By Delia / Last update February 25, 2022

Anyone with a Windows 11 PC can visit and sign up for the Insider Program using your Microsoft account. on your device, simply go to Settings > "Windows Update" > "Windows Insider Program" to select the Insider Channel.

windows insider program

How to choose your Insider Channel in Windows 11

Microsoft's Insider Program has 3 channels:

  • Development Channel: This version of Windows 11 is very technical and it is recommended that you only select this channel if you know what you are doing. Your computer may not run as well as it does on the other channels, but you can try out all the new features and updates as soon as Microsoft releases them.
  • Beta Channel: Used to review an experience closer to what Microsoft will deliver to its regular customers and more stable than the Dev Channel, you can run almost any everyday software on this version.
  • Release Preview Channel: The best place to preview content that will be released to regular customers

The Dev Channel has more bugs than the other channels and is considered unstable for everyday use, so it's best to install it only on a virtual or test machine instead of your main PC. So if you have already installed Dev Channel Builds on your main PC, can you still change your mind and switch to another channel?

Can you switch from Dev Channel to Beta Channel?

When the Windows 11 Insider Preview Program was first announced last year, Microsoft imposed some restrictions on participants. If your computer did not meet the minimum system requirements, you could only choose to enter the Dev channel or the Beta channel. And if you chose to install the Dev Channel version of Windows 11, you could not switch it to the stable version or even the Beta channel unless you completely reinstalled the OS using the ISO image. So when you search for that question, you may see a lot of answers that say you can't switch from Dev Channel to Beta Channel.

But things are different now - Microsoft is changing the way it releases previews of Windows 11 to members of the Preview Experience who are registered in the Dev or Beta channels. Both channels will be considered "active development branches," but will have a clearer boundary and be used for different types of feature testing.

Microsoft will place more emphasis on the development channel as a place to experiment with features and ideas that may never be released in a new version of Windows, while the latter will continue to offer a more stable alternative where tested features will most likely make their way to all Windows 11 devices at some point. Microsoft is also providing a new window for Dev Channel members to switch to the Beta channel if they don't want experimental features. After entering the Beta or Release Preview channel, you can also choose to stop receiving preview releases, which will bring you back to the stable channel when major updates are released.

How to switch between Dev and Beta channels in Windows 11

Although this option was not available in the first release of Windows 11, you can now find the option to change the Insider Channel in the Windows 11 settings app. Please refer to the following steps.

1. Open the Settings app from the Start menu.

2. Select "Windows Update" from the left column and click "Windows Insider Program" on the right.

windows insider program

3. On the Windows Insider Program settings page, click on "Choose your Insider Settings".

choose your insider settings

4. Once the menu is expanded, select the desired channel. Here we select "Beta Channel".

choose dev channel or beta channel

The settings app will automatically save your selection. From now on, you will only get Beta channel updates.