Windows Update Change Windows Insider Program Channel in Windows 11

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Flighting is the process of running Windows Insider Preview Builds on your device. When you run these early versions of Windows and give Microsoft feedback, you can help Microsoft shape the future of Windows. Once you've registered for the Windows Insider Program, you can run Insider Preview builds on as many devices as you want, each in the channel of your choice.


Microsoft releases Insider Preview builds to you through channels, which are each designed to bring you a different experience based on the quality of Windows you need for your life and your device. When choosing a channel, you should keep in mind:
  1. How stable you need your device to be
  2. What level of issues you can handle on your device
  3. How early in development you'd like to see features and changes
  4. Whether or not you need Microsoft support
As Microsoft continues to evolve the way they’re building and releasing Windows in the future, Microsoft may introduce new channels to bring you new experiences.

Dev Channel​

The Dev Channel is for highly technical users who love to be the first to see the latest features and updates for all things Windows. It will get builds that are earliest in a development cycle with the latest work-in-progress code from our engineers. These aren't always stable builds, and sometimes you will see issues that block key activities or require workarounds while flighting in this channel.

These builds aren't matched to a specific release, which means these may simply be the latest work-in-progress code from our engineers. New features and OS improvements in this channel will show up in future Windows releases when they're ready, and Microsoft may deliver them as full OS build updates or servicing releases. Your feedback here will help Microsoft engineers with major fixes and changes to the latest code.

Beta Channel​

The Beta Channel is for early adopters and IT professionals who want to see what's next or validate the latest Windows updates and features, but still need reliable updates that are validated by Microsoft.

As a part of the Beta Channel, you'll be seeing builds tied to a specific upcoming release, like Windows 11. Your feedback will be especially important here, since it will help Microsoft engineers make sure that key issues are fixed before major releases.

Release Preview Channel​

In the Release Preview Channel, Insiders and IT professionals get the upcoming version of Windows before it's released to the world, with advanced quality updates and certain key features. These builds are also supported by Microsoft if you're in the Windows Insider Program for Business.

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If you've installed an Insider Preview build in the Beta Channel or Release Preview Channel, switching between channels is easy. But if you've installed a build in the Dev Channel, because it's not tied to a specific release, it will depend on your current build and the current flighting build in the channel you want to switch to, as to what steps you will need to perform.

Occasionally it may become possible to switch a device from the Dev Channel to another channel. To determine which process is needed to switch from the Dev Channel, you first need to find your current build number and compare it to the current build number in the channel you wish to switch to.

If your current build number is equal to, or lower than the build number in the channel you want to move to:
  1. Select the desired channel, either Beta Channel (Recommended), or Release Preview Channel.
  2. The next time you receive an update, it will be for your new channel.

It may take some time before updates are available in the new channel you selected.


If your current build number is higher than the build number in the channel you want to move to:
  1. Do a clean installation of Windows 11.
  2. Once you've reinstalled Windows, set up your device again, making sure you select the channel you'd like to move to.
After you've set up your device and installed your first Insider Preview build, you'll start getting updates based on the channel experience you picked. With each new update, you'll see a new build number, and that number can help you understand what you'll see in the build.

This tutorial will show you how to change your Windows Insider Program channel to the Dev Channel or Beta Channel to get Insider preview builds of Windows 11 on your PC.


Contents

  • Option One: Change Windows Insider Program Channel for Windows 11 in Settings
  • Option Two: Change Windows Insider Program Channel for Windows 11 using REG file





OPTION ONE

Change Windows Insider Program Channel for Windows 11 in Settings


1 Open Settings (Win+I).

2 Click/tap on Windows Update on the left side, and click/tap on Windows Insider Program on the right side. (see screenshot below)

Change_Windows_Insider_channel-1.png

3 Click/tap on Choose your Insider settings on the right side to expand it open. (see screenshot below)

If Choose your Insider settings is missing from your Settings, then perform the following steps to restore it:

1) Open an elevated Windows Terminal, and select Command Prompt.
2) Copy and paste the bcdedit /set flightsigning on command into the elevated terminal, and press Enter.
3) Copy and paste the bcdedit /set {bootmgr} flightsigning on command into the elevated terminal, and press Enter.
4) Restart the computer to apply.



4 Select (dot) Dev Channel, Beta Channel, or Release Preview Channel for which Insider channel you want.

If a channel is grayed out, it means you may not able to switch to that channel without having to do a clean install of Windows 11.



5 You can now close Settings.

Change_Windows_Insider_channel-2.png






OPTION TWO

Change Windows Insider Program Channel for Windows 11 using REG file


1 Do step 2 (Dev Channel), step 3 (Beta Channel), or step 4 (Release Preview Channel) below for which Insider channel you want.

