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Windows 11 Insiders might be trapped in the Dev channel

Windows 11 logo in front of the new wallpaper
(Image credit: Microsoft)

The process to transition from Windows 10 to Windows 11 has been fairly painless so far for members of the Windows Insider Program

This could be about to change however, after a message was issued to members warning them that potentially unstable, experimental builds are planned for testing in the Dev channel of the insider program, with a recommendation that users who didn't wish to test these upcoming features should migrate over to the Beta channel.

As reported by MSPoweruser (who picked up the issue from the Italian website Htnovo), a few folks who have attempted this discovered that they were unable to make the switch due to the typically selectable options being greyed out.

Windows 11 Insider channel with greyed out options

(Image credit: Microsoft / Htnovo)

There doesn't appear to be an official solution to the issue yet, and it's noted that a previously known method for forcing your system to run Windows 11 on your system (and manually select your channel in the process) also doesn't allow users in this current predicament to switch to the Beta channel either.

We have reached out to Microsoft for comment and to request an official workaround for those affected.


Analysis: Don't panic, this is normal

While inconvenient, experiencing issues in a public testing program is an expected part of participation. It's likely that a fix is currently being developed, but discoveries like these should be taken as a reassurance rather than a concern.

After all, it's better that software errors and bugs occur in a contained environment with willing participants rather than cause mass issues after a public release. This also indicates that an official release date for Windows 11 might be just around the corner, given that these unstable tests are for a planned update for Windows 11  due in the second half of 2022, rather than the main OS itself. 

The rumor mill is working on the assumption that Windows 11 could emerge in October at some point, with evidence coming from various leaks including Microsoft’s schedule for driver submissions and a Walmart product listing, with October 19 being the current speculated date for the public release.

Jess Weatherbed

Jess is TechRadar's Computing writer, covering hardware, PC gaming and peripherals. She also likes to dabble in digital art and can often be found playing games of both the PC and Tabletop variety, occasionally streaming to the disappointment of everyone.