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Windows 10 release comparison

This page aims to document feature differences between Windows 10 stable build releases. The aim of this page is to document comparisons between major Windows 10 releases so users will glimpse what's new, changed and removed for each release or a series of releases.

Note: For ease of presentation, the tables below are organized by feature category, with each column representing features from a build of release series. Currently the following releases, organized by long-term support releases, are shown:

  • Threshold (2015 LTS): Versions 1507, 1511
  • Redstone 1 (2016 LTS): Versions 1607, 1703, 1709, 1803
  • Redstone 5 (2019 LTS): Version 1809
  • Insider Preview: latest fast ring release

Unless otherwise noted, feature notes are based on initial version of the series. The versions shown are:

  • Threshold: Version 1507
  • Redstone 1: Version 1607
  • Redstone 5: Version 1809
  • Insider Preview: build 18277

See notes for information on other versions in the series.

Note: until 2018, initial releases represented codenames. Because initial and latest Redstone releases are long-term support (LTS) releases, the tables below has been reorganized to group releases by Windows 10 Enterprise/Server LTS releases.

General information

Feature 1507 1607 1809 WIP
First preview build released October 1, 2014 December 16, 2015 February 14, 2018 July 25, 2018
Final build released to Insiders July 15, 2015 July 18, 2016 September 18, 2018 TBD
Official release and build July 29, 2015 (build 10240) August 2, 2016 (build 14393) October 2/November 13, 2018 (build 17763) TBD
Known as RTM Anniversary Update October 2018 Update TBD
Recalled Version 1511 (November 21-24, 2015) Version 1709 preview (June 21, 2017) Version 1809 (October 6-November 13, 2018) No
Business deployment started July 29, 2015 November 29, 2016 TBD TBD
End of mainstream support for consumers and businesses May 2017 April 2018 April 2020 TBD
End of extended support for businesses N/A April 2019 April 2021 TBD
Long-term support Version 1507 Version 1607 Version 1809 No
End of long-term support October 2025 October 2026 October 2028 TBD

Notes:

  1. For each subsequent version, the dates are:
    • Version 1507: October 1, 2014 (first preview release/build 9841), July 15, 2015 (final build (10240) released), July 29, 2015 (public release and business deployment started/wider availability), May 9, 2017 (EOL/end of life/end of mainstream (consumer/business) support)
    • Version 1511: August 14, 2015 (first preview release/build 10525), November 5, 2015 (final build (10586) released), November 12, 2015 (public release), April 8, 2016 (business deployment started), October 10, 2017 (consumer EOL), April 10, 2018 (EOL))
    • Version 1607: december 16, 2015 (first preview release/build 11082), July 18, 2016 (final build (14393) released), August 2, 2016 (public release), November 29, 2016 (business deployment started), April 10, 2018 (consumer EOL)), October 9, 2018 (EOL)
    • Version 1703: August 11, 2016 (first preview release/build 14901), March 20, 2017 (final build (15063) released), April 5, 2017 (public release), July 27, 2017 (business deployment started), October 9, 2018 (consumer EOL), April 9, 2019 (EOL)
    • Version 1709: April 7, 2017 (first preview release/build 16170), September 26, 2017 (final build (16299) released), October 17, 2017 (public release), January 11, 2018 (business deployment started), April 9, 2019 (consumer EOL), October 8, 2019 (EOL)
    • Version 1803: August 30, 2017 (first preview release/build 16353), April 16, 2018 (final build (17134) released), April 30, 2018 (public release), June 14, 2018 (business deployment started), November 12, 2019 (EOL)
    • Version 1809: February 14, 2018 (first preview release/build 17604), September 18, 2018 (final build (17763) released), October 2, 2018 (initial public release), October 6, 2018 (recalled), November 13, 2018 (rereleased), late 2018 (business deployment started), May 12, 2020 (EOL)
    • WIP for 19H1: July 25, 2018 (first preview release/build 18204), no stable release
  2. Release labels/known by:
    • Version 1507: RTM
    • Version 1511: November Update
    • Version 1607: Anniversary Update
    • Version 1703: Creators Update
    • Version 1709: Fall Creators Update
    • Version 1803: April 2018 Update
    • Version 1809: October 2018 Update
    • WIP: no title
  3. Long-term support duration:
    • Version 1507: July 2015-October 2025
    • Version 1607: August 2016-October 2026
    • Version 1809: November 2018-January 2029
  4. Recalled due to following reasons:
    • Version 1511: a problem with privacy setting retention during upgrades.
    • Version 1709 preview: wrong build sent to Windows Insiders.
    • Version 1809: numerous data loss issues, rereleased on November 13, 2018.

