When Microsoft presented Windows 10 for the first time in September 2014, it was also announced that there would be no more new version numbers for Windows. This was one of the reasons why the successor of Windows 8.1 was not simply called Windows 9. The name Windows 10 remains. Nevertheless, a lot of functions have been added in recent years, the user interface and the pre-installed apps have been improved, so that Windows 10 no longer looks like it did when the product was officially launched in July 2015.
So what is the current version of Windows 10? How do I find out which version of Windows 10 I have? And what have been the new features of the latest Windows 10 updates? This article will answer these and other questions about the topic.
Windows 10 – what is the current version?
The current version of Windows 10 is currently (as of July 18):
Windows 10 May 2019 Update
Operating system build: 18362.239 (July 9)
The download KB4507453 provided the version status for the May-2019 update (1903) on Patch Day on July 9. The operating system build is then on version number 18362.239.
The update takes care of security problems with BitLocker and Windows Mixed Reality in addition to the classic slip. BitLocker can go into recovery mode if you install Windows updates at the same time. For the Augmented Reality interface, Microsoft fixes display errors that can occur when connecting WMR glasses. Windows Update also improves display quality.
Known issues include Microsoft’s Windows Sandbox (for language changes in the update process) and VPN applications that can bring the online connection to a standstill in a particular feature mode. For details, see the patch notes for KB4507453.
Windows 10: October 2018 Update (July 9)
For users on the version status of the October update (2018) the patch KB4507469, which brings the version number 17763.615, is currently available. Included is the already mentioned BitLocker bugfix. Microsoft fixes system hangs and crashes that occur when an app uses the Windows CameraCaptureUI API. The mandatory security updates for Windows, Edge, Internet Explorer and Co. are less extensive for KB4507469.
Microsoft uses the link to provide information about known bugs. These occur when you rename files on certain types of network drives (“STATUS_BAD_IMPERSONATION_LEVEL”, code: 0xC00000A5) and when you install certain language packs for Asian countries (“PSFX_E_MATCHING_COMPONENT_NOT_FOUND”, code: 0x800f0982). For a few users, the system can only display a black screen instead of the login window after installing the updates. Further problems and possible solutions from Microsoft can be found in the linked patch notes.
Windows 10: April Update (July 16)
One week after Patch Day, Microsoft has released the latest updates for Windows 10 on the status of the April update. Problems with logging in with Microsoft accounts, file managers and more have also been solved. Further information can be found in the notes for patch KB4507466, which comes with the version number 17134.915.
Important note: At the same time with the patch for the April update comes the info that soon an update from April Update (1803) to May 2019 Update (1903) will take place automatically. This is because the support for the corresponding version expires on November 12, 2019. If you don’t want to be changed immediately, you can still activate a period of 35 days in the settings under Windows Update, which Windows should wait with the update.
Which version of Windows 10 is installed?
Is your system up to date? How to view the installed version of Windows 10:
Open the settings via the cogwheel in the start menu or with the key combination [Win]+[i].
Click on System and then on Info at the bottom left.
Scroll all the way down.
The Windows Specifications area displays the installed Windows edition and Windows version. The edition specifies whether Windows 10 Home for home users or Windows 10 Pro for users who need access to a Windows server-based network is installed. The Windows version specifies the version number of the currently installed update. The names of the version updates are not displayed.
You can find the exact build number under Operating System Build. Even within a large Windows version, there are different update statuses, but these usually only differ due to corrected errors. Microsoft provides a list of all build numbers with the error corrections they contain.
Updates are installed automatically
In most cases, you don’t need to worry about updates, but will automatically receive the latest version of Windows 10 on your PC a few days after the official release date.
The installation of a half-yearly function update is comparable to a new installation of the operating system and can take over an hour. Therefore, these updates are not installed automatically like security updates, but only after confirmation by the user – preferably at night, while the PC is not needed.
Only Mini-PCs and tablets with very small SSDs do not have enough memory space for the function updates. This problem was probably not considered during the development of these devices yet. Here, updates are only possible via detours and external storage media.
The most important new features of the Windows 10 versions at a glance
The following table provides an overview of the key new features of the Windows 10 versions. The top entry is the current Windows 10 version:
For the current May 2019 update we have a separate article. For the version status before that, please have a look at the next pages of this article.
Version numbers and names of the Windows 10 updates
With the Creators Update 1703, Microsoft tried at the time to focus on new functions in the major system updates, which never really succeeded. These names have now been abandoned, as the users only confused them anyway because they were not displayed in the system in contrast to the version number.
