How to reinstall Windows Phone 8.1 on Windows 10 Technical Preview

The recently released Windows 10 Technical Preview build 10051 supported more than 30 Lumia phone models. The first Windows 10 update supported only few set of Lumia devices like Lumia 635.  The increase in number of Lumia handsets supporting Windows 10 is good news for Windows Phone enthusiasts who are awaiting to experience the latest OS by Microsoft for the first time.  Microsoft has openly stated in their Windows Insider program terms that installing preview version of the OS might severely hamper the performance of phone on various aspects of usability.

Reinstall Windows Phone 8.1 on Windows 10 Technical Preview

Windows-10-Insider-Program-for-Windows-Phone

If you are the one among those who have installed Windows 10 Technical Preview on your primary phone and want to get back to your previous Windows Phone 8.1, you can do it using a recovery software released by Microsoft called “Windows Phone Recovery Tool“.

Here is the step-by-step instructions to migrate your phone from Windows 10 Technical Preview to Windows Phone 8.1.

Prerequisites

  • A Windows PC
  • Windows Phone
  • USB cable
  • Windows Phone recovery tool software

Steps to recover your phone

  • Download the Windows Phone Recovery Tool. A 2.2 MB file “WindowsPhoneRecoveryToolInstaller.exe”  should start downloading.
  • Install and launch the Windows Phone Recovery Tool application and connect your phone to the computer with the help of USB cable. If the connected phone is not detected automatically, disconnect and reconnect, and press “My phone was not connected” button which is present at the bottom to follow the on-screen instructions.
  • Once the phone detection is successful, select your  phone model on the screen in order to continue.
  • The next screen contains various versions of software available for download, select your preferred one ( in our case latest Windows Phone 8.1) and hit on “re-install” button which is present at the bottom.
  • You can see a disclaimer which suggests you to back-up your phone, before you proceed. Tap “continue” to proceed.
  • The recovery tool starts downloading and installs the selected firmware which you pre-selected. The file size of required installation files is about 1.7 GB. Time for downloading these files depends on your network connection. When the files are being downloaded make sure not to disconnect the phone from your computer, keep the USB connection intact.
  • If you have completed all the above steps correctly. The installation shall soon finish with a prompt –  “Operation successfully completed”

Your phone is now all set and has been successfully rolled back to Windows Phone 8.1 OS.

Some of the common reasons why people are rolling back to the Windows Phone 8.1 is because of the various performance issues, for example – the phone being laggy, unresponsive lock screen which takes too long to unlock the phone, apps and games which are present on the phone not working desirably, battery running out soon, data connections cannot be disabled and there is a problem in launching apps which are present on SD card.

In case you are already running Windows 10 and want to revert back to previous version on your phone, this tutorial shall help you do it. Visit our TWC Forum if you have any questions.

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Posted by on , in Category Phone with Tags
Chethan Thimmappa is a technology blogger and a mobile app developer. His areas of interests lies in Windows, Windows Phone, Cross-Platform App development and End-user design paradigms. He is passionate about cars and bikes.

65 Comments

  1. daneclonney

    Hmm.. good article. But seriously Windows 10 Preview is good and awaiting for its launch..

    Install Windows 10 Preview

  2. steven

    My Lumia 535 disconnected during a roll back…It is not starting up and the hard/soft reset option does not work….It stopped on the red screen.. Any help provided is highly appreciated…Thank You

  3. Kien Jaena

    same issue bro 🙁 any solution?

  4. Kien Jaena

    email me bro, if you fix yours. kien.jaena@yahoo.com

  5. Merrymike

    give the Nokia lumia software recovery too; installer a go.. the windows phone recovery tool didn’t work at all.. the nokia one had me back to win8.1 in 30 mins. 🙂

  6. Ron Hewey

    Got the same issue, but I’m using a Mac… any ideas? or is there a dmg version of Windows Phone Recovery?

  7. alan

    i need help with htc one m8 …….

  8. Dani

    I rolled back mu lumia920 from Windows 10 expecting get back to windows 8.1. Therefore I follow every step as it show above. The result? My phone end with The primary OS windows phone 8.0 Lumia Black. I had to update it to Denim and it took me like 3hours while downloading all my apps again (in this case the backup didn’t work out). It was a kick in the balls but finally I recovered my phone at it’s normal state (Denim).