Hardware support and requirements

Feature 1507 1607 1809 WIP
32-bit support Yes Yes Yes Yes
64-bit support for x86 processors Yes Yes Yes Yes
64-bit support for ARM processors No Version 1709 onwards Yes Yes
Version for mobile devices Version 1511 onwards Until Version 1709 No No
Xbox version available Version 1511 onwards Yes Yes Yes
Server version No Yes (except version 1703) Yes TBD
Holographic/Mixed Reality No Yes Yes TBD
Embedded devices (IoT/Internet of Things) Yes Yes Yes Yes

Installation, setup and accounts

Feature 1507 1607 1809 WIP
Requires product key during first install No No No No
Enter product keys for older Windows versions Version 1511 onwards Yes Yes Yes
Licensing type Digital entitlement Digital entitlement Digital entitlement Digital entitlement and license mmust be genuine
Enter product key during reset No No No No
Cannot return to old Windows version or Windows 10 build after 30 days 10 days 10 days 10 days
Local account Yes Yes Yes Yes
Local account security questions No Version 1803 onwards Yes Yes
Microsoft Account Yes Yes Yes Yes
Tie Windows activation to a Microsoft Account No Yes Yes Yes
Microsoft Account security questions No Yes Yes Yes
S mode No Version 1803 onwards Yes Yes
Switch between regular and S modes without clean install No No No TBD

Notes:

  1. Starting from Version 1511, one can enter product keys for Windows 7 or 8.x when installing Windows 10 (optional).
  2. S mode (formerly Windows 10 S) limits app installation sources and restricts other settings. Users can leave this mode by going to Microsoft Store.

Desktop, Start menu, themes and others

Feature 1507 1607 1809 WIP
Start menu style Classic menu and tiles Classic menu and tiles classic menu and tiles TBD
Full-screen Start experience Yes Yes Yes Yes
First letter navigation in all apps view No Partial Partial Partial
Hide apps view No Version 1703 onwards Yes Yes
Group tiles into folders No Version 1703 onwards Yes Yes
View web search results from Start menu No Version 1709 onwards Yes Yes
View shortcuts to files, music and other places No Version 1803 onwards Yes Yes
Tablet mode Yes Yes Yes Yes
Taskbar settings can be found in Control Panel Settings Settings Settings
Virtual desktops Yes Yes Yes Yes
Task View Yes Yes Yes Yes
Snap applications via Task View Version 1511 onwards Yes Yes Yes
View a history of activities over time via Timeline No Version 1803 onwards Yes Yes
View a history of clipboard operations and paste data across devices No No Yes Yes
Allow an app to display a window across all virtual desktops No Yes Yes Yes
Let Alt+TAB show windows on the active virtual desktop or across all desktops Yes Yes Yes Yes
Windows Ink Workspace No Yes Yes Yes
Emoji entry via keyboard (Windows+period or Windows+semicolon) No Version 1709 onwards Yes Yes
Use dictation from everywhere (Windows+H) No Version 1709 onwards Yes Yes
Suggestions when typing on hardware keyboard No Version 1803 onwards Yes Yes
Windows My People No Version 1709 onwards Yes Yes
Maximum number of pinned contacts N/A 3 (Version 1709 onwards, increased to 10 in Version 1803) 10 10
Quick menu (Windows+X) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Various quick menu item shortcuts (e.g. Programs and Features) point to Control Panel Control Panel, Settings from Version 1703 onwards Settings Settings
Action Center Yes Yes Yes Yes
Quick action toggle style Buttons in Action Center A group of buttons A group of buttons TBD
Shortcut key to open date and time information No Windows+Alt+D Windows+Alt+D TBD
Universal dark theme No Yes Yes Yes
Install themes from Windows Store No Version 1703 onwards Yes Yes
Night light No Version 1703 onwards Yes Yes
Focus Assist/do not disturb mode No Version 1803 onwards Yes Yes

