Windows 10

Windows 10 Anniversary Update: A guide to the builds

Trying to keep track of all the builds for this summer’s update to Windows 10? We’ve got them here.

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This summer, one year after the initial launch of Windows 10, Microsoft will release its first major update: the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. It will be delivered in the usual way -- via Windows Update -- and will install automatically on its own.

However, if you're curious (or apprehensive) about the upcoming update, you don't have to wait until the final release date to check it out. Microsoft has been releasing public preview builds, each one a little bit closer to the final version. Anyone can get and install those builds by first becoming part of Microsoft's Windows Insider Program, then joining what's called the Fast Ring.

Want to keep track of what builds are available when? What follows is a list of every preview build of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, starting with the most recent and going back to the beginning of the year. For each build, we've included the date of its release and a link to Microsoft's announcement about it. Also included are links to Computerworld's reviews of the major builds.

(Note: This covers only previews for the PC version of Windows 10, not the phone version.)

We'll update this page as new builds are rolled out so you'll always be up to date.

Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14367

Release date: June 16

This build, which showed up only two days after the last one, focuses primarily on bug fixes. But it also includes a feature that long-time Windows users will welcome: The ability to easily perform a clean install of Windows on your PC.

To use it, go to Settings > Update & security > Recovery, and choose "Learn how to start fresh with a clean installation of Windows." You’ll then be directed to a Microsoft Community page that has instructions about how to do a clean install, as well as a link to download the necessary tool.

The bonus here is that the process will delete any applications that don't come standard with Windows. That means it will not only delete apps you've installed, but pre-installed apps that came on the system as well. So if you wish, you can run this as soon as you get a new PC and remove all that irritating bloatware.

Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14366

Release date: June 14

This minor build focuses primarily on bug fixes. It also adds a new extension to Microsoft Edge that lets people view, edit and create Office files inside Microsoft Edge without having to install Microsoft Office. In addition, it has temporarily halted adding any new features to Windows 10 in previews during Microsoft's Windows 10 Anniversary Update June Bug Bash, during which beta testers help the company find and squash bugs.

Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14361

Release date: June 8

This minor build included the LastPass password extension for Microsoft Edge, the ability to user Docker natively in Windows 10 using Hyper-V Containers, and improvements to Windows Ink. It also brought small changes to the Settings app and a variety of bug fixes.

Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14352

Release date: May 26

This minor build included two new Cortana features: One that lets you use Cortana to play music from Microsoft's Groove Music Catalog and another that lets you use Cortana as a timer. Also launched were changes to Microsoft Ink, including an updated Sticky Notes feature, among others.

Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14342

Release date: May 10

This relatively major build made Microsoft Edge extensions easier to obtain by letting them be installed from the Windows Store rather than via a rather complicated download-and-install process. The build also included four new Edge extensions: two ad blockers; a developer-focused tool for improving a website's compatibility and performance; and Save to Pocket, which saves articles, videos and other web-based media so they can then be viewed either online or in the Pocket app for iOS and Android.

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Edge extensions are downloaded and installed from the Windows Store.

The preview also killed the controversial Wi-Fi Sense feature, which was designed to automatically connect guests to Wi-Fi networks without their having to typing in passwords. However, people feared that Sense might invade their privacy by sharing all their Wi-Fi passwords with their Outlook and Skype contacts, and with their Facebook friends -- and all of their friends' friends as well.

Here's the full review.

Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14332

Release date: April 26

This minor build made improvements to the command line and the Linux Bash on Ubuntu feature. It also gave Cortana the ability to search Office 365, offered improvements in battery life, and fixed a variety of bugs.

Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14328

Release date: April 22

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This build was a major update -- the most significant update in the entire series, and one that clearly laid out Microsoft's vision for the final Windows 10 Anniversary update.

Cortana took center stage with a host of improvements, including understanding natural-language requests such as "Email Bill the Excel spreadsheet I worked on yesterday." Cortana also works better with the calendar, doing things such as automatically adding information to the calendar based on received emails, like adding airline flight info if you receive a flight confirmation via email.

new windows10 black

The Windows 10 Anniversary edition will include a black background theme.

Windows Ink was introduced in the upgrade, a feature which lets you use a stylus to write on touch devices and do tasks such as create sticky notes or drawings. The Start menu was revamped so that the All Apps list is permanently visible. Links to Power, File Explorer and Settings were moved to a narrow list on the left side of the Start Menu.

Other changes included having more control over battery settings and the addition of a new dark theme.

Here's the full review.

Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14316

Release date: April 6

This was the first build released after Microsoft's Build 2016 developers' conference, when Microsoft announced the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. In this build, Windows for the first time got a built-in Linux command line -- a GNU Bash shell. Most users probably don't care about this, but for developers it's a big deal because it's the real thing -- a full-blown Ubuntu command line that is being created in partnership with Canonical.

Cortana was also integrated better across multiple devices, including Android and Windows phones (although not iPhones). Ask for directions on your computer and the directions are sent to your phones as well.

Action Center was tweaked with features such as setting priorities for which apps are more important than others, and the ability to have those apps' notifications show up at the top of your notification lists.

Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14295

Release date: March 25

This build fixed a variety of minor bugs.

Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14291

Release date: March 17

This build was the first in which Microsoft Edge finally got support for extensions, something that Microsoft had been promising ever since the release of Windows 10 in the summer of 2015. It was far from perfect -- installation was confusing and flaky, and not all of the extensions worked. Still, it was a start. It also let you pin tabs in Microsoft Edge. Several built-on apps, including Maps and the Alarms & Clock app, were updated.

Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14279

Release date: March 4

This minor build made Cortana available in more languages in different countries, including Spanish (Mexico), Portuguese (Brazil) and French (Canada). Other minor changes include bug fixes.

Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14271

Release date: February 24

This build fixed a variety of minor bugs.

Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14267

Release date: February 18

This minor build made it easier to search for music in Cortana and included a number of minor changes to Microsoft Edge, such as clearing browsing data when you exit.

Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14257

Release date: February 3

This build fixed a variety of minor bugs.

Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14251

Release date: January 27

This minor build, which fixed a variety of bugs, was notable primarily because it was a big jump in numbers from the previous build (11102). That jump was more of a housekeeping issue than anything else. Microsoft had united the Windows and Windows Mobile teams, and wanted to sync the build numbers of Windows and Windows Mobile.

Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 11102

Release date: January 21

In this minor build, Microsoft Edge got a new history menu.

Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 11099

Release date: January 13

This minor build focused on making under-the-hood changes to the code shared among all Windows devices.

This story, "Windows 10 Anniversary Update: A guide to the builds" was originally published by Computerworld.

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