Why You Should Upgrade to Windows 10 Mobile and How to Do It

Matthew Hughes 22-03-2016

Late last week, Microsoft released Windows 10 Mobile, the long-awaited update to Windows Phone 8.1.


It’s been a long time coming. Although it was scheduled to be released last November, Microsoft repeatedly pushed back the release date, as they ironed out the kinks and bugs that permeated it.

Now, it’s ready Get Windows 10 Mobile Now, Apple Engineers Threaten to Quit... [Tech News Digest] Windows 10 Mobile has finally arrived, Apple engineers are in it to win it, Nintendo releases its first mobile app, Nike releases self-tying sneakers, and Improv Everywhere reveal the secret of time travel. Read More . Provided you own the right kind of phone, you can upgrade — and you really should. Here’s everything you need to know about making the switch to Microsoft’s latest and greatest mobile operating system (OS).

Phones Supported by Windows 10 Mobile

Sadly, not everyone with a Windows 8.1 smartphone will be able to upgrade to Windows 10 Mobile. Microsoft has made the update available to a selection of devices, with far too many left out in the cold. You can see the full list of eligible devices here and below.

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

The decision to limit what phones can get the upgrade has been controversial for a few reasons.

Firstly, some devices were advertised as being upgradable to Windows 10 Mobile on the launch day, which ultimately proved not to be true. The Blu Win Jr, for example, was advertised for over a year as being eligible for Windows 10 Mobile. Even after it was announced that it wouldn’t receive the upgrade, Microsoft continued to sell the phone in some markets as being upgradable.


Secondly, many devices which received builds of Windows 10 Mobile as part of the Windows Insider program did not receive the update. These phones include the Lumia 1020, 925, and 920, various HTC devices, as well as the Lumia Icon, which is the flagship Lumia phone for the Verizon network.


Just looking at the Windows Phone sub-Reddit, you can tell that the owners of these phones are pretty bitter, and feel as though Microsoft has pulled a serious bait-and-switch move on them.

Microsoft has said that they don’t plan to release a second round of updates for those who missed out first time around. If you’re one of them, the only way you’ll be able to get Windows 10 Mobile is by purchasing a new smartphone.


Installing Windows 10 Mobile

Microsoft’s strategy for disseminating Windows 10 on the desktop Microsoft Strikes Again - How to NOT Upgrade to Windows 10 Windows 10 is now a recommended update on Windows 7 and 8.1 computers. If you're not yet ready to upgrade, it's time to double-check your Windows Update settings. We show you how. Read More was one of aggression and persistence. Users were literally bombarded with pop-ups asking them to upgrade, and they sneakily tried to force installs through the Windows Updater. But for Windows 10 Mobile, they’re taking the softly-softly approach.

If you want to upgrade, you’ll first have to download the Windows 10 Mobile Upgrade Advisor. You can download this directly from the App Store. If it isn’t showing up in your search results, don’t fret. You’ll be able to get to it by following this direct link.

Before you run it though, I strongly recommend you back up your files and photos to your computer.

Once installed, the Upgrade Advisor will check whether your device is eligible to be upgraded. In my experience, this was a bit hit-and-miss. At one point, it said that my Lumia 640 XL (which is a supported device) wasn’t eligible for the upgrade. But when I ran the Upgrade Advisor one hour later, it said the complete opposite.



If it says you can upgrade, you’ve just got to dive into your settings and open the update manager. Check to see if there are any available for your system, and if so, download and install them. It’s worth noting that your device will have to restart (multiple times), so make sure you’ve saved anything that’s open.


Be aware that this upgrade process is profoundly failure-prone. Installation failed a couple of times on my Lumia 640 XL, and it rolled back to Windows Phone 8.1, forcing me to start the entire process again.


Should You Upgrade?

For the most part, I’m unimpressed with Microsoft’s rollout of Windows 10 Mobile. It’s been a slow, tedious process, with countless missed deadlines. Worse, far too many devices won’t be receiving the update, and the installer distributed by Microsoft just plain sucks.

But that shouldn’t color your view on Windows 10 Mobile. Once you’ve mastered the installation process, you’ve got a solid and polished competitor to Android and iOS, although some bells and whistles are conspicuously absent.


Windows 10 Mobile has more in common with its desktop brethren than Microsoft’s earlier smartphone operating systems. Its adoption of the (deeply controversial) Universal Windows Platform means that many desktop apps will be available on the mobile platform, too.

