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Top new features Microsoft is working on for Windows 10 in 2019

Windows 10's next feature update, codenamed 19H1, is now in development, and we've already seen some interesting new features show up in Insiders builds. Here's what we're excited about seeing in Windows 10 19H1 and 19H2 in 2019.

Improved quick actions

One of the biggest new changes coming in Windows 10 19H1 is the overhauled quick actions area within the Action Center. On the surface, it looks pretty much the same, but if you expand it, you'll find a new brightness slider located at the very bottom, which allows for granular brightness control unlike the old brightness button.

In addition, Microsoft has completely redone the editing process for quick actions. No longer do you need to dive into Settings to configure which actions you want in the quick actions area, it's all done directly from within the Action Center now. You can pin, unpin, add, and remove actions without leaving Action Center.

Improved Windows Search

Search in Windows 10 has never really been a strong point, but starting with 19H1, that's going to change. Microsoft is working on improving Windows Search throughout both 2019 releases, and starting with 19H1 we should see a lot of that take place.

We've already seen improved indexing features for Windows Search, which will index your files faster, and there's now more granular control over where Windows is looking when it searches for files, in addition to your personal user profile. I suspect we'll be seeing lots more improvements to Windows Search over the coming months in 19H1 and 19H2.

Light Theme

Building a light theme into the Windows Shell has been on Microsoft's to-do list for years now. You've probably seen concept art from Microsoft which envisions this theme, but it's only now just coming into fruition. While Windows 10 has technically had a light theme since November 2015, Microsoft is taking it up a notch in 2019.

In 19H1, Microsoft is building a new system theme option into the OS which will allow the user to change the Windows Shell from dark to light, giving the entire user-interface a clean feel. This includes the Start menu, Action Center, and Taskbar.

New music control

Microsoft is building a music applet into the System Trays volume control flyout, which looks fantastic and is a fitting replacement for the old music control that uses Windows 8 design. While this isn't in Insider builds just yet, it shouldn't be long before Microsoft is testing it in the Fast ring. It should definitely be showing up in 2019 officially.

Cloud Clipboard for phones

This feature hasn't yet been announced by Microsoft but we've already seen it show up for a few Insiders online. Microsoft is bringing Cloud Clipboard syncing to Android, meaning you will be able to share copied data across your PC and phone without even thinking about it.

It works just like Cloud Clipboard currently works. You copy something, and that data gets sent to the cloud and synced across all your logged in devices. On your phone, it will function through SwiftKey, and will show up in your clipboard history. From there, you can paste it, and go on your way.

It works the same the other way too, copy something on your phone, and your PC will see it in Cloud Clipboard and present a little phone icon next to it so you know it was copied from your phone.

More fluent design

19H1 see's Microsoft continue its adventure in adding its new design language to Windows 10. We'll see it in more context menus, jump lists, and even on the login screen with an Acrylic effect which blurs the wallpaper as you're logging in to Windows.

We should also expect to see drop-shadow effects show up in more areas too, including behind context menus. This gives additional depth to the UI, which looks great when in use. The combination of reveal, acrylic and shadow are all being used in the name of making Windows 10 prettier, which is a good thing.

What are you looking forward to?

So, that's just a few things on our list that we're looking forward to in Windows 10 19H1 and 19H2. What are you most looking forward to in Windows 10 in 2019? Let us know in the comments below.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