2 To Change Insider Settings to Dev Channel

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the REG file below, and go to step 5 below.​

Switch_to_Dev_Channel.reg


(Contents of REG file for reference)
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsSelfHost\Applicability]
"BranchName"="Dev"
"ContentType"="Mainline"
"Ring"="External"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsSelfHost\UI\Selection]
"UIBranch"="Dev"
"UIContentType"="Mainline"
"UIRing"="External"


3 To Change Insider Settings to Beta Channel

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the REG file below, and go to step 5 below.​

Switch_to_Beta_Channel.reg


(Contents of REG file for reference)
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsSelfHost\Applicability]
"BranchName"="Beta"
"ContentType"="Mainline"
"Ring"="External"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsSelfHost\UI\Selection]
"UIBranch"="Beta"
"UIContentType"="Mainline"
"UIRing"="External"


4 To Change Insider Settings to Release Preview Channel

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the REG file below, and go to step 5 below.​

Switch_to_Release_Preview_Channel.reg


(Contents of REG file for reference)
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsSelfHost\Applicability]
"BranchName"="ReleasePreview"
"ContentType"="Mainline"
"Ring"="External"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsSelfHost\UI\Selection]
"UIBranch"="ReleasePreview"
"UIContentType"="Mainline"
"UIRing"="External"

5 Save the .reg file to your desktop.

6 Double click/tap on the downloaded .reg file to merge it.

7 When prompted, click/tap on Run, Yes (UAC), Yes, and OK to approve the merge.

8 You can now delete the downloaded .reg file if you like.


That's it,
Shawn Brink


 

Attachments

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  • Switch_to_Beta_Channel.reg
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  • Switch_to_Dev_Channel.reg
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Slavic

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I tried to switch current Dev channel to Beta on the machine which doesn't meet Windows 11 hardware requirements (my PC in profile). Of course I used the Registry modification because Dev is the only available option in Settings, so manual switch is not possible. After OS restart, both Beta instances in Registry survived, but then after opening the Settings, Windows Update they were changed to ReleasePreview, also without an option to switch back to Beta or Dev in this UI (note that Release Preview option is not available even on fully compatible machines, as Shawn uses, because that version is not released yet).

I cannot exactly say whether this was a glitch or a planned future switch from Windows 11 Dev to Windows 10 release on non-compatible PCs. Apparently right now such switching to Release Preview doesn't have immediate (harmful) effect.

However, I decided not to risk and restore the Dev by modifying the Registry again. It happened without problems, the channel is frozen on Dev as before.
 

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System One

  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro (RP); Windows 8.1 Pro
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    Asus Maximus VIII Gene (no TPM)
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    16 GB
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    Asus GeForce 1050 Ti, 4 GB
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    Philips 235PQ
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    1920x1080 (FHD)
    Hard Drives
    Windows 11: Samsung SSD 870 EVO, 500 GB (SATA), MBR
    Windows 8.1: Samsung SSD 950 PRO, 512 GB (M.2), MBR
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Josey Wales

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I changed into the BETA Channel.
 

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System One

  • Operating System
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lx07

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I tried to switch current Dev channel to Beta on the machine which doesn't meet Windows 11 hardware requirements (my PC in profile). Of course I used the Registry modification because Dev is the only available option in Settings, so manual switch is not possible. After OS restart, both Beta instances in Registry survived, but then after opening the Settings, Windows Update they were changed to ReleasePreview
This happened to me too on an incompatible machine. If you want to stay on beta channel you can use this script on github : abbodi1406 / offlineinsiderenroll

What it does (in addition to the settings in this tutorial) is disable the Windows Insider online check to stop it resetting the channel. From the readme :

This script takes advantage of undocumented `TestFlags` registry value. If this value is set to `0x20`, all access to online *Windows Insider* services gets disabled. Because of this, we can set our own *Windows Insider Preview* configuration without being overriden by the contact to the service. Since Windows Update does not check if machine is actually enrolled to the program, you will get offered *Insider Preview* builds by just setting correct values in the registry.

When there actually **is** a release preview I'll change it to that. I'm hoping that on general release I can then drop out of insider even on unsupported machine - we will see.
 

My Computer

System One

  • Operating System
    Windows 10

linw

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Been an insider since 2014 but facing the dilemma caused by the elevated hardware requirement for win 11.

As far as I can see I have two options:- clean install win 10 (you can't just reinstall win 10 keeping progs and data as the insider ver is higher than the replacement one), or spend a fair bit of money on new hardware.

Looking like I will do the clean install of win 10. Decision is looming as release date of win 11 is in the offing.

It has been a great ride on the insider trail but it looks like the end is nigh for me. Unless I find a cheap advanced new comp!!
 

My Computer

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    windows 11
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    Dell Optiplex 3060
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    Dell
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    8GB
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    Hard Drives
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