How to get the latest preview builds in Windows 10

The technical preview of Microsoft’s latest creation has been out for almost a week now and a bunch of eager geeks have been playing with Windows 10 in Virtualbox.  But the biggest question now is: how can we get the latest preview builds from Microsoft?

On page 2 of 10 in the Windows Technical Preview quick reference guide, Microsoft claims that “you’ll get the latest Windows preview builds as soon as their available” but what does that mean?  How do we actually get the latest builds?

Today, I want to show you a clever registry hack that should give you access to the latest builds directly from within the OS.

Follow your humble leader; Vonnie has your back. lol

Boot up Windows 10 technical preview and then kick open the registry.

We’re going to do two main things:

  1. Add two registry keys
  2. Change the preview build source name

Let’s get started.

Adding the Registry keys

Press the Windows Logo Key with the letter w and type:

regedit

Launching Regedit in Windows 10

Now browse down to the following key:

Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsSelfHost\Applicability

You’re in the right place if you see this path in the bottom status bar of the Registry Editor.

Adding keys to the registry in Windows 10

We’re going to add two DWORDS:

  • ThresholdInternal
  • ThresholdOptedIn

In the left pane, right click the Applicability key and mouse your way to New and click DWORD (32-bit) Value from the flyout menu.

Name the DWORDS ThresholdInternal and ThresholdOptedIn accordingly.

You should have two new DWORDS in the right pane now.

Double-click each one and make sure the Value data field is set to 1 not zero.

Editing the ThresholdInternal and ThresholdOptedIn values

That’s it.  

You don’t need to do the reboot dance or logout and login again; just press the Windows Key + w and type:

recovery options

You should notice a shiny new Preview Builds option sitting between Windows Update and File History.

Windows 10 Update and Recovery Preview Builds

Nice.

You’ll see a new screen that lets you choose how fast your get the latest preview builds, pick where the builds come from and even check for new builds on demand.

Under Choose how fast you’d like to get new preview builds.  Choosing to get them faster might mean there are more bugs change it to Fast.

Next, click the Change branch button.

We need to change the Get preview builds value from fbl_release to WINMain.

Note that the first four characters are capitalized.  If you type lowercase letters it won’t work.

Change branch of the preview builds

After you click the Save button click the Check Now button on the previous screen.

You’ll notice that the red warning that said: No new preview build was found, please try again later is replaced with Download new preview build.

Download Windows 10 Preview builds

Now you’re all set.

The only problem is when you actually attempt to download the new build you’ll see an error that says:

Failed to download the new preview build, please try again later. 0x80246017

Failed to download the new preview build, please try again later.  0x80246017

Hopefully, Microsoft will start pushing the code through the WINMain branch soon but right now it doesn’t seem to have anything.

If it ever starts to work, I suggest pressing the right Ctrl key + t before downloading the build to create a VirtualBox snapshot.  That way if the latest build kills your box, you can rollback and relax.

If you know any more about downloading the Windows 10 preview builds, please share in the comments below!

About

Connect with Vonnie on Twitter

Posted in Windows, Windows 10 Tagged with: ,
  • Gabriel Aul

    Sorry Vonnie, this doesn’t actually work. In fact it will break people’s ability to get the next update when it does come out since any system with this set will no longer be targeted. This is an internal only setting. I’m afraid the only way to see the next build before the rest of the Windows Insiders do is to become a Microsoft employee 🙂

    • Christopher Moor

      Ahhh bummer 🙂

      • Christopher Moor

        Yep, it’s busted. Even removing the changes it doesn’t work. But then again, the Preview Builds never had shown up in Update and Recovery. So something went wrong on initial installation that brought me here when 9879 was available.

  • Pingback: Догфуд для инсайдеров – Вадим Стеркин()

  • Ronin van der Werke

    I don’t have the WindowsSelfhost folder in reg-edit