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Microsoft is going to speed up Windows 10 Fast ring builds for reals this time

Earlier this week, Microsoft accidently let slip an internal announcement to the Windows Insider hub. The theme of the message was after feedback from users the Windows team will start to release more frequent Windows 10 builds to the Fast ring of the Windows Insider program.

More importantly, the message was an alert to people that if you do not want builds that are more unstable you should knock yourself down to the Slow ring release schedule.

At the time, we noted that this was posted in error, but yesterday Microsoft's Gabriel Aul told people to look for an updated announcement about those Faster rings. Now, that message is live in the Insider Hub, and it is worth a read.

The announcement remarks that the Windows team may have been "too conservative about pushing builds to the Fast ring for Windows Insider". It is a nice me__a culpa on something that many users have been expressing in social media, perhaps more prominently by Microsoft author and pundit Paul Thurrott.

Indeed, users have not seen a fresh build of the nascent OS in weeks, making the beta project a tad boring. The same can be said for the Windows Phone version of Windows 10, which is a thrilling experience for about 30 minutes. That build of the OS is so early that it does not make sense to use it daily due to some instability, laggy response times, and just lack of new features.

In this case, at least, Microsoft is listening to customer feedback. Not only are they more transparent about how builds are released, but now increasing the rate at which they reach our devices.

What you need to do

If you are a Windows 10 Insider, you are likely on the Fast ring. Up until now, the distinction between Fast and Slow rings is barely pronounced, but that is going to change sometime soon. As such, you should decide if you want more frequent – but less stable – OS updates to your phone or PC.

If you choose to go the Slow route, you will need to change that setting on your phone or computer.

Change to Slow ring on PC

  1. Settings  
  2. Update & recovery 
  3. Advanced options 
  4. 'Choose how preview builds are installed' select Slow. 

Change to Slow ring on Phone

  1. Open Windows Insider app 
  2. Tap 'Get preview builds' 
  3. Tap 'Microsoft account' (you will need to re-enter your credentials) 
  4. Choose Slow ring 
  5. Accept terms and conditions 

Of course, since you are reading this on Windows Central, we suspect many of you are sticking with Fast ring. Still, if you have Windows 10 on various devices, it may be good to have comparisons between the two update channels, when there finally is a distinction.

How fast is fast?

The big question for many is what does 'Fast is about to get faster' mean. Are we talking daily builds, weekly, bi-weekly, or no set schedule just "moar." It is too early to tell at this point what Microsoft's intentions are, and they still need to tread cautiously. Phones or PCs locking up due to a bad install could be just as bad a PR disaster as not enough updates, which is the reason for the original conservative schedule.

Those enthusiasts in the Insider program for phone and PC will at least have more to feedback to give to Microsoft. With more updates comes new features and updated designs, giving the community a little more to chew on.

The other big question is when is the next update? Gabriel Aul has been quiet so far on Twitter, although it is still early in Redmond. Seeing as they just laid the groundwork for faster updates, we could imagine something coming down the pike very soon.

Ludicrous speed

Finally, the question if Microsoft should have a canary channel for Windows 10 builds is still being considered. The Fast ring for Windows 10 Insiders will be rapider, but it does not appear that Microsoft is ready to go to the extreme of daily updates. However, they may yet create a third channel for those who want to push the boundaries. Aul responded to a tweet noting the possibility:

"Still considering new rings, but for now we've decided to try to increase pace of Fast, and that means letting people know first."

We should remember that this whole Insider project is still very much a work in progress, something that Microsoft has never done before. As a result, we understand some of their trepidation and to our readers, we suggest some patience to see how this program pans out over the next few months. After all, Windows Insider is more than just Windows 10. If successful, the Insider program is likely to become a permanent tool for Microsoft to use in future OS updates.

