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Windows 10 Nov. 2019 Update: Everything you need to know

Windows 10 version 1909 will only take minutes to install and includes useful new features. Here's how to get it early.

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The Windows 10 November 2019 Update will roll out in the coming weeks. 

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The Windows 10 November 2019 Update will be released by Microsoft in the coming weeks, bringing new features to help with productivity. The update -- also known as Windows 10 ($130 at Walmart) version 1909 and 19H2 -- follows Microsoft's usual update schedule, but offers a faster download time for those running the most recent version of the OS. 

Windows 10 is now on more than 900 million devices, Microsoft said in September. Major refreshes to the OS come about every six months, with the most recent being the May 2019 Update (version 1903). The November 2019 Update shares the same servicing content as the May version, which means that the download should be faster. It uses the same processes for cumulative updates to deliver the feature update. 

Here's what we know so far. 

When will the Windows 10 November 2019 Update be available? 

The update is currently available to those in the Windows Insider Program. This gives developers and tech enthusiasts early access to upcoming releases so they can test new features and provide feedback. You can join the Windows Insider Program with your Microsoft account or Azure Active Directory account. 

For everyone else, the update will likely be available sometime in November, as the name suggests. 

What new features will it include? 

The following new features will be available to Windows 10 users, according to a Microsoft blog post: 

  • Third-party digital assistants will be able to activate above the Lock screen using voice commands.
  • You can create events directly from the Calendar flyout on the Taskbar, without having to open the Calendar app.
  • On the Start menu, the navigation pane will expand when you hover over it with your mouse, giving you more information about each icon before clicking.
  • Changes to notifications will make them easier to configure and manage from an app or website right on the notification, both as a banner and in the Action Center.
  • In File Explorer, the search box will be powered by Windows Search, to better integrate OneDrive content online.
  • Narrator and other assistive technologies will read and learn where the FN key is located on keyboards. It'll be able to tell if the key's locked or unlocked. 

Microsoft has also made "general battery life and power efficiency improvements for PCs with certain processors," according to the post, though no other details on this are available. 

How to install the update

If you're a member of the Windows Insider Program, you can follow these steps to download the Windows 10 November 2019 Update from the program's Release Preview ring with your PC: 

1. Go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Insider Program and click the Get started button.

2. Link your Microsoft account or Azure Active Directory account. This is the email account you used to register for the Windows Insider Program.

3. Choose Just fixes, apps, and drivers to join the Release Preview ring and get the November 2019 Update.

4. Confirm the legal stuff.

5. Press Restart Now to ensure your PC is now in the Release Preview ring. Without restarting your PC, your PC won't be fully be joined. A restart is required.

6. After rebooting your PC, double-check your Windows Insider Program settings via Settings > Update & Security > Windows Insider Program and make sure it shows "Release Preview" under "What pace do you want to get new builds?".

7. If you go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update and press the Check for Updates button. Your PC should receive the November 2019 Update.

If you're already a member of the Release Preview ring of the Windows Insider Program, you can simply follow step 7 above. 

If you are not a member of the Windows Insider Program, you can download the November 2019 Update from the Windows Update page under Settings when it is available.  

Because the update is being delivered as a small enablement package, it should only take a few minutes to download and install, if you are already running Windows 10 version 1903, ZDNet reported. If you're running version 1809 or earlier, it will take longer, as you'll be getting the full feature update. 

For more on Windows 10 features, check out our guide to placing and receiving Android phone calls on your Windows PC and the best antivirus protection of 2019 for Windows 10

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