How to: Developer Unlock a Windows Phone for Free

Windows Phone limits the deployment/installation of non-store apps to only Developer Unlocked phones and still carries a limit of max 3 apps for users without a Microsoft Developer Account. If you are looking to Developer Unlock your Windows Phone (regardless of the manufacturer), follow the tutorial below. There is also a scheduled post upcoming which discusses about installing/deploying local/cracked apps to developer unlocked phones.

Register a Windows Phone for Development (Developer Unlock)

  1. If you are just an end user who wants to unlock the phone to deploy some apps, download the Windows Phone Mini SDK (64MB) from here.
    On the other hand, if you are a developer and plan to build apps, you should download the Full WP8 SDK from here.
  2. Install the Mini SDK or the Full SDK on your Windows PC.
  3. Connect your Windows Phone device to the PC using a USB Cable and wait for the drivers to be installed (if they are not already installed).
  4. Click Start and type Developer Registration. Now open Windows Phone Developer Registration app.

    register development wp sdk

    Register for Development

  5. Make sure that the screen of your Windows Phone is unlocked and click on Register in the bottom-right of Developer Registration App. Click retry if it says that the phone is not detected.
  6. Login by entering your Microsoft Account credentials. You do not need to be registered as a developer to do the unlocking, hence any Microsoft Account will work.
  7. Let the Developer Registration app register your phone for development and you can deploy local/cracked apps thereafter.

    successfully unlocked

    Unlocked Phone Message

Unregister a Windows Phone for Development (Lock Development)

If you no longer need the capabilities offered by the Developer Unlock, you can lock it back again by following the above steps and choosing Unregister in Step 5.

Difference between WP8 Mini SDK and Full WP8 SDK

WP8 Mini SDK

  1. Contains only the Developer Registration and App Deployment tools.
  2. Size – 64MB.
  3. Works on Windows 7 or later (both 32-bit and 64-bit)
  4. Good for App Deployment.
  5. Quick Install of 5 minutes.

WP8 Full SDK

  1. Full set of tools used for development purpose.
  2. Size – Around 3.5GB (inc. Visual Studio)
  3. Works only on 64-bit version of Windows 8.
  4. Needed for Development.
  5. Takes more than 30 minutes to install on an average PC.

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197 Responses to How to: Developer Unlock a Windows Phone for Free

  1. somedude June 3, 2015 at 5:43 am #

    Thanks a lot “narender Singh”for not replying to some of us here that can’t get the f’ïng program to work and leaving us mid-air. Seriously, thanks a f’ing lot

    • whatevs June 3, 2015 at 6:09 am #

      Why, what’s your problem? The OP is probably busy. You can use google, you know

    • Narender Singh June 3, 2015 at 8:14 pm #

      Buddy, I understand your frustration, but I do receive a lot of comments over here and more than half of them are repetitive questions already answered in a previous comment. I do strive to reply to comments, but sometimes I can’t, because I’m busy (studies, friends, functions, I have a life too) or else I do not know of a solution that will work for a particular person. There can be many reasons of an issue from drivers to hardware to software services to operating systems. I really can’t judge and provide a helpful reply on the basis of a line of comment.
      I’m still sorry for this. I’ll try doing better.

  2. Sunny June 16, 2015 at 7:54 pm #

    Dear Narender Singh, is there any auto call recording software for Lumia 730

  3. Sunny June 16, 2015 at 8:13 pm #

    I got unlocked my Lumia 730

    • Narender Singh June 16, 2015 at 10:18 pm #

      Unfortunately, there isn’t. WP8 blocks Mic access to all apps during an ongoing call.

  4. Jack Boesen July 5, 2015 at 2:00 pm #

    My problem is that everything runs smoothly but after I log in with a Microsoft account, it says, “Unable to connect to a phone” even though at first it said it recognized my Windows Phone 8 was connected. Please help out with this I don’t understand what the problem is

  5. Jack Boesen July 5, 2015 at 2:01 pm #

    I also am getting an ErrorCode:0x64

  6. raj July 6, 2015 at 10:03 pm #


    • Multi July 24, 2015 at 9:41 am #

      No you cannot.

      This SDK only supports WP8

      Besides that, last year around December was the latest that Microsoft allowed developer unlock for WP7. And that unlock was only valid for 1 year….

      Basically Microsoft is actively killing WP7 and trying to make the device useless, there are only 5 months left in which new software for windows phone 7 can be created, after that all new software will be for windows phone 8 and higher only.

