Windows 10 20H2 (November 2020): New Features And Release Date

After the 20H1 update of May 2020 (Windows 10 version 2004), we are now waiting for the Windows 10 20H2 (November 2020).

With Windows 10, Microsoft has radically changed its strategy compared to previous versions of its operating system. Rather than launching a new OS every X years, the American publisher has chosen to keep Windows 10 for an indefinite period of time and to provide it with regular updates so that it can evolve both in terms of functionality and security.


Twice a year, users have the opportunity to download and install a so-called major feature update, which brings optimizations and improvements to the operating system, both in terms of performance and interface. New options are also added from time to time.

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When will the Windows 10 (20H2) update arrive?

After the 20H1 update of May 2020 (Windows 10 version 2004), we are now waiting for the 20H2 update scheduled for November 2020. On this occasion, Microsoft has changed its way of proceeding regarding the naming of the updates. The next version will not be named 2011 version (20 for 2020 and 11 for November) but simply update of November 2020 to avoid confusion and loss of users. Until now, there were three names for each update. For example for the last major update to date: "20H1" meaning first quarter 2020, then "2004" meaning April 2020 once the release date is officialized, and finally "April 2020 update" to better speak to the general public. The second naming method has therefore been removed to keep only two, which is more than enough. Especially since the switch to 2020, we could have had the impression that the version numbers corresponded to years.

Microsoft has not yet released an exact release date for the stable version of Windows 10 20H2. Usually, we are warned only a few days before, and sometimes not even directly by Microsoft, who likes to keep the suspense alive, but by an external source. What is pretty sure is that the release should take place in November.

As for the members of the Windows Insider program, they can already build the first builds related to the 20H2 update.

What's new for the Windows 10 update (November 2020)?

Microsoft is using the same formula as in 2019 for this year, with a first major update bringing many changes in the spring, followed by a much smaller update in the fall offering optimizations, patches, and some new features.

Below we detail the known changes that will be present in the November 2020 update of Windows 10. Note that some of the features mentioned are available on Insider Preview builds. Therefore, their presence is not confirmed for the November 2020 update, it is only a possibility. Microsoft may choose to abandon the project or give itself more time to make it available to the general public. It is thus possible that it is necessary to wait for the 21H1 update, more important than the 20H2, to take advantage of it.

Storage space management

Windows 10 20H2 will better help users free up storage space on their disks. This has always been a major issue for users, and if the price of a GB of HDD or SSD is cheaper than before, we also find ourselves with bigger and bigger files on our machine: better quality of photos and videos, size of games that explodes in recent years, operating system updates...
This new feature is in the form of a page entitled "Cleaning Recommendations". It will indicate which are the little used or particularly large files that are most likely to be deleted in order to save space on your hard disk. Advice is also given on how to better manage the storage of your PC.

The update will also bring improvements to "Storage Sense", the wizard that has been optimizing storage on Windows 10 discreetly in the background for a few years now. It regularly empties the recycle bin or deletes local files that are also available on the OneDrive cloud service, for example. New customization options will be introduced in the future. Among other things, it will be possible to protect folders from automatic cleanup.

Default Edge Chromium

As you probably know, Microsoft decided to deploy a version of its Edge browser based on the Chromium rendering engine many months ago. Since its launch, this version cohabits with the traditional Edge, which is so far still the browser that is promoted by the Redmond firm.

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This will change with the Windows 10 20H2 update. By default, will now be preinstalled Microsoft Edge based on Chromium and no longer the version based on EdgeHTML.

As a reminder, the switch to Chromium should boost the performance of the browser, and especially make it compatible with all technologies developed by Google for its open-source browser (extensions, protocols ...), which already equips many browsers: Chrome, Opera, Vivaldi, Brave ... The result is rather convincing and the time when we made fun of outdated browsers from Microsoft seems now over, although there are still areas for improvement.

Edge will also continue to evolve until November. In particular, Microsoft is testing a function concerning the Alt+Tab command, which allows to see all its Edge tabs open in the interface and to switch between them with an Alt+Tab instead of only managing the active tab of the browser window (the windows of other software are thus mixed with all Edge tabs). If the feature is a success, it could be extended to other software than Edge in the future.

Fortunately, this option can be disabled . The Ctrl+Tab command already makes it possible to quickly navigate between the different tabs of a browser, and this new system would be far too messy for users who have a multitude of windows and tabs open. But it will undoubtedly be useful to a certain fringe of users.

