Windows 10 Preview Build 18277 Improves Focus Assist, Action Center

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft released a new build to Fast ring and Skip Ahead members of the Windows Insider Program. Preview Build 18277 includes numerous improvements to Focus Assist, Action Center, and other aspects of Windows 10 that aren't particularly flashy but are used quite often. The company asked for help improving Cortana's support for Alexa, too.

The improvement to Focus Assist is pretty simple: it now offers to snooze notifications whenever something's in fullscreen. Windows 10 currently silences notifications while playing games in fullscreen, so expanding that option to additional programs makes sense, especially since games aren't the only form of entertainment people enjoy on their PCs. This isn't a big change, but it is a quality of life improvement many will likely notice.

Preview Build 18277's changes to the Action Center are similarly plain but welcome. Microsoft said one of the most popular requests it gets for Action Center is to make the Brightness "quick action" a slider instead of a button. Now it is. The company also made it easier to manage these quick actions by rearranging them, adding them, or removing them right from Action Center instead of requiring a trip into the Settings app.

Other changes in this build include preliminary support for Emoji 12, an additional Windows Defender Application Guard setting and improved support for high-DPI displays, among other things. There's also the usual grab bag of bug fixes, performance improvements, and known issues. Most of them seem innocuous, but Windows Insider Program members should be on the lookout for this bug in particular:

"Some users will notice the update status cycling between Getting Things Ready, Downloading, and Installing. This is often accompanied with error 0x8024200d caused by a failed express package download."

Microsoft also said that downgrading from the Fast ring to the Slow ring can disable extra features, including developer mode, so devs are discouraged from jumping through the rings. Per usual, the company advised people who aren't comfortable with particularly unstable pre-release software to move between the rings, though, because the builds released to the Slow ring will have been more thoroughly tested.

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
    BTW.. in 1809, Action Center doesn't work with Background apps turned off (whether in Settings or Group Policy). Definitely needs some work; bunch of little issues
  • CKKwan
    Will Cortana auto deletes files?
  • eye4bear
    BTW, I have been in the slow ring for awhile and I still got some of my files deleted because MS did not actually read the numerous posts about this issue before releasing it into the slow ring.