There are two different ways to get Windows 10 Mobile:
- Buy a new phone. Check out the select new devices running Windows 10 Mobile that are available now.
- Update your Windows Phone 8.1. We're working with phone manufacturers and mobile operators to make Windows 10 Mobile available as an update to eligible phones running Windows Phone 8.1. The update to Windows 10 Mobile isn't available yet. If your Windows Phone 8.1 is eligible for the upgrade, we'll let you know when it's ready.
For more info, see Windows 10 Mobile How-to.
There are two different ways to get Windows Phone 8.1:
- Buy a new phone. Many phones have Windows Phone 8.1 built right in. To see which phones have Windows Phone 8.1 preinstalled, visit your local retailer or your mobile operator's website or check out the latest devices running Windows 10 Mobile, the newest version of Windows for phones.
- Update your Windows Phone 8. We've worked with phone manufacturers and mobile operators around the world to make the Windows Phone 8.1 software update available to many phones currently running Windows Phone 8. The availability of the update varies depending on your phone model, region, and mobile operator. See the How do I update my phone software? section below for more info.
To see which Windows Phone operating system (OS) version is installed on your phone, do the following:
- In the App list, tap Settings > About > More info.
The Software section indicates the general product name we use to describe the release (for example, "Windows Phone 8.1" or "Windows Phone 8"). The OS version section indicates the specific build number of the release (for example, "8.0.0000.0" or "8.0.10517.150").
We periodically release Windows Phone software updates to add new features you've asked for and to maximize your phone's performance. When a software update is available for you to download, we'll notify you so you can download it directly to your phone over a Wi-Fi or cellular data connection. (Your phone will need 3G or greater to download updates over a cellular data connection.)
To see what features or improvements have been added in the latest update, see the Windows Phone 8 update history section below.
Before you download and install an update:
- Charge your phone. We can't perform the update unless your phone has sufficient power.
- If you're worried about cellular data charges, use Wi-Fi and manually download the update. See How can I minimize my data usage? to learn more.
- If you don't have enough storage space on your phone to get an update and you have an SD card inserted in your phone, we might be able to update your phone using the SD card. Support for using your SD card for updating your phone depends on your phone model and manufacturer.
- If we can't install an update using an SD card, you'll need to have enough storage space on your phone so we can perform the update. If you try to update and you don't have enough free space, we'll prompt you to go to Storage Sense to make room. To check how much space you have available, in the App list, go to Storage Sense (in Windows Phone 8, go to Settings> Phone storage). For more info about how to make more room, see the Make room on my phone to update it section below.
Download updates automatically
- In the App list, tap Settings > Phone update.
- Select the Automatically download updates if my data settings allow it check box.
Check for updates manually
- In the App list, tap Settings > Phone update.
- Tap Check for updates.
Windows Phone will let you know when new updates are available. If you check manually for an expected update and your phone appears to be up to date, it may be that it isn't available yet for your specific phone, mobile operator, or market.
Install an update
- If you aren't set up to automatically download updates, tap Settings > Phone update and then tap Download when prompted after checking for updates or receiving an update notification.
- Do one of the following:
- Tap Show details and then tap Install. Your phone will restart and then install the update.
- Tap Show details and then tap Not now if you want to install the update later.
- Tap Preferred install time and then choose a time to install the update. (Scheduling an update is available after updating to Windows Phone 8.1 Update build 8.10.14203.206.)
It usually takes 5 to 10 minutes to install an update, but it could take longer depending on the number of apps you've got installed on your phone.
- After your phone restarts, wait for it to migrate your settings and then tap Done to finish the update.
Did your phone get stuck while updating? Restart your phone to get your update back on track. To restart a stuck phone, press and hold the Volume Down
If there isn't enough room to install a software update on your Windows Phone, you'll need to free up some space. If you have a PC, the easiest way to do this is to use File Explorer (called Windows Explorer in some versions of Windows).
