Microsoft's big April Update is here, and a number of Windows features have been removed or are having development ceased. Here's the full list.
The Windows 10 April 2018 Update, formerly known as the Spring Creators Update, is now available for download, and users will find a lot of new features—and some that are missing.
Microsoft has removed several Windows features from its latest release, version 1803, and has ceased development on several others with potential plans to remove them later on.
Windows 10 users and administrators shouldn't be too concerned, though: The features being removed and end-of-lifed are mostly outdated. But be sure to read the whole list: Some of them may still be relevant.
Windows features removed in version 1803
Microsoft said that apps and code that depend on these features won't work in 1803. Anybody who still uses one of these features should hold off upgrading until a workaround can be found:
- Groove Music Pass: Microsoft partnered with Spotify in late 2017 and discontinued the Groove Music Pass shortly thereafter. The Groove app has been updated to reflect that change, though it can still be used to play music files that are locally stored or hosted on OneDrive.
- People contact suggestions: "Suggestions will no longer include unsaved contacts for non-Microsoft accounts," Microsoft said. You'll now have to save contact details for those you send or receive email from.
- Language control: The language control feature has been removed from the Control Panel. It can now be found in the Settings app.
- HomeGroup: Microsoft has eliminated the HomeGroup app, but not the file, printer, and folder sharing options it enabled. Printer sharing and file sharing have been turned into base Windows 10 features.
- Connect To Suggested Wi-Fi Hotspots: Privacy concerns triggered Microsoft to remove automatic Wi-Fi connection in version 1709, and now suggested hotspots have been removed from the Wi-Fi settings page entirely. You'll have to manually find and connect to networks the old-fashioned way now.
- Conversations: The Conversations feature in the People app isn't going away, but it is changing: Getting new mail will require you to be online and signed in to an Office 365 account or an applicable organizational account connected to the Mail, Calendar, or People app.
- XPS Viewer: If you already have the XPS viewer you're all set. Installing 1803 won't remove it either, but new installations of Windows 10 1803 won't have it installed automatically: It has to be chosen for installation under Apps And Features.
SEE: Windows spotlight: 30 tips and tricks for power users (Tech Pro Research)
Windows features no longer under development in version 1803
The following Windows features aren't being removed right away—they're just being shifted to an inactive status. "Some [of these] features have been replaced with other features or functionality, while others are now available from different sources," Microsoft said, adding it may remove them eventually.
- Software Restriction Policies in Group Policy: This feature is now part of AppLocker and Windows Defender Application Control, making continuing development of those policies in GP redundant.
- Offline symbol packages: Symbol packages aren't a downloadable MSI file anymore. The Microsoft Symbol Server is turning into an Azure-based Symbol Store, and those who require them can connect and locally cache what they need.
- Windows Help Viewer: The app is still there, but all the Windows help info you could ever need is available online, which is where Microsoft wants you to go to get it.
- Contacts in File Explorer: The Contacts feature and its corresponding API have been replaced by the People app.
- Phone Companion: All of the features of the Phone Companion app have been moved to the Phone page in the Settings app.
- IPv4/6 transition technologies: Microsoft said it best: "6to4 has been disabled by default since Windows 10, version 1607 (the Anniversary Update), ISATAP has been disabled by default since Windows 10, version 1703 (the Creators Update), and Direct Tunnels has always been disabled by default. Please use native IPv6 support instead."
- 12 tips to get more out of Windows 10 (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
- Avoid Windows 10 crapware: How to get rid of Candy Crush and all the rest (ZDNet)
- Windows 10 April 2018 Update: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)
- Windows 10 feature updates painfully slow? Relief is in sight (ZDNet)
- Windows 10 April 2018 Update: Microsoft's big feature update is available Monday (TechRepublic)