Windows 10 v1709 AMA - Why has Creators Update Fall treated creators so badly?

Occasional Contributor

I'd like to know how the incomprehensible change in stylus behaviour, which severely impacts those who primarily input with pen, was ever considered a positive?


The multiple adverse effects are cropping up via user complaints, which a quick web search will reveal. Rather than provide a summary list I can illustrate the ill-thought out nature of the change using just one example.


Pen flicks and navigation has been rendered completely unusable but yet is still a component part of Windows 10. Personally I've relied on pen flicks as a productivity tool for as long as I've been a pen user - which is now over ten years. At a stroke, ironically, this feature has been broken through incompetence or neglect - either fit so take your pick.


Please provide an answer or even better a timetable for reversing this calamity.






P.S. Any typos entirely the fault of the 2nd incomprehensible decision to replace the fully featured on-screen keyboard with a finger friendly but condensed keyboard. Doesn't the Windows 10 engineering team have any pen-centric members on board?

69 Replies

Hello Patrick, I'm the GPM on the Interaction Platform team, and we're the folks who care a lot about the Pen experience in Windows. I'm sorry to hear that you are having a bad experience with Pen in Windows, and would love to hear more about your experience as well as anything you have found that we should know about. Please email us at so that we can dig into any issues you have encountered. 


As for Pen flicks, that is a feature from that TabletPC edition of Windows. We did not remove it as there were still some users (like yourself who uses it), however, throughout the years we have started to retool the pen experience in Windows such that accelerators like flicks may no longer be useful/necessary. We would love to hear about the scenarios that you still continue to depend on pen flicks, perhaps there are additional things we can do in the navigation model that helps. Again, please email us at 


thanks for continuing to use the Pen in Windows and help us make it better!


Hello Jerry,


Thanks for responding. I've dropped the Windows Ink team a lengthy email outlining the issues FCU has generated. I've mentioned you in despatches so hopefully I'll get a response from someone over the next few days.


The only point I wanted to take you up on was the behaviour of pen flicks following FCU. It is now uttrly impossible to use this feature full stop. What is so odd is to retain a feature called pen flicks which does not/cannot respond to a pen flick. It was this strange disconnect that I felt best represented the ill-thought through consequence of FCU on pen users rather than it being my only cause for concern.


As for using pen flicks - I use it as designed, meaning up until FCU it would be activated scores if not hundreds of times a day.






Hi, I have the very same issue. But for me it's much worse than just being unable to select text on a webpage.


After the Fall Creators update pen behaves not like it should be. Instead of the precise selection tool it became just another finger. I can't quickly select text on a webpage by just clicking and dragging. I can't select files in file explorer the same way anymore.

But all of this just fades away comparing to how pen now behaves in Adobe Illustrator. It seams that very often Illustrator register pen input like touch input making it impossible to do any kind of precise work without zooming in a lot.


Here is the video I've captured


As you can see, first I'm trying to select a line with the pen with no luck in 100% tries. After 0:40 I've switched to touchpad and the line is selected in 100% of tries. It's ridiculous that i have to use touchpad for drawing. And it is very crucial for me, because it's my job which I can't do anymore. I'm using pen enabled devices from the times Steve Jobs was not back at Apple yet. When I saw the first iPad presentation I laughed because of him saying that no one needs a pen and so I was using only Windows tablets. But now I see the things are going around: iPad has a pen, and my Surface Book looks like it does not. I'm not even saying about promises to bring the New Surface Pen's tilt support and Surface Dial on-screen functionality. I have no hope for it any more. But I have not expected that I will loose the basic pen functionality. Why I even bothered buying all this stuff if it does not work?


Pen issues are not only ones I have after updating my Surface Book but it will take to much of time and space to describe them all. I've already posted some feedback, but no luck - issues are never fixed. To resolve some issues I've done "Reset this PC" without saving any files, but instead of fixing issues I've got couple more. I've installed latest driver pack for the Surface Book, I've tried troubleshooting from Settings app. Changed batteries in the pen. Tried installing WinTab drivers, but uninstalled them, because you can already find reports of them not working correctly. I even tried to use another pen (I have every generation lying around). Nothing helped.


This is the question of life and death, because now I can't do my job with the Surface Book


Here is the link to the feedback


before 0:40 i'm trying to use surface pen on surface book, after 0:40 i'm using touchpad. the difference is obvious



Pen flicks (Windows component) was used as an indisputable example to ensure I could avoid being fobbed off with "it's just a question of the third party software maker needing to update their drivers".


The negative impact this unfathomable change has caused has also stopped me using my software editing suite, which is part of my job, so you're not alone.


I've not yet received a reply from the Windows Ink team but I'll update here and also in the Edge forum, here;

where this issue is also causing a lot of anger.

I've sent an e-mail to too
also i've created feedback about not being able to select text on a webpage a month ago - just 11 upvotes and no reaction

Hello Montel, and Patrick,


thanks for the detailed emails to Others have also chimed in - thank you! Keep sending us mail, the more detailed (ie. which app has issues, what specific scenario you feel is an issue) the feedback is, the more actionable it becomes for us. 


