Windows 10 21H1 update may include user interface changes

Advanced volume controls and a smaller search bar are included in early previews

Windows 10 menu

The first Windows 10 update of 2021 may come with noticeable changes to the user interface, including more versatile volume controls and a smaller search bar, according to leaked previews.

Codenamed Windows 10 21H1 or Windows 10 Iron, the next major update of Windows 10 is expected to roll out to the public in spring 2021. Though it’s still a ways off, we’re already getting glimpses of it thanks to Microsoft recently shipping a preview build to testers.

The preview build includes multiple UI changes and other tweaks, according to Microsoft watchers like Windows Latest and Paul Thurrott.

Among the changes in the preview update is a long-rumored adjustment to Windows’ volume controls. The current controls are incredibly basic, with a mute button and a cursor that slides from 0 to 100. 

Microsoft is apparently bringing its Fluent Design language to the new version, which features multimedia playback controls that’ll let you change tracks, pause and resume the music you’re playing. The new volume controls will also display album cover art of the music you’re playing in your browser or streaming service.

The Windows 10 21H1 preview build also contains a smaller search box that takes up less space on the Windows taskbar.

Microsoft also appears to be testing changes to the Action Center in this new preview build. The updated Action Center would group notifications and house them under different apps. Opening the Action Center would allow users to see any missed alerts.

Meanwhile, Paul Thurrott reported that the first build of Windows 10 21H1 includes some useful updates for users of the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). These include: 

  • GPU Compute, a feature that enables your Linux binaries to leverage your GPU  
  • WSL install, which lets you install WSL with a single command 
  • WSL-update, which allows you to manage the Linux kernel version used by WSL 2 distros

This news comes as Microsoft’s recently released Windows 10 May 2020 update has been a mixed bag. That update included some desirable changes, but it also caused issues with printers, problems with Chrome and had numerous other major flaws.

Featured Resources

2021 Thales cloud security study

The challenges of cloud data protection and access management in a hybrid and multi cloud world

Free download

IDC agility assessment

The competitive advantage in adaptability

Free Download

Digital transformation insights from CIOs for CIOs

Transformation pilotes, co-pilots, and engineers

Free download

What ITDMs did next - and what they should be doing now

Enable continued collaboration and communication for hybrid workers

Recommended

Microsoft Defender review: Effective, effortless protection for zero cost
antivirus

Microsoft Defender review: Effective, effortless protection for zero cost

3 Dec 2021
Microsoft patch fails to fix Installer zero-day affecting every version of Windows
zero-day exploit

Microsoft patch fails to fix Installer zero-day affecting every version of Windows

25 Nov 2021
BazarLoader malware abuses Windows 10 apps in 'Call Me Back' attack
phishing

BazarLoader malware abuses Windows 10 apps in 'Call Me Back' attack

12 Nov 2021
How to fix a stuck Windows 10 update
operating systems

How to fix a stuck Windows 10 update

10 Nov 2021

Most Popular

What are the pros and cons of AI?
machine learning

What are the pros and cons of AI?

30 Nov 2021
How to move Microsoft's Windows 11 from a hard drive to an SSD
Microsoft Windows

How to move Microsoft's Windows 11 from a hard drive to an SSD

24 Nov 2021
What is single sign-on (SSO)?
single sign-on (SSO)

What is single sign-on (SSO)?

2 Dec 2021