Windows Insider program settings
Windows Insider program settings (Image credit: Windows Central)

Now that the Windows 10 April 2018 Update has shipped to the public, Microsoft is giving Fast ring Insiders their first sampling of the next big update, currently codenamed Redstone 5. Windows Insider chief Dona Sarkar announced today that build 17661 is now rolling out to Insiders on the Fast and Skip Ahead rings, bringing a load of new features and fixes. Here's a look at what's new.

What's new in Build 17661

A modern snipping experience

Today we're taking the first step toward converging our snipping experiences. The new modern snipping experience is here to help you effortlessly capture and annotate what you see on your screen. While working on this we've been carefully going over all your feedback about taking screenshots in Windows – you'll find the flow and tools are optimized for sharing and make communicating visually with others quick and easy.

RS5 Snipping Experience

  • Screen Sketch is now an app! Originally introduced as part of the Windows Ink Workspace, this comes with a variety of benefits, including that it can now be updated via the Microsoft Store, it will now show up in the list when you press Alt + tab, you can set the window size to be your preference if you like multitasking, and it even supports multiple windows (and tabs, thanks to Sets!).
  • Easy snipping is only a single step away. One of the loudest things we heard is that you want to be able to quickly snip & share a screenshot, and we're making it happen! WIN + Shift + S will now bring up a snipping toolbar – snip a rectangle, something a bit more freeform, or full screen and it will go straight to your clipboard. If that's all you need, you can take it from there. Want more, though? Immediately after taking a snip you'll now get a notification that will take you and your snip to the Screen Sketch app where you can annotate and share away!
  • But wait, there's more! Is the WIN + Shift + S keyboard shortcut too long to remember? Guess what! We've added easy entry options for every input modality:
  • Just click the pen tail button. If you have a pen, go into Pen & Windows Ink Settings – you'll find Screen Snipping is now an option for single click. This will launch you directly into our snipping experience:
  • Press Print Screen. You heard it right, just one button! It's not enabled by default – go to Keyboard Settings – you'll see a new option that says "Use the Print Screen key to launch screen snipping". Opening Settings and searching for "print screen" will take you to the right page.
  • Press the quick action button in Action Center. Called "Screen snip" – it should be there as soon as you upgrade, but if not you can always enable it via Notifications & Actions Settings.

Continuing the Sets Experiment

For the last few weeks, we have made the Sets experiment available to all Windows Insiders who have opted in to Skip Ahead. Now that the Fast ring and Skip Ahead are merging back together and will be receiving the same RS5 builds, we are going to continue with the controlled study just like we did back in December. This means that not all Insiders will see Sets. Insiders who were opted into Skip Ahead who had Sets previously will continue to have Sets. However, unlike the controlled study we did in December, the large majority of Insiders in the Fast ring will see Sets and a smaller group won't.

More Fluent Design: Introducing acrylic in Task View

We've heard you like acrylic! We like it too – when you update to this build you'll find that the entire Task View background now has a soft blur effect.

Acrylic Task View

Windows Security improvements

Windows Defender Security Center is now called Windows Security. You can still get to the app in all the usual ways – simply ask Cortana to open Windows Security or interact with the taskbar icon. Windows Security lets you manage all your security needs, including Windows Defender Antivirus and Windows Defender Firewall.

Focus assist improvements when gaming

Now Focus assist will turn on automatically when you're playing any full screen game. No more interruptions when you're crushing it. This behavior should be turned on automatically, but you can always check by going to Settings > System > Focus assist and ensuring the "When I'm playing a game" automatic rule is enabled.

Continuing our Sound Settings migration

Consolidating our settings experiences is an ongoing priority for us. We started our work moving Sound settings to Settings with the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, and we're happy to announce the next piece of that with today's flight. Device properties has now been integrated into Settings – just click on the links in Sound Settings and you'll find a new page where you can name your device and select your preferred spatial audio format.

