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Windows 11 Insider Preview Offers Rare Opportunity To Leave Dev Channel

Windows 11
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Today's Windows 11 Insider build is a rare opportunity for those stuck in the Dev Channel to move to safer, more stable pastures. Build 22581 is the rare preview that is being flighted to both the Dev and Beta channels, providing an opportunity for Insiders in the Dev channel to drop down to the Beta channel if they so desire. If you want to slow down the ride, now's your chance.

Those who want to switch channels can go to Settings > Windows Update > Windows Insider Program, go to Insider settings, pick the Beta Channel. In the next release, you'll be in Beta.

It's rare that builds line up like this. When Microsoft switched to the Dev and Beta channels (opens in new tab), Microsoft detailed that these switches could only occur "occasionally." Think of it like as a solar eclipse or open enrollment. This window will close when

Those who stick to the Dev Channel will get the most cutting edge updates, including new concepts that might never actually ship, while the Beta Channel is a bit closer to what you'll actually see in final releases, and is likely a bit more stable.

Despite the fact that the build number is the same, it appears that some Dev users will get some of those far out updates now. "In this build, a limited set of Insiders will see the first of these experimental features as we explore additional ways to help people discover and get quick access to content they care about on the web with the Windows search box," the blog post on the latest Build reads.

Build 22581 also comes with a handful of new features, some of which might be familiar to Dev users, such as the tablet-friendly taskbar (albeit with some fixes), as well as some fixes to the Start menu, Focus and File Explorer.

Microsoft says it will send email reminders to members of the Dev Channel about this opportunity to ensure that they don't miss it. If you’re in the Beta Channel now and want to be o on the officially released version, Microsoft says you can change the channel to Release Preview now as well.

Andrew E. Freedman is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming. He also keeps up with the latest news. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Twitter: @FreedmanAE