The team that works on Pen/Ink in Microsoft reads all emails to that alias. Please give us some time to collate the feedback and respond.


Note that the changes done in the Fall Creators Update, were due to feedback that we saw in the feedback hub, so your voices are being heard. 



hi Jerry,
i can understand, that an average user doesn't use serious software like Adobe Illustrator or AutoCAD, so he wants to use the pen the same way he uses his finger. we, professionals, use this kind of software on the daily basis. but we are the minority and the feedback app, as any other democratic voting, goes by majority. you can see the results of my month old feedback - no one cares about us professionals - no one hears us.
you could at least provide a setting to turn the new behavior of such a crucial feature as the pen input on or off.
thanks for your reply, i hope this issue will be addressed as soon as possible

Hi MonteR, 


I hear you, and we do care. You are right that often times, this feedback is drowned out by others. However, I will make sure that people like yourself, who use Windows and your pen for professional work are not ignored.


My team is digging into the specifics. In many cases, apps do have quirks that we have discovered over time, but we have a strategy for that - stay tuned.  if you can send additional details, eg. which version of illustrator you use, or other professional software you have observed issues with, to the alias, this will help us narrow things down as well as work with the software vendors on solutions.


Sorry for the issues that you have encountered.


I'm also having a lot of problems with the new pen behaviour. 90% of the time i work with only pen and touch as my main and only input, and often using web apps for my work. The new behaviours I experienced in fall creators update forced me to revert to previous Windows version and block it from installing again in order to get any work done at all. 


I will write a more detailed e-mail about the issues but will mention some of them here. All of these issues are pen oriented and caused by the new behaviour.


* Text selection - feels very clunky compared to 1703. Takes a lot longer.

* Pen can no longer double/tripple tap to select word or paragraph. 

* Selecting text using barrel button but clicking it again to copy will deselect.

* Pen scrolling conflicting with drag&drop, selection rectangle, object manipulation, and drawing in some apps.

* Barrel button not always firing context menus.

* Press and hold works for right clicking but can cause problems in drawing softwares when drawing slowly.


I first reported some of these issues the web-app developers which said it's probably browser issues, reported bugs with edge who said it's by design, which led me here.


After trying fall creators update I now dread the day i will be forced to update again. I don't understand how something like this can pass QA checks and deliver to the masses without an off switch. The pen is a PRO tool. Not a $100 extra finger. I already have 10 fingers for scrolling, zooming, pinching, rotating. The pen feels like the 11th finger after the update, and not as a good X-Men mutation thing, but more like a useless birth defect that's in the way.


I really hope the devs come to their senses and sees the pen as a pro tool and adds off switches for badly implemented functions and hopefully some more customization options too. I don't mind the mainstream pen scrolling being there, as long as I can switch it off.



I've also sent an email to detailing some of the issues I've had with the pen.

It kind of boggles me how this was signed off without an off switch, as it can certainly break the workflow, especially for Creative Professionals.

I had to resort to reverting back to 1703, and stop the update from installing. I fear the day that I'm forced to update unless there is a fix for this. I've even explored options like using AutoHotKey to convert pen input to mouse input in some instances, and fixing barrel button not firing right click correctly.

New behaviour definitely needs an 'off-switch'. Or a an option in settings along the line of.
Pen behaviour.
Mouse-like or Touch like (including scrolling)

Thanks for looking in to this.

Best Response confirmed by Patrick Lawless (Occasional Contributor)

Please please provide an off switch for the new pen scrolling/panning feature. It breaks SO MANY things! 


The work-around with having to hold the right click pen barrel button is really awful because: 1. That's supposed to open a context sensitive menu.  2. Having to hold the button means having to hold the pen differently.  3. Some Windows 10 tablet pens (such as the Samsung Galaxy Book) do not have a right-click barrel button so in those cases many functions are actually impossible.  4. It's extremely unintuitive. Previously, I could tap & drag everything with ease... move files, rearrange start menu tiles, resize calendar appointments, drag/drop whatever.  Now doing those types of things are much more difficult and much less efficient. It's a huge crutch on our workflows.


The new behavior also interferes heavily with the Wacom drivers used in Wacom pen displays, the Wacom MobileStudio Pro, and the new HP Zbook x2.  Thankfully, those devices have a checkbox in the driver to disable "Windows Ink", however when the Windows Ink is in use, the new pen scrolling behavior causes major problems.  For example, an easy repro scenario is to right click the address bar in Micosoft Edge using the pen's barrel button (Wacom hardware with Windows Ink on)... The whole system will become unresponsive after that right click.  I've reproduced this on 2 devices as well as a workstation with a pen display plugged in.  It affects other things too like not being able to move objects in InDesign, causing hangs in Adobe Bridge, etc.


I've also got a few tablets that use the Microsoft N-Trig pens and those have issues as well, but do not have the advantage of being able to switch off "Windows Ink".  It's really made the pen interface into a terrible user experience.


