Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 18317: Separating Search and Cortana

Microsoft just released Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 18317 in Fast Ring. This is the 19H1 development branch, which will be released in spring 2019. This release will separate Search and Cortana.


The announcement and a description of the new features can be found in the Windows Blog. There are some new features that Microsoft lists for the new build.

Separating Search and Cortana

Microsoft announce, they will decoupling Search and Cortana in the taskbar. This will enable differenc each experiences. Clicking the search box in the taskbar now launches the search. Clicking the Cortana icon will launch Microsoft’s voice-first digital assistant experience.

Showing the taskbar, pointing out the search box, and the Cortana icon.

Improving Start reliability

Up until now Start in Windows 10 has been hosted by something called ShellExperienceHost.exe. Microsoft ist separating Start experience into its own process, called StartMenuExperienceHost.exe. This has a number of benefits, including simplifying debugging and insulating Start from potential issues impacting other surfaces.

A Better Font management experience in Settings

Insiders can now drag and drop font files from File Explorer into the modern Settings > Fonts page to install them. After installation, click on the font in the Font page, to view the different font faces associated with the font and all the details of the font. You can also uninstall the font from this font details page. Drag and drop font installation by default is installed as a per-user font which does not require elevation, hence it will not be available for other users. To install the font for all users in the device, use the “Install for all Users” option by right clicking the font on file explorer.


A simpler Windows Insider Program Settings page

Microsoft introduces a simplified Windows Insider Program Settings page via Settings > Update & Security > Windows Insider Program with Build 18317. The goal is to make the end-to-end experience of signing up for the Windows Insider Program and setting up your PC to take new builds much easier by simplifying the experience and removing some of the clutter. You’ll find that all the same functionality is still there.

New simplified Windows Insider Program Settings page via Settings > Update & Security > Windows Insider Program.

Under “Pick your Insider settings” is where you can change your Insider ring on your PC.

Windows Console Updates and general improvments

Microsoft made several fixes & improvements in Windows Console in and leading up to build 18317. Beside this, there are many improvents and fixes enlisted within this blog post.

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