How To: Install Windows 10 Preview on your Lumia Phone

Testing Windows 10 on your phone may seem exciting (probably because it is!) but don’t forget, the OS version that’s available is a preview build so it’s a) currently available only for a limited set of Lumia models and b) it does have a list of known bugs which you’ll probably going to want to read first before you decide if you want the upgrade.

System requirements

Right now, Windows 10 Preview is available for Lumia 630, Lumia 635, Lumia 636, Lumia 638, Lumia 730 and Lumia 830 handsets. Even so there’s a disclaimer posted on the official Windows Insider website saying:

“Some phones, regions, and mobile operators might not support Technical Preview. If your phone isn’t listed, and no preview builds appear under Enroll in the Windows Insider app, then your phone isn’t supported and it may or may not be supported in the future.

Mobile operators in China won’t be supported for Technical Preview.”

This means even if you have one of the supported phone models don’t be surprised if there are no builds available for your device and be aware there’s a chance it may never be supported. In this case you’ll have to wait until Windows 10 will be officially released.

Also, your phone needs to run Windows Phone 8.1, which you probably already have. If you’re not sure, go to your phone’s Settings -> about and see the OS version displayed under the ‘phone information’ section. While it’s not specified anywhere, I suggest you make sure there’s at least 1 GB of free space on your phone and use a reliable Wi-Fi connection, just to play it safe.

With all that said, here’s everything you need to know in order to join the Windows Insider program and get Windows 10 Preview running on your Lumia phone or at least check to see if there are any builds available for your device.

Backup your phone

You’re about to install a preview OS build on your phone so a backup is definitely in order. Even if you can revert from Windows 10 Preview to Windows Phone 8.1 if something goes wrong, lost data stays that way unless you back it up.

You can do this by going to your phone’s Settings -> backup, then tap on apps+settings and use the ‘backup now’ option. There’s also a photos+videos section in there but it only contains the settings for automated backups. If you want to perform a manual backup of your photos and videos read this tutorial.

How to get Windows 10 Preview for phones

1. Those who haven’t already joined the Insider program can do it here. (a Microsoft account is required).

2. Download and install the Windows Insider app on your phone and log in with your Microsoft account.

Windows Insider - Get preview builds

3. If you use the ‘Get preview builds’ option and you are greeted by this message:

Windows Insider - No builds

it means there are no builds currently available for your phone. If you see this instead skip to the next step:

Windows Insider update options

Note: If your phone is on the list of supported devices and the app fails to find builds for it, please check which OS version your phone is running under Settings -> about -> [more info]. If it’s 8.10.14226.359 or newer you should know these devices have a portion of code that causes a problem on first boot of Windows 10 technical preview for phones, which is why Microsoft has blocked them until they fix the problem.

However, there is a workaround and if you’re willing to go the extra mile in order to get Windows 10 Preview on your phone you should read this.

4. Select the type of updates you want (slow or fast), confirm your choice and then you can go to your phone’s Settings -> phone update and use the ‘check for updates’ option.

5. Your phone could need to go through an extra step as shown in the image below:

Windows 10 Preview for phones - Update succesfull

6. Follow the instructions and the upgrade process will begin. It will take about 20 minutes to complete so keep your phone plugged in or make sure you have at least 50% battery left.

If you’re unsure of your technical skills and/or you’re planning to get the Windows 10 Preview on your main phone I strongly suggest you reconsider and give Microsoft some time to improve the OS. Besides the current bugs, the system can be glitchy at times and some features are currently missing or limited. Also, some of your favorite apps may not be available or perform poorly.

Hopefully this guide was able to help you decide if testing Windows 10 Preview on your phone is right for you, as well as safely install it if you decide it’s worth a try. Remember, if something goes wrong, Microsoft lets you downgrade from Windows 10 Preview to Windows Phone 8.1 and we’ll publish an article on the matter very soon.

Is your phone running Win10? Let us know what new features you find most exciting and if you’re experiencing any issues or bugs in the comments section below!

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