When Microsoft set a goal that it wanted Windows 10 on a billion devices in the next couple years, I'm not entirely sure it meant that all 1 billion of those devices would be running beta versions. But, then Microsoft has made it extremely easy to join the Insiders program directly in the Windows 10 UI – too easy, in my opinion.
During my attendance of the Windows 10 pre-launch event in NYC recently, I suggested to one of the Windows Insider folks that Microsoft may have made it too easy to join the elite beta club. "What do you mean?" he said. I told him that I really don't want my Dad or Mom, or any of my family, for that matter, to be able to so easily request to be part of a Windows beta program. He stared blankly for a second, collecting the enormity of the statement, and responded with a: "Hmmm…yeah, I wouldn't want my parents to be Insiders, either." And, that was the end of the conversation.
As we all know through experience, if you are perceived to have even the smallest amount of computer knowledge, you ARE your family's IT person. Whether or not Microsoft truly thought through the implications of IT folks supporting their families through beta cycles, it's clearly pretty easy to join the Windows Insider group if you know where to look. And, this option exists for every edition of Windows 10. I'd think that this option would be grayed-out for Home and Education editions, much like the auto-update feature for Windows Store apps, but that's not the case.
You can always opt-out, but unfortunately you may have to completely reinstall Windows 10 from scratch if you do. So, take careful consideration before joining, and make sure to warn your family members of the implications about running beta software, otherwise you may called upon to rebuild the entire fleet of PCs in your family.
How to do it…
Go to All Settings and tap or click on the Update & Security icon.
With Windows Update highlighted on the left, tap or click Advanced options.
On the Advanced options page you'll find a button to tap or click called Get Started in the Get Insider Builds area.
Windows 10 begins the process by providing a first warning message to help stave off those not prepared for the task. Tap or click the Next button to continue.
A final warning is presented – one last chance to curb your lust for beta builds. If you really, truly want to do this, tap or click the Confirm button.
To opt-out, just come back to this same spot and run through declining future Insider updates.