Windows 10 Build 9901: New Settings

Windows 10 Build 9901: New Settings

Some changes that really matter

Not surprisingly, some of the biggest changes in Windows 10 build 9901 can be found in Settings, the new Modern replacement for PC Settings. Here, I take a quick look at some of the settings changes I see in this build. If you've been following the trajectory of this release, you won't be surprised to learn that many of them come straight from Windows Phone.

Note: After examining build 9901 in a virtual machine, I decided it was stable enough to try it on physical machines, starting with my daily-use desktop. I'm since starting to apply it to other PCs as well.

Here's a sampling of what's new.

Control Panel. Yes, of course the Control Panel is still present in this build. I don't see anything new in there.

Lots of new Control Panel functionality is now in Settings. I won't go through every single Control Panel feature that's found its way into Settings in this build, but there's a ton of that. Here's a typical example: The ability to control which application icons appear in the system tray.

Apps and games on removable storage. Based on my understanding of Windows Phone and on what I see in the shot below, it's pretty clear that Microsoft will finally allow users to store apps and games on microSD/SD, which will make devices with minimal storage so much more usable. This one is a long time coming.

Offline Maps. I don't believe the ability to save maps offline is new to this build per se—this is a feature of Maps on Windows Phone, too, shocker—but I don't recall seeing it in Settings before.

Closed captioning is now a system-level set of options. It only took a decade.

Privacy settings now includes personalization and speech. For Cortana, I'd imagine. And the Privacy area of Settings is now up front and center.

Change branch. This is probably just a relic of this particular build (which isn't official), but in addition to choosing between fast and slow release rings, you can also choose which branch you get builds from. This is internal to Microsoft, and in this case I only see the one option. But it's an interesting peek behind the curtain.

New Backup options. A new item, Backup, replaces File History in this build. But it includes options for both OneDrive backup (app data, settings sync) and "local backup" (which is File History).

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