- Which version of Windows Phone do I have?
- How do I update my phone software?
- Phone updates FAQ
- Copy and paste
- Switch between apps
- What do the icons on my phone mean?
- Tips to help keep my phone secure
- Accessibility on my phone
- Lock screen
- Use Speech on my phone
- Find a lost phone
- My Phone FAQ
- How can I minimize my data usage?
- Battery: making it last
- SD cards and my phone
- Use a PIN to lock my SIM card
- Privacy resources
- Feature and service availability
How do I update my phone software?
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 on your phone.
To learn what's included in each update and determine which version of Windows Phone you have now, see Phone updates FAQ.
- If your phone uses Windows Phone 7 software, it can't be updated to Windows Phone 8. See Which version of Windows Phone do I have? if you're not sure what's on your phone.
- If you use a Mac, you'll need to use the Windows Phone app for Mac (formerly the Windows Phone Connector for Mac). To learn more, see Sync and get updates with my Mac.
- Windows 8 Pro supports the Zune software, but Windows RT does not.
How to prepare for an update
Install the Zune software on your PC. You'll need this software to download the phone update.
If your battery level is low, give your phone a quick charge before starting the update. For more info, see My battery is too low to update my phone.
Make some room on your phone for the update. If necessary, remove a few unwanted apps or other large items.
To see how much free space you have on your phone, on Start, flick left to the App list, tap Settings > About, and look at the number to the right of Available storage. For more info, see Make room on my phone to update it.
Free up space on your computer.
We'll need some room to download the software update, to save a backup of your existing phone software and settings, and possibly to sync media files from your phone to your computer. For more info, see Make room on my computer for phone updates.
Make sure your computer has a reliable Internet connection.
In some cases, you might need to switch from a wireless (Wi-Fi) connection to a wired (Ethernet) connection. Or you might need to adjust your computer's firewall or proxy settings. For more info, see the Network connection problems in Windows tutorial.
Verify that your phone is set to the correct date and time. That'll help us determine which updates you need. For more info, see Correct my date and time to update my phone.
How to install an update
When an update is available, we'll notify you on your phone. After you see the notification, pick a convenient time to install the update on your phone. The process can take up to an hour.
If you miss the notification or don't have time to install the update, we'll remind you again in a few days.
Connect your phone to your primary computer—the first one you connected your phone to—using the USB cable that came with your phone.
If you're using a different computer than you normally use, please see some important information in the Notes below.
If the Zune software doesn't start automatically when you connect your phone, start it manually.
We might ask you to update the Zune software. If we do, just follow the on-screen instructions. Then restart the sync software.
In the Zune software, click Update Now.
Make sure you keep your phone connected to your computer until you see a notification that the update is complete.
- When you connect your phone to a PC for the first time, the Zune software will automatically create a primary sync relationship between your phone and that computer. Other computers you connect to after that will have a guest sync relationship with your phone. Your primary computer remembers your linked phone and all of its settings and history, so it's the only computer that will create a backup of your phone during the update process. That's why we recommend that you only use your primary computer to update your phone software. If you need to use a different computer, see Syncing your phone to another computer.
- To check if an update is available for your phone, on Start, flick left to the App list, tap Settings , and then tap Phone update.
- By default, your phone uses your cellular data connection to check for updates and notifies you when an update is found. To change the type of connection for future updates, do this: on Start, flick left to the App list, tap Settings , and then tap Phone update.
- Although we notify you "over the air" (via your phone's data connection) when an update is available to download, we don't deliver the actual software update over the air. You must connect your phone to your computer to download and install available updates.
- When you install an update, all of your settings, apps, and media files are preserved.