Windows 10 Mobile retains compatibility with older apps written for Windows Phone 8.1. It will also receive ports of popular iOS apps, thanks to Project Islandwood Want Your Favorite Android & iOS Apps to Run on Windows 10? Microsoft has an app problem. And their solution could let you run Android and iOS apps on your Windows desktop. Your turn! Encourage developers to port apps to Windows with Project Astoria or Islandwood. Read More .

These are not the only synergy-focused tweaks. Notifications, for example, can be synchronized between Windows 10 on the desktop and Windows 10 Mobile. This is reminiscent of Apple’s Handoff What Does Continuity Mean for Yosemite & iOS 8? OS X 10.10, better know as Yosemite, is a major Mac update that offers numerous features never seen before in an operating system. One of the most important is Continuity. Read More .

Don’t forget Continuum. If you’ve got a compatible Windows 10 Mobile device like the Lumia 950, you’ll be able to connect it to a monitor, keyboard and mouse, and use it as though it’s a desktop computer. Something similar is being worked on for Ubuntu Phone.

Note that Continuum on the mainstream Windows 10 means something different; it allows the computer to switch between desktop and tablet mode Continuum: Switch Between Windows 10 Desktop & Tablet Mode Windows 10 recognizes your hardware and instantly chooses the best display mode. When you connect your Windows 10 Mobile to a larger screen, you'll get a PC-like experience. That's the smoothness of Continuum. Read More .

Traditionally, Microsoft’s mobile offerings have competed for the business productivity oriented sphere of the market. Their credentials in this sphere have only increased with the launch of Windows 10 Mobile, as it packs an enhanced office suite and improved email facilities.

Some other tweaks may be less surprising. OneDrive and Skype are increasingly baked into the system. Cortona continues to steal the show, and has seen a raft of improvements and enhancements.

Windows 10 Mobile also replaces Internet Explorer with Microsoft Edge, which is actually rather good The Firefox-Lover's Guide to the Microsoft Edge Browser Putting prejudice aside, is Edge any good? I decided to pit it against my personal favorite web browser, Firefox, to see how it compares. Here's what I found. Read More , although no substitute for Chrome on Android.

Ready to Upgrade?

Windows 10 Mobile is a step forward. It’s free and affords you access to many advanced features not available on Windows Phone 8.1 Everything You Need To Know About Windows Phone 8.1 Security If you're using a Microsoft account across multiple devices, losing your phone could get you into a whole lot of trouble. Let us show you how you can keep your phone secure. Read More . If you’re eligible to upgrade, what are you waiting for?

Have you upgraded to Windows 10 Mobile, yet? Are you tempted to switch from Android or iOS? Let me know in the comments below?

Related topics: Windows 10, Windows 10 Mobile, Windows Phone 8, Windows Upgrade.

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  1. Jonas
    January 3, 2018 at 12:11 pm

    I have a Lumia 950.
    Great phone, great OS!
    I don't want NEVER back to Android!

  2. jill
    August 18, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    I cam not get store apps and camera to download Om my Lumina 635 each time I try it won't do anything I downloaded windows 10 a week ago I regret doing it now can you help

  3. Christabel
    August 2, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    This is Christabel from Nigeria. I use Lumia 535 currently running on Win 8.1. Each time i try to installing the Win 10, i keep getting an error message
    It's probably a temporary problem
    What can i do about this?

  4. Demo Stephen
    February 6, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    Hi I'm. Steve from Nigeria. We've got serious energy crisis here. I heard from stories that Lumia 430's battery drains a lot I wanna be sure coz I really want to upgrade and is there an undo back to Win 8.1 mobile

  5. UnfortunateUG
    August 23, 2016 at 1:38 am

    Upgraded my Lumia 640 LTE today to Windows 10. HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM. I do take some blame for trusting the upgrade which stated, " After installation is complete, your data files will be right where you left them. [Smirk] NOT! It has been a day of disappointment after this upgrade. I lost everything.... Contacts, texts, email accounts, calendar. If you don't have to upgrade right now, DON'T DO IT. I would give MS a little more time to work out the bugs or at least do your research before continuing. My provider is working to help me restore some of the data. Not a happy day.

  6. Russ Dewey
    May 26, 2016 at 8:18 pm

    My wife's Lumia 640 upgraded to Win 10 mobile. She then lost the ability to add new contacts (apparently a known problem on Lumias). The solution was to do a hard reset. (Instructions are readily available on the internet). This might be an important tip for somebody else. After the hard reset, all account information had to be re-entered, etc., but Win 10 was working fine, and it had a totally different look than before the reset.

