Windows Insider

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Windows Insider
Windows 10 Logo.svg
A screenshot of the Fast Ring and Slow Ring Insider menu in the old Windows Phone 8.1 app
A screenshot of the Fast Ring and Slow Ring Insider menu in the old Windows Phone 8.1 app
Original author(s) Microsoft Corporation
Initial release October 1, 2014; 2 years ago (2014-10-01)
Development status Active
Operating system Windows 10, Windows 10 Mobile, Xbox One System Software
License Proprietary software

The Windows Insider program by Microsoft allows users who own a valid Windows 10 license[1][2] to sign up for early builds of the operating system previously only accessible to developers.[3] It was announced on September 30, 2014 along with Windows 10.[4] By September 2015 over 7 million people took part in the Windows Insider Program.[5] On February 12, 2015, Microsoft started to test out previews of Windows 10 Mobile.[6] Microsoft announced that the Windows Insider program would continue beyond the official release of Windows 10 for future updates. Dona Sarkar is the head of the Windows Insider program.[7] Similar to the Windows Insider program, the Microsoft Office, Bing and Xbox teams have set up their own Insider program.

Microsoft plans to launch a Windows Insider Program for Windows Server 2016 users, starting in the summer of 2017.[8]


Microsoft originally launched the Windows Insider program for enterprise testers and the "technically able" to test out new developer features and to gather feedback to improve the features built into Windows 10,[9] and by the time of the official launch of the Windows 10 operating system for PCs a total of 5 million Windows Insiders were registered on both Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile and these Insiders were also among the first people to receive the official update to Windows 10.[10]

With the release of Windows 10 the Windows Insider app was merged with the settings panel making it a built in component of Windows 10, this made the ability to install Windows Insider preview builds an optional feature which could be accessed directly from within the Windows 10 operating system without needing to install a separate app.[11][12]


Windows 10 Insider preview updates are delivered to testers in different rings,[13] Windows Insiders in the fast ring receive updates prior to Windows Insiders in the slow ring but might experience more bugs and other issues.[14][15] In February 2016 Microsoft introduced new rings for the Windows Insider preview.[16]

Ring Available Description
Canary ring Internal Canary gets daily updates and are only accessible by Windows developers in the Windows and Devices Group (WDG).
Windows and Devices Group ring After the Canary Ring approves a build this one shall be spread across the WDG ring.
Microsoft ring This is the last non-public phase and will be distributed to internal Microsoft employees as soon as the WDG ring approves of a build.
Windows Insider Preview rings Fast Public Windows Insiders in the Fast Ring get builds after they have been approved by the Microsoft Ring. These ones are immediately installed, allowing users to receive new features as soon as possible at the expense of possible bugs. This ring was added on October 21, 2014, with the launch of build 9860.
Slow If there are no issues with builds delivered to the Fast Ring, they will subsequently or concurrently be shipped to the Slow Ring. This is the default option for consumer versions of Windows Insider Preview and was the only ring option available at launch until the Fast ring was added.
Release preview This ring, introduced with build 10586 on February 10, 2016, allows Windows Insiders to get early access to patches and fixes for their current builds. It does not deliver builds with new features as early as the Slow Ring, making it safer and less prone to bugs than the other rings.[17]

List of supported mobile phone devices

Microsoft initially launched the Windows 10 Insider Preview (formally known as Windows 10 Technical Preview) for certain third-generation (x30 series) phones from their Lumia family and subsequently released it to second-generation (x20 series) devices throughout the testing phase. After many Windows Insiders hacked their non-Lumia phones (which were not supported at the time) by altering what model was displayed in order to downloaded the preview builds, Microsoft responded by blocking all unsupported models.[18] To roll back the installed technical preview back to Windows Phone 8.1 Microsoft launched the Windows Device Recovery Tool that will remove Windows 10 and recover the latest officially released software and firmware.[19]

Preview build 10080, released on May 14, 2015, was the first to support a non-Lumia device, the HTC One M8 for Windows. This was followed up by Xiaomi who, in partnership with Microsoft, released a ROM port of Windows 10 to its flagship Mi 4 handset on June 1, 2015. At that time it was limited to certain registered users in China.[20][21] Build 10080 and its follow-up build 10166 also added support for fourth-generation Lumia (x40 series) devices; as a result, all compatible Windows Phone 8 or later Lumia phones now support the preview.

