Windows Insider Program

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The settings page for the Windows Insider Program

Windows Insider Program is a software testing program by Microsoft for Windows 10 and Windows Server. The user can opt in the program to test out new features and new versions of the operating system that were previously only accessible to developers. The first build that was released from the Insider Program was 9841. In addition, more builds are also released to other platforms and in different formats.

Channels[edit | edit source]

The Insider program allows users to pick the builds they want to receive by enrolling to a specific channel. The Insider infrastructure is also used for Microsoft's internal selfhosting effort, with internal channels receiving builds before the public channels or delayed compared to the public channels, however, they are not a formal part of the Insider program.

  • Dev Channel (formerly Fast Ring): This is the first channel in the Insider program to receive builds from the current development cycle. Between 2017[1] and 2019 an option called Skip Ahead also existed, which allowed a limited number of users to receive builds from the next development cycle, while the rest received builds from the stabilization stage of the current cycle.
  • Beta Channel (formerly Slow Ring): This channel receives builds of the next Windows 10 feature update. If both Dev and Beta channels track the same development cycle, the Beta channel gets the same builds after being tested in the Dev channel.
  • Release Preview Channel: This channel receives new app and OS updates (including feature updates) prior to their general rollout to consumers. It is the youngest Insider channel, being introduced in 2016.[2]

Latest builds and cycles[edit | edit source]

Desktop and Server
Channel Current cycle/version Upgrade ISO VHDX Feature Experience Pack
Dev Cobalt 21376.1
(2021-05-06)
21354.1
(2021-04-07)
N/A 321.11803.0.3
(2021-05-06)
Beta May 2021 Update
(Vibranium codebase)
19043.964
(2021-04-28)
19043.928
(2021-04-21)
N/A 120.2212.3740.0
(2021-04-28)
Release Preview N/A
Server Preview Iron 20344.1
(2021-04-28)
N/A
Other platforms and development kits
Platform/kit Current cycle Build
Windows 10 on ARM Cobalt 21354.1
(2021-04-07)
HoloLens Iron 20341.1000
(2021-04-26)
Software Development Kit (SDK) 20344.1
(2021-04-28)
Windows Driver Kit (WDK)
Enterprise Windows Driver Kit (EWDK)
Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) 20339.2
(2021-04-21)
Preinstallation Environment
Desktop App Converter Image Manganese 19551.1001[note 1]
(2020-01-28)
Hardware Lab Kit (HLK) Vibranium 19041.1
(2020-05-12)
Windows 10 Team 19100.1014
(2021-05-05)
Windows 10 IoT Core Redstone 5 17763.437[note 2]
(2019-04-09)

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Additional builds available for download from the Windows Insider Download Center are 19546.1000, 19541.1000, and 19041.1.
  2. The latest available build for download from the Windows Insider Download Center is 17744.1001 from 24 August 2018.

References[edit | edit source]