Tip: The Magic Window for Windows 10 RS4 is Here

Posted on March 27, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 11 Comments

Tip: The Magic Window for Windows 10 RS4 is Here

As the development of each new version of Windows 10 draws to a close, we enter a special period of time I call the “magic window.” During this time period, Windows Insiders who are testing this next Windows version can un-enroll their PCs from the program without penalty, and just continue receiving updates for what is now the shipping version of Windows 10.

As I’ve explained in the past, users who enroll a PC in the Windows Insider program’s Fast or Slow rings is typically “stuck” in one of those pre-release build rings. You can slow things down—get in the Slow ring—or speed things up—with Fast—but you can’t get out.

But then the magic window occurs.

And that just happened for Redstone 4 (Windows 10 version 1803), assuming you’re in the Fast ring. With today’s release of Windows 10 build 17133.1, Redstone 4 development is essentially complete. And this build (plus or minus some additional small updates) will be heading out to the public starting in early April. Which means that we’re the magic window time period.

And that means that you could enroll your PC in the Fast ring today, install build 17133.1, and the un-enroll the PC from the Windows Insider program entirely. No harm, no foul.

The only questions now involve timing. When will the Slow ring get this build? Because at that point, they too can simply un-enroll from the Insider program. And when will the magic window close? That last one is a big unknown, but Microsoft usually issues a warning before it happens. If you miss out on the magic window, your PC will soon be pushed into Redstone 5 development. Which you may or may not want, especially early on.

If you are an Insider in the Fast ring, here’s how you can take advantage of the magic window and get your PC on the normal updating schedule:

  • Upgrade the PC to build 17133.1.
  • Open Settings and navigate to Update & Security.
  • Open Windows Insider Program.
  • Click the “Stop Insider Preview builds” button.
  • In the full-screen Stop getting insider content notification, select the last item (“Stop Insider builds completely”).
  • Click Confirm.
  • Click Restart Now.

Voila. You are free.


Join the discussion!


Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Comments (12)

12 responses to “Tip: The Magic Window for Windows 10 RS4 is Here”

  1. joshhuggins

    Thank God. Tired of each update resetting half of the damn settings throughout the system. This system of installing updates Ă  la Reset this PC is beyond idiotic and cost users and IT depts so much loss of time it's crazy.

    • Mike Cramer

      In reply to joshhuggins:

      It doesn't seem to be a universal problem, though. I haven't lost any settings -- other than master audio volume -- for a very long time. You'd think Microsoft would have perfected migration by now, given how many millions of updates they've been able to analyze.

    • NazmusLabs

      In reply to joshhuggins:

      The problem is the term update. Microsoft is forced to use "update" even though these are actually upgrades. The process of "updating" to a new build is the same as upgrading from Windows 7 to 10. It's essentially a clean install, followed by a data and settings migration, powered by Windows Setup. The old version of your OS is dumped to Windows.old folder and cleaned out in 10 days. For a setting to migrate, the Windows setup must "know" about the setting and copy it over to the new "clean" OS. For popular settings, Microsoft has added code to setup to do this, and occasionally, you will see them announce a new setting that can be migrated through setup. If your settings are obscure gpedit settings, registry tweaks, or any other non-mainstream settings, I've got bad news for you; you are on your own for now.

      But there's a benefit to this approach. I have seen a lot of system curruptions or problems being fixed because a new build is essentially a clean OS isntall. This has fixed a lot of issues for me in the past. One time, for whatever reason, command prompt got deleted from the start menu and a bunch of other windows accessories. A Build update completely fixed that as well as some broken paths and start menu entries.

      By contrast, an actual update, aka patch or cumulative updates, are what you think of updates in the classic sense. A particular system file that needs to be changed is downloaded and "patched", replacing the existing system file. It doesn't touch the rest of the OS. So, any any custom settings, tweaks, are all left untouched.

      You might ask why not use the "patch" method rather than "upgrade" or, as you call it, "PC reset" method. Well, imagine trying to update from Windows 7 to Windows 10 by changing individual system files one by one. It will be a nightmare! A horrible nightmare. The same applies to Windows 10 version upgrades.

      Also, you may ask why Microsoft is forced to call it "update" even though it's an upgrade. The reason is accounting related. Upgrades are marked as new products, and if you give it away for free, it counts as a loss for the company, or something along the line. But if you call it an update, it counts as a patch for an existing product. So, there you go. This is the state of legal field of today. :P

      • Boltie

        In reply to NazmusLabs:

        It's an update/upgrade that requires a reinstall. I really doubt the accounting/legal part. It's up to accounting how they record it. They don't even have to list it in their books as they aren't peddling it as a new product and there are no transactions to record. It's an automated system agreed to by the consumer/client as part of the paid product/service upon the initial install.

        Even if it were true you would still state it as an upgrade and list the price of that upgrade as $0. $0 x 100,000,000 is $0. Not a loss in the eyes of the Finance Department.

  2. edboyhan

    One Insider ring you didn't mention is the Release Preview Ring. I have 4 active machines: one (a Surface Pro 1 3rd gen core cpu) is on the skip ahead ring. I use it to test mail, people, calendar, Edge, timeline, and sets. Two are on the release preview ring, and one is on the vanilla FCU. The release preview, and FCU PC's are currently on the same release level (16299.309). The FCU machine does have an update from Intel pending (its a 7th gen core cpu). The two release preview machines (an SB1 6th gen CPU, and an HP Spectre X360) have no updates pending. I expect the two release preview machines to receive the final Spring 1803 release any day now. My understanding of release preview is it's just like the current branch product with fixes, apps, and driver updates until just before the final release of the next feature update when you receive that a few days before general availability.

    I assume that all your leave insider's program advice applies to the release preview ring as well.

  3. matlear

    I'm not free after leaving the insider program !

    I still have - "Windows insider manages feedback" in the : Settings, Privacy, Diagnostic & Feedback menu.

    So i dont think this is RTM 100%

  4. PeteB

    The only magic window I care about is one with a telemetry opt out.

  5. Tony Barrett

    Fast ring, slow ring, skip ahead, skip behind. Who cares anymore. I don't think insiders genuinely have any will left to do Microsoft's beta testing for them out of love anymore. It's almost like you start to get ground down by this continuous cycle and the risks of upgrading and testing, then upgrading and testing some more. If Insiders were all on Microsoft's payroll, maybe they'd have more incentive.

  6. LocalPCGuy

    Thanks for the fantastic tip. I imaged my laptop, joined Insiders, upgraded to 1803 and left Insiders. This feature update did not reinstall apps that I previously uninstalled, like older ones did. It also kept my privacy settings. Very nice.

  7. RonH

    Started this at 1:00 pm EST

    15 minutes later..

    Windows 10 Insider Preview 17133.1 (rs4_release)

    Status: Installing - 77%

    1:40 pm asking for a reboot...

    2:00 Everything is up and running. no issues with any apps...

    Took this PC out of the Insiders program.

    All Good

  8. irfaanwahid

    Hey guys, is this Window still open? I was out of country hence was not able to take advantage.

Leave a Reply