Saturday, February 14, 2015

Guide to restoring back to Windows Phone 8.1 from Windows 10 Technical Preview

Enjoying Windows 10 for your phone, well the fun would most likely end if you're just trying out the update. As I mentioned in our hands on with the preview build of Windows 10, the software is just not ready for daily use and in most cases is just unbearable compared to the Windows Phone we know and love. If you followed our guide to installing the Windows 10 for phones preview, this is like the continuation of that. Microsoft was kind enough to allow users to try out unfinished software and with that they are also providing a program to restore your phone back to it's original state.

In the guide to installing the preview build, the first step which I mentioned was to backup your data. Well now it's the time to restore that backed up data. But unlike installing the update, restoring back to Windows Phone 8.1 from the Windows 10 preview requires the help of a computer and also an internet connection. The entire process will take about an hour to complete and your device must have at least a 40% charge.


Another thing to note is that if you were previously on the latest Preview for Developers build, you'll be restored back to the latest firmware for your device. So, essentially you'll be back to square one in terms of software and you will need to reinstall the Preview for developers build(s) again.


Step 1: Download and install the Windows Phone Recovery Tool

To restore your device back to Windows Phone 8.1, you'll need to download the windows phone restore app from Microsoft. After downloading, follow the wizard to install the application. The installation process is quite quick and will not take much time. 

Step 2: Connect your device to the computer

After that launch the windows phone restore app and also connect your device to the computer via a microUSB cable. Your device should be detected automatically, if not reboot your PC and try again (this should work). Follow the steps on the program to download the firmware for your device (approx 1.7GB in size). After that is done, you should be able to unplug your device as the software is being installed onto your device.
If you were beamed up this error, just click exit and retry the download

Step 3: Wait patiently

The installation of the firmware takes about 5 minutes and is noticeably faster than installing the Windows 10 for phones preview. Once the installation is done, you'll be taken to the 'first time' setup process where you'll have to choose your language and preferences. Finally, there will be an option to either restore your backup or either start afresh without anything.
Well, that wasn't too hard right. Overall the process of installing and restoring from the Windows 10 for phones preview was quite simple and took about 2 hours. It is quite a feasible for a weekend project to try out Microsoft's latest offering for smartphones.