An overhaul of the Start menu

As we told you a few months ago, Microsoft is working on a new Start Menu for Windows 10. The changes are mostly cosmetic. The tile block blends much better in the background, with a transparency effect, for a better uniformity. Previously, it is the tile in its entirety that we identified as it was so visible, this change will leave more room for the logo of the application, a little like what we have on the desktop. Moreover, some native Windows 10 application logos (Calculator, Mail, Calendar) have been reworked. This new design also takes particular advantage of Windows 10's dark mode.

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A more relevant taskbar for new users

Microsoft is currently analyzing user feedback on their taskbar practices. This data will be used to improve it and offer a more relevant experience to new users to benefit from a more "turnkey" solution.

The taskbar will also be automatically customized, for example with a shortcut to the Xbox application for users who have logged in an Xbox Live account. For those who have connected their PC to their Android smartphone, a shortcut to the "Your Phone" service may appear.

Less intrusive notifications

It will be easier to identify where a notification comes from thanks to a better highlighting of the logo of the service concerned. It will also be faster to get rid of cumbersome notifications that do not interest you in one click. Finally, invasive notifications related to the Concentration Wizard will be disabled by default in the notifications panel. It will still be possible to return to the previous system via the settings.

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The control panel always more and more relegated to the background
This is not new, Microsoft always tries a little more to make the control panel, a remnant of the oldest versions of Windows, lose a little more importance. Many options have already been moved to Settings, and the migration is continuing.

This time, it is the technical specification sheets of the computer and the copy of Windows being used that are switched to a Settings menu and leave the control panel.

Microsoft confirms that its efforts are now dedicated to Settings only, and even asks for feedback from users to communicate options that are present in the control panel and absent from the settings they may have forgotten.

An increasingly optimized tablet mode

With the Windows 10 update of May 2020, we've already had a redesigned tablet mode, much better suited to touchscreens. In particular, the file explorer and taskbar have been redesigned.

Microsoft plans to make it even easier to switch modes by automatically switching between them when a keyboard is connected or disconnected. Today, a notification appears in this case asking the user what he wants to do. It would save time for some users to automate this task a little more.

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If you don't want to change the display mode automatically in this kind of situation, you can always disable this new feature. If you're the proud owner of a Surface device, you may already have a preview of such a feature.

Finally, the shortcut for quick access to the tablet will be removed on devices without a touch screen to prevent users who make a wrong move from getting stuck in this mode.

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How do I install the Windows 10 (November 2020) update?

The easiest way is to go to the Windows Update tool that is natively integrated with Windows 10. It will tell you if the update is available and if so, you can install it very simply with almost nothing to do. New since Windows 10 2004, Windows Update warns the user when his computer is not yet fully ready to install the update. Usually, you have to wait a few days or weeks until the new drivers for each of your components (especially the CPU) are available in order to avoid compatibility errors and crashes. Microsoft realized that there were too many bugs after its updates and now wants to limit the phenomenon. So don't be in too much of a hurry before upgrading to the new version of Windows 10.

Alternatively, you can use the "Update Wizard" tool to install the latest version of Windows 10. This is a very easy to use utility that will guide you step by step through the upgrade process. It is also particularly useful for creating installation media (media creation tool) via USB stick, DVD or ISO file to install updated Windows 10 on another machine.

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But if you're already running the May 2020 version of Windows 10, it's likely that you won't even need to do anything to install the November update. It will also be deployed via the maintenance technology used for small monthly and cumulative updates. This should make the process quick and painless, perhaps you won't even notice it depending on your update settings.

How big will the Windows 10 (November 2020) update be?

Microsoft has not yet communicated the information, and it is also likely that even the American publisher does not yet know exactly how big the 20H2 update will be.

As seen previously, the update should be quite light. The much larger 20H1 required a minimum of 11 GB of disk space for installation, so the size of this new update should be less important.

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But don't forget that it's important to keep a good margin of free disk space, both for performance reasons and to be able to create backups of the system. In principle, when you install the November 2020 update, Windows 10 will create a particularly large Windows.old file, which will be deleted automatically after a month if no problems have occurred. This file contains the programs and documents saved on the computer so that they can be restored in the event of a crash caused by the update. The size of Windows.old is therefore proportional to the disk space you are already using.

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