Home Windows Phone Guides Windows Phone 8.1: How to Update using Preview for Developers?

Windows Phone 8.1: How to Update using Preview for Developers?

Windows Phone 8.1 was announced at the build conference last week with a lot of new features and additions which will bring Windows Phone more closer to other Operating Systems in terms of features and usability. The WP8.1 update will slowly be pushed by manufacturers and carriers (in case of a carrier branded phone) in a couple of months.

However, one interesting thing about Windows Phone is the Preview for Developers program which was announced by Microsoft during the announcement of GDR3 update Windows Phone 8. All this program does is to provide an early access to the OS updates when Microsoft is done building them. In short, you get your update before it is approved by your Carrier (Verizon, T-Mobile, at&T; etc) or Manufacturer (Nokia, Samsung, etc). I’ll try to answer a few of FAQs later at the end of the post, but for now – Yes! The update provided under the Preview for Developers is the final finished version of Windows Phone 8.1 – Same that will be given to Manufacturers to install on new phones.

Updating to Windows Phone 8.1 Preview – Step by Step

Follow these simple steps below to get the Windows Phone 8.1 update on your phone via the Preview for Developers Program. If you have any doubt, pay a visit to some of the FAQ’s at the end of this tutorial. You can also feel free to leave a comment in the section at the end of this post.

Part 1- Signup for AppStudio

As the program is for developers, the first thing you need to do is to signup as a AppStudio developer. The signup is fully free and only takes a Microsoft Account and a minute of time.

  1. Just head over to appstudio.windowsphone.com/Projects/Create (Click on the link or Copy>Paste in your browser).
  2. Enter your Microsoft Account credentials to login.
  3. Allow your account access to the application by clicking on Yes.
    Let this app access your info
    Allow Access
  4. Fill in your username and email address in the AppStudio registration form (the default fill should be okay though). Accept the terms by checking the box and click on Register.signup wp app studio
  5. That’s it for the signup part.

Part 2 – Configure Preview for Developers App on your Phone

After signing up for AppStudio, you need to download the Preview for Developers application for it to connect your developer account with your phone and configure the Update System to provide you with early updates. If you’re reading this article on a PC, scan the QR code below to download the app, else click on the QR code to reach the download page.

QR Code for Preview for Developers App

  1. Upon installation of the app, open it. Read the intro and tap next.
  2. Read the Terms and Conditions (if you want to) and tap on accept.
  3. Sign in using the same Microsoft account credentials that you used to signup for AppStudio in Part 1.
  4. Check the box in front of Enable Preview for Developers and tap done.
    preview for devs wp
    Enable Preview
  5. That’s it. You can close the app now.

Part 3 – Check for OS Updates and Install

All prerequisites for participating in the program are over. Just head over to Settings> Phone update to see if an update is already available.

The Preview update is being pushed in two phases. Firstly a tiny update of just a few MBs which makes it easy for you to update to Windows Phone 8.1. Next up is the full WP8.1 Update.

WP8.1 Developer update ready
Update Download Progress

Make sure you have a good amount of free space on your phone and charge the battery to at-least half before proceeding with the installation of update.

Time for some FAQs

I know you still have doubts in your mind. So here are answers to some of them. You can also leave a comment below.

Will it Void my Warranty?

Certainly not! Sooner or later, your phone will receive the same update through your phone manufacturer. Even though the Developer page warns about the warranty, I am sure to say that this does not affect your warranty in any way.

This is evident from the fact that during the WP8 GDR3 Preview, there were 0 reports that Nokia Care refused to honour a device’s warranty because of preview.

Will I still be eligible for Updates provided by Carrier or Manufacturer?

Yes definitely! The preview for developers only includes the Microsoft’s part of the updates and when in future, your Manufacturer and/or Carrier pushes an update, you will be able to receive it and install it normally.
However, because you have already update your OS, that update will only update your firmware, core OS remaining same.

What is the difference between OS Version and Firmware Version?

The OS version is the version of Windows Phone OS that you have. It is basically from Microsoft and stays same for all the devices running that OS built.
The Firmware version is the version of the firmware that runs complimentary to the main OS. The firmware may include specific improvements and apps like Camera improvements in case of Lumia phones.

If I update, will it erase my data?

No it won’t. The preview update will also be like the rest of the software updates. The update will be downloaded via FOTA and installed on your phone. your apps, messages and everything else will stay in place.

How much free space do I need in my Phone?

Windows Phone 8.1 is a major update to the OS and hence will require quite some space to download, extract and install the update. Keep as much free space as you can, but minimum should be around 1GB.

I don't want to get Preview. When will Official Update arrive?

I don’t see a reason why you don’t want to update to the Preview, but if you don’t want to, that’s Okay.

You will receive the official update from your manufacturer or carrier in the next couple of months. No dates are announced by any manufacturer yet, so sorry! One thing I can say according to the history is that HTC devices will be the first ones to receive official uupdates as HTC barely makes any changes with its firmware.

About the author

Narender Singh

A student of Business who loves IT. Has a soft corner for Nokia, but tries his best to not bring the bias to this blog.
Generally, avoids news and spends his time writing guides and tutorials which add value to the web.

