Microsoft Expands Search, 'Cortana Show Me' With Preview Build 17634

Microsoft released a new build to Fast ring members of the Windows Insider Program. Preview Build 17634 boasts the usual bug fixes, performance improvements, and new issues as other pre-release software, but it also expands Windows' search and Cortana Show Me tools.

The first new feature of Preview Build 17634 is the addition of search tools to Windows 10's native Calendar app. This expansion will allow you to "find past or future events by searching for the name, location, people included or words in the event body," Microsoft said in its blog post. Events featuring those terms will be highlighted in the Calendar, while unrelated entries will be greyed out. The feature is currently limited to Microsoft's Outlook, Hotmail, Live, and Office 365 services--anyone who uses Gmail, Yahoo, or Exchange Server calendars is going to miss out.

Preview Build 17634's other headlining feature is the addition of voice controls to Cortana Show Me, which debuted with one of last week's preview builds. Cortana Show Me isn't a standalone app: It's a series of guides built in to the existing Cortana utility that are supposed to make it easier for people to navigate common tasks like changing a desktop background, uninstalling an app, or changing Wi-Fi settings. Now the tool will support voice queries that allow you to say "Show me how to change my background,” for example, and have Cortana display a link to the guide.

In its blog post, Microsoft offered this list of queries to try with Cortana Show Me in Preview Build 17634:

Update Windows – Try, “Update my Windows device”Check if an app is installed – Try, “How to see what apps are installed”Uninstall an app – Try “How to uninstall apps”Change your desktop background – Try, “Show me how to change my background”Use Airplane Mode – Try, “How do I turn on airplane mode”Change your display brightness – Try, “Show me how to change my screen brightness”Add nearby printers or scanners – Try, “How to add a printer”Turn off Windows Defender Security Center – Try, “Show me how to turn off Windows Defender Security Center”Change Wi-Fi settings – Try, “Show me how to change Wi-Fi network”Change your power settings – Try, “How to change when my computer goes to sleep”Discover Bluetooth devices – Try, “Show me how to discover devices”Check your version of Windows – Try, “How do I find my current version of Windows”

Of course, this build also boasts a series of bug fixes. Most don't appear to be critical--they fix problems in Microsoft Edge more than anything--but one should be welcome news for anyone who uses BitLocker. Microsoft said it "fixed an issue resulting in certain devices with BitLocker enabled unexpectedly booting into BitLocker recovery in recent flights." Hopefully this fix will make life easier for affected BitLocker users.

Microsoft noted that Preview Build 17634 also includes a few known issues, including...

If you open Settings and clicking on any links to the Microsoft Store or links in tips, Settings will crash. This includes the links to get themes and fonts from the Microsoft Store, as well as the link to Windows Defender.On resuming from sleep, the desktop may be momentarily visible before the Lock screen displays as expected.When Movies & TV user denies access to its videos library (through the “Let Movies & TV access your videos library?” popup window or through Windows privacy settings), Movies & TV crashes when the user navigates to the “Personal” tab.

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.