This section is about Windows Phone 8.1. If your phone is running Windows Phone 8, some options and icons may look a little different, and some features may not be available. Please reference the sections called Which version of Windows Phone do I have? and How do I update my phone software? in this article.
The first thing you'll want to do is find out what you have on your phone that might be taking up a lot of space. To do this, in the App list, go to Storage Sense
In many cases, you may not need to keep some files, like photos and videos, on your phone at all. OneDrive provides cloud storage that you can quickly access over the Internet for much of your content.
If you've got some apps on your phone that you haven't used in a while, consider deleting some of them to free up space on your phone. You can always reinstall them later if you change your mind. (Keep in mind that deleting an app, even temporarily, will erase app data such as saved progress in a game.)
Before deleting anything from your phone, remember to back up any files you want to keep on either your computer or OneDrive.
Free up space for the Windows Phone 8.1 update
When attempting to update to Windows Phone 8.1, some users may encounter a message such as "The update couldn't be completed" or "Your phone couldn't be updated." If this happens, you may need to free up space on your phone before trying to update again.
- Go to Settings > Phone storage to see how much free space you have on your phone. Delete some apps, games, or other files to free up enough space for the update. For more info on what you can delete, see Storage on my phone.
Try updating your phone again (see the section How do I update my phone software?). If the update downloads and installs—success!
If the update still isn't successful and you've deleted as much stuff as you can, you may need to reset your phone to free up enough space. Continue to the next step to learn how.
- Before resetting, be sure to back up your stuff, because resetting your phone erases everything on it.
Go to Settings> About to reset your phone.
If you reset or flash your phone and then restore a backup during phone setup, you might have the same storage space problems again and still not be able to update your phone. To avoid this issue, do the following:
- After resetting, don't sign in with your Microsoft account during the phone setup process. (You can sign in with it later.)
- Once setup is complete, try updating your phone again.
- When the update is complete, if you still want to restore a backup, reset your phone again.
- After the second reset, sign in with your Microsoft account during phone setup and restore the backup.
Move or delete files using File Explorer or Windows Explorer
- Plug your phone into your computer and then do one of the following:
- If you're using Windows 8 or 8.1, go to the desktop and then open File Explorer from the taskbar.
- If you're using Windows 7, open Windows Explorer from the taskbar.
- Right-click the file you want to move, click Copy, right-click a location on your PC, and then click Paste.
- Right-click the file you want to delete and then click Delete.
Uninstall apps and games or move them to an SD card
You can uninstall apps and games to free up space on your phone or move them to an SD card (if you have one installed).
- In the App list, go to Storage Sense .
- Go to Phone > Apps + games.
- Tap an app or game file, and then tap Uninstall or Move to SD.
To uninstall or move more than one app or game at a time, from the Apps + games list, tap Select
Some apps and games can't be uninstalled or moved to an SD card.
Our effort to build great software never stops. That's why we periodically release updates for Windows Phone 8 to add new features that maximize your phone's performance.
Below is a summary of what we've included in each update so far. The most recent update is listed first. The longer number refers to the Windows Phone operating system (OS) version.
For update details about Windows 10 Mobile, go to Windows 10 Mobile update history. See information on How do I get Windows 10 Mobile? at the top of the page to learn about updating to Windows 10 Mobile.
Updates to Windows Phone 8 are cumulative, so when you install the latest update, you'll also get all the previous updates (if your phone doesn't have them already). Only updates that apply to your phone will be downloaded and installed. Update availability varies by phone model, region, and mobile operator.
When it's available, we'll also pass along software from phone manufacturers that improves the performance of specific phone models. If you have questions about what's included in a phone manufacturer update, contact your phone manufacturer.
See the How do I update my phone software? section to learn how to install updates or check if there's an update available for you to download.