In August 2015, Microsoft stated that while all Windows Phone devices, including those from Microsoft's new hardware partners announced the previous year, will receive the final version of Windows 10 Mobile, not all would receive preview builds through the Insider program. However, the company did not provide any information at the time on whether new devices will be added to the preview program, a sign that Windows 10 Mobile was more or less in its completed state. Microsoft instead focused on promoting new devices that come with Windows 10 Mobile, including their Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL flagships, and the low-cost Lumia 550 and Lumia 650. Since their release, these new Windows 10 devices became eligible to receive future updates in advance via the Insider program, beginning with build 10586 on December 4, 2015. The Windows-based LG Lancet also received this version but has not been upgraded since.[citation needed]

On February 19, 2016, Microsoft released the first Windows 10 Mobile "Redstone" preview, build 14267. Starting with this build, future preview versions became exclusively available for devices that are already running a non-Insider preview of the OS, except for the Mi4 ROM version.[22] This was followed by build 14291, released for existing Windows 10 devices on March 17, 2016 in conjunction with the official RTM release of Windows 10 Mobile to third and fourth-generation Lumias. The following week, it became available to the newly upgraded older Lumias in addition to several other devices already on Windows 10 Mobile at the time.[23]

All supported devices subsequently received Insider preview builds as far as build 15063, the "Creators Update", released on March 20, 2017. This included the official release of build 14393, the "Anniversary Update", on August 2, 2016.[24] However, it was announced in April 2017 that many devices, including all third-generation Lumias, would not receive the RTM version of the Creators Update and further "Redstone" development builds, following feedback from users.[25] Of the devices that remain supported, nearly all, except the Lumia 640 and its XL variant, had originally come with Windows 10 Mobile instead of Windows Phone 8.1.

Supported smartphones
Manufacturer Device Threshold
(Windows 10 Mobile)
Redstone 1
(Anniversary Update)
Redstone 2
(Creators Update)
Redstone 3
(under development)
Windows 10 Mobile devices
Acer Liquid Jade Primo No 14393 15063 No
Alcatel Fierce XL No 14267 15063 15222
Idol 4s No 14267 15063 15222
HP Elite x3 No 14291 15063 15222
MCJ Madosma Q501 No 14291 15063 No
Madosma Q601 No No 15063 15222
Microsoft Mobile Lumia 550 10586 14291 15063 15222
Lumia 650 10586 14267 15063 15222
Lumia 950 10586 14267 15063 15222
Lumia 950 XL 10586 14267 15063 15222
SoftBank 503LV No No No 15222
Trinity NuAns Neo No No 15063 15222
Vaio VPB051 No No 15063 No
Phone Biz No No No 15222
Windows Phone 8.1 devices
BLU Win HD W510U No 14291 15063 No
Win HD LTE X150Q No 14267 15063 No
HTC One M8 10080 No No No
LG Lancet 10586 No No No
Nokia/Microsoft Mobile Lumia 430-series
Includes 430 and 435
10051 14291 15063 No
Lumia 520-series
Includes 520, 521, 525 and 526
10051 No No No
Lumia 530 10051 No No No
Lumia 532 10051 14291 15063 No
Lumia 535 10051 14291 15063 No
Lumia 540 10080 14291 15063 No
Lumia 620 10051 No No No
Lumia 625 10051 No No No
Lumia 630-series
Includes 630, 635, 636 and 638
9941 14291
Except 512 MB
Except 512 MB
Lumia 640 10586 14291 15063 15222
Lumia 640 XL 10080 14291 15063 15222
Lumia 720 10051 No No No
Lumia 730 9941 14291 15063 No
Lumia 735 10051 14291 15063 No
Lumia 810 10051 No No No
Lumia 820 10051 No No No
Lumia 822 10051 No No No
Lumia 830 9941 14291 15063 No
Lumia 920 10051 No No No
Lumia 925 10051 No No No
Lumia 928 10051 No No No
Lumia Icon 10051 14332 15063 No
Lumia 930 10080 14291 15063 No
Lumia 1020 10051 No No No
Lumia 1320 10051 No No No
Lumia 1520 10051 14291 15063 No
ROMs for MIUI devices
Xiaomi Mi4 10080 14267 15063 No