  7. priyanshu July 7, 2015 at 11:16 am #

    I get a problem while register this its status :–correct time and date…but my mobile nd PC time and date is absolutely correct what can I do… Tel me pls sssssss

    • Soumik September 10, 2015 at 8:54 pm #

      me 2

  8. samantha August 21, 2015 at 10:40 pm #

    Sir I did exactly as u mentioned.. But the problem is that whenever I try to deploy any xap file,it says that the “file is invalid” or “error unregistered class file” please help…

  9. sudeep August 25, 2015 at 8:06 pm #

    sir, im using lumia 525 and when i enter my email id n passwornd n clik sign in, it shows that WP8 make sure that the windows phone IP over USB transport (IpOverUsbSvc) service is running, please give a sugetion soon. please

  10. Soumik September 10, 2015 at 8:53 pm #

    I can’t register my phone lumia 540 .. its show me my ph date is incorrect or net connection bt i try for many times & chacke my ph for up to date what should i do?

  11. Nitesh September 11, 2015 at 12:35 pm #

    i cant register …an error is coming in my lumia 540

  12. Saad September 14, 2015 at 10:32 pm #

    I had successfully unlocked my Nokia Lumia 630 by using sdk lite. My problem is when I open windows xap depoyer / windows power tools then it doesn’t open. Do I need to install some more softwares

  13. sadiq September 24, 2015 at 3:14 pm #

    when i click on register an window of sign in pops out and automatically gets closed in an second….plz help with this

  14. fahad October 10, 2015 at 6:03 pm #

    I cant do developer registration…it shows “Unable to connect a phone.Make sure that the windowsphone IP over transport(IpOverUsbSvc)service is running”
    help me please

    • saif October 25, 2015 at 3:46 pm #


    • AlienSteak February 3, 2016 at 12:57 am #

      Go to the device manager and check if your phone drivers are installed. In my case they weren’t. As soon as I updated them it worked for me.

  15. diju November 13, 2015 at 9:15 pm #

    I cant do developer registration…it shows “the devices is Runing Zune software” How to fix this problem. Plz help me

  16. Moin November 25, 2015 at 2:37 pm #

    When deploying the xap app it shows invalid xap file what to do then???

  17. Adithyan. A February 21, 2016 at 2:29 pm #

    Same……. ain’t working with My 540…….

  18. Rohan Bezewada March 14, 2016 at 1:35 am #

    Can’t it be done offline…

    • Narender Singh March 14, 2016 at 8:10 am #

      The app needs to connect to your Microsoft account so it needs an internet connection.

  19. Deepjyoti baishya April 1, 2016 at 9:35 pm #

    Sir , please solved my problem . Sir I am download windows 8 sdk full and I try your good trick but I am not successful Nokia Lumia 630 please help ! Thanks .

  20. jivesh soni May 10, 2016 at 5:35 pm #

    Sir when I click on register it shows error logging in dev center cheak your Microsoft account credintial and try again. please help

  21. Jen May 14, 2016 at 4:03 am #

    Error communicating with the windows phone dev center. Please set the correct date and time on the phone, check the internet connection on device and try again later. (EroorCode:0x64)

    Im not understanding everything is set to how it should be. Can anyone help?

    • Jen May 14, 2016 at 4:12 am #

      Never mind. I figured it out. Anyone that has a error like this needs to go to the Windows Phone Dev Center and just long in with your account. Then retry registering should work then.

      • steve May 22, 2016 at 10:31 pm #

        hi, i didnt understand this. Where is dev center?

  22. Baptist May 21, 2016 at 6:09 pm #

    guys its not gonna work unless u get urself a developer account!! For which u have to pay!! IKR Sad Shit :/

    • Narender Singh May 22, 2016 at 9:37 am #

      No. You do not need a developer account to unlock the devices. But since Microsoft is going more towards Windows 10, it can be possible that they’ve disabled the unlocking.

  23. Atom June 25, 2016 at 3:41 am #

    About to test this out on my device. So, when I developer unlocked my phone, can I install as many non-store apps as I want?

  24. Rita July 25, 2016 at 8:49 am #

    I cant manage to install the exe there must be an error in wpsdk en msi file
    please help

  25. Kushal September 16, 2016 at 12:11 pm #

    I got this Error while deploying vcREG_1_5_W10M.xap

    Installation of the application failed. Run time error has occurred. Fix the Capabilities in WMAppManifest.xml file.

    Please Help

  26. Tboy September 20, 2016 at 11:40 pm #

    Can this trick unlock sim operator

    • Narender Singh September 21, 2016 at 12:18 am #

      No buddy, this will not affect the carrier lock. You need the respective unlock code from your carrier to get rid of the lock.

  27. Rohan September 21, 2016 at 7:24 am #

    will it work on lumia 532 Dual sim?

  28. F.khan December 9, 2016 at 4:10 pm #

    Hi my name is khan and my mobile is Micromax win w121 can I unlock through this tool mini sdk

  29. Niranjan December 22, 2016 at 12:00 pm #

    How to unlock my Microsoft 540 please tell me 😊

  30. nithin January 15, 2017 at 4:23 pm #

    “this package could not be opened. verify that the package exists and you can access it.” error installing the sdk mini .can u help me with this?

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