[Review] What’s New in Windows 10 Anniversary Update

After almost one year of Windows 10 OS release to public, Microsoft has released new Anniversary Update build which brings many new features, enhancements, changes and fixes to the OS. Anniversary Update build number is 14393 and it upgrades the version number of Windows 10 to version 1607. Anniversary Update build downloads from Microsoft's RedStone1 development branch, that's why its also called Windows 10 RS1 sometimes.

We have told you about all major changes in each build of Windows 10 released after November Update (version 1511) build in our following exclusive article:

Windows 10 Anniversary Update (Version 1607) Changelog

And now its time to talk about all these changes and new features present in Windows 10 Anniversary Update build 14393 in details.

Today in this review article, we are going to list all major and noticeable features and changes found in the new Anniversary Update for Windows 10. So without wasting time, let's start the exclusive review of Windows 10 Anniversary Update:

Improvements to Start Menu:

Microsoft has made lots of improvements to the UI as well as functionality of Windows 10 Start Menu. Now the Start Menu is divided into 3 vertical sections: tiny vertical row containing small icons such as settings, user avatar, power, options, second section containing all installed apps list and third section containing live tiles of modern (metro) apps.


Now you no longer need to click on "All Apps" option to access the installed apps and programs. Start Menu directly show them, its a nice and useful improvement.

There is a hamburger (3-lines) icon at the top of the first vertical row of Start Menu which can be clicked to expand the row to show full labels of the icons.


You can unpin all live tiles to make the Start Menu a little bit similar to classic Start Menu. I love using the small Start Menu without live tiles.


Start Menu is fully customizable and you can also convert it into full screen Start Screen. Check out our following exclusive review of new Start Menu to learn more about its features:

[Windows 10 Start Menu] Review, Tips-n-Tricks and Customization

Improvements to Action Center (or Notification Center):

Microsoft has also improved the Action Center a lot. There are many UI changes and enhancements to this feature.

First of all, the Action Center icon is now shown at the extreme end of the Taskbar right after the clock. Previously, Action Center icon was shown between the clock and other system tray (notification area) icons. The new location of Action Center will help users in better noticing any notification given by Action Center.


Now Action Center icon in Taskbar also shows number of notifications in a balloon style circle so you always know whether there are any new notifications in Action Center. You can disable this feature, by right-clicking on Action Center icon and enabling "Don't show number of new notifications" option.

[Windows 10 Tip] Show / Hide Number of New Notifications on Action Center Icon in Taskbar


Also its now easier to interact with the notifications present in Action Center. The entire app header in Action Center is now right-clickable instead of just the app name or close (x) button. Action Center now also supports middle-clicking on a notification to dismiss the notification.

Also Quick Actions in Action Center that turn on and off different functionality in your device, like Bluetooth on your phone or Tablet Mode on your PC, now have a transient On/Off text indicator so you can clearly see the state change for these.


One awesome improvement is the ability to select which Quick Actions do you want to show in Action Center. Also you can drag-n-drop the Quick Actions to your desired position. All this can be done by accessing Settings app -> System -> Notifications & Actions page.

[Windows 10 Tip] Rearrange or Add/Remove Quick Actions in Action Center

On this page, you can drag-n-drop various quick actions to rearrange their position. Also you can click on "Add or remove quick actions" option to turn on/off desired items.

Improvements to Settings App:

Microsoft has improved the built-in Settings app a lot. Now Settings app comes with lots of UI changes such as White color navigation pane, page title and search box moved from right-side to the left sidebar, highlight color and style changed and many new icons for pages.

Now the Taskbar settings have also moved to Settings app. Previously Taskbar properties used to open in a separate win32 style windows. Now if you right-click on Taskbar and select Settings option, it opens the new Taskbar settings page in Settings app.


[Windows 10 Tip] Disable Number of Badge Notifications on Taskbar Buttons

Now the Settings app also provides a new option to toggle between Light and Dark theme modes. Previously there was a registry tweak to so the same thing but now its easier to apply Dark theme as shown in following tutorial:


[Tip] Enable Dark or Light Theme Modes in Windows 10

Improvements to Microsoft Edge Web Browser:

Microsoft has made many improvements to Edge browser. Now it comes with many new functionality and features. For example, you can now choose the download folder location to store downloaded files which was not available in previous version. Now you can also install several useful extensions in Edge browser from Windows Store. If you don't like extensions, you can disable extensions feature completely using this guide.


