What’s New in Upcoming Windows 10’s May 2021 Update (21H1)

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Microsoft’s Windows 10’s May 2021 Update, also known as 21H1, began rolling out to the Release Preview channel on Wednesday April 28, 2021. Like the 20H2 update, this is a smaller update that focuses on security improvements and polish. The big features originally planned for 21H1 have been delayed to 21H2 in late 2021. This article is up-to-date with the latest changes as of Windows 10 Insider build 19043.928, which Microsoft announced was the final build on April 28, 2021—barring any problems that might be found at the last minute.

However, new patches for the next Windows 10 update are still being tested with Windows Insiders in the Beta and Release Preview rings ahead of the public release of the May 2021 Update. Indeed, Microsoft has just released the 21H1 cumulative update build 19043.964 (KB5001391) to the Beta Channel & Release Preview Channels, which brings a single fix for an issue causing a 0xC2 (BAD_POOL_CALLER) bugcheck when using IOCTL_SCSI_PASS_THROUGH_DIRECT. Microsoft made 21H1 available for commercial validation via the Windows Insider Program for Business as of March. Those participants have been able to test Windows 10 Enterprise and Pro editions of 21H1 since then.

Here’s what’s new in 21H1 beyond generic fixes, security, remote access and quality updates:-

1. Windows Hello multicamera support to set the default as the external camera when both external and internal Windows Hello cameras are present.

2. Windows Defender Application Guard performance improvements including optimizing document opening scenario times.

3. Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) Group Policy Service (GPSVC) updating performance improvement to support remote work scenarios.

Microsoft is also introducing a new “news and interests” Taskbar widget to Windows 10 users this spring, however that feature is being backported to all Windows 10 versions down to 1909. So, even if you don’t upgrade to 21H1, you will get the new Taskbar feature. That said, updating to 21H1 should expedite access to the new feature.

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