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You can get the Windows 11 right now — here's how.

Do you want to upgrade to the final version of Windows 11 before October 5? Here's how.

Microsoft is expected to begin the slow rollout of Windows 11 on October 5. However, since the new version has already been finalized, you can download it early using the Windows Insider Program.

The Windows Insider Program is a testing program designed for developers to explore new features and prepare their apps for the latest version. But it's also open to anyone who wants to provide feedback and help shape the future of the OS. The program is available in three different readiness levels (Dev, Beta, and Release Preview Channels) to get hands-on with the improvements and submit feedback. However, since the final version has to pass through all the channels, you can use the Release Preview Channel to upgrade a compatible computer before it is generally available.

In this Windows 11 guide, we will walk you through the steps of downloading the final release of the new version of thge OS ahead of the October 5 release.

How to install Windows 11 using Insider Program

The Release Preview Channel always features the final release of a new update for Windows. However, since this is still a pre-release, there is a small risk of issues that Microsoft usually patches before making the new version generally available.

Warning: This is a friendly reminder that modifying an installation of Windows can negatively impact your current setup. We recommend creating a temporary backup before proceeding as a precaution.

To enroll a computer in the Windows Insider Program to upgrade to Windows 11 before anyone else, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Update & Security.
  3. Click on Windows Insider Program.
  4. Click the Get started button.

  5. Click the Link an account button.

  6. Select your Microsoft account from the list.
  7. Click the Continue button.
  8. Under the "Pick your Insider settings" section, select the Release Preview Channel option.

  9. Click the Confirm button.
  10. Click the Confirm button one more time to agree to the terms.

  11. Click the Restart now button.
  12. Open Settings.
  13. Click on Update & Security.
  14. Click on Windows Update.
  15. Click the Check for updates button.
  16. Click the Download and install option to trigger the upgrade.

  17. Click the Restart now button.

Once you complete the steps, Windows 11 will install on the computer.

Switch to the Beta Channel

If the final version is already available in the Release Preview Channel, but it does not appear on Windows Update, you can try to switch to the Beta Channel to download the update. However, if you receive a message that your computer won't run Windows 11 in the Windows Insider Program settings, you won't be able use these methods to upgrade.

To change the Windows Insider Program settings, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Update & Security.
  3. Click on Windows Insider Program.
  4. Under the "Pick your Insider settings" section, click the current option (Release Preview Channel).
  5. Select the Beta Channel option.

  6. Restart the device.
  7. Open Settings.
  8. Click on Update & Security.
  9. Click on Windows Update.
  10. Click the Check for updates button.
  11. Click the Download and install option to trigger the upgrade.

  12. Click the Restart now button.

After you complete the steps, the device should now download and install the new feature update.

Opt-out from the Windows Insider Program

After the upgrade, you can unenroll the device from the program to stop future preview downloads for the next update of Windows.

To stop receiving Windows 11 builds, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Windows Update.
  3. Click the Windows Insider Program page on the right side.
  4. Click the "Stop getting preview builds" section setting.
  5. Turn on the Unenroll this device when the next version of Windows release toggle switch.

Once you complete the steps and the new version is generally available, the device will no longer download previews automatically. However, it'll receive maintenance updates for as long as the release is supported.

Although you can use these instructions to upgrade as soon as Windows 11 is ready, usually, it takes months before a new version becomes fully available, and this version won't be fully available until the second half of 2022. As a result, to avoid problems, it's recommended to wait until the update to Windows 11 becomes available automatically through Windows Update.

More Windows resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10 and Windows 11, visit the following resources:

You can change the search engine on Microsoft Edge — here's how

If you don't like Bing, this guide shows you the steps to set another default search engine on Microsoft Edge.

Microsoft Edge comes with Bing as the default search engine, but even though Microsoft's engine provides a great search experience, it's not for everyone.

If you are moving from Chrome, and you want to keep using Google as your default engine, or you prefer something different (such as DuckDuckGo, Yahoo, Ask, etc.), Microsoft Edge includes an option to set another search engine. The only caveat is to know where to find the option since it is buried deep inside the settings.

In this Windows 10 guide, we will walk you through the steps to change the default search engine on Microsoft Edge for Windows and other platforms.

How to change default search engine on Microsoft Edge

To change the default search engine on Microsoft Edge, use these steps:

  1. Open Microsoft Edge.
  2. Click the Settings and more (three-dotted) button from the top-right corner.
  3. Click the Settings option.

  4. Click on Privacy, search, and services.
  5. Under the "Services" section, click the Address bar and search setting.

  6. Use the "Search engine used in the address bar" drop-down menu and select the new default search engine — for example, DuckDuckGo, Google, Yahoo!, or Bing (default).

  7. (Optional) Use the "Search on new tabs uses search box or address bar" drop-down menu and select:

    • Address bar — when typing a query in the search box, the search will move to the address bar.
    • Search box — when typing a query in the search box, the search will continue from the search box.

Once you complete the steps, you should be able to open a new tab and search from the address bar with the new default search engine.

How to set custom search engine on Microsoft Edge

If you prefer a different search engine on Edge, you'd need to add it manually with these steps:

  1. Open Microsoft Edge.
  2. Click the Settings and more (three-dotted) button from the top-right corner.
  3. Click the Settings option.

  4. Click on Privacy, search, and services.
  5. Under the "Services" section, click the Address bar and search setting.

  6. Click the Manage search engines option.

    Quick tip: While on this page, if you have search engines you do not use, you can always click the button on the right and select the Remove option to delete them.

  7. Click the Add button from the top-right corner.
  8. Specify a descriptive name for the option — for example, DuckDuckGo.
  9. Specify any keyword to comply with the requirement — for example, DuckDuckGo.
  10. Specify the exact search engine string — for example, to make DuckDuckGo the new default the string should look like this: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=%s or http://google.com/search?q=%s to use Google.

  11. Click the Add button.
  12. Click the search engine three-dotted button and select the Make default option.

After you complete the steps, as you enter a new query in the address bar, the search should happen with the new engine you have configured. The new option should also appear in the "Search engine used in the address bar" drop-down menu in the "Address bar" settings page.

We're focusing this guide on Windows 10, but these instructions should also work on the previous version of Windows, Windows 11, and other supported platforms like macOS.

More Windows resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10 and Windows 11, visit the following resources:

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