The Windows Insider team announced in a tweet today that its Skip Ahead Insider and Insider for Business rings are now open. This indicates that we can expect a first 19H1 build, a preview for Windows 10 version 1903 in the very near future. The next Insider Skip Ahead build or two will be the same as normal Fast Ring builds, but I’d expect a first “real” 19H1 Skip Ahead build some time after mid-August. From there on out, there will be more and more differences between the Fast Ring and Skip Ahead builds with each new build, until the release of RS5 version 1809 when these two Insider rings will one again merge temporarily.
Skip Ahead is now open! #WindowsInsiders can now choose to “skip ahead” to the next feature update of Windows 10. Please note: Only a limited number of Insiders will be allowed to skip ahead and once that limit has been reached, Skip Ahead will be closed. pic.twitter.com/Uw1xvPntDf
— Windows Insider (@windowsinsider) July 23, 2018
Microsoft is now abandoning the Redstone codename, version 1809, with RS5 the last Redstone release. Moving ahead, the new codename 19H1 simply means first half of 2019. To get Skip Ahead 19H1 preview builds for early testing, switch to the Skip Ahead ring in the Windows Insider settings:
As with previous Skip Ahead rings, Microsoft will close the ring after a certain number of Insiders join it. Unfortunately, they do not disclose what that number is. For those of you who cannot join, and get the “Skip Ahead is full” message, there’s a simple workaround. Do exactly as instructed below. If history is any guide, this should work.
Close all open apps. Open both the Settings app and the registry editor. In the Settings app, open the Windows Insider settings page under Update & Security. Do not switch to Skip Ahead ring yet! Open the registry editor and browse to HKLM > SOFTWARE > Microsoft > WindowsSelfHost > Applicability. Double-click the string value ContentType and type the new value Skip, but do not click OK yet! Just leave the Edit String prompt open.
Switch back to the Settings app, and change the ring to Skip Ahead. Switch immediately back to the registry editor and click OK in the Edit String prompt to save the value. When that’s done, immediately restart your computer.
When you’ve returned to the desktop after the restart, check that the ring value now shows Skip (yellow highlight), and that values highlighted in blue are as shown in this screencap:
Personally, I must say I am already keenly awaiting the 19H1 preview builds. Having followed Windows 10’s evolution build by build since the first technical preview back in October 2014, I must say I am impressed how fast and interesting that evolution has been. I am sure the Insider team has some nice, functional surprises waiting for us Skippers.
That’s it for now. Hurry up, join the 19H1 Skip Ahead at least from one test virtual machine to secure your ringside seat.
Author: Kari Finn
A former Windows Insider MVP, Kari started in computing in the mid 80’s writing code for VAX / VMS systems. Since then, he’s worked in a variety of IT positions. He specializes in Windows image capture, customization, repair and deployment as well as Hyper-V virtualization. Kari is a proud Team Member at number #1 Windows site TenForums.com.