One of the benefits of being in the Windows Insider Program is getting to see and test new Windows features before they are generally available. For example, one rather prominent feature includes getting the latest Windows 11 operating system.
When you enroll in the Windows Insider Program, you can join one of three update channels. The channel you choose dictates what updates you receive and the amount of risk you are willing to take when it comes to bugs, incompatible software, unsupported hardware, or incomplete features. The three update channels are described in the table below.
|Release Preview Channel||This channel gives you features before they are generally available to the masses. This is the only channel that Microsoft supports should you experience problems and is the least likely of all channels to encounter bugs. This is an excellent channel for early adopters to enroll their devices.|
|Beta Channel||This channel receives updates before the Release Preview Channel. Devices enrolled in this insider channel are not supported by Microsoft and are more susceptible to bugs and issues. This is an excellent channel for early adopters, but best to only enroll test or secondary devices into this channel.|
|Dev Channel||This channel receives updates before the Beta and Release Preview Channels. As a result, this channel has the potential for the most bugs, incompatible software, unsupported hardware, and incomplete features. This channel is intended for developers, and it is recommended only to enroll test devices on this channel.|
Note: At the time of writing, Windows 11 is only available if enrolled in the Dev Channel. As an example of bugs and incomplete features in the Dev Channel, the taskbar currently does not stretch to multiple monitors. Windows 11 will eventually be available to all insider channels.
How to enroll in the Windows Insider Program
To enroll a device in the Windows Insider Program, select the Start Menu and pick Settings (gear icon). From the Windows Settings dialog, choose Update & Security and pick the Windows Insider Program tab.
Before you enroll in the Windows Insider Program, you need to make sure your device has optional diagnostic data enabled. Enabling this feature sends additional diagnostic data back to Microsoft for review. If it is currently disabled, you will receive the following warning.
To manage the Windows Insider Program settings for your device and allow it to stay in the Windows Insider program, you'll need to turn on optional diagnostic data.
To fix, click the link titled Go to Diagnostics & Feedback settings to turn on optional diagnostic data. Then, from the Diagnostics & feedback dialog, select the radio button Optional diagnostic data.[Read more…] about How to enroll in the Windows Insiders Program (and get Windows 11)