  • * What are you looking forward to?
    > SETS!
  • The upcoming volume control looks wonderful. Not sure why it wasn't there from the start because Windows 10 on my 960xl had something similar, but glad they're getting there. Also, hasn't the search indexing for the whole hard drive always been an option? Just hidden, annoying to implement, and off by default? Or are they also changing some of the search patterns? Nice modern interfaces instead of early 2000s era is always a plus regardless.
  • I wish they would update file explorer to be fluent design. Enough said!
  • I already pinned the UWP version to the taskbar. Lacks a gazillion of functions, but occasionally I like to wander around the PC 💻 using it.
  • They should. They've got the UWP Islands toolkit that lets devs use XAML UI from Windows 10 on desktop apps. They should be using their own tools to show people it can be done.
  • Microsoft may be trying to figure out how to allow plugins to work. Right now, on any given file I can right-click to work with the file in 7zip, VSCode, Notepad++, WinMerge, a virus scanner, all without having to open any of those applications first and go through the process of hunting for the file again through an Open File dialog. There are also status indicators from OneDrive, and custom views per directory. File Manager does a lot of things under the covers that users do not see, and cannot be easily ported over to a UWP version.
  • OK after this new version of Win 10 coming whata say Microsoft stops already with the constant add new features and functionality. and spend a year or two on security, bug fixes, and stability.
  • In reality, it wouldn't be surprising if half these features got pushed to 2020. If that's what it takes for them to fix before adding, I'm all for it.
  • Stop repeating the same old thing. What are the problems that you're experiencing? I personally haven't had a security or stability issue in years. Did you ever get hacked just because there was a hole in Windows? Did Windows ever just randomly start crashing? Not for me, and I think a lot of other people. Yes there are always some problems, but those are isolated cases. You never see these issues because they mostly get fixed before they even reach the public. Is it perfect - no? But it's far from being buggy or a security risk.
  • Yesterday my Pro 4 freaked out completely... Again... Insisted I was pressing V and sometimes the middle of the screen. Froze for minutes at a time. Stuff like that happens on a regular basis. Much, much more regularly than it ever did back on W7 and even W8.
  • You mean like peoples Windows 10 Pro license being deactivated, bringing down whole groups in companies? Or maybe peoples personal files being deleted? How about major driver issues on many commercial laptops that keep re-installing because Microsoft wants to force updates for drivers and even if you block them through their troubleshooter, they come back. These are very common issues and unless you have been living under a rock, you would know there are a ton of people having issues recently. Just because you are lucky and not having issues, quit acting like that means others aren't. I run a Cyber Security organization and work with a ton of companies and all of them have been effected by these huge issues over the last few months. But, don't take my word for it. Ask yourself why Microsoft had to stop and restart the latest FR 3 times or why they had to announce they are overhauling their quality control due to the issues. That's not stability.
  • How about
    1) network drives not reconnecting automatically after reboot in 1809 (official bug in release build, still not fixed)
    2) hidden recovery partition getting drive letter that cannot be deleted from GUI (1804 update bug) and then constantly dropping "low disk space" notification on user.
    3) Start button and metro settings stopping to work (bug that persists in many forms from the earlier versions of W10 till now)
    4) Office 2016 and 2013 crashing on "Paste" after W10 updates.
    5) Proxy server that Metro apps use ocassionally not changing with IE proxy change. That's just 2 week list.
    Never ever I had so many problems with Windows (12 years in the industry)
    The official release of Windows 10 Pro is now effectively a demo, not suitable for work.
  • If only they were not pushed by the release of Andromeda to have the whole UI updated and refactored.
  • Actually I'm more interested in improvements in tablet mode and CoreOS. all I want out of the desktop is consistency. Dark theme should include ALL the dialog boxes.
  • What build are these from? Fast?
  • I love the Cloud Clipboard idea, but I use a BlackBerry Key2 so I can't use Swiftkey. Wish there was a way to do it through the Launcher instead, although I have no idea if Android would allow a launcher access to clipboard contents like that.
  • I think it can, AFAIK it's just an API, could be wrong though.
  • Cloud clipboard will come for Android first, iOS second.
  • > I use a BlackBerry Key2 so I can't use Swiftkey It's an Android phone so you can 100% use SwiftKey, just download it from the Play Store. SwiftKey auto detects physical keyboards and lets you keep using their predictions and functionality (including Clipboard history).
  • HOME HUB. Already
  • I get tired of all of this crap being added. I don't want my data on an outside file like the cloud or whatever else they want to call it. I'm well aware I have zero control over anything in my machine. Switched to Tor and NorVPN
  • Since when Do you not have control over what's in your machine?