  9. ravindra

    Hi Chethan,

    I have installed Windows 10 Tech Prev on my Lumia 720 and its terrible.In simple terms windows 10 on Lumia 720 is disaster.I know that lumia 720 has only 512 RAM and is not sufficient for Win 10.

    So i reset my phone through settings in order to get winows 8.1 but my bad luck the phone got reset to again Windows 10 (software version 3058.50000.1425.0002) and OS version 10136.12634.

    I followed your steps to get Windows 8.1 and installed Windows Phone Recovery Tool but it is showing the latest software version 3058.50000.1425.0002 is available to install on my device and not the windows 8.1 or 8 whatever.

    I tried with lumia recovery tool also and the result is same.

    Please help me to get back to windows 8.1.

    Thanks in advance.

  10. Hi Ravindra, Thanks for dropping by. Are you sure the 8.1 is not listed in rollback options while using the recovery tool? Please double check.. I will check and let you know if there are any other solutions. Ideally using recovery software, and selecting the 8.1 version should bring you back to the old version. Even I have a Lumia 620, which runs on 512 Mb RAM as yours…

  11. Ankur Gupta

    Sir, I also have a Lumia 720 and I am also facing exactly the same problem.
    Recovery tool is not showing windows 8.1 or windows 8.
    It only shows ‘latest software version 3058.50000.1425.0002’.
    please help sir, I can’t even use whatsapp properly.

  12. nani nanak

    hey my phone is lumia 720
    i got struck at reading phone information in windows recovery tool
    its rotating but not going to other screen
    wat to do pls help
    i really want to go to 8.1

  13. I have a Lumia 625. When I open the Recovery Tool, I can’t get the 8.1 version. It just reinstalls W10, I can’t select W8.1 in any way. Is it normal?
    Some screenshots of the steps could be fine please

  14. Yuh Joseph

    my lumia 625 tells me ‘package not available for this phone’ i have insisted, tried the lumia software to no avail… i really want to get back to windows 8.1 but i;m sincerely stuck, i need help please anybody

  15. Siddhant

    Lumia 720

    i downloaded the update and then when i clicked on install the phone
    restarted and started installing the update but when the update was
    nearly 75% done phone phone showed a sad smiley face and the it switched
    off when i restarted it it started showing the gears again and then it
    switched off and again and again i don’t know what to do please help

  16. Amrit Shahi

    I am also having same problem today. Have you resolved this problem now?

  17. Chetan

    I am having same problem…showing only windows 10 version for reinstall and not 8.1

  18. rahul

    my lumia 535 getting error at ‘verifying download files’……………….I tried it 10 times still same issue

  19. Sudipto Sinha Roy

    I have already made my Lumia 535 into Windows 10 but some updates like display touch audio such important updates are not updating in app store.Can u please solve that??thank u…:)

  20. Riak London

    Hi guys
    I have the same problem, but is not as your. I’m using Lumia 625 I upgraded my Lumia to window 10 but it turned out that it was bad idea because it doesn’t work as i expected it runs very slowly and sometime I really want get back my window 8.1 but since I’ve read those comments I don’t know what to do. Should I try to recovery it I need help, thanks

  21. aditya chauhan

    didyou get the solution for dis problem? did you rollback to win8.1

  22. Nitin Mundada

    Hi Chetan
    mine is Lumia 630 and build 10049. My lumia kept updating for some latest build, but halted many times on 0%, 4 %, 32 % or 27 % randomly. It was never successful update. It was also using lot of mobile data. Finally I did hard reset. After hard reset some installation process starts but halts after 10 minutes, a sad smiley comes on screen and lumia is switched off. What do I do ?
    I installed windows recovery tool, lumia recovery tool, but of no use. Whenever I connect my mobile to PC, two wheels starts rotating for about 10 minutes and ends with sad smiley.

