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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 so you can download it directly to your phone over a Wi-Fi or cellular data connection. To see what features or improvements have been added in the latest update, see Windows Phone 8 update history.

Phone update screen on Windows Phone

Before you download and install an update:

  • Charge your phone. We won't perform the update unless your phone has sufficient power.
  • If you're worried about cellular data charges, use Wi-Fi and manually download the update. See How can I minimize my data usage? to learn more.
  • If you don't have enough storage space on your phone to get an update and you have an SD card inserted in your phone, we might be able to update your phone using the SD card. Support for using your SD card for updating your phone depends on your phone model and manufacturer.
  • If we can't install an update using an SD card, you'll need to have enough storage space on your phone so we can perform the update. If you try to update and you don't have enough free space, we'll prompt you to go to Storage Sense to make room. To check how much space you have available, in the App list, go to Storage Sense Storage Sense Tile (in Windows Phone 8, go to Settings Settings icon > Phone storage). For more info about how to make more room, see Make room on my phone to update it.

How to download updates automatically

  1. In the App list, tap Settings Settings icon > Phone update.

  2. Select the Automatically download updates if my data settings allow it Check box icon check box.

    Note

    Updates won't download if data settings on your phone prevent it. For example, both Data Sense and Battery Saver can limit how your phone uses data. To learn more, see Use Data Sense to manage data usage and Battery: making it last. (Not all mobile operators offer Data Sense.)

How to check for updates manually

  1. In the App list, tap Settings Settings icon > Phone update.

  2. Tap Check for updates.

Note

Windows Phone will let you know when new updates are available. If you check manually for an expected update and your phone appears to be up to date, it may be that it isn't available yet for your specific phone, mobile operator, or market.

Tip

Have a Nokia Lumia phone? Check out the Microsoft Mobile Devices website to see if there's updated software for your phone model.

How to install an update

  1. If you aren't set up to automatically download updates, tap Settings Settings icon > Phone update, and then tap Download when prompted after checking for updates or receiving an update notification.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Tap Show details, and then tap Install. Your phone will restart, and then install the update.
    • Tap Show details, and then tap Not now if you want to go back to Settings Settings icon > Phone update later to install the update.
    • Tap Preferred install time, and then choose a time to install the update. (Scheduling an update is available after updating to Windows Phone 8.1 Update build 8.10.14203.206.)

    Note

    It usually takes 5 to 10 minutes to install an update, but it could take longer depending on the number of apps you've got installed on your phone.

  3. After your phone restarts, wait for it to migrate your settings, and then tap Done to finish the update.

Tip

Did your phone get stuck while updating? Restart your phone to get your update back on track.

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