There are many improvements to the favorites bar such as new option to show icons only, create new folders, rename items, etc.

Now you'll also get 2 new options "Paste and go" and "Paste and search" in address bar context menu. Also Edge browser now shows notifications in Action Center when a download completes, etc.

If you are a Mozilla Firefox user, now you can import favorites/bookmarks from Firefox into Edge browser.

There are many UI changes and new settings as well, you can learn more about these changes in our following exclusive review of Edge browser:

[Review] Microsoft Edge (or Spartan) Web Browser in Windows 10

Bash on Ubuntu on Windows 10:

Its a very useful and surprising addition to Windows 10 Anniversary Update which will please lots of developers. Now you can run native Bash shell in Windows 10 and run scripts, Linux command-line tools, apps, etc in Bash shell. Its not any virtual machine or container, its a fully functional Bash shell running in Windows 10.


To learn more about Bash shell and how to install and use it in Windows 10, check out following tutorial:

[Tip] How to Install and Run Native Bash Shell on Ubuntu on Windows 10

Lock Screen Background Picture on Login Screen:

In Windows 10 Anniversary Update, the same image which is set as background on Lock Screen, is shown as Login Screen background image. In other words, Login Screen shares the same background image as of Lock Screen. So if you change Lock Screen background image, Login Screen background image is also changes with the same.


Fortunately, you can disable Login Screen background image using same old trick mentioned in following tutorial:

How to Disable or Change Background Image of Windows 10 Login Screen

If you also want to disable Lock Screen in Windows 10 Anniversary Update, you can follow the steps given in following article:

[Tip] Disable or Remove Windows 10 Lock Screen

New Built-in Activation Troubleshooter Tool:

Microsoft has added a very useful feature which is called "Windows 10 Activation Troubleshooter" in Windows 10 Anniversary Update. This new tool will help you in activating Windows 10 quickly and easily if you are facing some problems while activating Windows. Many times when we change some hardware such as motherboard or hard disk or due to some other reasons, Windows refuses to activate and this tool will come very handy in such situations.


You can learn more about this new tool in following article:

Fix Windows 10 Activation Problems Using Built-in Troubleshooter

Some Other Changes which are Worth to Mention:

Apart from above mentioned changes and new additions, following are some more new features and changes which are worth to mention:

  • New Windows Ink feature addition
  • Improvements to Cortana and search
  • Improvements to Virtual Desktop
  • Improvements to Tablet Mode
  • Improvements to Windows Update settings page
  • Improvements to Windows Defender
  • New and updated modern (UWP) apps
  • Updated UI for User Account Control (UAC) dialog box
  • New "Refresh Windows" tool in Settings app to start fresh with clean installation of Windows (More Info)
  • Windows Hello biometric security support for apps and Microsoft Edge web browser
  • New features for Xbox
  • Wi-Fi Sense feature removed due to low usage and low demand
  • Some new updated icons
  • Bug fixes and general improvements

Also Check:


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Posted in: Windows 10

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  • If you're going to write about the Anniversary Update you, in all fairness and to provide a complete article, should also include the problems with it and/or caused by it. By only focusing on thew good and not the bad, you look as though you're in Microsoft's pocket or are biased. Not good reporting.

    Just an observation.

  • Just another batch of issues for many of us. Can't stop the update and have only 10 days to revert back to 1511 version. Really created issues for me, Microsoft dropped the 1511 version already in media creation tool. You now get Anniversary Edition. Lucky for me Dell provided the original version install I could download and burn to disk or USB. Not nearly as happy with Windows 10 as the author seems to be. I am glad I kept my desktop on Windows 7 for sure!.

  • If I revert back to 7,will I get a stupid nag BS to update to 10? I am sick of turning on/restarting just to get "we could not complete updates,reverting back" BS and taking forever to see my desktop.

  • VG, Could you please inform how to disable Cortana on Windows 10 Anniversary Update Build?Thanks!

  • VG

    ^^ Check following:


  • Do you know where I can download an ISO of the anniversary update or a Windows 10 ISO that already includes the update? Thank you in advance.

  • Vishal i have looked everywhere to the answer to this question. Can you expand permanently the tiny vertical row containing small icons such as settings,so you can see labels, like in other windows builds and keep it that way instead of having to click on the hamburger like button on top?
    Thank You

  • VG

    ^^ Unfortunately thats not possible in the default Start Menu. Thats by design.

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