Last week Microsoft released a technical preview of Windows 10 for smartphones. But so far the company only officially supports a handful of devices. If you don’t have one of those phones, you can’t simply sign up for the Windows Insider Program and install an over-the-air software update.

But if you’re willing to hack your phone (and risk breaking it), you might be able to install Windows 10 anyway.

htc 8x

Xda-developers forum member RustyGrom created a tool called WPInsiderHacks that lets you load Windows 10 on at least some unsupported phones by changing the way the phone’s manufacturer and model number are identified to Microsoft’s server.

With that accomplished, it’s possible to use Microsoft’s own tools to download and install Windows 10, although after the process is complete your phone’s manufacturer and model number will be reset, so it’s not clear if you’ll get future over-the-air updates without changing things again.

RustyGrom confirms that WPInsiderHacks works with an AT&T Lumia 1520, but other users have managed to modify the WPFlights.xml file to allow it to work with other phones including the Lumia 930, 920, and even on non-Lumia devices including the HTC Windows Phone 8X and HTC One M8.

Keep in mind, Windows 10 is still incomplete, preview software that Microsoft acknowledges contains bugs and unfinished components. So if you want to try it out early, just be aware that you’re installing unstable software on your phone… especially if you’re installing it on a phone that Microsoft doesn’t officially support yet.

via myce

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14 replies on “Hack lets you install Windows 10 on unsupported phones”

  1. Really. Explain the reasoning behind Microsoft’s partition statement if all this hack does, is mask it’s identity?

    And why can’t Microsoft with it’s near infinite resources couldn’t follow along the same route as XDA to come to a resolution with an “issue” they seem incapable of correcting?

    So to recap… This hack merely presents itself as one of Microsoft’s ‘select’ phones and regardless of what Microsoft has stated to be an issue, seems irrelevant nor prohibitive in any way. So the issue here is what, Microsoft?

    Considering what function this XDA hack contributes, it seems Microsoft’s partition explanation might not be the factual reasoning to deny the consumers on your most popular phones participation in this new direction.

    On a side note…. Did your partition “issue” occur before or after you demonstrated the Preview on your incompatible 1520? Because apparently, you found a workaround that indeed allowed such participation in your now selective distribution.


    1. All phones have slightly different hardware. In focusing on a smaller group of phones they can develop the software more quickly, as they don’t have to come up with fixes for phone specific issues until they are ready to fully release the software. The reason they stop you from installing it on these devices is because it hasn’t been tested on these devices, so you’re far more likely to encounter problems. When they have finished work on the OS itself I imagine they’ll start broadening the selection of devices you can install it on.

      Keep in mind that we are essentially being allowed to use pre-alpha software, and Microsoft is under no obligation to provide us with access to it.

    1. No. Windows 10 software that runs on phones will still be unable to run desktop apps. It is just more heavily based on the desktop operating system, so that future universal apps will be able to run on both phones and desktops.

  2. I wonder when someone will hack android onto a lumia phone or windows onto android…..

  3. it would be nice if you could install windows 10 phone on any old Android phone. Sort of like how you can install Windows on pretty much any desktop hardware

    1. Yes Sean, that’s what i was thinking my old Android Tablet is useless. Laggy slow doesn’t connect to WIFI. If only Windows can be installed on it, that means Microosft and Android would have to have a partnership.

      1. If you thought your tablet was laggy with Android, wait until you put Windows on it!!
        If you wanted to speed it up, look into installing a new ROM onto it. Trying to shoehorn this Windows software onto your old tablet would make it even slower because it’s nor designed to run on your device, and it would probably take up just as much system resources as Android, if not more.

        1. Hi Cal Rankin, i was thinking in running Windows XP since that would use less than a newer version of Windows, i’ve seen it can be done on Youtube videos.

          1. Windows XP can be ported to Android devices, but that does not work very well at all. It is running inside a hardware emulator that runs on Android. It is very slow and impractical on the older phones it has been tested on. There are several coding-based workarounds that are involved (most of which I’m not even comfortable doing), and it would do more risk bricking your tablet than actually speeding it up.
            My advice would be to buy another tablet. My sister has had the original Kindle Fire since just after its launch and it runs well. There are also a few 7-inch tablets running full Windows 8 that are very inexpensive.

          1. These tests are over the older Windows Phone 8 software, which is not Windows 10 or Windows proper in any way. Like I said before, a lot of it has to do with software optimization.

            Windows Phone (read – NOT WINDOWS) does work very well on lower end hardware, but trying to install it on your old Android tablet would not help you at all. Since it was not designed to run on your tablet, the results would be not much better, and probably worse, than what is happening now with your tablet

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