Windows 10 April 2018 Update kills off a number of features

Windows 10 on a laptop

Microsoft has just officially launched the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, and it’s also revealed which features it's removed from Windows 10.

As Microsoft notes in a news post on its Windows IT Pro Center website, while it adds plenty of new features and tools with major updates like the Windows 10 April 2018 update, also known as Windows 10 version 1803, it occasionally removes features and functionality as well.

This is usually because the features have been replaced with something more useful, or the feature or functionality just isn't widely used any more. As with the Fall Creators Update, several features have been removed from Windows 10, and Microsoft has listed them, along with suggesting alternatives.

Here are the features that you will find missing when you install the Windows 10 April 2018 Update.

Getting out of the Groove

After killing off its Groove music streaming service last year, the Groove Music Pass has now been removed from Windows 10.

You can still use the Groove app to play music you have stored on your PC, or streamed from OneDrive, but if you want to stream music you don’t own then Microsoft suggests using Spotify or other music services. That must have been a bitter pill to swallow.

The HomeGroup feature, which allowed simple sharing of files and printers over a home network, has also been removed, and instead you’ll need to use the built-in tools that come with Windows 10.

While some people may be dismayed at the death of Groove and the lack of HomeGroups, there is one feature that most people will be happy to see the back of: Microsoft has announced that it has now completely removed the option to ‘Connect to suggested open hotspots’ in Windows 10’s Wi-Fi settings.

This was a controversial feature that worried many people when it was first introduced, as it would connect to open Wi-Fi hotspots (networks without a password) automatically by default, which led to some security concerns.

The option was so controversial that Microsoft disabled it, and it's now removing it altogether. Instead, you’ll need to connect to open networks manually, which is a much more sensible idea.

The People app is also losing a number of features. It will no longer include unsaved contacts for non-Microsoft accounts, the ‘Conversations’ part of the app will no longer work when you’re offline, and you’ll need an Office 365 account.

Another tool that’s been cut from Windows 10, which very few people will mourn, is the XPS Viewer. This is no longer included by default, but if you’re one of the few people who use it, you can install it from the ‘Apps and Features’ section of the Settings app.

Marked for death

As well as announcing the features it’s killed off with the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, Microsoft has also listed the features that are no longer being actively developed. In software terms, this can often be a lot like being placed on death row, and it means that these features are likely to disappear in a future update to Windows 10.

The Windows Help Viewer app is being depreciated, with all Windows help information now available online. Of course, this isn’t going to benefit anyone who has an offline device.

The Contacts feature in File Explorer also looks set to be killed off soon, with Microsoft pointing users to the People app in Windows 10 for similar functionality.

The Phone Companion app is no longer being developed either, with Microsoft encouraging people to use the ‘Phone’ section of the Settings app, which will include all the Phone Companion features.

While it’s sometimes worrying when a company starts taking features away from a piece of software you rely on, for the most part these cuts make sense, with newer – and better – alternatives in place. Check out Microsoft’s full list of cut features for more information.


Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.