Today Microsoft have released their latest update to Windows 10 called the Windows 10 October Update. During development it was coded named Redstone 5 and the version number will be 1809.

The update does not have as many changes as some of the previous updates as Microsoft have focuses on stability and smaller changes that really improve the OS. There are also some great new features for Windows Mixed Reality and the new cloud clipboard.

Here are my favourite new features and changes in the OS, jump to the bottom of the page for the video.

Windows Mixed Reality

Windows Mixed Reality is an area that has had a lot changes since the April 2018 update.

Steam VR

The first is full integration with SteamVR, this means you can pin SteamVR games and apps in the Cliff House or Skyloft and launch them directly from Windows Mixed Reality. Previously you had to launch them from the Windows desktop, now you can do it all from the Microsoft’s VR environment.


A great new feature in the update Microsoft call Flashlight (or Torch depending on your region settings). With Flashlight, you can peak into the real word using the black and white camera built in to Windows Mixed Reality headsets. When you use it you see what your headset sees in the style of a flashlight. It is a great way of seeing the real world without having to your headset.

No more dumping back to the Cliff House

Previously when you were immersed in mixed reality and then pressed the Windows key on the motion controller it WMR dumped you right back to the Cliff House / Skyloft. So if you accidently pressed it you were thrown out of your game which was very frustrating. With the new version, pressing the Windows keys pops up a new menu where you can take a picture, activate the flashlight, record a video or go back home. It is a much better system and a very welcome improvement.

One other little change is you no longer need a monitor connected to use Windows Mixed Reality, so you can PC with just a headset. You can also have the audio from mixed reality go to a headset and PC speaker at the same time.

Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge has a new simplified menu making it easier to find the option you need. There is a new media auto play option so you can pick on a site-by-site basis which sites get to auto play media when you navigate to them. This stops those auto playing web sites in their tracks!

You can also customise which items show in in Edge’s toolbar. You can have it show the favourites, reading list, history, download, add notes and share this page buttons.

Other changes include improved PDF features and improved reading mode, and you can organise tabs you have set aside.

Dark Theme in File Explorer

When you have the dark theme setup on your system File Explorer now has a dark mode. Previously file explorer remained while no matter what mode you had the OS set into so this new mode looks much better. During Redstone 5 development, I commented that this is not really a very exciting feature but many people reached out to me pointing out how wrong I was, so I know many people love this feature.

Cloud Clipboard

With the October 2018 Update Microsoft have added a new Cloud Clipboard feature. When you copy text or images to the clipboard it synchronizes via your Microsoft Account so you can go to another machine and paste the data in straight to a document. It is much easier than emailing picture and text to yourself.

Even if you do not use it with multiple machines, you can still use it to access items previously copied items in the clipboard. In the past rather you just had the last item.

Snip and Sketch

One tools I frequently use in Windows 10 is the Snipping Tool. It dates back to the Windows Vista days so Microsoft have decided to replace it with a new modern version (the old Snipping Tool is still around if you want to use it).

The new app is called Snip and Sketch, and has all the features of the old app along with new features like simple sharing, a ruler and new drawing tools.

Your Phone

The October 2018 Update has a new app called Your Phone. With the app you can view and interact with photos stored on your Android phone. It sync up with your phone via an app from Microsoft called Your Phone Companion. Once synced you can view all the photos stored on your phone, you can view then or drag them on to your PC. You can also view and send text messages directly from your PC.

To get this working you need the Your Phone Companion App from the Google Play Store.

Swiftkey in Windows

With the October 2018 Update Microsoft have added SwiftKey to the on-screen keyboard. Swiftkey started out as a keyboard app for Android and in 2016 Microsoft purchased it. Microsoft have incorporate the Swiftkey technology to make the keyboard better at text suggestions and corrections.

Other Changes

Other changes include:

  • UI Tweaks
  • Skype for Windows 10
  • New emojis
  • Create your own font
  • Notepad improvement
  • Security improvements (lots of them!)
  • Start Tile folder naming
  • Bluetooth battery status in settings
  • Focus assist in game mode
  • High Efficiency Image File Format (HEIF) support

What is not included

What is not included Sets. Sets was available during the development or Redstone 5, and was a way creating a working set of apps for a specific task. You could have an Explorer Windows with a tab containing a Word document, a tab with Microsoft Edge and a tab with OneNote. You could a set of application per project or work however is most efficient for you. It is a great idea and I hope to see it return in the next update.

How to get the Windows 10 October 2018 Update

To get the update the best way is to wait until its release via Window Update. Just go into Settings, Windows Update and click on check for update. If your system is able to run the October update, it will start downloading. Do not worry if it is not available immediately, Microsoft have phased release process so you will get it eventually.

If you cannot wait, I have a guide for this.


There are less standout feature in this release than previous updates as Microsoft have really focused on reliability and minor updates to improve productivity.

I have been impressed with how solid this update seems to be. There are some next touches like the cloud clipboard and the big improvements to some areas like Windows Mixed Reality.

Here is my hands on video showing some of the changes:

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