    Than in advance
    Nitin

  23. Ztil Airt Nap

    same with my Microsoft Lumia 535 sir. Recovery tool wont show windows 8.1/8.0 option. only shows that i have the latest version
    windows 10 realy sucks

  24. Hi Ztil.. Are you sure… Because I recently successfully went back to Windows Phone 8.1 from Windows 10 TP…. However I am not sure which software I used… If you didn’t succeed with Windows Phone Recovery Tool. I would suggest you check out another tool called Lumia Recovery Tool… Please let us know if Lumia Recovery tool worked for you…

  25. Ztil Airt Nap

    Successfully rolled back my phone to 8.1
    Used the Windows Recovery Tool. Thanks God i went smooth the last time I tried it.

  26. chiragasourabh

    switch off your mobile ,. and click and hold volume up and lock button at a time and connect to charger immediately. then the mobile will reset

  27. kapil sangwan

    did u get the solution?? because i am facing the same problem
    plz mail me

  28. Joseph

    I have a Lumia 1520 running 8.0,,but refused to check for updates,,and therefore it can’t be up graded ,,it shows not foresale during booting,,can someone help with the right information of how to restore this phone to normal and the not foresale issue disappears away,,,for any information whatssap me on +256703687308

  29. manas kumar

    I am facing the same problem..did u get the solution pls mail me at -kumar.manas@live.com

  30. Rupesh

    My lumia 535 is woking good as early after downgrading windows

    but when i was redeaming a promo code on Mobikwik mobile app ,they displaying a errror message”user is not registerd from this plateform”

    Offer is 300 cashback on adding 300 using debit card
    code is LUM300

  31. Hafeez Ullah

    My Lumia 430. I have problem for update: “A connection error prevented us from downloading programs for you. Please check the date/time of your device and its network connection and try again”

    Please solve this problem..

  32. larrydegelman

    How do I backup my Lumia 920 phone when I can’t get a Start Screen after logging on? All it ever says is “loading”, but then nothing. I need to revert back to Windows Phone 8.1, because Win Phone 10 Preview has rendered my phone useless.

  33. northface

    How remove files Windows Phone Recovery Tool download to my computer, it too large more than 4GB in hard disk.

  34. Ahtisham

    Well Guys… If you are facing same problem.
    Don’t worry just uninstalled your recovery tool and reinstall it as its downloaded stuff. Run registry cleaner and clean mgr. Restart your computer. then use your recovery tool and follow the instructions.
    Hope it would work for you… Same thing for Mac users as well.

    Regard
    S. Ahtisham Ali

  35. Noor Khan

    does it work for HTC 8X
    i tried my best it says software package not found on server

  36. asit kumar

    lumia 620 approx 6 hour coninusouly automatic restart at the time of installing window 10 or still same condition . any body help me how to resolve this problem

  37. Riivo Põlluste

    Nokia Software Updater for Retail 4.3.2 was the solution for me after having failed attempts at rolling back to 8.1 on my lumia 830 using Windows phone recovery tool and Nokia software recovery tool.

  38. Bipin

    hi i already once downloaded the lumia package will i have to download it again to falsh to windows 8?

  39. Rebin Simpson

    wifi doesn’t work on my lumia 1020 after installing windows 10 tech. preview. and this application only gives me an earlier release of windows 10 , there is not windows 8 :/ help please

  40. pema namgyal

    download windows phone recovery tool and connect your phone, this might help you. recently it happened same with me

  41. mohit

    If I install the technical preview of win10 on my Lumia 730 would I be able to get into the genune win10 update. Without uninstaling win10 tech. Preview

  42. Ajmal

    After downgrading windows 10 my phone 535 not supporting instagram nd in people my own contact I can’t add did u have the solution for this

  43. hasitha paranavithana

    i used new update of windows device recovery tool softwear and i successfully reinstalled windows 8.1 in my mobile….

  44. musicman

    Installed Windows 10 Technical Preview on my Lumia 1520.I then went back to 8.1.Now I have no sound. I make a call, no one can hear me and I can’t hear them.
    Cortana will not work.
    Help please,I really like this phone,however frustration has me wanting to go back to Android.

