Windows Insiders to Skip Ahead and Test the Next version of Windows 10

If you are a Windows Insider and are currently on Windows 10 build 16241, you will see a new drop-down option called “Skip ahead to the next Windows release” in Windows Insider Program Settings, see below:

Microsoft explained a bit more in an announcement through the Feedback Hub, an app inside Windows 10.

“We are now at the stage in the development cycle for the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update where we’re working hard to bash all the bugs and stabilize so it’s the best Windows 10 release yet for all our customers. As we work to prepare the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update for the world, our engineering teams are beginning work on the next release of Windows 10 from our Development Branch.”

This reveals two things to me:

One, it hints that the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is pretty much feature complete and is now in the final stages of development.

And two, insiders who wish to move on to the next version of Windows 10 after the Fall Creators Update can now select this option to start testing it out.

Open Settings app, head over to Updates & security > Windows Insider Program and change the settings under “What kind of content would you like to receive?” to “Skip ahead to the next Windows release.”

The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is now forked into its own branch named “RS3_RELEASE” while the next release, code-named as “Redstone 4”, will be branched to “RS_PRERELEASE“.

To summarize:

  • Fast ring: Builds from RS3_RELEASE branch with no inbox app updates.
  • Fast ring + Skip Ahead: Builds from RS_PRERELEASE with inbox app updates from the Store.

Microsoft also mentioned that there will be a limit as to how many Windows Insiders can skip ahead to keep enough insiders staying in the Fast ring helping Microsoft get the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update ready. Once the limit is met, the UI shown above will notify Windows Insiders trying to choose to skip ahead that the door has been closed.

Lastly, if you do want to skip ahead, be prepared that the build is going to rough and less stable.