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Get started with Windows Phone

Here's a quick rundown of the basics on your Windows Phone—things like making calls, sending texts, and getting apps.

Looking for more? Check out What's new in Windows Phone 8.1 to see all the great new features.

Sign in to your phone

Sign in with a Microsoft account to download apps, back stuff up, and more. You'll have a chance to sign in when you first set up your phone, but you can do it later, too.

Make a phone call

First and foremost, your phone is for making calls.

Number 1 On Start Start icon, tap Phone Phone icon > KeypadKeypad icon.

Make a call on Windows Phone

Number 2 Enter a phone number, and then tap Call.

Make a call on Windows Phone

Send a text

Here's how to start a new text. To reply to a message, just tap it.

Number 1 On Start Start icon, tap Messaging Messaging icon > New New icon.

Send a text on Windows Phone

Number 2 Enter a phone number or contact, type your message, and then tap Send Send icon.

Send a text on your Windows Phone

Add a contact

Add a brand-new contact like this—or import contacts from other places.

Number 1 On Start Start icon, tap People People icon. Then swipe over to Contacts and tap New New icon.

Add a contact on Windows Phone

Number 2 Type in the boxes and tap Save Save icon (if you have more than one account set up, you'll need to choose the one you want first).

Add a contact on Windows Phone

Get apps

What's a smartphone without fun and useful apps?

On Start Start icon, tap Store Store icon, then tap a tile to see details, swipe to see more, or tap Search Search icon.

Get apps on Windows Phone

Find your apps

On Start Start icon, swipe over to the App list. Tap Search Search icon to find a specific app, or tap a letter to jump to that section.

Find the App list on Windows Phone


If you have a Windows Phone 8, to find your games, go to the App list and then tap Games.

Pin apps to Start

In the App list, tap and hold the app you want to pin, and then tap Pin to start.

Pin apps to Start on Windows Phone

See what else you can pin

Set a lock screen password

A lock screen password can help keep your phone more secure. To learn how to set one up, see Lock screen FAQ.

More help with getting started

Note on software versions

This topic 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. Check to see which software version you have and find out if an update is available.

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