Skip to main content

Windows 10 build 14986 for PC: Everything you need to know

It's been a few weeks since Microsoft made available a test preview of Windows 10 for PC, but now they're back and releasing build 14986. The new preview build is part of the Creators Update, and it's a significant update that includes a slew of new features, improvements, and fixes that give us another sneak peek of what's to come in early 2017.

On Windows 10 build 14986, we're now seeing that Microsoft is adding some must-needed features on Cortana and Windows Ink. Windows Defenders gets a user-interface overhaul. The Settings app now shows new changes. There are update experience improvements, and a lot more.

Here's everything you need to know about the most recent preview build on Windows 10 for PC.

Windows 10 build 14986

Cortana

In this new Creators Update test build for PC, Microsoft is adding some very exciting features to Cortana.

The first, and perhaps the most exciting feature, is the ability to use the digital assistant to shut down, restart, sleep, and lock your PC using voice commands.

If you're running build 14986, you can now say or type the following voice commands:

  • Shutdown my PC
  • Restart my PC
  • Sleep my PC
  • Lock my PC

Also, you can raise or lower the volume using voice commands, which is a pretty neat feature to have.

Another exciting improvement is the new full-screen design as you use "Hey Cortana" when your PC is unlocked and idle.

This is how the feature works: When you stop interacting with your device for around 10 seconds, you can now say "Hey Cortana" to ask a question to get the new full-screen experience. (The new full-screen mode should look familiar, as it's the same experience you get when you use Cortana above the Lock screen.)

On this flight, Cortana is getting even smarter as Microsoft is adding the ability for the assistant to control music playback on more apps. Now, you can use natural language to control your music on iHeartRadio and TuenIn Radio. However, the functionality is currently only available for users in the United States.

If you're running the latest build, you can try these commands:

  • Play <Artist/Track/Title/Genre> on [[ appname ]]
  • Play Drake on iHeartRadio
  • Play Christmas music on iHeartRadio
  • Play NPR Hourly News on TuneIn
  • Play jazz music on TuneIn
  • Play <Frequency/Call Letters> on [[ appname ]]
  • Play 90.3 on iHeartRadio
  • Play KUOW on TuneIn

As part of the new ability to control music playback on more apps, Cortana can now remember the last app you used to play music, so you don't have to repeat the name of the app every time.

For example, you can say something like "Play rock music on Groove," then the next time simply say "Play classic music," and Cortana will play the music on Groove.

Microsoft is also making some changes to allow you to sign into Cortana using your Azure Active Directory (AAD) identity account instead of a Microsoft account.

The Cortana search box is getting an updated microphone icon that aligns a little more with the Windows 10 design language.

Last but not least, Windows 10 build 14986 adds music recognition support for Chinese (Simplified).

Windows Ink

While Microsoft has already announced a number of improvements coming to Windows Ink, based on feedback they're making a few changes.

It usually happened that users would accidentally lose their sketch created on Screen Sketch, as such now the app includes a new "Resume previous sketch" feature, which you can access by clicking the Resume previous button in the top-right.

Screen Sketch and Sketchpad now incorporate an updated pen, pencil, and highlighter flyouts to preview exactly how the ink will look when selecting a color and width. And you can even use the ESC key to exit the flyout menu.

The ruler on Windows Ink has also been updated to rotate in sub-degree increments for touch-enabled devices, which should make it easier to line up the ruler with two points in the display.

Finally, the cursor will no longer appear on the screen while using Windows Ink. While it's a small change, it's a significant improvement that moves in the right direction to make the experience feel more natural.

Settings

In this new Windows 10 Creators Update preview, Microsoft is adding some interesting changes to the Settings app.

Storage

On Settings > System, the Storage page no longer includes the settings to configure where your files will save by default. Instead, Microsoft is moving these settings to a new page, which you can access by clicking the Change where new content is saved link in the Storage section.

In addition, now when you click the local drive, you'll find a new revamped page for Storage usage, which uses new visuals to display how space is being used for each data type.

Printers & scanners

On Settings > Devices, the Printers & scanners page includes new Enterprise Cloud Printers discovery user-interface to help organizations discover printers in the network when using Azure Active Directory. (The services to make this works aren't yet available, so you may not see the option at this time.)

Data Usage

On Settings > Network & internet, the Data usage has been slightly updated. Now the information is displayed using a horizontal bar, instead of a circular usage bar, which inherits the colors from your current color scheme.

When you click the View usage details link, each service that consumed internet data will get a usage bar, and you can now see usage details per network adapter as well.

Windows Update

On Settings > Network & internet, in the Windows Update nothing visually has changed, but now Windows Update will ask you to manually schedule pending updates if the operating system can't find a good time to restart.