Windows Phone 8.1 Update 2
OS version: 8.10.15143.154 or 8.10.15148.160
Settings. Find your phone settings more easily. Tap one of the new settings categories to jump to it, use Search to find a setting, or pan down to peruse in the traditional way. Additionally, phone settings can now be pinned to Start.
Name your phone. Give your phone a name without connecting to a PC. Just tap Settings
VPN. Now you can use certificates to sign in for L2TP VPN connections. Always-on VPN profiles are now supported too, so you're automatically and always connected.
Bluetooth. Type with more than your thumbs. Use an external Bluetooth keyboard and watch the words fly onto your phone. And now get your text messages right from your car if it has a compatible Bluetooth system.
App privacy permissions. Now you control whether an app can access your contacts, calendar, camera, microphone, and text messages. Just tap Settings
Reset Protection. Provide an extra layer of protection for your phone so that if it ever ends up in the wrong hands it can't be easily reset or reused. (This feature is available only for specific phones.)
Windows Phone 8.1 Update
OS version: 8.10.14141.167, 8.10.14147.180, 8.10.14157.200, 8.10.14176.243, 8.10.14192.280, 8.10.14203.206, 8.10.14219.341, or 8.10.14226.359
Folders. Folders let you organize your Start screen the way you want. Just push one Tile on top of another one to create a folder and get going.
Messaging. Combine multiple text messages into one and then forward them to someone else.
Selection. With improved selection you can now delete multiple calls, messages, or contacts.
Apps Corner. Apps Corner lets you specify apps other people can use on a Windows Phone. Great for individuals and any-sized organizations who want to provide only the essential apps for others to use for work, school, or any other reason.
Cortana. There's another way to start Cortana from a Bluetooth hands-free system in your car now—just tap the contact named "Cortana" and ask her whatever you want. And now you're able to do more things without unlocking your phone too, making your personal assistant even better.
Store. The new Live Tile for Windows Phone Store helps you discover new apps and games. Just pin the Store to Start and you're ready to go.
Internet Explorer. Improvements to Internet Explorer 11 for Windows Phone give you a better browsing experience. Spend less time panning and zooming and more time enjoying some of your favorite websites.
Alarms. Now you can customize the snooze time for an alarm and then enjoy a little more shuteye for the time you want.
Accessory apps. Use accessory apps to get notifications from your phone on your smart watch, active phone cover, fitness tracker, or other kinds of accessories.
Internet sharing. Now you can share your cellular data connection over Bluetooth so you can get an Internet connection on more kinds of devices.
VPN. VPN now supports L2TP, which lets you connect to more VPN services. Whether you connect to a VPN for work or personal use, you can do it on your Windows Phone.
Narrator. Narrator now has touch typing and a way for you to turn off hints for controls and buttons if you don't want them read aloud. Some other improvements to Narrator help you unlock your phone a little more quickly, find and use the Back, Start, and Search buttons more easily, and tell you when your phone screen is on or off.
Phone update. Install updates when you want by scheduling them for a time that works best for you. And if your phone supports SD cards, it will now detect if you're running low on space when updating and use the SD card. (Scheduling an update is available after updating to build 8.10.14203.206. Support for using your SD card for updating your phone depends on your phone model and manufacturer.)
Battery Saver. Keep an eye on your battery power from your Start screen. Just pin Battery Saver to Start, and the new Live Tile will show you at a glance how much battery power you have left. (This feature is available only for phones running build 8.10.14203.206.)
Cellular data. Add cellular data as a quick action in action center, and then turn your data connection on or off with one tap. (This feature is available only for phones running build 8.10.14219.341.)
Windows Phone 8.1
OS version: 8.10.12359.845, 8.10.12382.878, 8.10.12393.890, 8.10.12397.895, or 8.10.12400.899*
Cortana. Cortana is here to help you with your day. She can help you call, text, take notes, find stuff on the web, and more. All this while keeping you updated on the things that interest you.
