Windows 10’s October update 2020 – what’s new?

The new update of Windows 10 is here. The latest version is called October update 2020 or version 20H2. It is the second of the two big updates that Microsoft had planned for 2020. 

It is a free update for users of previous Windows 10.

How to update Windows 10? 

Microsoft launches one significant update each year in H1 and another in H2 of each year. Now is time for the October 2020 update. You can get it by going to Settings. Navigate to Updates and Security. There, you need to click on Windows Update and click on Check for Updates if it is not flashing you already with a message to update.

Visual changes – Start menu, notifications, icons

Start menu 

One of the most notable changes inside the 20H2 update is the updated start menu and tiles. Now it is “adaptive”. The color theme that you set to the system will also change the color of the tiles. That means that if you are using a dark theme, it will change the tiles and start menu to dark hue, and if you are using a light theme, it will change appropriately. 

The start menu is a bit transparent now. You can see a bit of the window or desktop behind it. 

The icons have lost their accent background square. It works well with the previous changes. 


Notifications now have an application icon when they pop-up. It will also hide new notifications when the Focus Assist is on. 

All visual changes are welcome. Microsoft is still trying to uniform the design of its OS, and it is going the right way, but with snail speed. 

Microsoft Edge

You will get the latest version of Microsoft’s browser – Microsoft Edge. It is now preinstalled with Windows October Update 2020, and you can’t delete it. 

There is one nifty new trick. You can set your Windows to show Edge’s tabs on the “Alt+Tab” menu. It will show like any other window. This can be very useful for multitasking for some people. Of course, if you don’t like it, you can turn it off. 

Microsoft Edge is a good browser. Maybe now you can give it a try.  


Refresh rate

Now you can adjust the refresh rate of your monitor from the Settings. Under Advanced Display Settings, you will have a drop-down menu with the supported refresh rates. Before, you needed to go to the ancient Control Panel and fix it from there.  

In Settings, inside the About menu, you can now copy your computer’s specifications and use it to send them to the support IT team. 

Tablet mode updated

There are small changes. Now you don’t see Tablet mode on desktop computers anymore. 

Now Tablet mode is set to default when you put your device in the tablet state. There are bigger touch boxes on the icons, and the search bar hides when the Tablet mode is activated. 

You can change the settings and get back the “Ask me before switching modes” notification. You can find it in Settings, then Tablet. 

Tablet mode hasn’t been good since the beginning of Windows 10. These new changes are not really improving much. Still, it feels clunky to use and ages behind the experience with an iPad.  


The taskbar also has a few minor changes. The standard layout will change if you have added an Android phone to your computer or have a gaming computer and Xbox Live account. The change adds an icon in the end. 


Windows 10 October 2020 Update is trying to fix the design mess that Windows 10 currently is. It is going the right way, but painfully slow. There are some small updates, but in general, Windows 20H2 is nothing special. If you don’t update immediately, you won’t be missing much.   

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