Insider preview for Microsoft HoloLens

Welcome to the latest Insider Preview builds for HoloLens! It's simple to get started and provide valuable feedback for our next major operating system update for HoloLens.

Windows Insider Release Notes

Install Apps on HoloLens 2 via App Installer

We will ship the app installer capability soon after our Windows Holographic, version 20H2 update. We are adding a new capability (App Installer) to allow you to install applications more seamlessly on your HoloLens 2 devices. The feature will be on by default for unmanaged devices. To prevent disruption to enterprises, app installer will be not be available for managed devices at this time.

A device is considered “managed” if any of the following are true:

You are now able to install Apps without needing to enable Developer Mode or using Device Portal. Simply download (over USB or through Edge) the Appx Bundle to your device and navigate to the Appx Bundle in the File Explorer to be prompted to kick off the installation. Alternatively, initiate an install from a web page. Just like apps you install from the Microsoft Store or sideload using MDM’s LOB App deployment capability, apps need to be digitally signed with the Sign Tool and the certificate used to sign must be trusted by the HoloLens device before the app can be deployed.

Application install instructions.

  1. Ensure that your device is not considered managed
  2. Ensure that your HoloLens 2 device is powered on and connected to your PC
  3. Ensure that you are signed into the HoloLens 2 device
  4. On your PC navigate to your custom app, and copy yourapp.appxbundle to yourdevicename\Internal Storage\Downloads. After you’ve finished copying your file you can disconnect your device
  5. From your HoloLens 2 device Open the Start Menu, select All apps and launch the File Explorer app.
  6. Navigate to the Downloads folder. You may need to on the left panel of the app select This device first, then navigate to Downloads.
  7. Select the yourapp.appxbundle file.
  8. The App Installer will launch. Select the Install button to install your app. The installed app will automatically launch upon completion of installation.

You can find sample apps on Windows Universal Samples GitHub to test this flow.

Read about the full process of installing apps on HoloLens 2 with the App Installer.

Installing MRTK Examples via App Installer

Start receiving Insider builds

Note

If you haven’t updated recently, please reboot your device to update state and get the latest build.

  • The “Reboot device” voice command works well.
  • You can also choose the restart button in Settings/Windows Insider Program.

We had a bug on the back-end that you may have encountered and this will get you back on track.

On a HoloLens 2 device go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Insider Program and select Get started. Link the account you used to register as a Windows Insider.

Windows insider is now moving to Channels. The Fast ring will become the Dev Channel, the Slow ring will become the Beta Channel, and the Release Preview ring will become the Release Preview Channel. Here is what that mapping looks like:

Windows Insider Channels explanation

For more information, see Introducing Windows Insider Channels on Windows Blogs.

Then, select Active development of Windows, choose whether you'd like to receive Dev Channel or Beta Channel builds, and review the program terms.

Select Confirm > Restart Now to finish up. After your device has rebooted, go to Settings > Update & Security > Check for updates to get the latest build.

FFU download and flash directions

To test with a flight signed ffu, you first have to flight unlock your device prior to flashing the flight signed ffu.

  1. On PC:

    1. Download ffu to your PC from https://aka.ms/hololenspreviewdownload.

    2. Install ARC (Advanced Recovery Companion) from the Microsoft Store: https://www.microsoft.com/store/productId/9P74Z35SFRS8

  2. On HoloLens - Flight Unlock: Open Settings > Update & Security > Windows Insider Program then sign up, reboot device.

  3. Flash FFU - Now you can flash the flight signed FFU using ARC.

Provide feedback and report issues

Please use the Feedback Hub app on your HoloLens to provide feedback and report issues. Using Feedback Hub ensures that all necessary diagnostics information is included to help our engineers quickly debug and resolve the problem. Issues with the Chinese and Japanese version of HoloLens should be reported the same way.

Note

Be sure to accept the prompt that asks whether you'd like Feedback Hub to access your Documents folder (select Yes when prompted).

Note for developers

You are welcome and encouraged to try developing your applications using Insider builds of HoloLens. Check out the HoloLens Developer Documentation to get started. Those same instructions work with Insider builds of HoloLens. You can use the same builds of Unity and Visual Studio that you're already using for HoloLens development.

Stop receiving Insider builds

If you no longer want to receive Insider builds of Windows Holographic, you can opt out when your HoloLens is running a production build, or you can recover your device using the Advanced Recovery Companion to recover your device to a non-Insider version of Windows Holographic.

Caution

There is a known issue in which users who un-enroll from Insider Preview builds after manually reinstalling a fresh preview build would experience a blue screen. Afterwards they must manually recover their device. For full details on if you would be impacted or not, please view more on this Known Issue.

To verify that your HoloLens is running a production build:

  1. Go to Settings > System > About, and find the build number.

  2. See the release notes for production build numbers.

To opt out of Insider builds:

  1. On a HoloLens running a production build, go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Insider Program, and select Stop Insider builds.

  2. Follow the instructions to opt out your device.