Some folks like to hack their smartphones to add support for apps and features that wouldn’t otherwise be available. That’s why there’s a community of iOS users that jailbreak their devices (or find new ways to do so), and a huge community of Android users rooting their phones and tablets, unlocking bootloaders, and installing custom ROMs.

But Windows Phone users haven’t had many options… until now.

Windows Phone Internals is a tool that allows you to unlock the bootloader on many recent Microsoft Lumia phones running Windows Phone 8.1 or Windows 10 Mobile.

wp internal

So what can you do with an unlocked bootloader? According to developer Heathcliff74, you can gain root access, which lets you alter files that would otherwise be protected and install third-party apps that require access to those files and settings. You can also flash custom ROMs on the phone. Those are basically custom operating systems that replace the software that shipped on your device.

Windows Phone Internals also lets you make a complete backup of your device so that you can restore it to its previous condition if anything goes wrong.

Before Android and iOS were released, there was actually a pretty strong community of hackers building custom ROMs for phones running Windows Mobile software. It’s not clear if Windows Phone Internals will lead to a resurgence in Windows phone hacking… but it does open the door… assuming Microsoft doesn’t close it in a future software update.

via xda-developers

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18 replies on “Windows Phone Internals opens door for root, custom ROMs on Lumia phones”

  1. please anyone tell me how to flash new ROM in lumia 520 through this software ?

    1. I just bought a windows phone for my friend. She has a pay as you go plan and I’ve picked up a couple of android phones for her in the past. They come with tons of bloatware and quickly develop memory/storage issues plus the operating system never receives any updates. $39 at bestbuy got her a lumina 635. Even without windows 10 and with lower specs it just works for her simple needs (calls, texts, maps). Android works for me but I rooted my phone right after opening the box so I could fix it.

  2. So maybe I can make a Windows 10 mobile device ACTUALLY run Windows applications? Gee, that would be New and amazing!

    1. that would be UWP apps from the appstore. Windows applications being x86 dependent won’t run on an ARM processor same as OSX apps won’t run on a >1000$ iPad pro ;P

      1. Exactly my point. They should NOT be calling the OS in this device Windows 10. It is misleading. But it fits Microsoft’s agenda which is to brainwash everyone into believing Windows has “Converged” and now operates “seamlessly” across all your devices. Yeah, right. And if you believe that, then you believe ISIS is just a JV team.

        1. I thought ISIS is CIA… what are you referring to with “JV team”…?

        2. ah, one of quite a few Microsoft bashers in this forum. Sorry, to have answered ๐Ÿ˜‰
          More seriously: Modern apps do converge and work seamlessly. This is a process as not every program from the last 30 years will do this of course. It still is Windows 10 which does quite a bit in synching of stuff including apps.
          (And sorry, ISIS comparison is out of range here, it is not funny even).

    2. There is no Windows phone with x86 CPU. And even if there would be one, you would end up with phone which can not make phone calls and it’s battery will only last a few hours. No, this doesn’t make sense.

  3. I’d love to see this. WP needs better wifi settings. MS could easily have better controls like timed wifi just as Android does. However, MS has not provided that API’s to access this. The only wifi apps available is to provide a shortcut to the wifi settings – BOOOOO!

  4. Too bad it’s only for newer windows phones.
    My lumia 900 with windows 7.8 will still remain useless.

    1. true, I updated to 920 and now 930. A <100$ Lumia 640 should be much better than your 900 though and that will get updates.
      900 is as "useless" as any Android Phone older than 1 year or any pre 4S iPhone so depending on use case not *that* useless

      1. Any Android phone running at least Gingerbread 2.3 is much more useful then even new Windows Phones. These phones can still run vast majority of current apps as long as the HW allows it.

        Microsoft left all WP7.x users behind. They broke application compatibility between 7.x and 8.x so the old phones can not run new applications. Android has never done that and except of a very few apps requiring the latest API all can run even on a very old Android version.

        It is no wonder that people are leaving the WP platform and choose Android or iOS instead.

        1. My phone is much more useful to me than any Android phone but this is more a question of “taste”, “technical religion” or whatever, so hard to agree on ๐Ÿ˜‰
          Re apps:
          Depends very much on the apps you use and most people use like a max of 10 including “major” ones FB, Mail, WhatsApp etc.
          And of course new Google API version do not work on older phones so compatility is very much broken there too.
          Maybe not as obvious as the clear cut WP 7.x to 8.x/10.x was (there are still a lot of apps that still work on WP 7.x though). This is even the case for iOS where new hardware features used by apps (like “3d touch”) is of course not working on older hardware (and even if older iphones get updates they may slow down the device).
          And again depends on apps you use. Newer apps which are not “major” bigplayer apps (these might try to reach most phones incl. older Android < 4.4) may work, apps by smaller shops or single developers (which I guess do a lot of company or gov or just custom apps) will require at least Android 4.x or even 4.4.

          1. If you are running a very old version of Android, you can always get an older version of an application which runs on your device. But like I said it is not really needed since only a very few applications require newer version then 2.3.

            And if you have at least 4.x (which is on 96% of active devices), you can run almost all existing apps.

            But the point is that even WP8.1 is still missing a lot of features which were already in Android 2.3. Also a lot of application types is still missing or the quality and features of the apps are totally different.

          2. if you have at least WP 8 (which is on 95% of devices) you can run almost all existing apps – so no point really ๐Ÿ˜‰
            Features in Win10 which will be available for (I reckon) ~95% of phones are great, actually some stuff was already better in WP than on Android. And again, most people use the same 5-10 apps which are on almost all OS (exception Google Apps which are admittedly not on WP but I don’t care about Google).
            – As said these quasi religous discussions are a bit pointless. My original point that a Lumia 900 being as useful as an older Android (maybe not every but a lot) still valid depending if you prefer Android or WP.

            (BTW, feel free to have the last word ๐Ÿ˜‰

          3. You can also say that a Nokia 5110 is better then any Andrid phone because it dial faster, battery will last longer and has a HW keyboard. If you only need phone for making calls and textin, then of course this is your ideal phone.

            If you need also Internet, e-mail and a limited support for other features is OK for you, you can get WP. They are very cheap.

            But if you really need a smartphone which can do perfect car navigation or even bike and pedestrian navigation, which can automate tasks, that you can use with all VoIP services, banks, radios etc. then your only choice is Android. Also iOS can do most of these tasks.

            I have 300 apps installed on my phone. Over 90% of them have no alternative in WP. The alternatives either do not exist at all or their functionality is very limited.

            On the other hand 90% of those applications will run on an old Android 2.3 phone with all of their features. So yes, for me even an extremely old Android phone is vastly more useful then the newest WP with the best HW.

          4. ah, so you are a real and unusual power user. Even as a Windows insider and developer I only have about 40-50 apps on my phone including maps that work for pedestrian too, radio apps, all com apps I want including telegram and even local parking apps.
            So for you Android is a must, for me WP as I simply prefer it and miss maybe 1 or 2 apps but only marginally.
            (sorry, did not meant to comment anymore ๐Ÿ˜‰

Comments are closed.