Notes:

  1. Tablet mode allows the user interface to become touchscreen friendly.
  2. Quick menu shortcuts point to Settings categories from Version 1703 onwards.
  3. Night light is used to reduce amount of blue light shown on monitors at nights.
  4. Emoji entry and dictation required United States English keyboard layout in earlier versions. From build 17063 onwards, emoji entry is available for most locales.
  5. My People is used to have favorite contacts visible at all times and interact with them via various communication apps such as Skype.
  6. Timeline allows one to see an overview of activities from one device and resume them, either from the same device or another one.
  7. With Focus Assist on, notifications will not be shown except from designated contacts or activities.
  8. If cloud clipboard is enabled, clipboard content will be made available across all devices.

Configuration facilities and options

Feature 1507 1607 1809 WIP
Control Panel Yes Yes Yes Yes
settings Yes Yes Yes Yes
Registry editor Yes Yes Yes Yes
Registry editor address bar No Version 1703 onwards Yes Yes
Registry Editor address auto-complete No No Yes Yes
Group Policy (Pro and higher) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Sound settings can be found at Control Panel Control Panel (Settings on Version 1803 onwards) Settings Settings
Startup tasks can be found in Task Manager Task Manager (Settings on Version 1803 onwards) Settings Settings
View and/or clear diagnostic data No Version 1803 onwards Yes Yes

Notes:

  1. Press Alt+D from Registry Editor in Version 1703 to go to address bar.

Connectivity, networking and other features

Feature 1507 1607 1809 WIP
Airplane mode Yes Yes Yes Yes
Turn on Wi-Fi after turning it off for a while No Version 1703 onwards Yes Yes
Highest security protocol supported WPA2 WPA2 WPA2 WPA3
Bluetooth device management such as pairing devices Yes Yes Yes Yes
Dynamic lock No Version 1703 onwards Yes Yes
Near Share No Version 1803 onwards Yes Yes
One-touch/proximity pairing No Version 1803 onwards Yes Yes
View battery status of bluetooth devices if supported No No Yes Yes
Use cellular data instead of Wi-Fi No Version 1803 onwards Yes Yes
Homegroup Yes Until Version 1709 No No
Unix Sockets No Version 1803 onwards Yes Yes
Native curl, SSH client and server No Version 1803 onwards Yes Yes
USB Audio 2.0 No Version 1703 onwards Yes Yes
Latest Wi-Fi standard supported IEEE 802.11ac IEEE 802.11ac (upgraded to IEEE 802.11ad in Version 1703 onwards) IEEE 802.11ad IEEE 802.11ad
Near Field Communication (NFC) Yes Yes Yes Yes
3D printing Yes Yes Yes Yes

Notes:

  1. IEEE 802.11ad (also known as WiGig is supported from Version 1703 onwards.
  2. Near Share allows computers equipped with bluetooth to send and receive files and website addresses.
  3. One-touch pairing allows Bluetooth devices that are close to each other to initiate pairing procedure.

Cortana and search

Feature 1507 1607 1809 WIP
Cortana Yes Yes Yes Yes
Adjust Cortana options Cortana settings Cortana settings, Settings app in Version 1709 onwards Settings app Settings app
Cortana can be turned off by users Yes Partial Partial Partial
Use Cortana during Windows Setup No Version 1703 onwards Yes Yes
Search uses Edge/Bing and can be changed No No No No
Voice recognition shortcut Windows+C Windows+Shift+C Windows+C Windows+C
Basic tasks (reminders, time, coin toss, weather, etc.) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Involved tasks (Uber ride, for instance) Version 1511 onwards Yes Yes Yes
Music recognition No Yes Yes Yes
Adjust system power (shutdown a computer, for example) and volume No Version 1703 onwards Yes Yes
Pick up from where you left off Edge and websites Edge and websites Websites, apps, files, activities Websites, apps, files, activities
Collections of books, recipes and other information No Version 1803 onwards Yes Yes
Cortana Show Me No Version 1803 onwards Yes Yes
Cortana Show Me voice commands No No Yes Yes
Search beyond user's data No No No Yes

Notes:

  1. Cortana shortcut changed to Windows+C in Version 1703 onwards and activating Cortana via this shortcut must be configured.
  2. Phone linking was expanded to web browsing history sharing in Version 1709.
  3. Cortana Show Me uses Cortana to walk users through basic tasks such as checking for Windows updates.
  4. Search scope can be configured between Classic (users' data) or advanced (everywhere on a local system) via Settings/Cortana (Search in other regions)/Search Windows.

