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How to get the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update before anyone else

The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (version 1709) is officially expected to start rolling out to compatible devices around the world on Tuesday, October 17, 2017, but it'll be a slow rollout that could take months before everyone gets it. However, if you're eager to start using the new version, you can download and install the Fall Creators Update even before anyone else gets it, using the Windows Insider Program.

Of course, the program is not for everyone, and there are risks of bugs and errors. Microsoft designed the program to allow enthusiasts and developers to test upcoming features during the development process, but now that the new version of Windows 10 is pretty much complete, you can install a pre-release with minimal risks.

You can install the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update before it's officially available in at least two different ways. You can become an Insider and configure your device to get the latest build through the Slow ring. Or it's also possible to enroll your machine in the Release Preview ring that allows you to get version 1709 (usually) a few days before the official launch with a very low risk of coming across issues.

In this Windows 10 guide, we'll walk you through two different ways to download and install the Fall Creators Update before anyone else.

How to get the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update using Slow ring

Important: Because you'll be installing an unofficial final version of Windows 10, it's recommended to create a backup of your device before proceeding, in case you need to roll back to the previous settings.

If you can't wait until the official release, you can get the update before anyone else joining the Windows Insider Program, enrolling your device in the Slow ring, installing the latest build, and then gracefully opting out of the program.

In order to install version 1709 before anyone else, use these steps to enroll in the Windows Insider Program:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Update & security.
  3. Click on Windows Insider program.
  4. Click the Get started button.

  1. Click the Link an account option.

  1. Select your Microsoft account, and click Continue.
  2. In the "What kind of content would you like to receive?" page, use the drop-down menu, and select Active development of Windows.

  1. Click the Confirm button.
  2. Click the Confirm button again to agree to the terms.

  1. Click the Restart Now button.

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Update & security.
  3. Click on Windows Insider program.
  4. Under "What pace do you want to get new builds?" use the drop-down menu and select Slow.

  1. Click on Windows Update.
  2. Click the Check for updates button to download the latest build.
    • Note: It could take up some time until the update is available on your device.

After completing the steps, you can use Windows Update to force the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update on your device through the Slow ring.

It's important to point out that you could select the Fast ring, but you have a limited window to do this, as Microsoft will soon start making available Windows 10 Redstone 4 previews in the Fast ring.

How to get the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update using Release Preview ring

The Windows Insider Program features three different levels referred as "rings," including the Slow, Fast, and Release Preview.

If you want to get the final version as soon as it's completely ready, you want to select the Release Preview ring. Usually, you would choose this ring to get early access to updates for apps, drivers, and security fixes and improvements. However, because new releases need to pass through every ring, this is another option you can use to make an early jump to the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update with minimal risks.

To get version 1709 early on your device, use the following steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Update & security.
  3. Click on Windows Insider program.
  4. Click the Get started button.

  1. Click the Link an account option.

  1. Select your Microsoft account, and click Continue.
  2. In the "What kind of content would you like to receive?" page, use the drop-down menu, and select Just fixes, apps, and drivers.

  1. Click the Confirm button.

  1. Click the Confirm button again to agree to the terms.
  2. Click the Restart Now button.

After completing the steps, when the update is ready before it's officially available, it'll download and install on your device automatically.

It's worth noting that feature updates usually appear in the Release Preview ring only a few days before it becomes officially available.

How to gracefully opt-out of the Windows Insider Program

Once the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is installed on your device, you may wish to gracefully opt out of the Windows Insider Program to prevent receiving buggy test previews of the next release, or to get early access to updates that may affect your experience.

Whether you enrolled your device in the Slow or Release Preview ring, you can use the same instructions to remove your device from the program. The only difference is that if you enrolled in the Release Preview ring, you won't receive anymore builds. If you enrolled in the Slow ring and then opted out, you'll continue to get test previews until the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is officially available.

To gracefully unenroll your device from the Windows Insider Program without having to reinstall Windows 10, use the following steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Update & security.
  3. Click on Windows Insider program.
  4. Click the Stop Insider Preview builds button.

  1. Select the Keep giving me builds until the next Windows release option.
  2. Click the Confirm button.

  1. Click the Restart Now button.

After your computer reboots, you can continue to use the new version of Windows 10 while still receiving follow up quality updates.

