Have You Ever Joined the Windows Insider Program to Get Windows 11 Insider Preview Builds
Timeline of Windows 11
- On June 15, 2021, someone leaked the screenshots of Windows 11 new Start Menu, UI (user interface), and more on the internet. This caused an uproar. At that time, users were guessing whether Windows 11 was real. They looked forward to an official response from Microsoft.
- On June 24, Microsoft confirmed that Windows is “a re-imagining of the operating system”.
- On June 28, Microsoft released the first Windows 11 preview build 22000.51 and SDK (Software Development Kit) of Windows 11 to Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel.
- On October 5, 2021, Microsoft rolled out the official Windows 11 to the public.
Which Insider Channel Are You In Now?
Before the official release, if you wanted to try Windows 11 on your supported device, you needed to first join the Windows Insider Program. In the beginning, only Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel can get Windows 11 preview build. Due to this, many users chose to participate in the Dev Channel.
As Windows 11 became more and more stable, Microsoft began to release the preview builds to the Beta Channel (since Windows 11 preview build 22000.100) and then to commercial PCs in the Release Preview Channel (since Windows 11 preview build 22000.176). Since Windows 11 preview build 22000.176, only Insiders in the Beta Channel and commercial PCs in the Release Preview Channel can get Windows 11 Insider preview builds that match Windows 11 experience to be released on October 5th. Insiders in the Dev Channel began to get higher versions of Windows 11.
You can go to Start > Settings > Windows Update > Windows Insider Program > Choose your Insider Settings to see which Channel you are in.
Can’t Switch Windows Insider Channel on Windows 11! Why?
Since Windows 11 preview build 22000.160, Microsoft began to remind the Insiders who want to use stable Windows 11 builds to switch to Dev Channel if they are still in the Dev Channel.
Do you want to switch between the Dev and Beta Channels in Windows 11? In this post, we tell you why to do this and how.
For some reason, you may miss this opportunity and still stay in the Dev Channel. If so, now you can’t switch from Insider Dev Channel to Beta or leave the Windows Insider Program using the universal method.
Let’s see the detail:
Go to Windows Update > Windows Insider Program > Choose your Insider settings to check your Insider settings. If you are in the Dev Channel and all the three Channels are grey out, it usually means that you can’t switch Windows Insider Channel or can’t change Windows Insider settings through the universal method because the Windows 11 build you are using is not tied to a specific release.
Well then, how about leaving the Windows Insider Program?
You can click Stop getting preview builds and then click the leaving the Insider Program link to navigate to the Leave the Windows Insider Program page.
After you click the Leave the program now button on that page, the button will become unavailable and there is a message saying This email address is not registered as a Windows Insider. Is it successful? No.
Even after rebooting your Windows 11 computer, you can still see you are in the Dev Channel. When a new Windows 11 Insider preview build rolls out to the Dev Channel, your computer can still receive it.
Here is the reason why you can’t switch from Insider Dev Channel to Beta:
Switching between the Dev Channel and the Beta Channel is only available when the builds in these two Channels are equal. If you have already upgraded to a higher version of Windows 11 through the Dev Channel (Windows 11 Insider preview build 22449 or higher versions), you can’t change Windows Insider Channel using the normal way because the build you are running in the Dev Channel is not tied to a specific release.
Does this mean you can’t change your Insider level/settings forever? Of course not.
You can check Unenroll this device immediately (the only available option under Stop getting preview builds) to get some useful information:
To stop getting Insider Preview builds on this device, you’ll need to clean install the latest release of Windows 10. Note: this will erase all your data and install a fresh copy of Windows 10.
But can you only choose to clean install Windows 10 to exit the Windows Insider Program? Of course not, you can also use Windows 11 Media Creation Tool or Windows 11 ISO file to install Windows 11 on your computer to leave the Windows Insider Program.
If you still want to join the Beta Channel of the Windows Insider Program, you can do it after a Windows 10/11 clean install.
How to Leave the Dev Channel (if You Can’t Switch Windows Insider Channel on Windows 11)?
Since your can’t change your Windows Insider Channel level from the Dev Channel now, the only thing you can do is to leave the Windows Insider Program by performing a clean install of Windows 10/11. After that, you can choose to participate in your needed Channel or not according to your requirements.
Preparation: Back up Your Windows 11 Data
Windows 11/10 clean install will remove all your files, settings, and apps from your computer. To avoid data loss, you should use professional Windows data backup software to back up your data to an external hard drive.
You can use MiniTool ShadowMaker to do the job. This software is specially designed to back up your files, folders, partitions, disks, or Windows operating system to keep them safe or for other reasons.
Recommended: How to Back up Windows to Safeguard Your Computer?
You can first try the trial edition of this software to back up your Windows data because you can use it for free within 30 days.
Choice 1: Clean Install Windows 11
Windows 11 has been officially released to all users. But since you are in the Dev Channel, you can’t get it via Windows Update. You can use two other tools from Microsoft to clean install Windows 11 without using Windows Update in the Settings app. They are:
1. Windows 11 Media Creation Tool
You can use Windows 11 Media Creation Tool to create a Windows 11 installation media. Then, you can install Windows 11 from USB.
