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How to Upgrade Windows Phone 8.1 to Windows 10 Mobile

Windows Phone users have been anxiously waiting for the official Windows 10 Mobile upgrade to be rolled out for Windows Phone 8.1. Microsoft announced this week that it’s (finally) rolling it out, but there’s a caveat, it’s not available for all Windows Phone models yet.

Here’s a look at what phones it is available for and how to perform the upgrade to Windows 10 Mobile

Note: At the time of this writing only select models of Windows Phone can be upgraded to Windows 10 Mobile. According to Microsoft they include:

Lumia 1520, 930, 640, 640XL, 730, 735, 830, 532, 535, 540, 635 1GB, 636 1GB, 638 1GB, 430, 435, BLU Win HD w510u, BLU Win HD LTE x150q, MCJ Madosma Q501

Upgrade Windows Phone 8.1 to Windows 10 Mobile

Of course, before starting any of this, just like with any device upgrade, make sure you have your data backed up in the event something goes wrong.

Make sure to have at least 1.4 GB or more local storage space (not your SD card).

Keep your phone plugged into a power source and connected to Wi-Fi throughout the upgrade process. For this article, I’m using a Lumia 640.

Upgrading to Windows 10 is a bit different than checking for updates. First, you’ll need to install the UpdateAdvisor app on your handset. We covered this app previously in our article: Prepare Your Windows Phone for the Windows 10 Mobile Upgrade.

Launch the app and just follow the onscreen instructions.

1 upgrade Advisor

If the update is available for your device, you’ll see the following screenshot.

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Win10 mobile upgrade available

Click the Done button and then go to Settings > Phone Update and grab the update. The amount of time it takes to complete the upgrade will vary, expect at least an hour.


After the first update completes, you’re phone will be on build 10586.107. So, to make sure you have the latest version go back to Settings > Update & Security > Phone Update and install build 10586.164.

Final Notes

It’s going to vary when the upgrade arrives for everyone depending on your region, phone model, and carrier. If the update isn’t available right away, you’ll see the following screen from Upgrade Advisor, and you’ll get a notification when it is ready.

win10 notify

Keep in mind that after the upgrade completes apps like Calendar, OneDrive, Groove Music, and others will need to update, too.

app updates

If you don’t want to wait for it to come your way, you might consider joining the Windows 10 Mobile Insider program as you’ll have the same bits as this upgrade provides. However, there’s a lot more involved going that route. If you haven’t been in the Insider program yet, just be patient and wait until it arrives.

It’s also worth noting that Microsoft confirmed via Twitter that phones with 512 MB of RAM will not get the upgrade. Apparently Microsoft wants to upgrade phones with enough hardware power to make the most out of what Windows 10 Mobile has to offer.

However, this seems a bit odd since I’ve been running Windows 10 Mobile Insider builds on a Lumia 635 that only has 512 MB of RAM. So, hopefully, we’ll get further clarification on this from the company…something more than just a tweet.

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Also, there will undoubtedly be problems for some people when upgrading their phone to Windows 10 Mobile. If the upgrade isn’t working right, you have questions, or just want to have in-depth conversations about Windows 10 Mobile or Windows Phone, join us in our new and improved Windows 10 Forums.

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7 Responses to How to Upgrade Windows Phone 8.1 to Windows 10 Mobile

  1. abhishek sharma March 18, 2016 at 3:11 am #

    Plzzz tell me when the Lumia 1320 get the window 10 mobile update

    • Brian Burgess March 18, 2016 at 3:28 am #

      As noted at the beginning of the article, not every model is supported for the upgrade yet.

  2. abhishek sharma March 18, 2016 at 4:25 am #

    Is it any information that Lumia 1320 supported windows 10 is!!!!!

  3. abhishek sharma March 18, 2016 at 4:26 am #

    I mean which date !!!!

  4. Ashwini March 19, 2016 at 10:52 pm #

    I tried it over a 3g data connection but failed to update, is it only possible over Wi-Fi? #lumia640

  5. Morteza April 4, 2016 at 12:47 am #

    Hi and thanks for the article. I’m using a Lumia 1520 with the most recent available updates for windows phone 8.1 under Optus (Australia) network. The upgrade advisor app shows that upgrade is available for my phone, but nothing happens when I click on update button in the phone settings. Does it mean that the upgrade is not available yet or it’s anything wrong I’m not sure.

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