Wrapping things up

Although there are ways to make an early jump to a new version of Windows 10, the best way to get the update is to wait until it's automatically available to your device.

The main reason to wait is that no every device is fully compatible with the update, and this is why Microsoft rolls out feature updates slowly. Also, early on, Windows 10 could still have some issues that may affect your experience.

Are you already running the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update on your PC? Tell us in the comments.

More Windows 10 resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10, visit the following resources:

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.

24 Comments
  • What about Feature2?
    Registry hack?
  • Fast Ring on phone will get you feature2
  • So...Let's say one goes on release preview,  its pretty certian that one would not have any issues with their machines...but could still get the F/C/U early?
  • That has been my experience. My Surface book has been on RP since launch and I have had no issue outside of what public builds have. Plus, RP get's early app builds before any other ring. So, win, win? :) I have been tempted to go fast to get the update, but I am going to do what I always have done and wait for it to come to RP because I know that works well. (Watch it go to crap now that I am saying this...)
  • Xsled,  do you have fall update now?
  • I do not. It normally shows up just a few days ahead of public rollout. I am hoping any day now. 
  • No.  The article is incorrect.  If you choose Fast Ring, You are more likely to get a beta build for the next version, presently code named Redstone 4.  The correct selection is Slow Ring.  That is safe for getting the FCU that will be going to the public starting on the 17th.  Don't forget to switch back afterwards.
  • Fast is still getting RS3 builds normally. Skip Ahead is where the RS4 stuff is rolling out to.
  • That changes any day now.  The Insider team has sent out the warning that both branches are being merged now and a new RS4 build will go to all Fast Ring this week, possibly Wednesday.  Anyone changing to Fast Ring now can expect to be "trapped" in RS4 until RS4 is final in the Spring.  An update is about to be pushed out to change the registry to enable this change.  (a push does not use Windows Update)
  • Why would I do that?I'm trying to avoid any update as long as possible
  • Me too, because a large update like thet will reset eveything back to how Ms wants it, install more apps I do not want and also put the cortana directory I removed back in.  I have mine set for 360 days and i have also got thrid party software to stop it as well if it comes to the crunch.  
  • It's entirely possible this article wasn't written for you.
  • That's the best way to keep your OS unsafe and with bugs.
  • The article is incorrect.  The best way to get the Fall Creators Update is by choosing the Slow Ring.  Choosing the Fast Ring now will get the user a new RS4 beta build because Fast Ring is being switched over to RS4 builds THIS WEEK, probably Wednesday.  Slow Ring will continue to offer the FCU for a couple of months yet.  The blog about this change to the Rings and the immediacy of resuming the RS4 flights that have only been going to Skip Ahead insiders is in the Feedback Hub Announcements.  The information about timing is in tweets from Jason Howard, Dona Sarker, and Brandon LeBlanc sent out today.
  • The article has been updated to advise to use Slow Ring and reflects the most recent info from MSFT.  Thank you.
  • I'm sure ISO will be available this week, but if not once the 17th arrives the media creation tool will download the upgrade or create an ISO
  • When ISO files are releasing
  • No announcement yet on when a 16299.15 ISO will be posted on the Insider ISO page or for the Media Creation Tool.  It might be after the 17th.  Keep checking the Windows Insider ISO webpage.
  • Good article Mauro, thanks.
  • It looks like the latest ISO at this point is 16296--close! https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windowsinsiderpreviewa...  
  • This is a nice article, I'll bookmarkit in case Microsoft doesn't release the media creation tool to force upgrade as they did with Anniversary Update and Creators Update, as I'm not planning to use an ISO
  • I really hope they have one more build because actualy 16299.15 broke several things for me. Microphone input broken for cortana and touch keyboard dictation.
    Touch keyboard auto prediction (not auto predicting anything).
    Emoji Panel search doesn't work period. https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/insider/forum/insider_wintp-insider_... and https://aka.ms/Pb84hq And emoji panel search doens't work at all.
  • I have the same issue. HP Elitebook X360. Cortana listening is broken and Cortana opens over top of start menu when I click on start menu icon. I have to restart to fix menu issue.
  • "Keep giving me builds until the next Windows release" is not an option for me. I only see "Stop Insider builds completely." I would include a screenshot to verify but that does not appear to be possible.