144 Comments

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  • Iam unable to update to 8.1 through preview version even though they have released full version.. What to do in Lumia 720

  • I have the developer preview 8.1 installed on my 1020. my question is , will I still be able to get the full update when it is released ?

  • Nice job dude…tried it on 720, 820, 520 and 1020….successful.. fantastic…but for me the Extra&Infor still shows Lumia Black while its in 8.1, cortana works fine…but does it really need to show Lumia Cyan which is what’s on my 630 Win 8.1?….Rocking it anyway.

    • Whoa! You’ve got a LOT of Windows Phones 😀
      It will not show Lumia Cyan yet because what you installed is the Developer Preview. Cyan will show up when Nokia rolls out the final update which will include their Cyan package. What you have right now is only Microsoft’s Part of the update, not Nokia’s 🙂

  • I was told last night during a support chat with an HTC operative that not only are htc not planning an immediate release for their 8x device, but that once the dev prev has been installed, that device will no longer receive OTA updated from the manufacturer which I find incredulous
    having owned an htc radar and been screwed by MS on windows 8…i bought the 8x as a 2-3 year investment…it wasn’t cheap at just sub £300…i now wonder whether I am going to end up as another schmuck that didn’t follow the obviously preferred Nokia route. So far…wp8.1 has been as stable as one could hope, last few days have seen random system shutdowns. No sign of Cortana for uk or Europe 8x owners due to lack of native us language support which was not included with these models. Really does feel like a punch in the goolies and trying to find firm information from anybody regarding the update rollout is proving illusive to say the least. Any one interested in seeing the transcript of the HTC convo…just let me know.

    • Hey Nigel
      Thank you for finding time to write this comment. Back in Feb, HTC was quoted as saying that they were working on to bring the 8.1 update to the 8X. I don’t know why HTC will not push the Windows Phone 8.1 update anymore now. Unlike Nokia, they hardly add anything to the firmware and it is vanilla Windows Phone at the most part, except for a few apps. So dunno what is stopping them from pushing out these updates. Maybe they are giving up on Windows Phone already and won’t spend on supporting the devices anymore?
      Regardless of their statement, I think the update will still be available to the devices already using WP8.1 DP, if ever they decide to push it. It happens like that with Nokia devices and how is HTC any special?
      =>> I reached out to the HTC support here in India and they were pretty clean at saying that the update is provided by Microsoft and they have no role to play. I don’t know how far this stands true though.

      I can understand the frustration of finding out that your OEM does not support your device anymore. How about flashing the 8x with a US based ROM and hence getting the US language support? That will allow you to use Cortana and other features which are limited to US for now.
      That HTC statement will help in creating a media buzz and hopefully force HTC to issue a press release about the status of the update. Can you mail it to narender@techmesto.com? I will try to push it to high authority sites like WPCentral and WMPU.

  • Today i updated the 3rd one..after downloading was over it started install…but after installing 79% they show u have not enough space…and automatically installation was cancelled after 79%…now they showing to download the upload again…so what i will do now…i am from india how can i changed the region (us)..actually i already selected india..but i want to changed too US

    • Then you need to delete some items (apps or games) from your phone memory to free up space for the update and then try updating again.
      You can change the region to US anytime after the update. Won’t worry about that yet 🙂

  • My self ,im harminder from india and i am uesing lumia 720, i do all all this three steps as ypu say but after i chack far update my phone show ‘your phone is upto date’.pls help me how can i update windows 8 to windows 8.1.

  • Sir, I have update my nokia lumia 520, Now itz show lumia black in about phone. This update give no offer STORAGE SENSE to move app from phone to SD card..
    please reply.. What should i do..
    I have unlocked phone with devloper tool.

    • I’d recommend not to so as to continue receiving future updates. If you remove it, you will no longer receive early updates to the next releases.
      Rest is upto you 🙂

  • hi buddy..,

    You did a really grt job.. even the description provided is very crisp and clear and easy to understand.

    thanks a lot again. have a grt day..

    • Although they do warn about that, we have not came across cases where the warranty was dishonored. You can easily roll back to 8.0 while going for a warranty service 😛

  • Connected to wifi, though the update is not available! Now I get “error 80072ee7” message?! What is this? Why can’t I update my phone to 8.1?

  • we are currently unable to check for updates(801881e1)
    This message I’m getting continuously, everytime I check for updates. Pls help. 🙁

  • Followed all your given steps. But still I haven’t got 8.1 update in 720. 🙁
    Got two updates before the actual 8.1. Still i don’t have the 8.1. Is it necessary to change country, language, etc.to US?? Or after the update I can change it to India? Reply ASAP. Thanks.

    • Have you tried updating the 3rd time?
      You don’t need it as US. It is only needed if you want to use Cortana.

      • Yeah i tried finding updates for 3rd time. But still no updates. It shows “currently not able to find updates.”? How much time it takes to find update for 8.1 and to install it? Trying to find update since yesterday?! What’s wrong?? :/

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