Additional changes

On build 14986, Microsoft isn't adding new visual changes to the desktop, but in the Taskbar context menu, the Settings item has been renamed to Taskbar settings, which only makes sense as it opens the Taskbar options in the Settings app.

Under the hood

Windows 10 build 14986 is the first flight that Microsoft is releasing using its Unified Update Platform, which reduces the download size and speeds up the installation process of a new version of Windows 10.

Microsoft recently included new device drivers to support USB Audio 2.0 standard, which the operating system uses in case it doesn't find a third-party driver on the device. However, for the time being, Windows 10 will use the drivers provided with Windows 10, regardless if there is another third-party driver available. (Microsoft promises to change this behavior in future builds.)

In this release, Microsoft has changed the rendering technology of a number of Windows Store app content. As a result, you may see some visual glitches.

For Windows 10 in Asia, Microsoft is adding various new improvements, including:

  • Smart fuzzy matching for pinyin and updated Microsoft Pinyin IME candidate pane experience.
  • New context menu for the IME mode.
  • Microsoft Pinyin IME now supports importing and exporting self-learned phrases.
  • Wubi IME has been updated to support user-defined phrases.
  • Chinese (Simplified) handwriting panel now includes support for line mode.
  • In Japanese Input Method Editor (IME), you can now remove text prediction candidates. Conversion works more accurately, and there are a few additional reliability and responsiveness improvements.

Windows Defender

Another interesting addition in build 14986 is the introduction of a new Windows Defender dashboard, which uses the same Windows 10 language design for apps.

The dashboard aims to make easier and more intuitive to control the security and health of your device in the Windows 10 Creators Update.

Microsoft says that the new Windows Defender app isn't a complete product, which means that it's not fully functional at this time.

Note: You will still be able to find the old dashboard, as such when searching for it, make sure to select the Windows Defender/Trusted Windows Store app to open the new experience.

The new dashboard includes four section:

  • Home: Shows you whether your device is protected or not, the last threat scan and definition update dates. In addition, you get quick access buttons to the reset of the app, which I'm describing below.

  • Virus & threat protection: Displays the scan history and threats found on your computer. From this section, you can also start a virus scan, check for updates, and access to Windows Defenders configuration from the Settings app.

  • Firewall & network protection: Offers an overview of the network details, and you can adjust basic network and firewall settings.

  • Family options: Shows a number of help topics, which are currently not available, but there is a View family settings link, which open your browser and loads the family settings on your Microsoft account.

There is also a setting button in the bottom-left corner, but it's not working at this moment.

Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge is getting an update to version 39.14986, and even though the browser doesn't introduce new visual changes, there are a number of system related improvements.

On Windows 10 build 14986, the developers tools introduces new changes, including:

  • Console filter settings will persist for context menu and buttons.
  • Now attaching the F12 Developer Tools to Windows web apps should work as expected.
  • Improved ES6 Modules debugging experience

Some of the new platform features, includes:

  • Support for Brotli compressed data format.
  • Support for individual transform syntax for CSS transforms.
  • Partial support for CSS Custom Properties.
  • MS-prefixed FIDO 2.0 implementation matches latest W3C Web Authentication specification.
  • Preliminary support for the IntersectionObserver API.
  • Preliminary implementation of the Payment Request DOM API.
  • Fetch abstraction now has core platform support.
  • Async/await is enabled by default.
  • DOM performance improvements

Additionally, Microsoft has announced three new extensions for Microsoft Edge: Ebates (opens in new tab), Intel TrueKey (opens in new tab), and Read & Write (opens in new tab).

Registry Editor

In addition to the new address bar to make navigation easier, the Registry Editor for the Creators Update now is getting a number of shortcuts, including:

  • Alt+ Up arrow: To go up.
  • Alt + Left arrow: To go downward.
  • Alt + Right arrow: To go forward.

Starting with Windows 10 build 14986, you can now change the font, style, and size of the Registry Editor.

You can easily change these new settings opening View and selecting Font.

Additional improvements

Gaming

In the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, Microsoft introduced full-screen support for games using Game Bar, and now the company is adding support for additional 19 games.

Here's the new list of supported games:

  • ARMA 3 {.col-2)
  • Battlefield 1
  • Civilization V
  • Dark Souls III
  • Fallout 4
  • Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
  • Mad Max
  • Mafia 2
  • NBA 2K16
  • Overwatch
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic
  • StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm
  • The Binding of Isaac
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • Terraria
  • Tom Clancy's The Division
  • Total War: WARHAMMER
  • Warframe
  • World of Tanks

Narrator

On a continuing effort to make Windows 10 more accessible, Microsoft is also adding a number of improvements to its Narrator.

