Microsoft will introduce a new series of privacy options in Windows 10 Redstone 4, and the most recent preview build released to the Fast ring provides us with a quick glimpse into how they’re going to work.
Basically, Windows 10 Redstone 4 will enable users to control app access to photo, video, and document libraries on the local drives. This means that each app can be configured to be granted access to system folders, though it’s important to note that the new policies appear to work for Microsoft Store apps exclusively.
“If you allow access, people using this device will be able to choose if their apps have videos library access by using the setting on this page. Denying access blocks Windows and apps from accessing the videos library,” the Settings description of the video privacy controls reads.
Blocking legacy Windows software from reading libraries
The intriguing part in this feature description concerns the Windows reference, as at first glance users could be able to block access of Win32 software to libraries as well. This means that third-party apps like music players, for instance, would only be able to read files in the Music folder if you specifically grant the permissions to do so, otherwise only access to non-system folders would be offered.
GHacks states that apps like Paint 3D, Windows Defender, and File Explorer do not seem to be impacted by the new privacy controls, but since they’re first-party apps, there’s a good chance the policy doesn’t affect them.
All these features are already available to Windows Insiders in the Fast ring, and they should land for everyone with the release of Windows 10 Redstone 4 this spring. According to Microsoft’s release schedule, the new OS update should be ready in March as version 1803, before getting the go-ahead and launch for everyone in April.
More privacy improvements could be introduced in the future Windows 10 Redstone 4 preview builds with more options to control app access to system folders.