With Windows 11 in the Beta channel, it’s time to check your rings

With Windows 11 in the Beta channel, it’s time to check your rings

Earlier today, Microsoft released Windows 11 to the Beta channel of the Windows Insider Program. It’s the next step in the development of the new OS, something that the firm promised to deliver by the end of July, and it delivered. Those in the Dev channel have been testing out Windows 11 for over a month now.

Now, here’s the deal. It’s time to double-check what channel your PC is enrolled in and think about whether you still want to be in it. The Windows Insider Twitter account tweeted it earlier today, and if you’ve got a machine on the Dev channel, it sent out emails to Insiders.


Based on our data, you have a PC that is currently configured for flighting Windows 11 Insider Preview Builds in the Dev Channel. We will soon be flighting early development builds in the Dev Channel. These builds may be less stable and won’t align with the version of Windows 11 expected to be available to the general public later this year.

This is important. As we noted in our explainer of the Windows Insider Program, the Dev channel is typically not tied to any specific release of Windows. It’s meant for testing out new features, and at some point, something branches off to the Beta channel. What you find in the Beta channel is actually tied to a feature update.

For the past month, we’ve been seeing Windows 11 previews in the Dev channel, so for this period, it’s been tied to a specific release. That’s going to change. At some point – it could be next week, it could be in three months – Microsoft is going to start shipping prerelease builds again. Once that happens, you’re kind of on your own.

The reason that this is so important is because Windows 11 is such a hot item. It’s been in the Dev channel for over a month now, and plenty of people have enrolled just to get their hands on it. But these are actually people that would normally be in the Beta channel, so now that Windows 11 is available there, those people should change their rings.

Once the Dev channel in the Windows Insider Program starts getting prerelease builds again, switching to the Beta channel won’t be so easy. Right now, we have this window where the Dev and Beta channels align, so you can seamlessly switch over. Once the Dev channel gets a full new prerelease build, you’re going to have to blow away your PC and do a clean installation of Windows to get off of that train. This is what Microsoft is asking you to keep in mind right now.

If you’re not sure, the best option for you is probably the Beta channel. You’ll still get to test out Windows 11, and if something really cool shows up in the Dev channel, you can always switch back.

About author

Rich Woods
Rich Woods

Managing Editor for XDA Computing. I've been covering tech from smartphones to PCs since 2013. If you see me at a trade show, come say hi and let me ask you weird questions about why you use the tech you use.

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