Action center. Simply swipe down from the top of your screen to get to your quick actions and notifications. See what's new and quickly turn on settings such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and more. You can also change your quick actions to get to the settings you use the most.
Word Flow keyboard with shape writing. With shape writing, type by sliding your fingers around the Word Flow keyboard, and then watch the words appear.
Quiet hours. Ahhh...peace and quiet. Take a break from the ringing and buzzing and enjoy the silence with quiet hours. But don't worry, Cortana can make sure the people in your inner circle can still get through.
Burst mode. Whether you're taking pictures of kids, pets, or a sporting event, it can be a challenge to capture a fast-moving subject. Burst mode on your camera helps you get the shot you want.
Data Sense. Settings added in Data Sense help you get more out of your cellular data by reducing the amount of data you use when browsing the web.
Battery Saver. Battery Saver lets you keep an eye on your battery and find ways to make your battery last a little longer. Check how much battery you have left, see what apps are using the most power, and get the most out of your battery when it's running low.
Storage Sense. Storage Sense can help you get more out of the storage space on your phone. Store new apps and downloads on an SD card to save space. You can also go into Storage Sense and see how much space individual apps and games are using. (Not all phones have an SD card slot.)
Wi-Fi Sense. Wi-Fi Sense connects you to more Wi-Fi networks around you so you don't have to do it on your own. Get connected and save cellular data.
Office. Office now supports saving Office files to SD cards, which gives you a great new way to share your documents, presentations, and other files. You can also share more things to OneNote now.
Internet Explorer. Get a better browsing experience on your phone with Internet Explorer 11 for Windows Phone. Internet Explorer can now remember passwords, display unlimited tabs, play videos inside a web page, and save you some typing by automatically completing web addresses for sites you frequently visit. There's more too—such as InPrivate Browsing, reading mode, new browsing gestures, and the ability to download and upload files to and from your phone.
More columns on your Start screen. With an extra column of Tiles on your Start screen, you'll have even more room for the people and things you care about most.
Background photo on your Start screen. Now you can personalize your phone even more by using a background photo on your Start screen. Tiles become transparent, so your background photo shows through.
Volume controls. New sliders now give you separate volume controls for your ringer and for audio played over your phone's speaker as well as for headphones and Bluetooth devices.
Calling. Don't just talk—video chat instead. Switch from a regular voice call to a video call with a tap or two. And you can add the people you call most often to speed dial for quicker calling. (To switch to a video call, you need to have a compatible video calling app installed, such as Skype.)
Calendar. Calendar has a new look. Get a new outlook on your day, week, or month with the new views. Even get a glance at the weather forecast so you know how to dress.
Wallet. Wallet helps you keep track of events, tickets, and more. When you're in the area, you'll get reminders for your tickets and alerts for deals around you.
Windows Phone and Windows 8.1 together. Sync your settings, such as your passwords, Internet Explorer favorites and tabs, theme color, and more. When you're signed in with your Microsoft account, these settings are synced so you can go back and forth between your Windows Phone 8.1 and your Windows 8.1 computer or tablet without missing a step.
Entertaining apps. The Xbox Video, Xbox Music, and Podcasts apps deliver more entertainment to you on your phone. Xbox Video lets you browse, buy, and watch videos, movies, and TV shows. Xbox Music lets you find new music, preview it, and listen. With the Podcasts app, you can find new podcasts and subscribe to your favorites so you never miss an episode.
MSN apps. MSN brings you more apps on your phone, including Weather, News, Sports, Health & Fitness, Food & Drink, and more.
Search. From a single place, you can now search your phone for email, text messages, contacts, music, settings, and more. Just use the Bing bar to search and then swipe over to Phone to see the results.
Update apps automatically. Your apps get updated automatically now, so you always have the latest and greatest versions without needing to download them on your own. Spend more time using your apps and less time updating them.