2. Windows 11 Disk Image (ISO) Download
You can directly download a proper Windows 11 ISO from Microsoft and then use it to install Windows 11 on your computer.
Method 1: Clean Install Windows 11 from USB
Move 1: Download Windows 11 Media Creation Tool
Step 2: Click the Download Now button under Create Windows 11 Installation Media to download Windows 11 Media Creation Tool on your PC.
Move 2: Create a Windows 11 Installation USB Drive
Tip: You need to prepare a USB drive that has at least 8 GB of storage space. The creation process will remove all files in the USB drive. So you need to make sure that there are no important files in it.
Step 1: Connect the USB drive to your computer.
Step 2: Open the downloaded Windows 11 Media Creation Tool.
Step 3: If User Account Control pops up, click Yes to continue.
Step 4: Click Accept to accept the applicable notices and license terms to continue.
Step 5: Select the language and edition you want to use for Windows 11.
Step 6: Click Next.
Step 7: Make sure USB flash drive is selected (it is selected by default) and click Next to continue.
Step 8: Windows 11 Setup shows you the connected USB drive. Select it and click Next.
Step 9: Windows 11 Setup begin to download Windows 11 on your USB drive.
Step 10: When the process ends, a Windows 11 installation USB drive is prepared. Click Finish to close Windows 11 Setup.
Move 3: Clean Install Windows 11 from USB
Step 1: Shut down your computer.
Step 2: Boot your computer into BIOS.
Step 3: Change the boot settings to make your device boot from the Windows 11 bootable USB drive.
Step 4: When seeing the Windows Setup interface, click the Next button to continue.
Step 5: Click Install now.
Step 6: Click I don’t have a product key.
Step 7: Select the Windows 11 edition you want to install.
Step 8: Click Next.
Step 9: Select I accept the Microsoft Software License Term.
Step 10: Click Next.
Step 11: Select Custom: Install Windows only (advanced).
Step 12: Select the partition you want to install Windows. Usually, it is the system partition in Drive 0.
Step 13: Click Delete to delete that partition.
Step 14: Click OK to confirm the deletion.
Step 15: Select the deleted partition (Drive 0 Unallocated Space) and click Next.
Step 16: Windows Setup begins installing Windows 11 on your computer. The whole process will last for a while. When the process ends, your computer will restart automatically. After that, you need to continue with Windows 11 out-of-box experience.
Method 2: Clean Install Windows 11 Using ISO
Move 1: Download or Create a Windows 11 ISO File
Download a Windows 11 ISO file: you can go to the Windows 11 software download page to select a proper Windows 11 ISO file to download.
Create a Windows 11 ISO file: You can also use the Windows 11 Media Creation Tool to create a Windows 11 ISO file. When you reach this step, you need to select ISO file instead to create Windows 11 ISO file.
Move 2: Install Windows 11 Using ISO
Step 1: Double-click the Windows 11 ISO file you get to mount it.
Step 2: Click the setup.exe file.
Step 3: When you see the following interface, click Next to continue. However, you can click the change how Setup downloads updates link to modify the updates settings if necessary.
Step 4: Click Accept.
Step 5: Now, you see only Nothing is available on the Choose what to keep interface. That’s why it is important to back up your files in advance. Then, click Next.
Step 6: Follow the onscreen guide to complete the Windows 11 installation process.
Choice 2: Clean Install Windows 10
If you don’t want to use Windows 11 temporarily, you can choose to go back to Windows 10. Since you can’t change your Windows Insider Channel level now, you need to clean install Windows 10.
You can go to the Windows 10 software download page from Microsoft to download the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool and use it to create a Windows 10 installation USB drive. Then, you can clean install Windows 10 from USB. The operation is similar to Windows 11. We will not repeat the steps here.
Now, you leave the Windows Insider Program. If needed, you can join the Windows Insider Program again. This time, remember to select your needed Channel.
MiniTool Software You Should Try on Your Windows Computer
When your Windows 11 installation and setup are complete, you can install some necessary software on your computer for further use.
Here are some useful tools from MiniTool Software:
1. To recover your lost and deleted files on Windows 11, you can try MiniTool Power Data Recovery, a professional data recovery software. This software can recover data from all kinds of data storage devices like internal hard drives, external hard drives, memory cards, SD cards, USB flash drives, etc. You can first use the trial edition of this software to scan your drive and check if it can find your needed files. If you need to use it to recover all your needed files, you need to use a full edition.
2. If you need a partition manager to manage your computer hard drive or other storage devices, you can use MiniTool Partition Wizard.
3. As we have mentioned above, if you want to back up your Windows and files, you can use MiniTool ShadowMaker.
Of course, some other tools from MiniTool are also worth trying, such as MiniTool MovieMaker (a video edit software), MiniTool Video Converter (a video format converter), MiniTool uTube Download (a free YouTube video downloader), and so forth.
Wrapping Things up
Can’t switch Windows Insider Channel from the Dev Channel to Beta? You need to leave the Windows Insider Program by cleaning install Windows 11/10 on your computer. After that, you can join your needed Channel using the universal method.
Should you have other related issues that need to be fixed or other suggestions, you can let us know in the comments. You can also contact us via [email protected].