An easier way to manage Insider Preview Builds in your organization

During our Windows Insider presentation at Microsoft Ignite, we introduced an easier way for IT Pros to manage Windows 10 Insider Preview builds across their organization. Instead of registering each user and PC for Insider Preview builds, IT administrators can now register their entire organization in the program and manage Preview builds centrally on multiple PCs. This is done through two new Group Policies that we are adding in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.

Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Register your company’s domain via our Windows Insider Program website.

Note that you’ll need to be registered as a Windows Insider using your work Azure Active Directory (AAD) account and this account should be assigned a Global Admin role.

Step 2: Make sure the PCs you want to manage all have the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (Version 1709) installed.

Step 3: Open Local Group Policy Editor on any of the PCs you want to manage Insider Preview builds for.

Step 4: Navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Data Collection and make sure that “Allow Telemetry” is set to a value of 2 or higher. This is required in order for the new Group Policies to work.

Step 5: Next, navigate to Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Windows Update for Business.

Step 6: For the first policy, you will need to set the Manage Preview Builds policy to enable flighting on the PC.

Screenshot of "Manage preview builds" with option set to enabled.

This policy replaces a similar policy in the Windows 10 Creators Update (Version 1703) called “Toggle User Control Over Insider Builds” and includes one additional option: Disable preview builds once next release is public. By choosing this option, IT administrators can keep PCs in their organization from receiving new Insider Preview builds after a new feature update is released putting them in control over when PCs in their organization start taking Insider Preview builds for the next feature update of Windows 10.

Step 6: Next, configure second policy Select when Preview builds and Features Updates are received to choose which ring you want the PC to install builds from and whether or not you want to defer installing Insider Preview builds for a set number of days or pause until a certain date.

Screenshot of "Select when Preview builds and Features Updates are received" with Preview Build - Fast option selected.

After adjusting these two policies, your PC will install the latest Insider Preview build available based on which ring you’ve chosen and when you want the Insider Preview builds to install. To change these settings, simply disable the polices or adjust settings as needed.

As with other Group Policies, these policies can be set server-side using the Group Policy Management Console. And here’s one additional bonus: you can track all feedback on Insider Preview builds from your users (including those who registered individually using their AAD accounts) directly through the Feedback Hub. Just use the “My Organization” filter.

Give these new features a try – and discover just how easy it is to set up your own Windows Insider Program inside your organization.