As part of build 14986, Windows 10 is including a number of keyboard shortcuts to make it easier to hear more information about fonts, colors, line spacing, and margins.

Here are the new shortcuts:

  • Press Caps Lock + F to hear more information.
  • Press and hold Caps Lock + F to cycle through nine categories of information.
  • Shift + Caps Lock + F moves through categories in reverse.

Context Awareness is now set to 2, and you can use Alt + Caps Lock + / to cycle through the different options. Zero means that the feature is turned off.

Finally, the key to access advanced information about an item has changed from Caps Lock + F to Caps Lock + 0.

Wrapping things up

While we're still months away from the actual release of the Windows 10 Creators Update, this latest build is shows all the pieces coming together for what will be a really significant update.

However, as with any pre-release version of Windows 10, it's not a build you should be using on your primary machine.

Finally, alongside the new changes and features, Microsoft has published a list with details on the new fixes and known issues for the latest preview of Windows 10.

What do you think about the new changes? Tell us in the comments below.

More Windows 10 resources

For more help articles, coverage, and answers on Windows 10, you can visit the following resources:

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.

60 Comments
  • That registry editor font style gives me cancer
  • Cancer ruins peoples lives. Don't be so flippant asshat!
  • Why this comment has downvotes is beyond me, ThePyrobri is 100% right.
  • Indeed... I'm not an overly sensitive person and usually don't care what people say, but a lot have people in my life have died from cancer, so I have to agree here. Say what you want, but it makes you look like an insensitive ass when you joke about things like that. There are many other things you could have said that would have made a lot more sense to the comment than that.
  • Past two build, the Action Center fly out stops working after coming back from sleep. It happens on my Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro. Ultrabook 2 in 1. I use it to quickly toggle between desktop and tablet modes. Need to reboot to resolve. Anyone found any quick fixes for this?
  • No fix sadly without a reboot as far as I've been able to find out. It acts as almost if it's going into presentation mode or silent mode after waking up. I've tried toggling those to see if that would solve it but nothing. Hopefully they fix this in the next build as I keep missing a lot of random messages and my wife thinks I'm ignoring her lol.
  • Found a quick fix!!! open Task Manager and end the task called WINDOWS SHELL EXPERIENCE HOST. It will auto restart itself. The Action Center flyout should work again until the unit wakes from sleep again. EDIT: It fails after a few minutes or attempts. Just gotta kill the process again. suxxxorz!!
  • If anyone can help me, I am not getting the update. I am currently in Build 14971 - Fast Ring.
  • It's a know issue, they are working on fixing it. It's blocking certain people from accessing the update so just keep an eye out.
  • Yep, just saw the tweet from Dona. Thanks for the reply!
  • Lock my pc also works on the slow ring build.... my tablet locked while watching this video!
  • I got some wired problem..download completed, preparing installation done, restart done, some percentage counting done, then another percentage count 10% done pc restart then restoring previous version of windows appaer..old build running don't know what is the issue..
  • If it's failing on the second round of the install that's due to a driver issue or even an anti-virus. I'd recommend disabling your anti-virus before trying again and see if that fixes it. If not make sure your drivers are up to date and try processing it again.
  • Tried didn't worked..going to remove downloaded update files and try again if it fails then I will reset.
  • Exactly the same with your problem. Did you solve it?
  • Yes, i used troubleshoot which removed downloaded windows update files. After re-downloading it installed with out problem.
  • Tried but didn't work _(:з」∠)_
  • That's sad, open Cortana, type troubleshoot, click it, click troubleshoot windows update, it will ask for administrative permission click it, it will ask if proceed it will delete downloaded files do it, it will show what was problem and if they are fixed, check for updates..update must start downloading from scratch...thats what I have done..oh ya, i used same procedure 3/4 times I taught it was my network problem..1st time some error code,2nd time old windows update corrupt files are present, 3rd time something happened, 4th time download started from 0%.
  • Thanks for your help, I'll try again :)
  • 🙂
  • For the love of Panos, why would you demo 'Hey Cortana' on video before an audience of Windows 10 users? I kept having to go back to the app on my 950XL. -.-
  • Same thing happened with me about five times. He should have demoed it like he did, but bleeped out the "Cortana" bit.
  • Well Google did it when they introduced Google Home so it must be okay. Cause god knows Google can do no wrong
  • Commands aren't working for me. Cortana just starts reading me instructions on how to accomplish the task. That's not very useful.
  • Those new Cortana commands are not working for me neither. Says to wait for new build.
