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Windows 10 Spring Creators Update: The best hidden features

Microsoft’s next Windows 10 upgrade, code-named Redstone 4 and informally known as the Spring Creators Update, improves Windows in numerous ways. But Microsoft has also added innumerable under-the-hood adjustments. That’s why this roundup exists: to underscore smaller additions you might miss, or explain subtle changes in how Windows 10 works.

Unlike previous lists we’ve compiled, though, some of these hidden features seem tentative, with more work clearly needed. Fortunately, Microsoft seems inclined to keep developing Windows 10, with no major replacement on the radar. (We’ll highlight the very best features as part of our review, due soon.)

One-click data deletion

One of the continued complaints about using Windows 10 is Microsoft’s use of telemetry, i.e. collecting all sorts of information about you as you use Windows. Well, in addition to the privacy controls already built into Windows, there’s now an actual Delete button (Settings Privacy Diagnostics Feedback) which removes all of the diagnostic data that Microsoft has collected on your device.

one stop diagnostic data deletion Microsoft

As the disclaimer notes, you may have information associated with your Microsoft account stored within the cloud. You’ll have to visit Microsoft’s privacy dashboard to purge this information. 

App-by-app GPU management

If you own a desktop PC with a graphics card, you probably know that both AMD and Nvidia supply utilities whose functions include selecting which GPU apps you should use: either the economical integrated graphics chip inside your CPU, or the power-hungry discrete GPU. Now Windows takes control over that decision by default. (Go to Settings Display, then click the Graphics settings link at the very bottom of the page.)

Windows 10 Redstone 4 per app graphics settings Mark Hachman / IDG

Even though a discrete GPU could power the image manipulation capabilities in the Windows 10 Photos app, my laptop’s integrated GPU can do it just fine.

Don’t worry, this isn’t another case of Windows intruding into your life. With most apps, letting Windows make the decision is perfectly reasonable (apps actually have the final say). But in the rare case where you’d prefer your integrated GPU to run a simpler game like Asphalt 8 to preserve your laptop’s battery life, this new control allows you to do that.

A better Game Bar

Microsoft wants you to stream PC games via Mixer, and to help you do that, it’s revamped the Game Bar. Now you’ll find a clock (hurray!) as well as toggles to turn your mic and camera on and off. You can edit your Mixer stream title. Game Bar’s still a bit obtrusive at times, and could become more so, the more toggles and switches Microsoft is tempted to add here. But the new additions are useful.

Microsoft Windows 10 Redstone 4 game bar Microsoft

Microsoft’s updated Game Bar adds new options.

Fonts in the Microsoft Store

Many of us have a few favored fonts, and that’s it. But for those who prefer a more varied typeface, Microsoft now allows you to download new fonts from the Microsoft Store. There’s only nine or so as of this writing, but Microsoft seems to be planning to add more, just as the company has added dozens of Themes to personalize your PC.

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