New Windows 10 preview lets you go passwordless and improves Your Phone app

Image credit: Shutterstock (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Windows 10 has seen the release of a new preview build for those in the fast ring testing the update due to land in the first half of 2020.

Build 18936 ushers in a passwordless sign-in system for the Microsoft account(s) on your device, meaning rather than a traditional password, you can use your fingerprint or Windows Hello facial recognition (or a PIN) for better security. 

We'd still suggest that you use a password manager though (If you’re wondering why a Windows Hello PIN is more secure than a password, Microsoft has the answer for you in this video).

Windows Hello

The new option to make your device passwordless (Image credit: Microsoft) (Image credit: Microsoft)

To enable this option, head into Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options, and where it says ‘Make your device passwordless’ you need to choose ‘On’. You might not see the option in your account settings yet, though, because only a small percentage of testers are getting the functionality initially, with a gradual rollout planned.

It sounds like most folks should get the option to go passwordless in the next couple of weeks, though.

Surface benefits

This latest preview build also bolsters the Your Phone app, making screen mirroring of your handset available on more of Microsoft’s Surface devices. The so-called ‘phone screen’ feature now works with the Surface Laptop and Surface Laptop 2, as well as the Surface Pro 4, 5, and 6, and the Surface Book along with the Surface Book 2.

And a final change for build 18936 is the ability to swiftly create a new event or reminder directly from the Taskbar: all you have to do is click on the date (bottom-right corner), choose a day, and you’ll see a box that lets you create the event there and then. Nothing major, but a nifty little extra.

That about wraps it up for this preview build, aside from the usual bug fixes and minor tweaks, and also known issues which tend to be more prevalent in these early builds, all of which are listed in Microsoft’s blog post introducing the changes.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).