- Getting started with Windows Phone
- What's new in Windows Phone 8.1
- Windows Phone tips and tricks
- What's changed in Windows Phone 8.1
- Synchronising your Windows Phone
- Where's the App list?
- Copying and pasting
- Gestures: swipe, pan and stretch
- Places to try tapping and holding
- Setting up Windows Phone for kids
- Tips to help keep your phone secure
- What is the cloud?
- How do I get Windows Phone 8.1?
- How do I update my phone software?
- Making room on your phone to update it
- Solutions to update issues
- Windows Phone 8 update history
- Which version of Windows Phone do I have?
- Switching between apps
- Using Driving Mode
- Moving from Android or iPhone to Windows Phone
- Moving from Android to Windows Phone
- Moving from iPhone to Windows Phone
- How-to videos
- Feature and service availability
- Privacy resources
Windows Phone 8 update history
Our effort to build great software never stops. That's why we periodically release updates for Windows Phone 8 to add new features that maximise 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.
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. Have a Nokia or Microsoft Lumia phone? Visit the Microsoft Mobile Devices website to see if there's updated software for your phone model.
See How do I update my phone software? to learn how to install updates or check if there's an update available for you to download.
Windows Phone 8.1 Update 2
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 > About > Edit name to name it.
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 on your phone. And now get your text messages straight 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 > App permissions to get started.
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 re-used. (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 organise 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, then forward them to someone else.
Apps Corner. Apps Corner lets you specify apps that other people can use on a Windows Phone. Great for individuals and any-sized organisations who only want to provide the essential apps for others to use for work, school or any other reason.
Cortana. There's now another way to start Cortana from a Bluetooth hands-free system in your car – just tap the contact named "Cortana" and ask her whatever you want. And you're now 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 on your phone. Spend less time panning and zooming and more time enjoying some of your favourite websites.
Alarms. Now you can customise the snooze time for an alarm, then enjoy a little more shut-eye 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 mobile 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 only available for phones running build 8.10.14203.206.) To get info about the latest features, see the Battery Saver app in the Store.
Mobile data. Add mobile data as a quick action, then turn your data connection on or off with one tap in action centre. (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 centre. 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 WiFi, 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, you can type by sliding your fingers around the Word Flow keyboard, 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 makes sure the people in your inner circle can still get through.
Burst mode. Whether you're taking pictures of children, 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. New settings in Data Sense help you get more out of your mobile 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. See how much battery you have left, which apps are using the most power and get the most out 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.)
WiFi Sense. WiFi Sense connects you to more WiFi networks around you, so you don't have to do it on your own. Get connected and save mobile 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, as well as 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 personalise 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 normal 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. You can even get an idea of 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 favourites and tabs, theme colour and more. When you're signed in with your Microsoft account, these settings are synchronised 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. Xbox Video, Xbox Music and Podcasts apps deliver more entertainment to you on your phone. Xbox Video lets you browse, buy and watch videos, films and TV programmes. Xbox Music lets you find new music, preview it and listen to it. With the Podcasts app, you can find new podcasts and subscribe to your favourites 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, then swipe over to Phone to see the results.
Update apps automatically. Your apps are 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 combine the two if you want. 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 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, WiFi 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 are now backed up 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 mobile data or WiFi connection. And when you're back at work, there's also support for connecting via enterprise WiFi 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 clear 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 minimise 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 change when you move your phone around.
WiFi. Start preserving mobile data on your phone from the word go – you can now connect to WiFi during setup.
Internet sharing. Now you can use your phone's mobile 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 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've 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 synchronised to a Google account prior to 31 December 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 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. (Not all mobile operators offer Data Sense.)
Skype. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) apps such as 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 favourite 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.
WiFi connectivity. Have a favourite WiFi network? Windows Phone 8 will now prioritise WiFi connections based on your connection history.
Other improvements. Includes many other improvements to Windows Phone.