What is the Xbox Insider Programme?

Heidi Nicholas - March 13th 2022

Have you seen the Xbox Wire blog filling up with posts about Xbox Insider release notes? Seen other players chatting about the latest update or new feature, and wondered what it was all about? We've put together a brief guide all about the Xbox Insider Programme, which we hope will answer your questions.

What is the Xbox Insider Programme?

The Xbox Insider Programme was created as a way to allow Xbox fans to share their feedback, usually on Xbox system updates and console builds, but also sometimes on games or features; for instance, recently Xbox Insiders were invited to participate in testing for Minecraft Preview (the expanded version of Minecraft’s Bedrock Beta programme). You gain Xbox Insider XP by giving feedback and completing surveys, and as your XP grows, you can access more Insider previews.

How do I join the Xbox Insider Programme?

You can download the Xbox Insider Hub app on your Xbox console by heading to the store and searching for “insider,” then installing the Xbox Insider bundle, which includes the Report a problem app as well. You’ll also need to accept the Xbox Insider Programme agreement when starting up the Xbox Insider Hub.

What are the benefits of the Xbox Insider Programme?

Microsoft advertises the benefits of the Xbox Insider Programme as an opportunity for Xbox Insiders to experience new features first, and to help shape these features by providing feedback. For instance, the Xbox OS Update Preview is available for everyone to join, but the various Preview rings you can join will change depending on the amount of Xbox Insider XP you have and your level of participation with the Xbox Insider Hub. Those who provide detailed and expansive feedback might be invited to the Alpha Skip-Ahead ring, which involves viewing updates that are way ahead of release. Because Alpha Skip-Ahead gives access to updates so early, you might see features that aren’t available in other rings. The Alpha ring, too, is invite-only, and Microsoft says this ring “receives updates at the earliest point in the preview window.” The Beta ring is available to those who have been with the Xbox Insider programme for at least three months, with at least an Xbox Insider XP Level of 5. The Delta ring can be accessed by those who have been an Xbox Insider for at least a month and who have an Xbox Insider Level of 2. Lastly, there’s the Omega ring, which is open to everyone. If you’ve been with the Xbox Insider programme for a while, and participate in surveys or with detailed feedback, you’re more likely to be invited to the Alpha or Alpha Skip-Ahead ring, and therefore get the earliest access to new features.

On the flip side, those Preview rings have the earliest iterations of those features, and so have a higher risk of encountering bugs and issues. Plus, you’re likely to need more updates. If you’ve got access to more than one Preview ring but are worried about bugs and stability issues, you can choose to stick with a different ring.

How do I leave the Xbox Insider Programme?

If you’re just looking to leave a preview, you can do so by heading to Previews in the Xbox Insider Hub, selecting the preview you’re looking to leave, choosing Manage, and then Leave Preview.

If you’re looking to leave the Xbox Insider Programme itself, you can take your console out of the programme by heading to Settings in the Xbox Insider Hub, then Manage Devices, and then choosing Done after selecting your console. You can close your account by heading to Settings in the Xbox Insider Hub, then Manage account and Close account.