Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview User Guide

Installation

Getting started is easy. To install your first Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview Build1, simply follow these steps.

1. Review prerequisites

If you haven’t already, register as a Windows Insider and check that Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview supports your language preferences and device types.

 

Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview is available in the following languages: Afrikaans, Albanian, Amharic, Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Basque, Belarusian, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English (United Kingdom), English (United States), Estonian, Filipino, Finnish, French, French (Canada), Galician, German, Greek, Hausa, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Kannada, Kazakh, Khmer, KiSwahili, Korean, Lao, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Malay, Malayalam, Norwegian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Spanish (Mexico), Swedish, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Uzbek and Vietnamese.

Some text in the preview will not yet have been translated into all available languages and will only appear in English. This text will be translated into all available languages when final product is available.

  • HP Elite x3
  • Wileyfox Pro
  • Microsoft Lumia 550
  • Microsoft Lumia 650
  • Microsoft Lumia 950/950 XL
  • Alcatel IDOL 4S
  • Alcatel IDOL 4S Pro
  • Alcatel OneTouch Fierce XL
  • Softbank 503LV
  • VAIO Phone Biz
  • MouseComputer MADOSMA Q601
  • Trinity NuAns Neo

Some phones, regions, and mobile operators might not support Insider Preview. If your phone isn't listed, and no Insider Preview builds appear under Enroll in the Windows Insider app, then your phone isn't supported and it may or may not be supported in the future.

To see which Windows Phone operating system (OS) version is installed on your phone, go to Settings > About > More info.

2. Back up your phone

Before installing an Insider Preview build, we recommend backing up your phone. For more information about backing up your mobile device, see Windows 10 Mobile help.

3. Enroll your phone

Windows Phone 8.x or early Windows 10 Mobile build

From the device, open the Store application, search for and install the Windows Insider application, launch the application and follow the on-screen prompts.

Enter your registered Microsoft Account or workaccount, select the desired flight Ring, reboot the device and check for updates.

Current Windows 10 Mobile build

For current Windows 10 Mobile builds, Windows Insider setup options have been migrated into Settings.

Go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Insider Program, click Get Started.

Under “Pick and account to get started”, click the “+” icon to link an account and click the account that you used to register for the Windows Insider Program. Click Continue.

Under “What kind of content would you like to receive?”, select Active development of Windows to receive the latest Insider Preview builds. Select “Fixes, apps and drivers” only if you want to install builds from the Release Preview Ring. Click Confirm. For more information, see Definition of Rings below.

Select your desired Insider level (Fast, Slow). Insiders in the Fast ring will get earlier and more frequent access to new features but may experience more bugs.

Reboot the device, go to Settings > Update & Security > Phone update, and click Check for updates.

4. Keep your phone up to date

Once you’ve installed your first Insider Preview build, new builds will be automatically downloaded and installed on your phone when they become available.

To check if you have the latest Insider Preview build: Go to Settings > Update & security > Phone update, and click Check for updates. If Phone Update says your device is up to date, you have the latest build.

Let us know what you think

The feedback you provide on Insider Preview builds goes directly to our engineers to help develop Windows. To provide feedback, simply visit the Feedback Hub app in your Start menu. The Feedback Hub also connects you to Insider news, quests, community, and other resources. Find out how to provide actionable feedback.

Working with rings

Definition of rings

The options for the frequency of Windows 10 Insider Preview builds are called “rings.” Each ring presents a different level of stability and will be delivered on a different build cadence.

Rings are used to evaluate the quality of our software as it is released to progressively larger audiences. If the build passes all required automated testing in the lab, we will flight (release a build) with a new feature update, application, etc. to the first, most frequent, ring. The build will continue to be evaluated against a set of criteria to ensure it is ready to progress to the next ring. To get builds to Insiders faster, we changed the ordering of how we promote builds between rings, the ring progression criteria, and added a new ring.

Fast Ring

The benefit of being in the Fast Ring is that you will be among the first to use and provide feedback on new and improved features. If you have devices in the Fast Ring, you should be prepared for more issues that might block key activities or might require significant workarounds. Because we are also validating a build on a smaller set of devices before releasing, there is also a chance that some features might fail in some device configurations. If significantly blocked, report the issue to us in the Feedback Hub app or the Windows Insider forums and be ready to reinstall Windows using the Windows Device Recovery Tool: see instructions at Windows Phone Device Recovery.

