Windows 10’s big interface refresh “Sun Valley update” is coming later this year, with numerous leaks and preview builds pointing to various design changes. In the latest preview builds, we’ve caught a glimpse of new icons for features from Windows 95-era.
In addition to new icons for popular folder and system apps, Microsoft is refreshing icons from Windows 95-era too, such as the hibernation mode. These new icons more closely mimic the icons already seen on Microsoft 365, Microsoft Launcher and other products.
The preview build comes with a set of new icons for folders/options/buttons inside the Shell32.DLL, the main shell module that has existed in all variants of the operating system released after Windows 95.
Preview builds (left) and production (right)
As you can see in the above screenshot that compares Windows 10 Sun Valley Update with Windows 10 October 2020 Update, Microsoft has refreshed icons for several folders inside the Shell32.DLL. This includes hibernation mode, globe, networking, etc.
This is all part of ‘Sun Valley’, the UI overhaul that will begin rolling out to consumers in the second half of the year.
Rather than the completely dated designs, the newer options are colourful.
Microsoft has tweaked plenty of apps, folders and settings with more colourful and Fluent icons, so this comes as no great surprise. The icons for other important folders – This PC, Recycle Bin, Documents, etc – have also been modified in the preview builds, as officially announced by Microsoft earlier this year.
However, there are still several icons that need to be changed. For example, the preview build still uses the old tree icon for WinDirStat, a disk usage statistics viewer and cleanup too included in various versions of Windows 10.
With rounded corners, more Fluent Design goodness, a true dark mode experience and other features, the desktop may end up looking very different from the current version of Windows 10.
Microsoft is also considering floating menus and new Fluent Design-based UI elements.