This Windows 10 version number consists of the year and month of the planned release date. However, since the Anniversary Update 1607, Microsoft has not been able to meet the target month.
So the current Windows 10 Update 1809 is officially called October Update and not September. It was released in Germany on October 03, but was withdrawn shortly afterwards due to a serious error.
What was new in which Windows version?
While the Anniversary Update and the Creators Update brought several striking new features, the really system-relevant improvements in the last updates are limited to one or two each. In the update 1709 the system-wide part was added, which was lost with the upgrade from Windows 8.1 to 10, in the update 1803 the big novelty was the timeline, which finds recently opened files and weblinks again. In the October update 1809, the long-awaited cloud clipboard is the big innovation.
Here is our chronologically sorted overview of all function updates starting with the latest Windows 10 version:
Windows 10 Version 1809 – October Update
The cross-device clipboard, which was already announced with the Timelime a year earlier, is now available. The key combination [Win]+[V] opens a window with the last elements of the clipboard. Here you can select and paste one. A similar feature was already included in Office 2013, but has disappeared at some point without further notice.
Windows 10 Version 1803 – April Update
The new Windows Timeline allows you to turn back time and find your activities from a certain point in time and continue working on them directly, even on other PCs logged in with the same Microsoft account. The Timeline shows, if supported by the respective apps, thumbnails of the contents and offers a search function to find forgotten information by keywords.
If there is no network available on the way, you could always transfer files via Bluetooth from one PC to another. However, this method was so complicated and did not correspond at all to the well-known look and feel of Windows that it was hardly used and many users do not even know it. The April update integrates the Bluetooth environment sharing into the new sharing dialog that many Windows apps now offer.
Windows 10 Version 1709 – Case Creators Update
The lost system-wide parts are reintroduced. A contacts button in the taskbar provides access to contact lists from the mail app and the completely redesigned Skype. Favorite friends can be pinned directly to the taskbar for quick sharing. The key combination [Win]+[dot] opens an input window for emojis, which are especially popular for chatting. A new Fluent design brings back the transparency effects from Windows 7 in a new form, which were considered unmodern when upgrading to Windows 8.
The integration of the cloud memory OneDrive was more elegantly solved in Windows 8 than in Windows 10. At that time, entire folders did not have to be synchronized and stored locally on the PC. Wildcards marked files that were only available online and downloaded them when clicking on the hard drive. Since this update, a new column in the OneDrive folder in Windows Explorer has made it possible to switch the offline availability for each file or folder as required in order to offer much more flexible handling of the cloud storage.
The update brings the PDF viewer in the Edge Browser up to the technical state of the typical freeware tools. Two pages can be displayed side by side, misaligned documents can be rotated, a table of contents can be used for navigation if available, form fields can be filled out and text passages can be marked to copy them.
Windows 10 Version 1703 – Creators Update
Since Google has shown with the cardboard, which uses an already ubiquitous smartphone as a display, that you can build 3D glasses for 10 euros, hardly anyone can see how to pay a hundredfold for a Microsoft Hololens. The Creators update not only brings 3D display into popular programs like Paint and Powerpoint, but also supports low-cost 3D glasses for the display.
With Paint 3D, the aging, included painting program gets simple 3D functions, an app design and touch support.
In order to focus more on the browser Microsoft Edge, which has been consistently ignored by many users, the Creators Update provides it with the function to display e-books in Epub format. For this widespread file format Windows did not offer a native viewer yet. For DRM-protected Epub files, however, an external reader is still required.
Windows 10 Version 1607 – Anniversary Update
Another new start menu and a new Windows Store should also convince the last Windows 7 users of Windows 10 after the end of the free upgrade period. Cortana is further integrated into the system and understands much more. Windows Ink brings system-wide support for pen input on touchscreens.
In this context, Microsoft is also presenting new Surface models. The Edge browser, which is not very popular on all sides, finally supports extensions and offers further small improvements that other browsers have known for a long time. The built-in virus scanner Windows Defender gets a so-called offline mode, which can check the system before the actual start.
Windows 10 Version 1511 – Autumn Update
Microsoft responded to the sometimes fierce criticism and improved the Start menu and the Windows Store as well as various context menus in order to offer a system-wide uniform user experience. Windows 10 could now be activated with a Windows 7 or 8.1 product key and no longer had to be installed as an update.
Windows 10 Version 1507 – the Original
The first version of Windows 10 did not look quite finished in many places. The first update came shortly after the release.