Slow Ring

The benefit of being in the Slow Ring is that you’ll still receive new updates and features on the Development Branch, but the builds will be more stable. Builds are sent to the Slow Ring after feedback has been received from Insiders on the Fast ring and analyzed by our Engineering teams. Slow Ring builds include updates to fix key issues that prevent many Windows Insiders from being able to use the build daily. These builds are still from the Development Branch and could have issues that might be addressed in a future flight.

Release Preview Ring

If you want to be on the current public release of Windows 10 but still get early access to updates, applications, and drivers without taking the risk of moving to the Development Branch, the Release Preview Ring is your best option. The Release Preview Ring is only visible when your Windows build version is the same as the current Production Branch. The easiest way to go between the Development Branch to the current Production Branch is to reinstall Windows using the Device Recovery Tool: see instructions at Windows Phone Device Recovery.

Switching between rings

Changing rings is a simple process. Launch Settings, select Updates & Security, select Windows Insider Program. Under Choose Your Level, select between the following rings: Fast, Slow or Release Preview.

Working with updates

After registering in the Windows Insider Program and installing your first Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview build1, you will begin to receive updates to the device(s) you have enrolled. During the development process, the build number will change with each update. There are two different types of builds being delivered to your device(s):

Major builds

When a major build is released, is will include any combination of new features, updates to existing features, bug fixes, application changes, or other changes. For a major build, you will see the build number increment by 1 or more. Build numbers may or may not be consecutive based upon passing internal ring promotion criteria. For example, 14361 -> 14365.

Minor/servicing Builds

Also known as “Servicing” or “Cumulative” updates, these builds represent a smaller set of changes to a currently released Major Build. Servicing Builds often include bug fixes, minor operating system updates, or other smaller changes as needed. For example, 14361 -> 14361.1002 -> 14361.1003.

What to expect in each ring

While there is no set requirement for how build numbers are delivered to each ring, you will in general find the following to be true:

Fast Ring: Major Build releases, very few servicing builds.

Slow Ring: Major Build with minor build fixes attached.

Release Preview Ring: Major Build change at a release milestone and then a continued series of Servicing Builds until the next release milestone is reached.

Find information about your device

Below is a set of quick references for key information you may find useful as you participate in the program. This information will also be helpful when submitting feedback for build issues or feature suggestions, as well as reaching out for assistance.

How to find the build number, firmware revision and device model

Go to Settings > System > About > More Info.

How to verify which flight ring I have selected

Go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Insider Program and view information under “Choose your Insider level.

How do I check which Microsoft Account (MSA) or Azure Active Directory (AAD) I am using for getting builds?

Go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Insider Program, scroll down to “Windows Insider account.”

Not receiving updates

If you are not receiving the latest Insider Preview updates as expected, please review the following information.

Is there an update already pending on your device?

If your mobile device has any pending update waiting to be installed, it will not check for further updates until the current update has been installed.

Perform a manual check for updates: Open Settings, open Update & Security and review available updates or select Check for Updates.

Install any pending updates and then re-check for additional updates that may be available.

If you have set Active Hours, ensure your device is left turned on during the off-hours so the install process can complete.  You may manually initiate the install of a pending build at any time.

Compare build numbers

Validate your device is up-to-date.  To find the most recent build number for your selected ring, check the latest Windows Insider blog post or reach out to us @WindowsInsider.

Are you in the correct ring to receive the expected build?

Builds are more frequently released to the Fast Ring than to Slow or Release Preview Rings.  As such, the Fast Ring is often on a newer build than other rings.

Go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Insider Program and view information under “Choose your Insider level.

Is the MSA or AAD account connected to your device registered for receiving builds?

Click here to sign in with your MSA or AAD. You will land on the page “Already a member” if your MSA or AAD is registered with the Windows Insider Program.

Is there a known bug causing issues with build detection or install?

There may be an issue with a build that could lead to issues with updates being received.  Please check the most recent Windows Insider Blog Post or reach out to us @WindowsInsider.

Has the list of supported devices changed?

Some phones, regions, and mobile operators might not support Insider Preview. If your phone isn't listed above, and no Insider Preview builds appear under Enroll in the Windows Insider app, then your phone isn't supported and it may or may not be supported in the future.