See also


  1. ^ "Download Windows 10 Insider Preview ISO". Microsoft. Retrieved 15 September 2016. 
  2. ^ "Activation in Windows 10". Support. Microsoft. 1 September 2016. 
  3. ^ Warren, Tom (30 September 2014). "Windows 10 is the official name for Microsoft's next version of Windows". The Verge. Vox Media. 
  4. ^ Myerson, Terry (September 30, 2014). "Announcing Windows 10". Blogging Windows. Retrieved February 24, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Windows Insiders program reaches 7 million members". WinBeta. WinBeta. 4 September 2015. 
  6. ^ Aul, Gabe (12 February 2015). "Announcing the first build of Windows 10 Technical Preview for Phones". Windows Experience Blog. Microsoft. 
  7. ^ Preece, Caroline (2 June 2016). "Microsoft makes Dona Sarkar head of Windows 10 Insider Program". IT Pro. Dennis Publishing. 
  8. ^ RedmondMag: Windows Server 'Insider' Testing Program Coming This Summer
  9. ^ Bright, Peter (1 October 2014). "Microsoft launches Windows Insider Program to get Windows betas.". Ars Technica. Condé Nast. 
  10. ^ Callaham, John (2 July 2015). "Windows Insider Program's 5 million members will get Windows 10 first on July 29.". Windows Central. 
  11. ^ Smith, Russell (6 July 2015). "How to Install the Insider Hub App in Windows 10.". Petri IT Knowledgebase. 
  12. ^ Hassan, Mehedi (14 April 2016). "Windows 10 Mobile Redstone will get native Windows Insider program integration soon.". MSPowerUser. 
  13. ^ Aul, Gabe (21 October 2014). "We’re rolling out our first new build to the Windows Insider Program". Windows Blog. 
  14. ^ Hassan, Mehedi (19 February 2015). "[WP10] Microsoft releases Slow Ring for Windows 10 for Phones Technical Preview.". Windows Mobile PowerUser. 
  15. ^ Hassan, Mehedi (19 February 2015). "Video Recorder on Windows 10 for Phones Preview introduces couple of new features.". Windows Mobile PowerUser. 
  16. ^ Hay, Richard (10 February 2016). "Microsoft Adds a Release Preview Ring to Windows Insider Program.". Paul Thurrot's SuperSite for Windows. 
  17. ^ Hassan, Mehedi (10 February 2016). "Windows Insider program gets a new Release Preview Ring.". Windows Mobile PowerUser. 
  18. ^ Hay, Richard (20 February 2015). "Microsoft updates Windows Insider App on Windows Phone to stop unauthorized installs of technical preview.". Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows. 
  19. ^ Rivera, Jaime (10 February 2015). "Yes, Windows 10 Preview will include a phone recovery tool.". PocketNow. 
  20. ^ Russell, Jon (March 17, 2015). "Microsoft Is Developing Software That Converts Android Phones To Windows 10". TechCrunch. Retrieved August 23, 2015. 
  21. ^ Bright, Peter (March 18, 2015). "Xiaomi and Microsoft to offer Windows 10 conversion for Android phones". Ars Technica. Retrieved August 23, 2015. 
  22. ^ Hassan, Mehedi (February 19, 2016). "PSA: Windows 10 Mobile Build 14267 is only available to Lumia 950 XL, 950, 650, 550 and Xiaomi Mi4". MSPoweruser. Retrieved February 20, 2015. 
  23. ^ Popa, Bogdan (March 24, 2016). "Windows 10 Mobile Redstone Build 14291 Released to Older Windows Phones". Softpedia. SoftNews NET SRL. Retrieved March 24, 2016. 
  24. ^ Paul, Ian (June 30, 2016). "Windows 10's big Anniversary Update will hit phones the same time as PCs". PCWorld. IDG. Retrieved May 5, 2017. 
  25. ^ Sarkar, Dona (April 14, 2017). "Announcing Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 16176 for PC + Build 15204 for Mobile". Windows Experience Blog. Microsoft. Retrieved May 5, 2017. 
  26. ^ Aul, Gabe. "Announcing the first build of Windows 10 Technical Preview for Phones". Windows Blog. Microsoft Corporation. Retrieved 12 February 2015. 
  27. ^ Aul, Gabe (27 March 2015). "A quick update on Windows 10 builds for phones for Windows Insiders". Windows Blogs. 
  28. ^ Martin, Julia (28 March 2015). "Microsoft touts Windows 10 Technical Preview coming to more Lumia devices.". Inferse. 
  29. ^ "New Windows 10 Mobile preview build likely coming later today". 14 May 2015. 
  30. ^ "Microsoft to roll out Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview build 10136; build 10145 in testing". 15 June 2015. 
  31. ^ "Announcing Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview Build 10586.29". Windows Blog. 4 December 2015. 
  32. ^ "Announcing Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview Build 14267". Windows Blog. 19 February 2016. 
  33. ^ "Announcing Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 15063 for PC and Mobile". Windows Blog. 20 March 2017. 
  34. ^ "Announcing Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 16176 for PC + Build 15204 for Mobile". Windows Blog. 14 April 2017. 
  35. ^ Rubino, Daniel; Bowden, Zac (14 April 2017). "Windows 10 Mobile is NOT dead — but its future is far from guaranteed". Windows Central. 

External links

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