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It is time to check Windows Insider Settings

The next feature update for Windows 10, the May 2019 Update, will be released at the end of May to the general public. The release and other decisions that Microsoft made in the recent past impact the Windows Insider program.

Microsoft published a short, and rather cryptic, post on the Windows Insider blog that suggests to users and administrators to check their Windows Insider Program settings.

Designed to give Windows users and administrators an option to test upcoming versions of Windows, it is used by Microsoft as a testing ground for bugs and issues.

get insider preview builds

The Insider Program for Windows features four different rings — Skip Ahead, Fast, Slow, and Release  — that determine which build of Windows 10 is available to the device.

Up until recently, these meant the following:

  • Skip Ahead — Not open all the time, build of the next feature update that Microsoft is working on and not the soon-to-be-released one.
  • Fast Ring — Latest builds of the soon-to-be-released Feature Update.
  • Slow Ring — Same as fast, but not nearly as many builds and not latest.
  • Release Preview Ring — Closest to current release version, last test before a release is pushed to Stable systems. Could be preview of a cumulative update or new feature update right before release.

Yesterday’s announcement changes things:

  • Skip Ahead — Will receive Windows 10 20H1 builds (Windows 10 2003), Windows 10 version 1909 is skipped.
  • Fast Ring — Will also be moved to Windows 10 20H1 and not 19H2.
  • Slow Ring — No changes.
  • Release Preview Ring — Will receive the May 2019 Update soon. Unclear if devices will receive the April 2019 Cumulative Update firsts but considering that the update will be released next Tuesday, it seems unlikely.

In other words: if you are on the Fast Ring, you need to move to the Slow Ring or Release Preview Ring if you don’t want to make the jump to next year’s version of Windows 10 yet.

[..] we’re planning to move Windows Insiders in the Fast ring forward to 20H1. We will also be merging the small group of Insiders who opted-in to Skip Ahead back into the Fast ring. We are looking to make this change in the coming weeks.

Microsoft has not revealed how it plans to test the second feature update of 2019. With the Fast Ring on Windows 10 version 2003, it would fall to the Slow Ring to receive the 1909 builds exclusively if the company does not change things around later this year.

Microsoft plans to release “19H2 bits” to Insiders later this year.

Now You: Do you run Insider PCs? What is your experience so far?

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