Microsoft requires Insiders to reinstall Windows 11 if they want to remain in 'rebooted' Dev Channel

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What you need to know

  • A new Canary Channel is being added to the Windows Insider Program.
  • Insiders in the Dev Channel are being automatically moved to the new channel, which is more unstable.
  • Insiders who wish to remain in the Dev Channel will need to reinstall Windows 11 to do so.

Microsoft has today announced that Insiders in the Dev Channel are being moved to a new, less stable testing channel called the Canary Channel, which will flight long-lead platform code working toward the next version of Windows. Unfortunately, this means Insiders who wish to stay on more stable Windows 11 Dev Channel builds are going to be forced to reinstall the OS to do so.

This is because the Dev Channel is moving to a lower build range, so Insiders in the Dev Channel currently won’t be able to upgrade to new builds that are released there, as those builds will be of a lower number than what Insiders are currently running. The Dev Channel is moving to a new 23000 range of builds, which is below the 25000 range currently in testing.

These changes are coming into effect as the company "reboots" the Dev Channel, albeit with the same goal of testing experimental and in-development features that aren't tied to a specific update and may never ship. The only notable change is that the underlying platform will now be more stable, as it won’t deviate much from the in-market version of Windows 11.

Insiders who are okay with remaining on the less stable Canary Channel can continue like normal. The new Canary Channel will flight builds that are “hot of the presses,” meaning builds will flight quite soon after being compiled internally. As a result, sometimes builds released to the Canary Channel won’t always have their changes and known issues documented.

If you do need to reinstall Windows 11, you can do so with a Windows 11 Insider ISO, which can be downloaded from here. You'll need to sign-in with a Microsoft account that is registered as a Windows Insider, and select a build that's lower than what's listed in the 25000 range.

We have a detailed guide for clean installing Windows 11, which you can follow if you're unfamiliar with the process.

Check out our in-depth coverage of today's Windows Insider Program news to learn more about these changes. Insiders in the Beta Channel and Release Preview Channel can continue as normal, as there are no changes being made to those channels.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter and Threads