There are a bunch of videos here of how bad the UX was in back in July when this new behavior was first being introduced to Windows Insiders. Some of those were fixed somewhat, but it still shouldn't have been released without an off switch.  It should have been an Opt-In feature I think. 


I hope an off switch will be available before the "Current Branch for Business" gets the Fall Creators Update!


Here's some more feedback hub links:


This one is very important: "Always provide off switch for terrible new features"


Another example of broken pen behavior could be seen in the prototyping web app Figma at - you can interact with anything inside drawing area only when the side button on the pen is pressed. it's not possible to work that way - your hand starts to hurt in couple of minutes. but there is also the second problem - you can't right click for the context menu because pressing the side button just allows you to interact with objects and is not interpreted like a right click. You can check it yourself, because the web app is free.
Another great example is another prototyping web app Marvel at - this one is very popular, but now it's almost unusable for the same reasons as above - you can draw only holding the pen button pressed. If you try to create some even basic project in this way - you will understand that everything is wrong with this new pen behavior.
And these are not the only web apps that is affected.
I don't have a mouse for about 7-8 years and I don't want to buy one. I think drawing with mouse is as unnatural as scrolling with the pen. And using a touchpad (which I have to use now on my Surface Book) for drawing is even more unnatural.
I hope these issues will be fixed soon, because my work doesn't give me a feel of satisfaction of creating something new.
I think the name of this update is misleading, it should be called the Fall Not-For-Creators Update, because it's almost impossible to create anything with the pen.


Don't get me started on web apps. I could make a pretty decent list of web-apps that worked great before FCU. And using these with only pen and touch worked great. No keyboard/Mouse required. I use to make html5 games and prototyping. No fun at all after FCU Cute little modelling software i play with sometimes. Not with FCU though Even Microsofts own. I Preffered using the Online version becuse I could mark and select text with pen, where the UWP version would always draw when I try using my pen. I don't wanna draw in the UWP app (unless i tell it to)  and certainly don't wanna scroll with the pen in the online version. 


The best option in FCU for any type of text editing is good old notepad. Still selects text like usual, and doesn't scoll.


I don't know why it's so hard for devs to add options and setting instead of just asuming that their cool new, feature everyone would like.

As for me I don't know why devs don't try to use their own implementation, because I don't know how someone could miss so many issues. It reminds me of working on some projects where devs were doing their job to just get a checkmark "done" on their to-do list no matter how bad it was done.
And with the OneNote app you are right - I hate that it keeps inking even after I select the "Select Objects" tool. Had to use it with touch only, because prior to buying Surface Book i had a Surface Pro 4 (and before that Surface Pro 1) with the bluetooth Microsoft Wedge Keyboard, so my only options were pen or touch.
Now I'm thinking I'd be totally screwed now if I hadn't bought Surface Book couple of months ago - it has a touchpad at least.
I would just like to add my voice that this update has completely destroyed my ability to use the CAD software my company uses. We don't use flicks but the pens dragging behaviour makes drawing almost completely impossible. At least this thread seems a bit more positive. On
we are just being told "it must be our pen" or "roll back to an older version of windows"

I use the music notation Finale and the pen supplied an extra level of precision. Now I cannot right click because the button is for selection only. What were they thinking? Oh right, they weren't...


I'd also like to voice my opinion about this issue as well. I wrecked my brain trying to figure out why my pen was working like the way it did. I thought it was some type of driver bug or something. I'm a fan of new and innovative experiences, but this has been the worse for me. I'm having the same exact issues as the other users are. I also honestly think it would've been genius to implement a "turn off" functionality for those who desire preference in the name of customization. Please Windows, let us have some customization where we can turn this thing off.


Happy Holidays


I totally agree with the comments on this page.

Why was this released without someone catching this obvious flaw is beyond me.

Breaking programs that manipulate graphics with handles is totally unacceptable and has seriously hampered the usefulness of my Surface when drawing.  This should never have made it out the door.  

When is the fix coming for this serious bug?  


It's probably good to post full names/locations/videos of the applications/web-apps that the Fall Creators update has totally broken so that there's a good record of them all. I think Microsoft doesn't read the feedback hub very much, so having videos of the terrible user experience may be an easier way to see what's gone wrong.  Here's a video of how working in Dreamweaver CC 2018 looks:


For people with Wacom digitizers and Wacom drivers, there's a really cool way to disable or enable the awful new Windows Ink pen behavior only in specific programs.  In the properties window, with the pen selected, you can add applications using the + button in the 3rd row, then select the application, and change the settings.  This causes the settings to automatically change when that application is active AND this includes the "Windows Ink" checkbox.  So since a right click of the pen with Windows Ink enabled in Microsoft Edge causes the whole system to crash, I can disable it when that application is in the foreground. I've also enabled Windows Ink for my Hyper-V virtual machine running the Insiders Fast build so that I can continue to test and see if they ever fix the pen behavior.