Before you install Windows 10 Insider Preview

A preview for PC experts

Windows 10 Insider Preview is here today, but it’s a long way from done. We’re going to make it faster, better, more fun at parties…you get the idea. Join the Windows Insider Program to make sure you get all the new features that are on the way. If you’re okay with a moving target and don’t want to miss out on the latest stuff, keep reading. Insider Preview could be just your thing.

Download and install the preview only if you

  • Want to try out software that’s still in development and like sharing your opinion about it.
  • Don’t mind lots of updates or a UI design that might change significantly over time.
  • Really know your way around a PC and feel comfortable troubleshooting problems, backing up data, formatting a hard drive, installing an operating system from scratch, or restoring your old one if necessary.
  • Know what an ISO file is and how to use it.
  • Aren’t installing it on your everyday computer.
We’re not kidding about the expert thing. So if you think BIOS is a new plant-based fuel, Insider Preview may not be right for you.

Things to keep in mind

Unexpected PC crashes could damage or even delete your files, so you should back up everything. Some printers and other hardware might not work, and some software might not install or work correctly, including antivirus or security programs. You might also have trouble connecting to home or corporate networks.
Some installed apps might not yet work as expected or might not be available in your country or region. For example, Cortana is currently only available in English (United States), English (United Kingdom), Chinese (Simplified), German (Germany), French (France), Italian, and Spanish (Spain). To be able to use Cortana, the country or region for your system must be set to one of the available languages, and you also need to have installed that language’s version of Insider Preview. In addition, the Cortana features that are available in one language might be different from those that are available in another.
Also, if your PC runs into problems, Microsoft will likely examine your system files. If the privacy of your system files is a concern, consider using a different PC. For more info, read our privacy statement.

What does it work with?

Insider Preview should work with the same devices and programs that work with Windows 8.1, but you might need to update or reinstall some of them.
Drivers for basic functions like storage, networking, input, and display come with Windows. These drivers allow you to complete the Windows installation and connect to the Internet. You might be able to get more drivers from Windows Update.
For compatibility info, see the Windows 8.1 Compatibility Center.

If you use a mouse and keyboard

Your apps and devices should work as expected, though of course there will be exceptions. We’d love to know what you think about how the new Windows works with mouse and keyboard and whether it provides the best of new and familiar functionality for Windows and apps.

If you have a touch PC

Insider Preview works with touch, but some things will be rough and unfinished. More touch-friendly improvements are on the way. In the meantime, let us know what it’s like to interact with Windows and apps in the preview.

If you want to go back to your previous operating system

You’ll need to reinstall your version of Windows from the recovery or installation media that came with your PC (typically DVD media). If you don’t have recovery media:
  • For Windows 7 or Windows Vista: Before you update, you might be able to create recovery media from a recovery partition on your PC using software provided by your PC manufacturer. Check the support section of your PC manufacturer’s website for more info.
  • For Windows 8.1 or Windows 8: You might be able to create a USB recovery drive. For more info, see Create a USB recovery drive. If you didn’t create a USB recovery drive before you installed the preview, you can create installation media for Windows 8.1.

Windows 10 Insider Preview may be substantially modified before it’s commercially released. Microsoft makes no warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information provided here. Some product features and functionality may require additional hardware or software.

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