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Install Windows 10 Insider Preview

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

1. Prerequisites

If you haven’t already, register as a Windows Insider, update your PC to Windows 10 and check that Windows 10 Insider Preview supports your language preferences.

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2. Enroll your Windows 10 PC

  1. Open your PC's Settings (Start > Settings > Update & security > Windows Insider Program). To see this setting, you need to have administrator rights to your PC.
  2. Click Get started and link your Microsoft or organization account that you used to register for the Windows Insider Program.Registered with your organization account? To confirm that your organization account is on Azure Active Directory (AAD), open Start > Settings > Accounts > Access work or school. If your organization has set up your account in AAD and it is connected to your PC, you will see a note above your account "Connected to Azure AD".

    To link your organization account, the account needs to be on AAD and your PC needs to be running Windows 10 Version 1703 or later.

    To confirm that your PC has Windows 10 Version 1703 installed, go to Settings>System>About. If you do not have Version 1703, go to Settings>Update and security>Windows Update and click Check for updates.

  3. Choose the branch you want content from (Windows 10 Creators Update is recommended) and confirm. If you are running an earlier version of Windows 10, this step is not included.
  4. Review the privacy statement and program terms and click Next.
  5. Click Restart Now or Restart Later to select when you would like to begin the Insider Preview installation.
  6. After you restart your PC, go back to Windows Insider Program in Settings to select your Insider level (Fast, Slow, Release Preview). Insiders in the Fast Ring will get earlier, more frequent updates with new features but may experience more bugs. Find out more information on Rings.

3. Wait for your machine to update to the latest Insider Preview build

Once you have selected your desired ring, the process known as “Compatibility Check” will need to run in the background.  There is no manual way to force this process, which allows for discovery of your operating system type (32-bit, 64-bit), build edition (Home, Pro, Enterprise) country and language settings, and other required information. Once this process is complete, your PC will be auto-targeted for the next available flight for your selected ring.  For the first build on any given PC, this may take up to 24 hours to complete.

To check if you have the latest Insider Preview build: go to Settings > Update & security > Windows Update, and click Check for updates. If Windows 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 constructive feedback.

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. Find out more about Rings.

Find information about your PC

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

Go to Start, type winver, click “winver - run command.”

How to verify which flight ring I have selected

Open Settings, select Update & Security, select Windows Insider Program, and view the Choose your Insider level drop-down.

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

Open Settings, select Update & Security, select Windows Insider Program and view the Windows Insider account information as displayed.

How do I verify my copy of Windows 10 is activated?

Open Settings, select Update & Security and select Activation. View the data as displayed.

Not receiving updates

While participating in the Windows Insider Program, you may find that your PC is not updating to the latest update as expected. This is rare, however, there are a few key items to review should you end up in this state.

Perform a manual check for updates

Open Settings, open Update & Security and review available updates or select Check for Updates. If you have set Active Hours, ensure your device is left turned on and signed in during the off-hours so the install process can complete

Is your copy of Windows activated?

Open Settings, select Update & Security and select Activation. View the data as displayed.

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

Go to the Getting Started page to verify that you are registered by signing in with your MSA or AAD and clicking on Register with your personal account (MSA) or on Register with your organization account (AAD). If you land on the page “Already a member,” your MSA or AAD is registered.

Have you selected a ring?

Open Settings, select Update & Security, select Windows Insider Program, and view the Choose your Insider level drop-down.

Have you recently done a roll-back?

Check your Windows Insider Preview settings, including ring-selection, Microsoft Account, and branch-selection.

Did you do a clean install?

After a clean-install and initial setup of a Microsoft Account, even one that has been used previously for receiving Insider builds, the appropriate targeting needs to take place for your PC. This background process is known as Compatibility Checker and will run during idle time on your PC.  This may take up to 24 hours.  Please leave your PC turned on to ensure this occurs in timely manner.

Are there any known issues for your current build?

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.

Recovering a PC

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

Assess the impact

  • What is the impact of the issue? Single app?  Minor functionality?
  • 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, you may want to reinstall your current OS version. Prior to doing any reinstall or rollback, ensure you have backed up important files.  While it is rare to lose data during this process, it is best to back up key data.

OS Reinstall

You will have several options to choose from, including an operating system-only reinstall or a clean wipe of your device: Go to Settings>Update & security>Recovery and click Get Started under Reset this PC. Follow the on-screen directions to refresh or clean install the OS.

Roll-back to Prior Build

If your PC was working as expected on the prior build and you’d like to roll back without losing any data, you may try this option: Go to Settings>Update & security>Recovery, and select Get Started under Go Back to an Earlier Build

Stop receiving Insider builds

To stop getting new builds on your PC, go to Settings>Update & Security>Windows Insider Program, select Stop Insider Preview Builds and follow the additional on-screen prompts.

Recover your device

We recommend that you do stop getting builds when your device is on a Production Build so that you do not need to recover your device. Production builds are stable, receive servicing updates, will 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.

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

To find the build number on your PC, go to Start, type winver, click “winver - run command.”

To recover your PC to a current Production Build, you will need to install an earlier version of Windows using the Media Creation Tool, see instructions at Download Windows 10 or choose from the following depending on which previous version you are recovering to: Windows 7 Recovery Image, Windows 8 Recovery Image or Windows 10 Recovery Image.

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.