Windows 10 users can now try out Microsoft's Copilot AI

You may not be able to use the chatbot right away, even if you're enrolled in the Insider program.

Shannon Stapleton / reuters

Folks who are still sticking with Windows 10 (or who can’t install Windows 11 on their machine) may now be able to check out one of the most buzzed about features in years on their machine. Just a few days after Microsoft confirmed it would bring Copilot to Windows 10, users with eligible devices can install a Release Preview build that includes access to the generative AI-powered assistant.

You’ll need to be enrolled in the Windows Insider tester program to install the preview build and potentially try out Copilot on Windows 10 Home or Pro. There’s no guarantee you’ll get access to the chatbot immediately either. Microsoft says “It may take time for your device to be confirmed as eligible for Copilot on Windows so it may not show up right away.” To get swift access to Copilot when it's confirmed your machine is eligible, Microsoft suggests turning on the ”Get the latest updates as soon as they’re available” by going to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update.

To run Copilot, your system will need at least 4GB of RAM and a display adapter that supports a resolution of at least 720p. Microsoft notes that the preview of the chatbot is only available in select markets (i.e. North America, and some areas of Asia and South America) for now, so you may be locked out on a geographical basis.

Microsoft Copilot in Windows 10

There are some other quirks that may preclude you from checking out Copilot on Windows 10. It won’t work if you position your taskbar on the left or right of your display. You’ll need to have the taskbar in a horizontal orientation. Copilot isn’t fully compatible with multi-monitor setups either. You’ll only see the icon on your primary display. In addition, Copilot won’t be available on Windows 10 Pro machines that are managed by an organization for the time being.

To fire up Copilot when it’s available on your device, click the icon that appears on the right side of the taskbar. Through the chatbot, you can ask questions, manage Windows features and interact with documents. As The Verge notes, Copilot works slightly differently on Windows 10, if only because some Windows 11 features aren’t available. Several key apps in the newer OS have their own generative AI-based features baked in.

It's not exactly a major mystery as to why Microsoft is bringing Copilot to Windows 10. According to some estimates, Windows 10 still powers some 69 percent of Windows-based desktops, compared with the 26 percent or so that run Windows 11. That means hundreds of millions of PCs are still running Windows 10. If Microsoft can say Copilot is available on more than a billion computers (compared with the 400 million that are estimated to be running Windows 11), that could be more appealing to the company's investors.