Windows 10 Insider Preview: Insider Program

Windows Insider Preview is Microsoft’s open software testing program that allows members to obtain preview builds of the Windows 10 or Windows Server 2016 operating systems. Insiders can be software developers or general users.

Windows 10 Insider Preview members receive preview builds of the operating system to test new features or changes to the OS. The information obtained about the operation of the Windows system and components is necessary for analysis, detection of software malfunctions, errors or problems, and for the implementation of corrections discovered through extensive testing.

Content:

  1. Terms of participation in Windows 10 Insider Preview
  2. Access circles for updates
  3. Connecting a Microsoft account to Windows 10
  4. Possible issues when joining the Windows Insider Preview Program
  5. Connecting to the Windows 10 Insider Preview Program
  6. How to install Windows 10 Insider Preview from ISO file
  7. How to Revert Windows 10 Insider Preview Status When You Have a Problem
  8. How to disable Windows 10 Insider Preview
  9. Article Conclusions

Windows developers need feedback and detailed information about how the operating system and applications work on a wide variety of PC configurations. Millions of users around the world help solve problems and improve Windows 10.

Previously, it was quite difficult to get into the ranks of the participants in the Windows 10 Insider Preview build program. Anyone can now join the Insider Program.

Terms of participation in Windows 10 Insider Preview

Prerequisites for participating in the Windows 10 Insider Preview Program:

  • Microsoft account – The member must be registered with Microsoft directly or with one of Microsoft’s services: Skype, Outlook.com, OneDrive, Xbox Live, MSN, Bing.
  • The computer must have a licensed version of the Windows 10 operating system of the latest version, relevant at the time of joining the program.

To participate in the Windows Preview program, you need a Microsoft account, or registration on one of the services. If you don’t have a Microsoft account, for example, you use a local account on your PC, create a Microsoft account . This is not at all difficult to do, follow the link to a detailed article on my website.

Microsoft sends Windows 10 Insider Preview updates via email to Windows 10 Insider Previews informing them of released or anticipated changes to the operating system.

Access circles for updates

Members of the Windows 10 Insider Program, when joining the program, choose one of the access circles, participation in which regulates the frequency and composition of the updates received.

The Windows 10 Insider Preview program has three access rings:

  • Early access circle (Fast) – builds are delivered approximately every week, members get access to new features before everyone else, there may be problems with the system or applications.
  • Late access circle (Slow) – builds are released once a month, new system features have more stable operation.
  • Release Preview circle – getting fully functional builds with all the updates, on the eve of the official release of the final version.

With early access, program members are the first to receive system updates with new features, for example, they will see interface changes, evaluate the work of new applications or system tools. New features are in the testing phase, so users need to be prepared for various errors, bugs, or other problems in the system.

In the circle of late access, the system and applications are much more stable. This is because during testing in the Early Access ring, Microsoft engineers fixed a significant number of bugs or shortcomings, eliminated many problems, thanks to preliminary testing in the Early Access ring.

When using the Windows 10 Insider Release Preview circle, insiders get a near-finished new version of the operating system a few days before its official release.

Early and late access circles are part of the Development branch. Updates are divided into two types of builds: main builds and intermediate, service builds. The Windows Insider Preview update, depending on the user’s participation in a certain circle, is delivered in approximately the following order:

  • With Early Access, users get core builds with a small number of service builds.
  • Medium Access delivers core assemblies with nested fixes to service assemblies.
  • In the preview circle, Insiders receive a major version of a maintenance build until the next version update is released.

Currently, Microsoft has changed the channel names and concept of receiving Windows 10 Insider Preview updates:

  • Dev Channel [formerly Fast Ring (Early Access)] – Get builds very early in development. Possible unstable operation. Designed for advanced users.
  • Beta Channel [formerly Slow Ring (Late Access)] – access to builds related to a specific upcoming release. Suitable for beginners.
  • Release Preview channel (former Release Preview ring) – builds for those who need stability. Access to the upcoming version of Windows 10.

Connecting a Microsoft account to Windows 10

To be eligible to participate in the Insider Program, you must connect your Microsoft account to your operating system. If you are already using a PC with a Microsoft account, skip this step.

Go through the following steps:

  1. Sign in to the Settings app, open Accounts.
  2. In the “Your Information” tab, click on the “Sign in with a Microsoft account instead” link.
  1. Enter your username and password for your account.
  2. The next step will prompt you to create a Windows Hello PIN (there is an article on this on my site) to quickly log in to your computer, which can be used instead of a password.
  3. After registration is completed, your account will appear in the “Your data” section. You will now be signed in with a Microsoft account instead of a local account as before.

Restart your computer for the operating system changes to take effect.

Possible issues when joining the Windows Insider Preview Program

Pay attention to the following point: a certain level of confidentiality must be set on the computer, at which data from your PC could be freely sent to Microsoft servers. Otherwise, you will not be able to register your Insider account and receive Insider Builds.

