Every Windows 10 update brings its fair share of changes, but the upcoming May 2020 version is shaping up to be more significant than most of Microsoft’s feature updates. After the update, Windows 10 will be kinder to your hard drive when keeping tabs on your files and programs, and that won’t come at the expense of search performance. It’s all thanks to a tweaking indexing system and a little common sense.
Years back, it was common for Windows tips articles and optimization guides to recommend disabling the Windows indexing service. Microsoft implemented this feature so you could pop open the search bar and get immediate results as you typed. However, that also meant the operating system needed to continuously scan your hard drive for changes. In some configurations (particularly those with slower spinning drives), that could really kill system performance.
Today, solid state drives (SSDs) have overtaken spinning drives for running Windows — many people still use big, cheap spinning drives for bulk storage, though. Even if most of us are using SSDs, many cheap PCs still rely on spinning drives, and Windows 10 build 2004 should go easier on them.
The new indexing service is more efficient when it’s running, which will help spinning drives maintain a minimum level of performance and avoid noticeable lag. Windows 10 build 2004 also added a feature that throttles or pauses indexing activity when the user is transferring or deleting files. That could even help boost SSD performance, depending on your configuration.
— Gray Hats (@the_yellow_fall) April 27, 2020
The search indexing changes will be great for a subset of users, but there are a ton of changes in this version. There’s a new version of the Linux subsystem, this time with a proper open-source kernel that will get updates. The search UI to go with that new indexing system will also include some quick search buttons and more relevant results. Finally, there’s DirectX 12 Ultimate with support for ray tracing. The update will, sadly, not come with a fancy new video card that can handle ray tracing.
Microsoft has reportedly finalized the May 2020 update, so build 2004 might be the one that rolls out to users in a few weeks. As usual, the update will hit a small number of users before launching widely. If you want early access, you can join the Windows Insiders program.
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