Skip Ahead – Go Directly to Windows 10 Redstone 4

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (also known as Redstone 3) will be released soon. This fall, Microsoft will roll out version 1709 after polishing its features and eliminating bugs. For those who like to stay in touch with Windows development, the Redmond giant introduced a new option for Windows Insiders - Skip Ahead.

Development of Redstone 3 is nearly at an end, so for Insiders who want to remain on the cutting edge of developer builds, new builds from the Redstone 3 branch are literally boring. A new Skip Ahead option gives them a chance to 'skip ahead' and go directly to the future Redstone 4 branch right now.

The official announcement of the feature states the following.

To stabilize the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update for release, we have "forked" the release into its own branch we call "RS3_RELEASE". Many Windows Insiders will recall we did the same thing for the Windows 10 Creators Update when we started flighting builds from the "RS2_RELEASE" branch. Going forward, Windows Insiders in the Fast ring will continue to get builds for the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update from this branch. However, Windows Insiders who choose to skip ahead will receive builds from the RS_PRERELEASE branch.
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.

Since this fork just occurred, the builds from the RS_PRERELEASE and RS3_RELEASE branches will be virtually identical. But at some point in the future, build numbers in the RS_PRERELEASE branch will jump ahead, engineering teams will start checking in new code, and things diverge. When this happens -- you will not be able to leave Skip Ahead and go back to builds from the RS3_RELEASE branch without reinstalling Windows. Once the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is released to the general public, this skip ahead option will go away and the Fast ring will be back to receiving builds from the RS_PRERELEASE branch for the next Windows 10 release and inbox app updates from the Store will be fully restored to all Windows Insiders in the Fast and Slow rings.

To Skip Ahead to the next release of Windows 10, you can do the following.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to Update & security -> Windows Insider Program.
  3. On the right, select Skip ahead to the next Windows release in the drop down list under What kind of content would you like to receive?.

The same can be configured with a Registry tweak.

Skip Ahead to the next release with a Registry tweak

You need to sign in as Administrator before proceeding.

  1. Open the Registry Editor app.
  2. Go to the following Registry key.

    See how to go to a Registry key with one click.

  3. On the right, modify or create a new string value "UIContentType". Set it to one of the following values.
    Active = Stay in active RS3_RELEASE branch
    Skip = Skip ahead to RS_PRERELEASE branch (Redstone 4 as of this writing).
  4. Now, modify the string value UIRing. Set it to WIF to switch the update branch to the Fast Ring.
  5. Restart Windows 10.

That's it.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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