Many users change their privacy settings when installing the Windows 10 operating system on a computer, or on a running system. For this, third-party software is often used, which prohibits sending data to remote servers by changing various OS settings.

Because of this, the user may experience that in the “Windows Insider Program” section, the “Get Started” button will be grayed out, and some settings will display the words “Some settings are managed by your organization.”

Change your privacy settings if you have previously restricted the collection of information in the Windows 10 operating system.

Connecting to the Windows 10 Insider Preview Program

The next step is to join the Windows Insider Preview testing program.

Do the following:

  1. From the Settings app, go to Update & Security.
  2. Open the Windows Insider Program tab.
  3. Click on the “Start” button.
  1. In the opened message “Join the Windows Insider Program!” click on the “Register” button.
  1. In the window that opens, click on the “Register” button.
  1. In the “Almost Done” pane, check the “I accept the terms of this agreement” box, and then click on the “Submit” button.
  1. In the “You can start” window, click on the “Close” button.
  1. In the “Select an account to get started” window, click the “Link an account” button.
  1. In the “Let’s continue” window, select your account, click on the “Continue” button.
  2. In the “Specify the parameters of the insider program” window, you need to select the ring that suits your requirements:
  • Late Access (Recommended) – Get the latest low-risk builds once or twice a month.
  • Early Access – Get the very first released updates once or twice a week.
  • Release Preview Program – Use the current version of Windows and get new applications and drivers.
  1. Select the appropriate option, and then click on the “Confirm” button.
  1. In the “Best version of Windows for everyone” window, click on the “Confirm” button.
  1. In the “One more step left …” window, click on the “Restart now” button.

After a while, usually within a day, preview builds of Windows 10 will automatically start downloading to your computer, depending on the access option you selected earlier.

You can check for new builds yourself in Windows Update:

  1. Go to Settings, then Update & Security.
  2. The Windows Update section displays available updates.
  3. Click on the “Check for updates” button to force the search for updates.
  4. After downloading and installing a new update on your PC, a “Restart Required” warning will appear in the update center.
  5. Click on the “Restart now” button to set up the installation of the Windows 10 Insider Preview update on your computer.
  1. After installing the preview build on your PC, you will see “Windows 10 Trial” (Windows 10 Insider Preview Build) in the lower right corner.

How to install Windows 10 Insider Preview from ISO file

Now I will tell you how to get Windows 10 Insider Preview in a different way. It is possible to install Windows 10 Insider Preview from a previously downloaded system image file saved in ISO format.

Go through the steps:

  1. Follow the link: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windowsinsiderpreviewiso to the official “Windows Insider Preview Downloads” page.
  2. On the page that opens, in the “Select edition” section, click on the button of the same name, and then select the version of Windows 10 Insider Preview that corresponds to the previously selected access circle: “FAST”, “SLOW” or “Release Preview”.
  1. Click on the “Confirm” button.
  2. In the “Select the product language” section, select the language for the operating system, and then click on the “Confirm” button.
  3. After verification, the “Downloads” section will open for downloading the Windows 10 Insider Preview ISO file on a PC.
  4. Click on one of the buttons with the appropriate OS bit depth. Links are valid for 24 hours.

After downloading the ISO file to your computer, write the Windows 10 Insider Preview build to a bootable USB flash drive for later installation on your PC.

How to Revert Windows 10 Insider Preview Status When You Have a Problem

After installing a new update, serious problems may occur in the operation of the Windows 10 operating system. The user can return to the previous assembly if more than 10 days have not passed since the update was installed.

In other situations, you will need to reinstall a preview build of Windows 10.

You may also be interested in:

  • Comparison of Windows 10 versions: table
  • Reinstalling Windows 10 without a disk, flash drive and BIOS

How to disable Windows 10 Insider Preview

At the end of the article, let’s see how to opt out of the Windows 10 Insider Preview program.

Go through the following steps:

  1. In the Settings app, open Update & Security.
  2. Open the Windows Insider Program tab.
  3. In the “Windows Insider Program Account” section, click on the account, click on the “Unlink” button.
  4. In the “Completely stop receiving Insider builds” section, in the “If you enable this option, the device will be removed from focus testing when the next major release of Windows is installed”, select the toggle to the “On” position.
  1. Go to the “Recovery” tab, use the option to restore a stable version of Windows 10: “Reset the computer to its original state.”

If these options do not work, you can reinstall Windows 10 by downloading a system image from the official Microsoft page.

Article Conclusions

A large number of users around the world participate in the Windows 10 Insider Preview program, getting early builds of the OS to test on their computers. Any user can become an Insider after signing up for the Windows Insider program to test new versions of Windows 10 on their PC. If necessary, it is possible to exit the pretest program at any time.

 

 

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