Daniel Rubino
Executive Editor

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

68 Comments
  • I was just thinking for new W10TP build , and here we get a article about it ! :)
  • And how fast is 'for real'?
  • I dont know man but microsoft is taking too much time. The very early build of W10TP doesnt have any new features too . Its just buggy with no new features
  • Really? No new features at all?
  • It has. Hopefully MS decides to uninsider you. It seems you can't be pleased anyway.
  • Dude, do you want them to release all features of Windows 10 in a TP so that Google and Samsung can go and steal their ideas?
  • You're just as stupid as him.   Microsoft isn't holding features back for the sake of preventing competition from copying, they have in the TP, what was considered ready enough for public viewing at the time.
  • It can't be too fast because it seems like I read this news weeks ago and i'm still using the same build. :/ Just saying, that with this kind of news you'd expect a BAM, download it now button.
  • Being a windows phone user I really feel left pretty behind. We should deserve more than promises. At least that buggy build.
  • For reals*
  • I want
  • Stupid question - you are unable to change which method of delivery if there is "no builds" available for the phone, correct?
  • Just tap the Microsoft Account, relogin and then choose, like the directions note.
  • That only works if you have a phone that is part of the preview build.  When I tap Microsoft Account, relogin, it just says "no builds".  You don't get to the point to be able to choose.
  • It's Friday and my brain is already fried...  Doing the exact instructions above provides me the same "no builds" screen.
  • Oh, right..if not enrolled/already on W10, then you have to wait until there is a release for your phone.
  • http://sadtrombone.com/?play=true
  • As they are talking about fast tracks on updates, any updates on phones that dont even have it yet ?
  • Its only for devices with the preview installed.
  • Its almost a month since the last build was released for WPs
  • OMG almost a month! ;) :P
  • LOL. South park should make an episode of fan boys complaining about Windows tech preview builds
  • A lot of us still dont have it be lucky you have it...
  • Icon's users are waiting in the queue
    ...
  • Yep
  • I had it on my icon for about a week but then reverted back to PFD 8.1 with denim. Was missing my key things and had lag, which is expected, I had mine on the fast track.
  • Interesting, but this was kinda obvious. They had to speed up process cuz software still hasn't reached its beta stage. Last year we had 8.1 which was more stable so updates were not that kinda fast. Win 10 needs to develop faster.
  • We need the TP to start with... 1520.
  • I'm going to put my 1520 on slow when it's available, leave the surface and 635 on fast. Will probably keep the latest iso on my Zalman CD Emulator just in case.
  • Hopefully we can get the TP this week.... And, it'll be more refined, and have more features.
    .....
    I don't really hear anyone complaining about any major issues, though... So I'm not gonna hesitate to install it...
  • Hey Microsoft! Don't rush things just to please a few people who have no patients. Take your time and build the right and best thing around. Just don't dilly dally. :o) 
  • Maybe those ppl aren't good doctors :p
  • *slow clap
  • u rock!  
  • Fast is about to get faster ;)
  • Ludicrooooooouuuuuuuuuussssss
  • Burning Bridges EP is pretty good.
  • They've gone plaid!
  • I'm confused. Are we talking here about windows 10, windows phone 10, or both? Theres a phone in the heading of this article...
  • The article says both Windows and Windows Phone.
  • Still waiting for the dev preview build before I update.
  • Wow, no "seems faster" comments yet? One of the very few occassions where it would finally make sense...
  • Seems faster
  • "Rapider" I don't know why that word bugs me, but it does. Not that anyone should be beholden to my linguistic pet peeves. But hooray, faster (or "more rapid") updates for the 830 might make up for the pangs of remorse I feel every time I look at the 640XL.
  • Rapidest
  • Rapidier
  • We need wp10 on our 930/1520 first....Developers should be able to test future top Universal app in advance, so fast ring users will find new awesome apps to play with too and we could evaluate how the new features are used ..
  • What ever happened to Rick Moranis?
  • Working in a GAP in Philadelphia.
  • Just waiting for the Partition Stitching feature so I can get this on my Lumia 920.
  • Does anyone know how to disable some updates? Automatic update always updates my graphics driver to some unstable version. I downgrade it and everything is fine... but then Windows updates it again!
  • In the preview you can't doable automatic updates, but may be able to block an update using the old interface, Aul showed someone how to do it, he said only use it for that since it is thing away and could leave you unserviceable if used in a way they are not testing.
  • Seems faster! Ok, I know where the exit is...
  • Soon
  • Soon™
  • That's cool
  • Fast! The speed that we experienced was months delayed for denim.
    No doubt for the windows phone 10 release on Dec 2015 globally. We believe all WP users will be UNDERSTOOD AND FORGIVE the delays. Take ur time Microsoft, we have a lot of choices of other OEM after summer.
  • Now one can say ,seems faster. :)
  • I just want to test Spartan the browser not the edge engine only like we are able to do now.
  • Loved Spaceballs !  There is a rumor going out for a 2nd movie... It must be Spaceballs 2: The search for more money  :)
  • Can't wait!
  • It is time to up the number of phones with access to the builds. I remember when the fear was that Windows 10 would not come to low end phones at all. Imagine the shock felt by those of us with the current high end phones when it came to only low end phones. To be honest I have a great 920 that should have been a test phone. It makes sense not to put it on your daily driver, but sadly that is not an option. As for speed of releases. Having my PC set for fast seems like having a light switch in your house that does nothing. I keep flicking the switch but nothing happens. We are still waiting for features shown in January. Enough with the videos of how happy we will be with the new Office on phone, updated calendar, new mapping, and all the other features that would distinguish the OS from the current. Let us decide.
  • Your not missing anything with the preview for phones, it is far to buggy to be used as a daily driver, best get yourself a low end phone and check it out that way. At least you avoid the risk of ending up with a rather expensive paperweight.
  • +1, used it for a week on my Icon.
  • Yeah im a bit peeved that im enrolled in the program, but unable to install on my phone or tablet. Im not about to do a wipe of my tablet to install, so im stuck waiting to test on my phone.
  • Putting a fart can on a Honda...hmmm seems faster, I guess that's the same thing.
  • Seems rapider
  • Folks some Microsoft insiders say Microsoft headquarters wants Windows 10 on Desktop, laptops and full Windows OS tablets by the 2015 school openning season. RTM (release to Market) to MS- OEM Partners must be in August for them to test it and put it on their Desktops, Laptops and full Windows OS Tablets. In 4 and a half months  Windows 10 has to be ready freddy for the big time. Can they do it ? will they make it good enough for folks in the next four and a half months TA DAA. I of course think they can do it they only have to fix a few things to have it good enough to use on a daily bases. Folks what do you think .