Last November, the Xbox team announced that the Xbox Preview Program would become the Xbox Insider Program, offering additional opportunities to provide feedback along the way. More importantly, we learned that the Xbox Insider Program would be open to all Xbox One users, unlike the Xbox Preview Program which has always been invite-only.

While we didn’t heard much about the Xbox Insider Program since then, it seems that Microsoft quietly made it official yesterday along the release of the the first wave of Xbox One features for the upcoming Creators Update. According to a recent post on the Xbox Insider Forums (you may not be able to see it if you’re not already a member of the Xbox Insider Program), the Xbox team has chosen to make the Xbox Insider Program consistent with the more popular Windows Insider program by dividing it into four different preview rings. Here are the details below:

  • Xbox One Update Preview Alpha – The first Preview ring, this group typically receives 2-3 new system updates per week during a Preview Update wave. Preview Alpha is the cutting edge, and users in this group receive access to new features and fixes as soon as possible at the expense of potential bugs.
  • Xbox One Update Preview Beta – The second Preview ring, this group typically receives 1-2 new system updates per week during a Preview Update wave. Preview Beta users receive frequent system updates and early access to new features and fixes, with somewhat less risk of encountering bugs.
  • Xbox One Update Preview Ring 3 – The third Preview ring, this group typically receives 2-3 new system updates per month during a Preview Update wave. Preview Ring 3 users receive infrequent system updates, and is suited for users who want early access to new features and fixes with less risk of encountering bugs.
  • Xbox One Update Preview Ring 4 – The fourth and final Preview ring, this group typically receives new system updates about once per month. Preview Ring 4 users receive system updates which are almost ready for public release, and thus receive the fewest system updates and are least likely to encounter bugs. In some cases, Preview Ring 4 users may also receive updated versions of the current publicly released build incorporating new fixes.


Read more: Xbox Insider program to get its own series of “Rings” | On MSFT