To see which Windows Phone operating system (OS) version is installed on your phone, go to Settings > About > More info.

Recovering a device

If you are in a situation where you are unable to use your device as expected, we want you to know how to recover your device to a good state.

Assess the impact

  • What is the impact of the issue? Single app not working?  Minor features?
  • Can you continue using your device or is key functionality not working?
  • Are you able to work around the issue? Would an alternate app suffice?
  • Is a newer build available that may have a fix for any known bugs being faced?

Troubleshoot & Discover

Troubleshoot the issue.  There may be a workaround available. Reach out to us via the Windows Insider Forums or @WindowsInsider.

If key functionality is unusable and there are no known workarounds, you may consider resetting your device or flashing back to an earlier version of Windows. See instructions at Windows Phone Device Recovery. Prior to doing any reinstall or rollback, ensure you have backed up important files. For more information about backing up your mobile device, see Windows 10 Mobile help.

How to Recover

If you need to return to your original operating system version, use the Windows Device Recovery Tool. See instructions at Windows Phone Device Recovery.

Stop receiving Insider builds

While participating in the Windows Insider Preview program, you may find it necessary to stop taking new builds on a particular mobile device.  Below you will find the steps to complete this process.

To stop getting new builds on your mobile device, open Settings, select Update & Security, select Windows Insider Program, select “Stop Insider Preview Builds” and follow the additional on-screen prompts.

Recover your device

We recommend that if you do choose to stop getting Insider builds, do so when your device is on a Production Build at the end of a development cycle so that you do not need to recover your device. Production builds are stable, receive servicing updates, allow you to stay up-to-date, and you will not lose any of the data on your device. If you unenroll while your device is running an Insider build, your device will remain on a build that will not receive future servicing updates, will have an expiry date set, and may contain security vulnerabilities.  Announcements are made on the Windows Insider Blog when development cycles are complete.

To find out the current Production Build number, check the Windows Insider Blog.

To find the build number on your mobile device, go to Settings > System > About > More info > (OS build).

Ensure you have backed up important photos, videos, contacts, and other files as needed.  You will need to restore them after you have reinstalled the earlier operating system version. For more information about backing up your mobile device, see Windows 10 Mobile help.

To recover your mobile device to a current Production Build, you will need to return to your original operating system version using the Windows Device Recovery Tool. See instructions at Windows Phone Device Recovery.

Support resources

Even though Insiders are self-sufficient people, the Microsoft team is ready to help you use Windows 10 Insider Preview builds. Along with the information provided in the User guide, the following options are available for support.

Windows Insider Blog

With each new build, we publish a Windows Blog post that outlines key feature changes as well as known issues that Insiders may encounter while using the build. Review the blog to stay up-to-date with news and information. Read the Windows Insider Blog today.

Feedback

Share feedback via the Feedback Hub. Other Insiders can add on to your feedback (or vice versa) and will allow you to create links to feedback that you can share for others to reference. Find out how to submit actionable feedback.

Forum

Insiders can filter between PC, Mobile, Office, Edge, and many other sections. There are also sub-topics that will help narrow down your search to find tailored content. Go to the Windows Insider forum .

Twitter

We’re social! You’ll find new build announcements, tips/tricks, quests, contests, as well as direct real-time support when available. Follow us @WindowsInsider and @Donasarkar.

Leave the program

Some of you might have want to roll back to your original operating system to no longer receive Windows Insider builds on one or more of your devices.

You can remain in the program and continue to receive communications about Windows Insider Previews but no longer receive builds. If you do want to completely leave the Windows Insider Program, you’ll need to unregister, unenroll and recover your device to a supported public build.

Unregister

On the Windows Insider Program website, sign in with your Microsoft Account (MSA) or your Azure Active Directory (AAD) account associated with the Windows Insider Program. Go to the page leave the program and click on the button, "Leave the Program".

Unenroll

On your mobile device, open Settings, select Update & Security, select Windows Insider Program, select “Stop Insider Preview Builds” and follow the additional on-screen prompts.

  1. Windows Insider Preview may be substantially modified before it’s commercially released. Microsoft makes no warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information provided here. Some product features and functionality may require additional hardware or software.