On June 28th, Microsoft launched the first Windows 11 Insider build. It features some changes and improvements that we didn’t see in the leaked Windows 11 ISO. Anyone can join the Windows Insider program to install this build on their PC, though Microsoft’s hardware requirements exclude many older systems.
Note: Bear in mind that this is pre-release software. Microsoft itself says that the Windows 11 Insider build has bugs and flaws. As with all beta operating systems, you probably shouldn’t use this on your primary PC.
Before you download the Windows 11 Insider build, you should check that your PC’s hardware is up to task. Microsoft recently clarified the Windows 11 hardware (well, kind of clarified it) in a blog post, stating that all Windows 11 systems must have 8th gen Intel or AMD Zen 2 chips and TPM hardware. The company has temporarily disabled its compatibility tool, so if you don’t know your system’s specs, you’ll have to check them manually. (Some Insider members in the Dev channel are exempt from hardware requirements.)
Once you’ve checked that your PC is up to scuff, you should join the Windows Insider program. After joining, go into your PC’s Settings, go to “Updates & Security,” and enter “Windows Insider” to link your PC with your Insider account. Then, check for updates in the Windows Insider settings to download Windows 11 (a notification will tell you if your PC isn’t eligible).
While Teams integration, Android app support, and several other features are still missing from Windows 11, this Insider build has some features that weren’t in the leaked build. The popular new Snap features are here, plus an overhauled Settings section with a permanent sidebar that makes it easier to navigate your PC’s settings.
If you choose to download the Windows 11 preview, have fun! Several changes will come between now and the end of the year, and you’ll have a front row seat to experience them before everyone else.