Taking the Microsoft Pinyin and Wubi IMEs to the next level

Do you write in Chinese (Simplified)? We're updating the Microsoft Pinyin IME! We've been focusing on addressing your performance, reliability and compatibility feedback. You'll also notice a number of other improvements, including:

  • Design improvements – a new logo (for the Microsoft Pinyin IME), new IME toolbar, and dark theme support!
  • An updated context menu. We've added a bunch of options to the IME mode indicator's context menu in the taskbar, so you can quickly access the things you need.
  • The IME now uses the same UX for Expressive Input as other languages. You can bring it up by clicking the emoji button in the IME toolbar, or use the Emoji Panel hotkeys (WIN + period (.) or WIN + semicolon (;)). You can browse between Emoji, Kaomoji, and Symbol input when Chinese (Simplified) is the active locale.

Improving HEIC support

We announced support for the High Efficiency Image File Format (HEIF) in Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 17623. We are happy to announce that in build 17661 you can now rotate HEIF-format images in File Explorer, and edit metadata, such as "Date taken".

Redstone 5 is still early on in development, so we should see many more features added in the coming months. And now that it's on the Fast ring, Slow ring Insiders should see their first taste of Redstone 5 before too long as well.

For more, including a look at more general changes and fixes, check out Microsoft's full release notes.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to daniel.thorp-lancaster@futurenet.com.

22 Comments
  • Keep'em coming 😃
  • What is HEIF?
  • You can read about it here: https://www.keycdn.com/blog/heif/
  • Microsoft Snip is still better... But why?
  • That's nothing but LIES. Take it back.
  • Are you being sarcastic? I don't get it. With MS Snip you can fast and easily capture a single open window with just one click, record voice and the annotation(!) and there is this handy but sudle bar ready to use whenever you want it. You can even put it wherever you want. It even has a library within the app.
    The recording function alone is huge. You can even use it as a whiteboard.
    It's quiet obvious: MS Snip > Screen Sketch > Snipping tool If you were serious I really want a explanation why the Screen Sketch App is better than the old garage project MS Snip.
    https://mix.office.com/en-us/snip?previewvrg
  • Rs5 looks like a big deal for consumers. The snipe pen features seem primed for Andromeda.
  • So Microsoft will replace the Snipping Tool with this new tool? Would be appreciated.
  • honestly, I'm quite happy with ShareX but surely willing to give this one a try. Downloading!!
  • I hope they will add this blur effect to the Windows 10 full screen start menu. :)
  • Huh, just waking up. What's going on, new. A new Redstone build. Just got done ranting, in a nice way. I'll put this on my old AMD Franken Computer server thingy. I expect it to pass. Well Franken Computer just up chucked and died.
    Any help here?
  • Really impressed with the insider program and the Windows development team overall. If they keep up this pace, Win10 would be pretty phenomenal in a few years.
  • Install eventually appeared to finalise...until GSoD, then following install error "Failed to install on ‎03/‎05/‎2018 - 0xc1900101"
  • I'm running into issues as well. Windows has been running great, but Windows Update is its Achilles Heel.
  • Redstone 5 is looking like a quality update! I hope they've been learning with RS4 and are pushing most of the development early on in the cycle and polishing later. It's great to see them make built-in apps more and more useful and Settings more powerful. Love how Acrylic looks too.
    Random thought: After RS5, they could move to a yearly cadence. I don't think Windows 10 is in dire need of fast updates after that. They should focus on making all new updates reliable and fast.
  • I'm holding off on this one due to this note (and I normally jump on fast ring builds quickly):
    Certain notifications from Action Center may cause regular Explorer.exe crashes. We’re working to get this fixed in the next flight.
  • sine I installed this update on my SP4, it constantly restarts after a few minutes and without any error codes. what's happening?
  • No sets for me 😢 I was looking forward to that too
  • wut is sets?
  • it downloads but doesn't install
  • Installed first time on my 2 laptops and 1 desktop I use for insider build testing.
  • Already got my hands on this build