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Windows 10 News and interests feature rolls out in optional update

The Surface Laptop 3.
The Surface Laptop 3. (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Windows 10 versions 2004, 20H2, and 21H1 have a new Windows 10 cumulative update preview available.
  • The update brings the News and interests feature to Windows 10.
  • This update is optional, but the same changes should roll out in the mandatory Patch Tuesday update next month.

Microsoft recently rolled out a new cumulative update preview to Windows 10. Unlike many cumulative updates that only bring security and stability improvements, this update brings a new feature. The KB5003214 update brings the News and interests feature to Windows 10 versions 2004, 20H2, and 21H1. The update also brings several fixes and improvements.

All three versions of Windows 10 that can install the update receive the same changes, but the exact build numbers vary slightly. Windows 10 versions 2004, 20H2, and 21H1 receive builds 19041.1023, 19042.1023, and 19043.1023, respectively.

Here are all the highlights listed by Microsoft (opens in new tab):

  • News and interests on the taskbar is now available to anyone who installs this update!
  • Improves the news and interests hover experience to prevent accidental openings.
  • Adds the Open on hover option (checked by default) to the News and interests menu. To access it, right-click a blank space on the Windows taskbar and open the News and interests menu.
  • Updates an issue that might prevent users from opening phone apps that are pinned to the taskbar. This issue occurs after they update to Windows 10, version 2004 and then use the Your Phone app.
  • Updates an issue that prevents a touch device from working as a serial mouse in multiple monitor situations.
  • Updates an issue that might display items on the desktop after you have deleted them from the desktop.
  • Updates an error that might cause video playback to fail when you switch from an external high-dynamic-range (HDR) display to a built-in non-HDR display.
  • Updates an issue that fails to apply the spatial audio effect to sounds when you enable spatial audio.
  • Updates an issue with noise when you enable spatial audio and use Bluetooth USB headphones.
  • Updates an issue that prevents users from receiving geographic location information.

You can grab the latest update through the Microsoft Update Catalog (opens in new tab) or Windows Update. To get it through Windows Update, you'll have to search for optional updates.

The News and interests feature was already rolling out gradually, but it's now avaialble to anyone who installs this update. We have a complete guide on how to use the Windows 10 news and interests taskbar widget, including how to customize it and how to disable it if you don't want to use it.

Sean Endicott is the news writer for Windows Central. If it runs Windows, is made by Microsoft, or has anything to do with either, he's on it. Sean's been with Windows Central since 2017 and is also our resident app expert. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.

2 Comments
  • Superfluous. If I want the news that MS thinks is fit to present, I just open EDGE and scroll down. I don't need it taking up space on the taskbar. Yes, you can turn it off, but there are many better things for MS to sic their developers on than this.
  • Well, this isn't for developers... its for MSN/Bing. Bing will pull the info from wherever media house.
    Have to admit, i also hated the thing but now that i have the update, i can see a need for it and i'm certain i've seen this before.
    It gives the taskbar some mobile functionality. The only problem with it.. it feels like a MS Garage project with no integration to Bing News, Weather, Sport and Money. You have to configure your preferences again to this thing.