Top 5 new features in the Windows 10 October 2020 Update

Microsoft Edge
Microsoft Edge (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Windows 10 20h2 Start Hero

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

The Windows 10 October 2020 Update is here! It's a smaller release, but that doesn't mean there aren't new things worthy of note to talk about. Here's the top five new features and changes that are included as part of Microsoft's latest version of Windows 10, rolling out now to users on supported devices running version 1903 or higher.

If you'd prefer a more in-depth overview of everything that's new, make sure you check out our Windows 10 October 2020 Update review!

Cleaner Start menu and notifications

Windows 10 Start menu 20h2

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

With this release, Microsoft has taken the time to clean up some of Windows 10's aging user interfaces. It's modernized the Start menu design by removing accent colors in the live tiles and accent boxes around logos in the apps list. This provides a clean and minimalist look to the Start menu, and isn't as noisy as it was before. In addition, Microsoft has also adjusted the notification interface, adding the app logo to the top left and adding a clear X mark to dismiss the notification.

Touch improvements for 2-in-1's

Windows 10 Tablet Posture (left) | Windows 10 Laptop Posture (right)

If you're using Windows 10 on a 2-in-1 PC, Microsoft has updated the behavior of Windows 10 so that it'll no longer ask you if you want to enter Windows 10's dedicated tablet mode, and will instead automatically enhance the desktop experience with a more touch friendly interface. These enhancements include a more spacious taskbar, larger hit boxes in the File Explorer, and the automatic popup of the Touch Keyboard when tapping into text fields in the desktop environment.

The new Microsoft Edge

If you haven't already installed the new Microsoft Edge, the October 2020 Update comes with it preinstalled, so you won't be able to avoid it for much longer. The new Microsoft Edge is a huge improvement over the old one, with better performance, faster web page rendering, a new Collections feature, and much more. The new version of Edge also integrates with the ALT+TAB interface in the October 2020 Update, so you'll be able to see your recent web pages when switching between programs.

Ehnanced settings

20h2 Settings Home

Source: microsoft (Image credit: Source: microsoft)

Also new with this release is the ability to change your display's refresh rate in the Windows 10 settings app. No longer will you be required to dig deep into a legacy Control Panel applet, as the option is now available in the advanced display settings area of the modern Windows 10 settings app. Microsoft has been slowly but surely porting legacy Control Panel settings to the modern Settings app over the last few years, and that journey continued with the October 2020 Update.

New PC improvements

Personalized Taskbar Newpc

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

If you're buying a new Windows 10 PC with the October 2020 Update preinstalled, you'll notice that the desktop is now better customized to your account when you login for the first time. For example, when logging in to your Microsoft Account during the first run setup, Windows will analyse your account and check if you have an Android phone linked or an active Office subscription, and automatically pin the Your Phone or Office app to the taskbar when you land on the desktop for the first time.

So that's it

That's our list of top five features and changes that are available with the Windows 10 October 2020 Update. What areyou most looking forward to with this release? Let us know in the comments.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter and Threads