The Windows 10 April 2018 Update Debuts On April 30

Microsoft announced that the Windows 10 April 2018 Update will debut on April 30. (Apparently the company likes to cut things a little close.) The latest major update to Windows 10 will bring with it new features such as Timeline, Focus Assist, and other miscellaneous improvements.

The Windows 10 April 2018 Update is part of Microsoft's plan to release major updates twice a year--once in the spring and once in the fall--to support Windows 10's positioning as an ever-evolving service instead of a one-off operating system. Rather than radically changing Windows 10's feature set or user interface, Microsoft hopes incremental upgrades will be enough to keep you happy until the next release comes around.

Say Hello To Timeline And Focus Assist

In its blog post, Microsoft specifically called out the new Timeline and Focus Assist features as well as improvements to Microsoft Edge and voice controls. We got a peek at Timeline back at Build 2017 before it was not-quite-delayed: It's much like the Time Machine in Apple's macOS in that it "lets you go back in time up to 30 days to find your stuff" and will keep your work in sync across your smartphone, laptop, and home PC.

Focus Assist is a bit more novel. The feature seems like the now-popular "do not disturb" options available in many operating systems, but with the twist of catching you up on what you missed during your notification blackout. That way, you can work without being interrupted while also making sure you won't miss an important notification as a result. (Not that any of us miss emails while we're working on something else, right?)

The other updates--improvements to Microsoft Edge and voice controls--are essentially just improvements to existing features. Edge now lets you mute tabs just by clicking on a speaker icon; read PDFs and other content in a "distraction free" view; and save your address, credit card details, and other frequently used information. The expanded voice controls work with Cortana to offer better dictation and IoT device controls.

Oh, And There Are Other Improvements, Too

Those are Microsoft's highlights from the Windows 10 April 2018 Update. This is all the company had to say about some other changes:

Of course, there are many more great new features in the April 2018 Update including simplified IT management tools for our enterprise customers, new ways to create with Photos, 3D and Windows Mixed Reality, new ways to keep you safer online and enhancements to your PC gaming experience.

That isn't a whole lot to go on, but thanks to recent Preview Builds released to members of the Windows Insider Program, we can guess that the Windows 10 April 2018 Update is likely to include a new Game Bar, per-app configurable GPU usage, and a new security page. We also know that Microsoft's working on features like Cortana Show Me and Sets, but the latter isn't expected to debut until the fall update for Windows 10.

Microsoft said in its blog post that the Windows 10 April 2018 update will be available as a free download starting April 30. The company didn't say how it planned to roll out the update--it has recently started to release major new versions of Windows 10 in stages instead of to everyone with a PC, and we expect that trend to continue here. We should know more about the rollout itself when Microsoft officially kicks it off.

Nathaniel Mott
Freelance News & Features Writer

Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.

  • jaexyr
    So nothing useful, basically
  • sadsteve
    Hm, 'simplified IT management tools' makes me think it's more like 'dumified IT management tools'. Basically, like how most of the Microsoft Store Apps have less features than the Win32 application they're trying to replace.

    One caveat here, I haven't been to the Microsoft Store in over a year so thing may have changed.
  • randomizer
    All I care about is whether or not they drastically improved I/O performance of WSL. Everything else is just fluff and not worth the biannual breakages.
  • mikeynavy1976
    Well I installed the update on our three machines yesterday (2 x laptops and 1 x desktop) and only the oldest laptop updated without an issue. Fortunately, the only issue with the desktop was that the update assigned a drive letter to my OEM partition making it show up in File Explorer...a simple DISKPART command to remove the letter seems to have fixed it. The annoying issue, however, and someone may be able to point me in the right direction is that my Dell XPS 13 9350 now has an "Unknown Device" flagged in Device Manager that I can't fix. The Microsoft Bluetooth Protocol Support device (BTH\MS_BTHL2CAP) is missing its driver and I can't find the driver to make it happy. Any ideas? The only immediate "bug" I've found in all three machines is that sometimes when you go to a Setting (e.g. right click on taskbar network icon and go to Network and Sharing Manager) the Maximize/Minimize/Close button is the color of a titlebar while the rest of the top is light or dark based on your theme.