Here are the main new features of the Windows 10 May 2021 Update or 21H1, the latest major update to Windows 10 that Microsoft has begun to release to all users. It is one of those updates that are made twice a year to add new features to Windows, which are the ones we are going to list today.
It is a fairly minor update with very few new features since the real changes and new features are expected for the update that will arrive in the second half of the year. In any case, here we tell you all the news. The update will arrive progressively, so if it is not available now, try again in a few hours.
Windows Hello now uses external cameras
Windows Hello is the biometric identification system of Windows 10, and you can configure it to log in using your face or your fingerprint instead of a PIN or password. To show you the level of this May update, the main new feature in Windows is a small addition to this security feature.
Specifically, Windows Hello will start allowing the use of external webcams. This means that if your device doesn’t have a built-in webcam, you can buy another one, connect it to your computer, and use it to log in. Windows 10 will detect that you have an internal or external camera connected, and you will be able to configure the external one to be the one used by default.
Improvements in the Windows Defender application control
Windows Defender is the native antivirus that Windows has, and it is a security system that has many sections and features. One of them is Application Control, which improves its internal performance, including the optimization of document opening scenario times.
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Improvements designed for remote work
2020 was the year remote work boom, and with the pandemic persisting, 2021 is also a year when more people than ever are working from home. That’s why another of the big new features we see in this new version of Windows 10 has to do with small improvements for remote work and its performance in Windows.
Specifically, two services called Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) and Group Policy Service (GPSVC) are improved. In short, the Windows Management Instrumentation is updated to improve the performance of remote work contexts, a change that you will not notice superficially, but that is there for when it is needed.
How to upgrade to this new version
The Windows 10 May 2021 Update has arrived as if it were a normal operating system update. Therefore, to install it you will have to do it like the other updates, and that starts by waiting for it to update itself or going into the Windows settings. You can do this with the cogwheel icons that are both in the activity center that you see in the screenshot and the start menu.
Once in Windows Settings, go to the “Update and Security” section, and within the Windows Update category, you will see if your operating system is waiting for new updates.
Among them, you should see the message telling you that there is a feature update, and underneath, a “Download and install” button. If you do not see any, try clicking on Check for updates. The Windows 10 update will arrive gradually, so it may take a few hours to get it.
And if all else fails, you have to go to the official Windows 10 download website, where at the top you can already see a section entitled Windows 10 May 2021 Update. All you have to do is click on Update now and you will download an update wizard to complete it.
In this update, there are hardly any changes in terms of requirements needed to be able to use it. These are the minimum specifications that your computer needs to have to be able to do it:
- 1 GB of RAM for 32-bit versions or 2 GB of RAM if you use a 64-bit version.
- 32 GB of space when upgrading from Windows 10 May 2019 Update.
- 1 GHz processor (x86) with PAE, NX, SSE2, and support for CMPXCHG16b, LAHF/SAHF, and PrefetchW.
- 800 x 600 pixel screen resolution.
- Graphics card supporting DirectX 9 and WDDM 1.0 or higher.
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