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


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.


  • 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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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.