Dual SIM phones. Some Windows Phones have dual SIMs. With two SIMs, you can keep your work life and personal life separate, or, if you want, combine the two. It's up to you. (Dual SIM phones aren't available in all countries or regions.)
Project my screen. Show your phone on the big screen. Take your USB cable, plug it into your computer, and then you're ready to go with a tap or two. Or get rid of wires entirely and project your phone to a TV or other device that supports Miracast.
Bluetooth. The Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) profile is now supported, so you can use a wider variety of Bluetooth enabled devices and accessories with your phone.
Backup and restore. Back up more things now, including your Start screen layout, Wi-Fi networks you've connected to, and app data (such as high scores and game progress for participating apps). Words you've added to your dictionary get backed up now too.
Enterprise improvements. You might be away from the office, but with VPN you can get connected as if you were there. Use VPN to get a secure connection to your company's intranet and network over a cellular data or Wi-Fi connection. And when you're back at work, there's also support for connecting via enterprise Wi-Fi authentication EAP-TLS and EAP-TTLS.
Accessibility improvements. Use Narrator on your phone to have your screen read aloud. This includes your emails, text messages, settings, and other text.
*Your OS version number depends on your specific phone model and mobile operator.
Windows Phone 8 Update 3
OS version: 8.0.10501.127 or 8.0.10512.142**
Accessibility. We've made several improvements for customers who are visually impaired.
Storage. Now you can easily free up storage space on your phone and manage temporary files. New categories show what's taking up space.
Driving Mode. Feeling distracted behind the wheel? Driving Mode allows you to minimize incoming calls and text messages to help you focus on the road.
Screen. Reading emails in bed? You can lock your screen orientation so it doesn't shift when you move your phone around.
Wi-Fi. Start preserving cellular data on your phone right out of the box; you can now connect to Wi-Fi during setup.
Internet sharing. Now you can use your phone's cellular data connection from your Microsoft Windows 8.1 devices by pairing them over Bluetooth.
Bluetooth. Several fixes were made to address known issues, and improvements were made to connection quality for Bluetooth accessories.
Ringtones. Do more with ringtones now. Assign ringtones for text messages so you'll know who's texting you without even looking. Use your custom ringtones for more things—text messages, instant messages, emails, voicemail, and reminders.
App switcher. Don't look back. Now you can use the App switcher to quickly close apps when you're finished with them.
Other improvements. Includes many other improvements to Windows Phone.
**Your OS version number depends on your specific phone model and mobile operator.
Windows Phone 8 Update 2
OS version: 8.0.10327.77 or 8.0.10328.78***
Google accounts. Windows Phone 8 now supports the CardDAV and CalDAV protocols that allow people to sync Google contacts and calendar information when they get new phones. (Existing phones that are synced to a Google account prior to December 31, 2013, will continue to sync as before.)
Xbox Music. It's now easier to select, download, and pin music. Plus, music fans will see more accurate metadata (such as song and album information) and many other performance improvements.
FM radio. Listen to FM radio right from the Music + Videos Hub. (Not available for all phones.)
Data Sense. Stay on top of your phone's data usage with Data Sense. You can set a limit based on your data plan or just keep track of which apps use the most data.
Skype. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) apps like Lync and Skype now feature improved stability and performance.
Internet Explorer. Several fixes, including improvements to media playback reliability, will make your web browsing experience better than ever.
Camera. Set your favorite Lens so it opens automatically when you press the camera button. (Not available for all phones.)
Other improvements. Includes many other improvements to Windows Phone.
***Your OS version number depends on your specific phone model and mobile operator.
Windows Phone 8 Update 1
OS version: 8.0.10211.204
Messaging improvements. A great messaging experience is now even better. You can now add multiple recipients at the same time when you send a text message and automatically save unsent text messages as drafts. You can even edit received text messages before you forward them.
Text replies to incoming calls. Can't take a call? Now you can send a prewritten text reply to a caller directly from the call answer screen. It's a nice way to let people know that you're not ignoring them.
