Windows 10 gets these dark and light theme-aware splash screens and improved defrag

Microsoft's new Windows 10 preview has new app splash screens that obey light- and dark-theme settings.

Securing Windows 10 PCs: What to watch out for

Microsoft's latest preview of Windows 10 brings new theme-aware splash screens for Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps and an improved defrag experience with a new Advanced View. 

The new theme-aware splash screens for UWP Windows 10 apps builds on the recently released theme-aware tiles feature for the Start menu, which obey dark- and light-theme settings. 

Theme-aware Start tiles appeared in a July preview build and made it to the just-released minor feature update, Windows 10 version 20H2, also known as the Windows 10 October 2020 Update

SEE: Windows 10 Start menu hacks (TechRepublic Premium)

The theme-aware splash screens for UWP apps will similarly conform to the default app mode in Windows 10, so if light theme is turned on, users get a light-theme splash screen. The same happens when dark-theme app mode is on. 

The new behavior is available to Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel who installed the Insider Preview build 20241.

Only some UWP apps currently support theme-aware splash screens, including Microsoft's Settings, Store, Windows Security, Alarms & Clock, Calculator, Maps, Voice Recorder, Groove, Movies & TV, Snip & Sketch, Microsoft ToDo, Office, Feedback Hub, and Microsoft Solitaire Collection. 

At present it's rolling out to a subset of Insiders in the Dev Channel to help Microsoft catch issues that may impact performance and reliability, but it will gradually roll out to all insiders in that channel, according to Microsoft program manager Brandon LeBlanc.

Microsoft is also working on changes to the Defrag and Optimize utility, which does its job of rearranging data for more efficient retrieval automatically.

Under Optimize Drives page – found in Settings > System > Storage > Optimize Drives – there's a new 'Advanced View' checkbox. It lists all volumes including hidden volumes. It's in early development, so LeBlanc warns that users might see the checkbox but might not notice any differences after it's clicked. 

Microsoft is also listing more details in the 'Current status' column when volumes are not available for defrag. Finally, it's adding support for pressing F5 to refresh. 

There's a bunch of fixes in this update too, including one for touch devices like the Surface Pro X and Surface Pro 7 where scrolling and pinch to zoom weren't working properly. It's also fixed a bug causing Task Manager to crash when closing a tab in Microsoft Edge while Task Manager is running. 

Microsoft is investigating several known issues with recent insider builds. Users have reported that PCs being used to train machine-learning models using Nvidia's CUDA and Microsoft's DirectML aren't working inside Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL).

SEE: Windows 10 gets these dark and light theme-aware splash screens and improved defrag

Microsoft recently began using its DirectX (Direct 3D 12/D3D12) APIs for graphics to bring GPU hardware acceleration to Linux-based machine-learning workloads running on WSL2. 

Previously that was only possible on Windows, so Microsoft created a custom DirectX-based Linux GPU kernel driver – the dxgkrnl Linux Edition – for WSL2's Linux kernel.

Microsoft is also recommending that Insiders with Arm PCs like the Surface Pro X try its new native Arm version of PowerShell 7

PowerShell users will have noticed that it doesn't launch. Alternatively, users can use 'Windows PowerShell (x86)' or 'Windows PowerShell ISE (x86)' from the Start menu.

settings-dark-before-after-gif.gif

This is Microsoft's Windows 10 Settings app splash screen before and after in dark theme.  

Image: Microsoft