As an average Joe Lumia Icon owner, I waited for what seemed like forever just to get the Lumia Cyan update on Verizon. Instead, Verizon chose to bypass Lumia Cyan altogether and release Lumia Denim instead. Once I got Lumia Denim, more and more people online start chatting up about what would soon become known as Windows 10 Mobile previews. Even when Windows 10 Mobile was set to get its first build, I thought, “Maybe they’ll include the Lumia Icon this time.” Nope.
Finally, when I was able to update to the first Windows 10 Mobile build 10080 for the Lumia Icon, I was excited to finally put it on my Icon. Now I know many of you are going to say, “you’re not supposed to use it on your daily phone, moron. Microsoft even says so.” I didn’t get an extra computer to test out Windows 10 Technical Preview, so I wasn’t going to buy another Windows Phone to test out Windows 10 Mobile Technical Preview either. So I threw caution to the wind and upgraded my Lumia Icon to Windows 10 Mobile Build 10080.
Needless to say, I found build 10080 extremely buggy and entirely unusable on my Icon. So, I accepted defeat and rolled back my Icon back to Windows Phone 8.1 with the Windows Phone Recovery Tool. I assumed there would be a future Windows 10 Mobile build that would be more stable. So, I waited, and waited. I dealt with the same problems with builds 10136 and 10149 on my Icon, so I found myself trying to upgrade again and again, only to then roll back to Windows Phone 8.1.
On my birthday, July 10, Windows 10 Mobile Build 10166 was released. From the YouTube videos I viewed online (like the one below), it seemed like build 10166 was smoother and faster than previous builds and I was determined to get the Windows 10 Mobile 10166 build on my Lumia. I grew sick and tired of seeing other people online showing off the latest Windows 10 Mobile features on their Lumia while I stood on the sidelines as a spectator. So after hours of tinkering, I came up with my own method of putting a clean install of Windows 10 Mobile on my Lumia:
- 1. Back up all your data, either through Backup Assistant Plus through Verizon (in my case, or your preferred backup service cellular provider) and OneDrive, just to be safe.
- 2. Hard reset your Windows Phone through the Windows Phone Recovery Tool to completely wipe your Windows Phone.
- 3. After the hard reset, DO NOT restore from a previous backup, instead set it up as a new phone (last option).
- 4. Download the Windows Insider app for Windows Phone.
- 5. Open Windows Insider app and select Fast Ring or Slow Ring for Insiders based on your preference (Fast Ring is best).
- 6. When your Windows Phone reboots, go to Settings>Phone Update, then download and install Windows Phone 8.1 Update 2 (if it is available for your Windows Phone).
- 7. After your phone reboots, go back to Phone Update to download the latest Windows 10 Mobile Technical Preview Build.
- 8. Once the latest Windows 10 Technical Preview Build is installed, go to Settings>System>About and factory reset your Windows Phone again.
- 9. Setup your Windows Phone as normal and restore your apps through the Windows Store.
Please note: Not all of your Windows Phone 8.1 apps will survive the migration, but you’ll get a cleaner Windows 10 Mobile experience with fewer bugs experienced. I tried installing the Windows 8.1 Update 2 first before downloading the Windows Insider app and ran into a myriad of problems getting my Lumia actually to run Windows 10 Mobile consistently and bug–free. Sometimes, my Lumia would constantly reset itself for hours even though I followed all the steps that even Microsoft posts.Further reading: Lumia, Microsoft, OneDrive, Windows 10 Insider, Windows 10 Mobile, Windows Phone 8.1, YouTube