How do I update my phone software?

We periodically release Windows Phone software updates to add new features you've asked for and to maximise 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 aren't sure what's on your phone.
  • Windows 8 Pro supports the Zune software, but Windows RT does not.

How to prepare for an update

  1. Install the Zune software on your PC. You'll need this software to download the phone update.

  2. 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.

  3. Make some room on your phone for the update. If necessary, remove a few unwanted apps or other large items.

    To see how much space you have on your phone, on Start, flick left to the App list, press Settings Settings icon > About and look at the number to the right of Available storage. For more info, see Making room on your phone to update it.

  4. Clear some 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 synchronise media files from your phone to your computer. For more info, see Making room on your computer for phone updates.

  5. Make sure your computer has a reliable Internet connection.

    In some cases, you might need to switch from a wireless (WiFi) 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.

  6. 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 Correcting the date and time to update your phone.

How to install an update

  1. When an update is available, we'll notify you on your phone. After you have received 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.

  2. 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 the one you normally use, please see some important information in the Notes below.

  3. If the Zune software doesn't start automatically when you connect your phone, start it manually.

  4. We might ask you to update the Zune software. If we do, just follow the on-screen instructions. Then restart the sync software.

  5. 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 Synchronising your phone to another computer.
  • To see if an update is available for your phone, on Start, flick left to the Application list, press Settings Settings icon, then press Phone update.
  • By default, your phone uses your mobile 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, press Settings Settings icon, then press 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 in this way. 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.

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