  45. gunaseelan 21.10.2015

    my lumia 535 is not connect to that and its only showing process processssssssssssssss

  46. shree

    iam using Microsoft lumia 540 on windows 10 preview … so I decided to rool back to windows 8 version as windows 10 is slow in this process I decided to reset my mobile but my reset has failed and it is displaying a blue colered screen and again it switches off

  47. AKH

    Did not work on my Lumia 830.

  48. Aresha Asghar

    how?

  49. UgoGop

    same problem even using headphones or bluetooth! Also, do not have camera or video function either!

  50. UgoGop

    take out sd memory card and retry then.

  51. Mahmoud Hamdy

    this not work with my lumia 540 ?! the message is there is no package for your device ??!

  52. Anwar

    Ma phone is vry slow……
    Hw i cn reinstal 8

  53. Deathstroke

    Hello guys
    I have lumia 535 and recently i updated windows10 preview.
    All work well but playing subway surfer it stuck a lot and due screen resolution i cant use down option in game. And game also very slow n sometime not work…..
    Plz give me some solution

  54. Ajit Arya

    Hello friends i have also faced this problems and i have really very upset bcoz my lumia 625 is not properly on it is just on and showing almost done… step 1 to 9 migrating your data…and after that again and again repeat this step and i have also try to win recovery tool but flashing time phone is shut down….so pls help me anyone….plssss
    my email ajtaryas@gmail.com

  55. Slimfast

    Nokia Lumia 930, I’ve been in the Insider programme and have Win10 (Fast Lane) installed. By accident I quit the Insider program using the Win10 Mobile insider tools (choose “quit” in the options) and want to re-join. Unfortunately this doesn’t work. When I try to re-connect to the fast lane I don’t see this option. Instead, I am being told that either my Phone is not compatible or I am not joining the insider programme. The latter is wrong (I verified on the MS webpage, I am still insider), but how do I get the tool to recognise my Smartphone/OS is compatible? I tried un-/re-installing the insider tool, reboot etc. I don’t want to do a cold-start not using the recovery tool to reset becasue I don’t want to loose what I’ve installed/configured.
    Any help???

  56. shejo wins

    Hi, I am using microsoft 535 and i installed win 10 os it’s very slow and hanging so many times automatically getting shut down also. so i decide to go win 8.1 os. After that in my pc i installed windows recovery tool it’s not working properly after 400MB it automatically cancelled. so what should i do. Do you have any other ideas to reset to win 8.1

  57. narendra

    bro’s this recovery software not install in my pc…..win 7 ultimate……..plzzzzz help meeee

  58. Amit Chand

    I am having same problem too. After connecting device of lumia 535 dual, it is reading device information for hours. no progress from that point. what to do? please tell me, i am bothered with windows 10

  59. Honey Chawla

    I have successfully rollbacked to windows 8.1 through this tutorial. So thankyou chethan very much. you have made this easier.

  60. Honey Chawla

    There is no issue rolling back to windows 8.1 through windows recovery tools. i too faced that issue when my connection lost but then it started from where it left and things done successfully.

  61. Abdus sami.

    Hmm bad for me…. Why windows phone is so difficult all time…i don’t have pc now I need a pc to rollback my old phone software… That’s way I hate windows phones … Why don’t they made a single app to rollback from windows 10 to 8.1 or 7…. Only a single app.

  62. akshay

    by installing windows 8.1 by recovery tools its showing error like emergence package was not found or emergence flashing for your device is currently not supported or emergence package was not found on server.
    plz help me to roll back on windows 8.1

  63. Michael Dean-Jackson

    Hello everyone. I’m not tech savvy and I followed all the instructions about reinstalling windows on my Lumia 535 usiing the Windows Device Recovery Tool. How long does the reinstallation take? My phone is connected to my pc for almost 24 hours and is still installing. Is this correct or is something wrong? What must I do? Thank-you. michaelwdeanjackson@gmail.com

  64. june

    I have lost my outlook contacts, calendar appointments and birthdays, previous text and phone record with windows 10 mobile on 640 xl. I have my emails on the Microsoft a/c why have I lost my contacts. I have them on my laptop but can’t figure out how to transfer them to my phone

  65. vinay reddy

    hii i am getting error (801882d1) still even i have done reset restart still i am facing issue

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