Here's why it takes 24 hours to join a Windows Insider ring on PC

Surface Insider Rings
Surface Insider Rings (Image credit: Windows Central)

Have you ever wondered why it can take up to 24 hours to switch Windows Insider rings or receive your first build after joining the program on a Windows 10 PC? Well, as it turns out, the reasoning comes down to a simple compatibility check process.

As spotted by Microsoft MVP Richard Hay, Microsoft provides a relatively thorough explanation for the 24 hour wait in an article on its TechNet (opens in new tab) site:

Once your machine is updated to Windows 10 and you select your desired flight ring, the process known as "Compatibility check" will need to run in the background. There is no manual way to force this process to run. This process allows for the discovery of your OS type (32-bit, 64-bit), build edition (Home, Pro, Enterprise), country and language settings, and other required information. Once this process is complete, your machine will be auto-targeted for the next available flight for your selected ring. For the first build on any given machine, this may take up to 24 hours to complete.

It's not world-changing information by any means, but it does answer a question that's likely crossed the mind of many Insiders in the past. Still, it's a little weird that switching rings on Mobile is nearly instant while PC can take so long. But, as the phrase goes, c'est la vie.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • Always wondered. Good information. Thanks.
  • Never wondered, but thanks! ;)
  • Curious to know why this process can't be triggered to instantly, or within just a few minutes? Also why can't your system be given an "Insider" profile that stores this information if you were already using an Insider builds previously, but left and re-joined? Just curious.
  • It is "Up to 24 hours" not ALWAYS 24 hours. When I installed a fresh build 15002 I could immediately upgrade to the next build after the setup was completed.
  • In my experience it's almost always instant even on my desktop and surface with the exception of a few deployment issues that have occurred during the RS1 test cycle
  • FWIW it doesn't need a check for Release Preview, just Slow and Fast Rings. Release Preview enrollment is instant.
  • I went from release preview to slow on two pc's (surface pro 3 and Dell Latitude) in the last week and both updated in less than 15 mins.
  • Yeah, I'm wondering if it profiles your PC and uses an identifier of some kind to see if the device has already been validated for compatibility. Maybe if it gets a specific response back it immediately pulls down builds from the selected ring. Just some speculation of course.
  • I think this is the case because most machines I've hopped in and out of fast and slow rings I get builds quickly.
  • It felt better when it would restart to configure the phone or PC, you knew it was working. You obviously want newer builds to I still, so there in no problem
  • Ya don't try to live stream it like me... Took to long lol