Web browsing, email, messaging

Feature 1507 1607 1809 WIP
Internet Explorer Yes Yes Yes Yes
Microsoft Edge Yes Yes Yes Yes
Set tabs aside No Version 1703 onwards Yes Yes
Mute audio playback tab No Version 1803 onwards Yes Yes
Prevent automatic video playback No No Yes Yes
Open files instead of saving in Edge No Version 1703 onwards Yes Yes
Full screen mode No Version 1709 onwards Yes Yes
Windows Defender Application Guard in Edge No Version 1709 onwards Yes Yes
Form auto-fill No Version 1803 onwards Yes Yes
Read PDF documents in Edge Yes Yes Yes Yes
Read Epub books in Edge with optional read aloud feature No Version 1703 onwards Yes Yes
Ability to change default web browser and email client Yes Yes Yes Yes
Messaging via Skype Yes Yes Yes Yes
Skype universal app preinstalled Version 1511 onwards Yes Yes Yes
Share web browsing history between PC's and phones (Windows 10 Mobile, iOS, Android) No Version 1709 onwards Yes Yes
Your Phone No No Yes Yes

Notes:

  1. Skype Preview was renamed to Skype in March 2017.
  2. Phone linking requires users to install Cortana on their mobile phones (Cortana comes preinstalled on Windows 10 Mobile).

Applications

Feature 1507 1607 1809 WIP
Microsoft Store Yes Yes Yes Yes
Limit app installation sources No Version 1703 onwards Yes Yes
Default app installation source Everywhere Everywhere Store only with warnings from other sources Store only with warnings from other sources
Preview new app releases independent of Windows releases No Version 1803 onwards Yes Yes
Productivity apps preinstalled No Windows Pro for Workstations Version 1803 onwards Yes Yes
Remove preinstalled universal apps No Version 1703 onwards Yes Yes
Control audio volume of universal apps No Version 1709 onwards Yes Yes
Run universal console apps No Version 1803 onwards Yes Yes
Run apps from command-line tools via aliases No Version 1803 onwards Yes Yes
Run multiple instances of an app No Version 1803 onwards Yes Yes
View app power usage via Task Manager No No Yes Yes
Display high DPI (dots per inch) awareness per app in Task Manager No No No Yes
Mail, Calendar, People Yes Yes Yes Yes
Maps, Weather, Money, Sports and other MSN apps Yes Yes Yes Yes
Calculator (modern) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Messaging Version 1511 onwards Yes Yes Yes
Xbox Yes Yes Yes Yes
Feedback facility Windows Feedback Feedback Hub Feedback Hub Feedback hub
Windows Insider headquarters Insider Hub Feedback Hub Feedback Hub Feedback Hub
Alarms and Clock Yes Yes Yes Yes
Groove Music, Movies and TV Yes Yes Yes Yes
Camera, Voice Recorder Yes Yes Yes Yes
3D design and creation No Paint 3D Pain 3D Pain 3D
Video and photo-based storytelling No Version 1709 onwards Yes Yes
Mixed reality portal No Version 1703 onwards Yes Yes
Mixed reality flashlight/view real world through a camera No No Yes Yes

Notes:

  1. App installation source settings are Windows Store only, Windows Store and installer downloads with or without warnings.
  2. Paint 3D is available from Version 1703 onwards.
  3. Story Remix allows people to create videos for storytelling and other purposes.
  4. Volume Mixer (sndvol) can be used to control audio volume of universal apps provided that the app is playing something.

Accessibility

Most of these apply to Narrator.

