It's Wednesday, and that means that it's time for a new Windows 10 Insider Preview build in the Dev channel. Today's build is build 20257, and just like the last couple of weeks, there's really nothing interesting about it.

The reason that there's nothing interesting is because it's from the fe_release branch. Microsoft started using the branch two weeks ago, switching away from rs_prerelease. This used to mean that Microsoft was preparing for an actual feature release of the OS, but not anymore. Now, the company is just sort of going through the motions, and no one outside of the firm really knows if 21H1 will be released at all. If 21H1 does get released, it will be a minor update like 20H2 was, as the spring is going to be dedicated to the Windows 10X RTM.

Obviously, none of this is what Insiders signed up for in the Dev channel, and it's not what they were promised. When Microsoft overhauled the Insider Program in June, it said that the Dev channel would be in a perpetual state of prerelease. Obviously, that's not the case right now.

I've been hearing for some time that x64 emulation for Windows on ARM PCs is coming in the second half of this month, so perhaps next week's build will be from rs_prerelease again.

The only actual change in this build is that tile backgrounds for Win32 apps are no longer adjusted based on detected contrast ratio. While there are no new features in today's build, there are fixes and known issues. Here's what got fixed:

  • We fixed an issue starting with Build 20236 where installing games from the Store to a secondary non-OS drive would result in the secondary drive becoming inaccessible.
  • We fixed an issue causing some devices to experience a DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION bugcheck in recent builds.
  • We fixed an issue resulting in some apps crashing on launch in the previous flight, including Microsoft Jigsaw and Microsoft Minesweeper.
  • We fixed an issue resulting in File Explorer having a transparent line across the top when maximized on systems with multiple monitors.
  • We fixed an issue resulting in win32 app titles being unexpectedly highlighted in the title bar after enabling and disabling high contrast.
  • We fixed an issue where the windows.old folder is not completely deleted when performing disk cleanup.
  • We fixed an issue where if you reset your PC then and re-connected your MSA, then your MSA picture might never sync down.
  • We fixed an issue impacting Windows Hello Face recognition if the device was trained in a different orientation than the orientation used at unlock time.
  • We fixed an issue where setting up a kiosk (assigned access) account wouldn’t work the first time you tried, only subsequent tries.
  • We fixed a deadlock that could result in unexpected CPU usage. If you continue experiencing other performance issues, please take a moment to file feedback including details about the issue you’re seeing, and a performance trace. More info about collecting a repro trace is available here if needed.
  • We fixed an issue resulting in recently some apps being slower to accept keystrokes into text fields.
  • We fixed an issue that could result in links from apps failing to launch the browser.
  • We fixed an issue from the last couple flights that could result in audio playback unexpectedly stopping.
  • We fixed an issue that could result in not hearing audio after streaming certain content then turning your Bluetooth headset off and back on.
  • We fixed an issue that could result in Movies & TV failing to play some recorded HDR videos with error 0x80004001.

Here's what's still broken:

  • We’re looking into reports of the update process hanging for extended periods of time when attempting to install a new build.
  • Live previews for pinned sites aren’t enabled for all Insiders yet, so you may see a grey window when hovering over the thumbnail in the taskbar. We’re continuing to work on polishing this experience.
  • We’re working on enabling the new taskbar experience for existing pinned sites. In the meantime, you can unpin the site from the taskbar, remove it from the edge://apps page, and then re-pin the site.
  • We’re investigating reports that some users are seeing error 0x80070426 when using their Microsoft account to sign into various apps. If you encounter it, rebooting your PC may resolve this.
  • We’re investigating an issue where, after taking this build, no drives appear under Settings > System > Storage > Manage Disks and Volumes. As a workaround, you can manage your disks in the classic Disk Management tool.
  • We’re investigating reports that some screens incorrectly have black text on dark backgrounds when dark theme is enabled.

As always, you can grab today's build through Windows Update. If you're not on the Dev channel yet, head over to the Windows Insider Program tab in Settings to get started.