  7. Franco
    May 19, 2016 at 3:21 am

    does windows 10 run programs in background?
    I have a skype number. When someone call my skype number it won't ring if my screensaver is on.

  8. Prateek Chakraborty
    May 6, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    I already used w10 and back to w8.1 3 times in my :p actually I used insider preview version and go back to 8.1 for checking official version.. after watching this article I leave insider program,and go back to w8.1 by using windows device recovery tools.. and download upgrade advisor's really works.. now i'm using w10 official version on my phone.. :D

  9. Anonymous
    April 1, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    I upgraded my L640 and I am not having any trouble with it. Moreover I like the look and feel of W10M.

  10. Robin W
    March 30, 2016 at 1:28 am

    Recently upgraded my Lumia 635 to the new 650 and all seems ok but since i had my first system update i seem to keep losing my wifi connection and the only way to restart it is to re-boot the phone which is a bit of a pain in the ass.
    I hope this is fixed soon or i may go off windows phone which would be a shame as generally it works very well.

  11. venkatesh
    March 24, 2016 at 7:17 am

    I am in India and I use Lumia 830. Upgrade Advisor says "congrats, your phone is eligible for updates". when I check in the updates it says that the phone is most updated.

    Is Windows 10 Upgrade available to Lumiia 830 as yet or no.

  12. Paul
    March 24, 2016 at 2:34 am

    I mistakingly installed win 10 on my Lumia 640. Worst mistake. There doesn't seem to be a way to roll back either. The only roll back option is for the developer early release version.

    Stay with 8.1, too many issues with 10.

    • Dan
      April 7, 2016 at 9:04 pm

      If your phone is not working normally after upgrading to Windows 10, it is possible reset the phone software back to Windows Phone 8.1 using the Windows Device Recovery Tool.

    • Ionut
      May 12, 2016 at 5:30 pm

      Paul i have 8.1 on my lumia 640 lte and i want do this upgrade for windows 10 but you told me that for the moment its not good for my phone.Can you tell me moore about this win 10 update and why it better to remain on 8.1 windows phone?Thanks in advance for your answer...

  13. Thomas Davies
    March 23, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    This is not being pushed nor can i get it with my lumia 640, which was purchased at a walmart store with no contract. (so its not tied to any cell service provider)
    It would seem the only way to get the update right now on the 640 is through the insider program.

  14. Omen
    March 23, 2016 at 6:27 pm


  15. Lokin Shah
    March 23, 2016 at 5:53 am

    I just upgraded to Win 10 on Lumia 730. Works good for now.
    But upgrading to new version is really pain and you always wonder if your device will be there in final list or not. I feel Microsoft is not much interested in selling more mobile...

  16. Yuvaraj
    March 23, 2016 at 4:14 am

    use of windows phone will end and marketing by me for windows phone will stop and make it lower atleast in my city and by the way i am using lumia 920 which made me upset

  17. Alex
    March 22, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    I run windows 10 Mobile on Microsoft 535 as an Insider from 6 months ago. A weeek ago i reverted to Windows Phone 8.1 Time for battery doubled . Original camera App is better, new versions miss braketing. And , most important, Windows 10 Mobile lose Here Maps. Just few reasons to remain to old system.

    • holsen
      March 23, 2016 at 4:25 pm

      I thought thee win 10 mobile was missing here maps too, and was really upset about it, then I discovered it was already integrated in the the default map app that baked into the OS. No need to down load here. It's actually better!

  18. jeff
    March 22, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    glad I bailed, MS really blew it on this one. Ruined the best phone OS out there

  19. Silversee
    March 22, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    You fail to mention that while older devices such as the Lumia 920 and 925 are not officially supported, it is still possible for owners to upgrade to Windows 10 Mobile using the Release Preview ring of the Insiders Program. This is the exact same software that is made available to supported devices in fact, giving users the same ability to try out Windows 10 and run new Windows 10 "Universal" apps on their phones.

    While these devices will not receive the *next* major Windows 10 Mobile, code named Redstone and due out in the second half of the year, most of them are now 3 years old or older, and it is just not reasonable to expect any manufacturer to support older and slower devices indefinitely. By the time this software is widely deployed, I would think most owners of these older devices will be looking at new phones anyway.

  20. Yodi
    March 22, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    I use a Lumia 925. I guess it sucks to be me.