Feature 1507 1607 1809 WIP
Narrator toggle Windows+ENTER Windows+ENTER (Control+Windows+ENTER from Version 1703 onwards) Control+Windows+ENTER Control+Windows+ENTER
Use Narrator from first moments of Windows Setup No Version 1703 onwards Yes Yes
Use Narrator in Safe Mode No Version 1803 onwards Yes Yes
Narrator modifier key Caps lock Caps lock Caps lock, Insert or both Caps lock, Insert or both
Modern keyboard layout No No Yes Yes
Mobile voices No Yes Yes Yes
Scan mode No Yes Yes Yes
Use scan mode everywhere No Version 1709 onwards (limited to Microsoft Edge) Yes Extended to Google Chrome
Text selection, cut, copy and paste commands in scan mode No No Yes Yes
Review elements individually instead of all on one line in scan mode No No Yes Yes
Objects list (links, headings, landmarks) No No Yes Yes
Braille input and output No Version 1703 onwards Yes Yes
Separate braile input and output tables No Version 1709 onwards Yes Yes
Dedicated settings app shortcut key No Control+Windows+N (Version 1709 onwards) Control+Windows+N Control+Windows+N
Keyboard help No Version 1709 onwards Yes Yes
Cloud-based image recognition No Version 1709 onwards Yes Yes
Read console output No Version 1709 onwards Yes Yes
Change output device for Narrator No Version 1803 onwards Yes Yes
Use personal settings from secure screens No Version 1803 onwards Yes Yes
Find text No No Yes Yes

Notes:

  1. Toggle command changed in Version 1703 from Windows+ENTER to Control+Windows+ENTER.
  2. To read console output, switch to line navigation mode by pressing Caps lock+up or down arrow keys until arriving at "lines", then press Caps lock+left or right arrow keys to read the output.
  3. In order to use Narrator in Safe Mode, USB audio driver must be loaded in this mode.

Other features and notes

Feature 1507 1607 1809 WIP
Xbox console game streaming Yes Yes Yes Yes
Game mode No Version 1703 onwards Yes Yes
Monitor GPU (Graphics Processing unit) usage No Version 1709 onwards (via Task Manager) Yes Yes
Safely remove Thunderbolt-powered external video cards No No Yes Yes
Configure update cadence Yes Yes Yes Yes
Configure active hours for installing updates No Yes Yes Yes
Limit update download bandwidth while focused on Settings app No Version 1803 onwards Yes Yes
Update branch selection method (Settings/Update/Windows Update/Advanced options) Checkbox Checkbox (combo box in Version 1703 onwards) Branches combo box Branches combo box
Defer feature upgrades (Pro, Enterprise, Education) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Maximum deferral duration (Pro, Enterprise, Education) 8 months 8 months (1 year from Version 1703 onwards) 1 year 1 year
Pause updates for a while No Version 1703 onwards Yes Yes
Server Message Block 1.0 support Yes Disabled from Version 1709 onwards No No
Controled folder access via Windows Defender No Version 1709 onwards Yes Yes
Install and switch between languages Yes Yes Yes Yes
Language packs can be found in Settings Settings (Microsoft Store on Version 1803 onwards) Microsoft Store Microsoft Store
Default command-line interpreter Command Prompt (cmd.exe) cmd.exe (PowerShell from Version 1703 onwards) PowerShell PowerShell
Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) No Yes Yes Yes
Default WSL image N/A Ubuntu 14.04 None None
Run multiple Linux distributions at once N/A Version 1709 onwards Yes Yes
Run a mixture of regular and admin Linux command shells N/A Version 1803 onwards Yes Yes
Background Linux tasks N/A Version 1803 onwards Yes Yes
Read wsl.conf and adjust options accordingly N/A Version 1803 onwards Yes Yes

Notes:

  • One can configure up to 18 hours for active hours during which updates will not be installed. (12 for Home prior to Creators Update).
  • Insider levels are:
    • Fast+Skip Ahead (continuous development builds): delivers development builds even during final weeks prior to release of a stable build.
    • Fast (late alpha): test builds as soon as released by Microsoft.
    • Slow (beta): test builds approved by Microsoft and tested by Insiders in the fast ring.
    • Release Preview (production testing): Test current stable or would be stable build.
  • From Version 1703 onwards, one can defer feature updates for a year and quality updates for up to 30 days.
  • Due to abuse by malware, support for Server Message Block (SMB) 1.0 is deprecated since Fall Creators Update- disabled in Home and Pro, removed in Enterprise and education.
  • Controled folder access allows Windows Defender to protect folders from edits by programs not authorized to do so.
  • One can download and run multiple Linux distributions from Windows Store in Fall Creators Update onwards.