Microsoft is now rolling out the last preview of 2018 to testers. This time around, the company is releasing Windows 10 build 18305 for devices enrolled in the Fast ring with a number of significant improvements and features.

Build 18305 is a relatively big update, which introduces new features, such as Windows Sandbox to safely run untrusted applications and password-less authentication using a Microsoft account. This flight also delivers improvements for the Start menu, Windows Security, Task Manager, File Explorer, and the Settings app. And you can now use the emoji panel to insert symbols and kaomoji.

In this Windows 10 guide, we’ll highlight the most important changes that Microsoft has been working for the next major release arriving in 2019.

Windows 10 build 18305

Here are the most worthy improvements the Windows team has been working on the last preview of the year for Windows 10 19H1:

Start menu

Starting with Windows 10 build 18305, the Start menu now introduces a new default layout that simplifies the elements into a single column with reduced top-level tiles.

The new layout will appear when you’re setting up a new device, creating a new account, or after performing a clean installation. (If you’re upgrading from a previous version, the layout will be kept as it was before.)

File Explorer

In previous builds, File Explorer introduced a new folder option to show dates in a conversational format. For example, “12 minutes ago,” instead of “12/20/2018 10:38 AM,” which makes it harder to understand. In this flight, the option has been renamed to “Use friendly dates,” and it’s not only available in the Folder Options settings but also when right-clicking a column while using the details view.

According to the company, the new view will provide consistency throughout Windows 10, apps, and on the web.

Windows Sandbox

This preview also introduces Windows Sandbox, which is a new feature designed to safely run untrusted applications without affecting your installation.

The feature uses the Microsoft Hypervisor technology and hardware virtualization to create a lightweight environment to install and run an application, but there’s no need to create a virtual machine.

It’s also very efficient using integrated kernel scheduler, smart memory management, and virtual graphics. And it’s disposable, which means that when you finish using the app, the environment and app will be discarded automatically.

The new security feature will be available for Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Enterprise through the “Turn Windows Feature on or off” experience with the “Windows Sandbox” label.

If you want to give it a try, once enabled, search for Windows Sandbox in the Start menu, and select the top result to start using it.

Clipboard

Windows 10 is also updating the interface for the Clipboard experience (Windows key + V). The new interface is similar to the previous version, but now each item on the list is significantly smaller, which results in more space to show even more entries.

Accounts

If you have a Microsoft account connected with your phone number, it’s now possible to use an SMS code to sign-in, and continue setting up your Windows 10 account.

Image source: Microsoft

After signing in, you can set up Windows Hello Fingerprint, Face, or a PIN as your method of authentication, instead of creating a password that is complex and easy to forget.

Windows Hello

Alongside the improvements to sign-in without the need of a password, Windows 10 build 18305 is also tweaking the experience to reset your PIN by aligning the interface design with the same look and feel available on the web and mobile, instead of the Windows look design.

While the company didn’t mention, you’ll also notice the same interface design throughout the OS, including when you need to verify your account, creating a new user account, and on any other situation that requires authentication.

Settings

As usual, Windows 10 build 18305 also delivers some important changes to the Settings app.

Image source: Microsoft

In this release, the Settings app is introducing a new homepage with a new header design similar to the Microsoft account homepage online. The new homepage surfaces the user information along with useful details to complete setting up your installation and quick access to frequently used…