  • Interesting. Mine just takes me to a webpage where she starts reading instruction on how to do the command, or to a video explaing how to do it. I tried it with playing music, though, and that did work.
  • You're welcome btw. As part of Bing Distill, I was the one who wrote those instructions xD
  • BSOD three times
  • is this for insiders only?
  • For now, yes.
  • Yes till next year
  • Edge cannot open PDF files in this flight.
  • Nice job Mauro
  • The Cortana search box is getting an updated microphone icon that aligns a little more with the Windows 10 design language.
    LOL is that a joke? It's now the old Windows 8 icon again and the only icon not using the outline style.
  • I don't understand what it is to be excited about. Its all about Cortana and only a few can use Cortana.
  • Huh? Anyone with Windows 10 and a microphone can use Cortana.
  • Anyone in a select few (13) countries that is
  • No, they can turn Cortana on. I am Dutch. Cortana doesn't know anything about The Netherlands. But when I select US.... sure, Cortana is available.
  • Okay, I get that, but it's still inaccurate to say that "only a few can use Cortana". Millions of people does not equal few.
  • So that's the query to get Cortana to play my local collection on Groove! Thought I'd forever lost the ability with the transition from WP8 to W10M. Instead I've gained the added benefit of "Hey Cortana". Thanks (once more, yet again), Mauro!
  • I hope they will add a shutdown my phone command when they push this to mobile.
  • What ever happened to getting Windows Phone notifications on desktop and replying to SMS?
    Worked for 1 day after installing AU
  • When will b able to control windows media player and VLC with cortana
  • WMP is a disaster, are you sure you need it? still
  • Nice to see a Windows Defender UI build with the W10 design language in mind!
  • Loving the continuing Cortana improvements.
  • The storage settings is a pointless change- now there's an extra click to get to the default save locations, why not just leave it as it was?
  • For me the most exciting feature in Cortana would be availability in the Netherlands.
  • hey everyone, is "shutdown my pc" voice command working? when i say "shutdown my pc" the command is registering as "shut down my pc" (so there is a space between shut and down) and instead of running a command, it gives me bing search results.
  • Yes, that's what I get too. The only thing that works on mine is the music command.
  • only lock pc is working the others commends show bing result
  • I have one thing to say about this new "Unified Update Platform BS" it still took my PC nearly 5 hours to update, so either this is a bunch of crap, or I have a massive system that Windows 10 struggle to update, I choose the BS theory myself. I have 12GBs of RAMS, and 2 TB have that contains the Windows 10 OS, yet this crap just drags ass along. Oh and have anyone else had problems with the Microsoft legacy Apps opening when your PC sit idle for longer than 5 minutes, I often have the Photo, Music, Movie & TV, and the Store apps just open on their own, and they keep doing it. I'm thinking possession myself. I do have high hopes that one day Microsoft and the Boneheads that run the company will one day luck up and get all this right, but then to, I also think, one day man will run naked on the Sun and not get a moon burn. But that's just me.
  • 5 hours to update? Sounds like it could be hardware to me. No problems on either of my rigs like those you are having.
  • Got the build installed on my Surface 4 pretty quickly, but seeing _much_ higher battery usage and heat than in the prior build. Device starts getting warm almost immediately after powering on and go from full to ~ 15% in just over an hour with light usage. Not one of the better builds for tablet users.
  • Little things and toys are no doubt nice but what about some basic functionality? Such as share from Edge using Outlook desktop? A Settings app where instead of rearranging the deck chairs there is a fuzzy search that works? Cortana that instead of promising the world actually initiates with a modicum of reliability? Windows Update that can be guaranteed to update? One could go on...
  • Windows update can never be gauranteed to work on all computers. Even in Apple's closed system not all computers/phones update properly.
  • Hello there.
    I am facing a problem while updating to 14986.
    After restart it starts to update. Later on 35 - 40% the update cancels and laptop restarts again and starts to load previous version of windows. I tried 3-4 times and reset laptop once.
    Please help me.
    Thanks
  • hello  it is normally the windows when recieve to 35-40 percent needs to restart but you can disable boot from hard disk  in bios menu in order to continue .  try remove any newly attached devices like ext dvd rom , flash memories, printers etc and try again. if it happened again please write me   
  • Installed right now. I cannot login anymore. I type the pin or the password and all I can get is a temporary account. I tried several times to logout and the login back, but I still receive the error message! Not good!
  • "he first, and perhaps the most exciting feature, is the ability to use the digital assistant to shut down, restart, sleep, and lock your PC using voice commands." So where the eff is it? Has anyone been able to use Cortana to reboot/shutdown their PC? I didn't think so. The only command that works is Lock my PC. The other commans bring up a dialog box.