If you’re just getting started with Windows 10, you should know that you’re benefiting from the work of over 5 million Windows Insiders who tested this system and provided feedback to Microsoft during the pre-release period. But you don’t need to sit on the sidelines, either: you can join the Insiders program today and get new Windows 10 features and updates more quickly than the general public. And if you would like, you can also let your own feedback be heard.
First, you need to join the Windows Insiders program, which is free and you can back out of testing features and updates at any time. To do so, open your web browser and navigate to the Windows Insider web site. Here, you can sign up for the program: all you need is a Microsoft account.
Sign up for our new free newsletter to get three time-saving tips each Friday — and get free copies of Paul Thurrott's Windows 11 and Windows 10 Field Guides (normally $9.99) as a special welcome gift!
"*" indicates required fields
Once that is done, open Settings (WINKEY + I) in Windows 10 and navigate to Update & Security, Windows Update. Then, select the “Advanced options” link.
Under “Get Insider Builds,” select the Get Started button. You will be prompted with information about what it means to use features and updates before they are generally available. And then prompted again. You know, just in case.
Assuming you’ve OK’d each confirmation, you will need to reboot your PC to continue. When you do, open Settings and navigate to Update & Security, Windows Update, Advanced Options again. By default, your PC will be configured to get Insider builds—and other new features and updates—via the so-called Slow ring, which is pre-release software that’s been heavily tested already. If you would like to receive software even faster—as I would—choose the Fast ring instead. That is the quickest way to get new features and updates outside of working for Microsoft or one of its closest partners.
You can always stop receiving Insider builds and updates at any time of course.
Also, you should do your part to make Windows better. This means testing the early-release software you get, providing feedback to Microsoft and, if possible, interacting with other Insiders. At the very least, you should use the Windows Feedback app to look for issues and provide your own feedback.
Use Cortana/Start search to see if Windows Feedback is already installed: type feedback. If not, you can install it from Settings. Navigate to System, Apps & Features and then select “Manage optional features.” You will find Windows Feedback in the list. (Which is alphabetical.)
Also, once Windows Feedback is up and running, you will occasionally see pop-up notifications related to Windows 10 features you’ve just used. If you select these notifications as they appear—or do so in Action Center—you can provide feedback to Microsoft quickly and easily.
Welcome aboard. Together we can all make Windows 10 even better.