Internet Explorer improvements. You can now change your settings to prevent pictures from downloading automatically—an easy way to help keep data usage low. You can also delete selected sites from your browsing history and leave the rest intact.
Wi-Fi connectivity. Got a favorite Wi-Fi network? Windows Phone 8 will now prioritize Wi-Fi connections based on your connection history.
Other improvements. Includes many other improvements to Windows Phone.
If you get a critical or important update notification on your phone, we're letting you know that there's an important update that will fix a particular problem. We recommend that you install any critical updates immediately. Here's how a critical update works:
- If you manually check for updates, you'll be prompted at regular intervals to download the update.
- Once the update is ready to install, you'll be prompted at regular intervals to install the update.
- For mandatory updates, if you've postponed the update, it will automatically install in three days.
You may be seeing a critical or important update notification for the following reason:
We identified a problem in some versions of Windows Phone 8.1 that could cause a phone to restart periodically. A critical update will fix this problem. If you're unable to install the update or want to learn more, we can help you fix your phone.
Seeing a message like 801881cd, 80188265, or 801881d0 when you update your Windows Phone? When you have a problem, you can usually solve it with some basic troubleshooting—see below for what to do if you get one of these error messages. First, though, here are some things you can do to help make sure your updates go smoothly.
A few tips for easy updates
- Power up. If your battery charge is low, you may have to plug in and wait before you can finish installing your update.
- Get connected. Connect to Wi-Fi so you'll have a better chance to quickly download updates. Or, make sure your cellular data connection shows 3G, 4G, or LTE. If you have a 2G or 2.5G (EDGE) connection, you'll be prompted for updates but won't be able to download them until you have a faster cellular data connection or are connected to Wi-Fi. See What do the icons on my phone mean? to learn more about the icons that appear at the top of your phone.
- Check yourself. You don't have to wait for us to tell you there's an update: in the App list, just go to Settings > Phone update, and then tap Check for updates.
- Wait a bit. Many errors are temporary. If you try again, there's a good chance the error won't repeat itself.
- Restart your phone. If your phone freezes during an update, you can restart your phone to get your update back on track. To restart a stuck phone, press and hold the Volume Down and Powerbuttons at the same time until you feel a vibration (about 10–15 seconds). Your phone will then restart automatically.
- Make way. If your phone's storage space is maxed out with apps and all of your media, remove some files that you can do without. See the Make room on my phone to update it section on this page for more information.
|Error code||What it means||What you can do|
You don't have enough storage space on your phone to install the update.
Remove some media files (videos, music, and photos) or apps to make room for the update. You can connect to your computer and move your media files there, and you can always reinstall apps from the Store. (Keep in mind that deleting an app, even temporarily, will erase app data, such as saved progress in a game.)
The Windows Phone app for Windows 8 can also help you get updates when your phone is low on storage space. (Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 required to download.)
|You haven't agreed to download the update over a cellular connection.||The best thing to do is connect to Wi-Fi so you can download without having to worry about possible cellular data charges. If you can't connect to Wi-Fi and want to update using cellular data, tap Download when prompted to download using cellular data.|
|801882cb||You're having trouble connecting to a network.||Make sure that your phone has a good connection to the Internet. The best thing to do is connect to Wi-Fi so you can download without having to worry about possible cellular data charges. If you can't connect to Wi-Fi and want to update using cellular data, tap Download when prompted to download using cellular data.|
|There was a temporary issue with a server or your Internet connection during the update.||Make sure you're connected to the Internet and try again. It's best to connect to Wi-Fi so you can avoid possible cellular data charges.|
|There was an error installing the update.||Restart your phone and try downloading the update again.|
This isn't a comprehensive list of error codes. If you don't see an error code in this list, it may be that we're actively working to fix the problem and there's no action for you to take.
Article ID: 12662 - Last Review: May 17, 2016 - Revision: 24