    Cloud Clipboard is not on by default you have to enable it to even use it.
    So I don't really get your point.
    You can also turn off timeline if you don't wanna use that.
  • Windows 10 is not for you, then.
  • Or any mainstream OS in fact. PC and mobile devices (including phones).
  • Since when is a brightness slider and better search crap? You can turn off the cloud related stuff (I don't think it is even on by default).
  • Cortana is effectively missing. And I really don't have anything to do with any of the above mentioned features.
  • I have the most recent build and my Cortana is there. I did have an issue where my Cortana was missing before i upgraded to this build (i have not had Cortana for six build releases.) I did a FULL ERASE and Cortana is back for me.
  • Cortana is effectively missing in 194 countries; completely missing in 189 or so.
  • Correction: Cloud clipboard for phones was announced over a year ago but kept getting pushed back
  • I would like to see the completion of the overhall of the system with fluent design. I love the acrylic and reveal features. I do wish they'd go ahead and add reveal to the Network tray already.
    I would also like to see the completed migration of the control panel and tools.
    Lastly I would love to see how it all works and looks with Andromeda in 2019. Now's the best time to pull the trigger in the mobile sector to capitalize and offer something different and revolutionary. A true multifaceted OS that adapts to every form factor and your every need seemlesly.
  • "One of the biggest new changes coming in Windows 10 19H1 is the overhauled quick actions area within the Action Center." It would be absolutely unbelievable to think that maybe one of the biggest features in the latest build would be fixes to some of the more annoying bugs! But I guess that's just too much to ask of a Fortune 500 company!
  • That's a completely different list
    And yes they fix bugs as well.
  • Definitely the white theme. Best thing that’s happened to Windows 10 since the release of it in 2015. Love it.
  • I would like to see persistent virtual desktops. Replace Start with something truely configurable for the user like Microsoft Launcher for Android. For what is announced so far, I am not impressed. It is like being stuck in the past.
  • How about something as simple as battery level indicator in laptop mode? It's annoying as hell having to switch to tablet mode to see how much battery I've got left...
  • Huh? If you hover over the power icon in the systray, it shows how much battery you have left.
  • Do you see the battery icon, if yes do you get a tooltip when you hover over it? If not I guess the problem is related to your specific model/series.
  • Hi Zac, thanks for this update. Do you know what's happening with Sets? I haven't heared much about it recently. Has Microsoft given up on it because of user feedback?
  • If it was because of feedback that it may not come back those people were all just whiners and cry babies.
  • For legacy PC's that have been upgraded since ancient versions xp-> Vista -> 7 -> 8.1 ->W10: Whenever an update occurs a pro-active selection panel where you can select what drivers will NOT be overwritten by default generic MS drivers (such as sound card drivers, display drivers, scanner drivers, printer drivers...).
  • Cloud Clipboard would be good, but SwiftKey. I just can't get used to the keyboard layout, mainly because you don't get the usual assortment of symbols via Shift-<number>. Maybe someday Microsoft will bring the Win10/Win10M keyboard layout to SwiftKey.
  • Uh search is awesome, continually unappreciated feature in windows but now it's getting even better. Also, I'm wondering if we'll be seeing more Fluent UI materials besides acrylic in the future, I mean is that all it is?
  • I am looking forward to all features mentioned in this article. But there is still a huge to do list of half baked functions and features of windows 10, spanning the last three years, that haven't been solved or addressed. Microsoft news to ramp up their quality assurance agenda for 19H1. For me more attention needs to go towards finishing a half baked tablet UI experience. The framework is there. It does NOT need a new design overhaul. Just complete the current feature set. There is enough feedback to go back on. And I'm not taking about timeline or sets.
  • UI of Music Control layout is too bad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • They should postpone all new features and spend the time on fixing bugs and getting the many half-done features in win 10 done. After having spent the better part of 2019 doing that they can start on new features
  • The brightness slider would be a nice addition, I definitely miss it currently (you can right click and go to the brightness settings now but this would be way better/faster). They also should add more gestures for tablet mode tbh. More consistent OSK popping up. And expand multitasking features, like being able to have 2 programs vertically when in portrait tablet mode and being able to snap 4 windows easily.
  • I want Settings with dark theme, not black!
  • Sounds awesome! I love them modernizing and polishing the OS continually. I'd also like to see MS develop an implementable API for the clipboard functionality. I prefer Gboard to Swiftkey!
  • Isn't the "Enhanced" search how search used to work until Windows 8?
  • Neither very white nor very black ... could not make the entire interface transparent? Task Bar, Start Menu and Notifications. The Explorer with a transparent background blur ...
    That would be the real one "Windows"