Windows 10 Preview Build 18985 Improves Bluetooth Pairing

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft released Windows 10 Preview Build 18985 to Fast ring members of the Windows Insider Program yesterday, and the primary change is a simplified Bluetooth pairing experience that's supposed to make establishing a connection between a PC and nearby wireless devices even faster.

This new process was built upon the Swift Pair feature that debuted in the Windows 10 April 2018 Update. That feature made it easier to get into the relevant part of the Settings app by displaying a notification whenever a nearby Bluetooth device was ready to pair. The feature was restricted to specific devices, but Microsoft said at the time that it was "looking to standardize this in the long term," which would open it up to more device manufacturers. The company said it made the following changes to the Bluetooth pairing experience in Preview Build 18985:

  • Pairing is all done in notifications now. You don’t need to go to the Settings app anymore to finish pairing.
  • For faster pairing time, we improved the UI by showing one less notification.
  • We added a Dismiss button to the first notification to give you more control while using Swift Pair.
  • To make the notification more helpful, now we show the device name and category when we can.

Microsoft said those changes are currently available to 50% of Windows Insider Program members who install Preview Build 18985. It's also restricted to its Surface mice, keyboard and headset as well as the Microsoft Modern Mobile Mouse and Microsoft Arc Mouse. 

Preview Build 18985 also offers a new Settings page that collects optional updates (which includes "drivers, feature updates and monthly non-security quality updates") and updates to the Snip & Sketch app as well as the usual mix of miscellaneous improvements. Microsoft also acknowledged several known issues, including a long-running problem with certain anti-cheat software and numerous problems involving Windows Mixed Reality.

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.