Windows 10 ARM on Lumia

Microsoft is killing off Windows 10 Mobile later this year, but the community is not ready to give up on Windows Phone yet as multiple videos posted online revealed Windows 10 ARM can be installed on a Lumia 950 XL.

According to independent developers, it is now possible to replace Windows 10 Mobile with a full-fledged desktop operating system. The overall performance of Windows 10 ARM on Lumia 950 or 950 XL is obviously not fast, but it does let you do some crazy things. For example, you can play the full Fallout desktop.

The video shows Windows 10 ARM, which is a version of Windows 10 that is designed to Snapdragon PCs, running on an old Lumia 950 XL handset. The discontinued Lumia 950 XL is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor and 3GB of RAM, and as per the video, the hardware is still good enough to run Windows 10 ARM.

Last week a Windows Phone user posted a video which shows the Fallout game running on a Lumia 950 XL. Following the publication of the video, another developer demonstrated the desktop operating system on Lumia 950 XL.

For people who still want a full Windows experience on a smartphone and are willing to install Windows 10 ARM on their Lumia handsets, there is finally a solution.

Installing Windows 10 ARM on Lumia 950 and 950 XL

WoA

Today, developer José Manuel Nieto has released a new third-party tool that allows you to install Windows 10 ARM on Lumia 950/XL and dual-boot with Windows 10 Mobile.

To port Windows 10 ARM to your Windows Phone handset, you’re supposed to unlock the bootloader of the Lumia 950 XL by using WPInternals tool and connect the phone to the PC with a USB-C cable.

Download Windows 10 ARM64 image, WoA installer and core packages from here. After downloading the files, run the tool, import core packages from the advanced settings, and follow the on-screen instructions to boot the OS on your phone.

“Please, notice the WoA Installer is only a tool which helps you with the deployment. WoA Installer needs a set of binaries, AKA the Core Packages, to do its job. These binaries are not mine and are bundled and offered just for convenience to make your life easier since this tool is focused on simplicity,” the page explains.

Developer José says that performance of WoA is actually decent on Lumia 950 XL, but the project also does a fine job on slightly underpowered Lumia 950.

Windows 10 ARM on Lumia

It is, however, worth noting that nothing is guaranteed and if anything goes wrong, you might end up breaking your phone.

Disclaimer: We make no claims, guarantees about the accuracy or completeness in this article or linked pages, and shall not be held responsible for anything we say in this article.

  • Mayank Parmar

    WiFi is supported, but calling isn’t possible.

    • Charles Clarke

      Skype yo…

    • mischmi

      How about data only (LTE/4G) as there is an option for LTE with the Surface?

    • Martin

      Calling is not possible now…. or is not going to be possible at all? Without the ability to support phone calls it is all nice but kind of useless. No reason to switch from Windows Phone I use there now…

      • Sandy

        WiFi and Bluetooth is enabled but not calling

        • Martin

          Yes, I understand that. The question is – are there plans to enable calling as well? Without that it is nice to have the option to turn the phone into a Win10 tablet… but what I need to have is the phone. :-)

      • Randy Brinkman

        Is it not possible, or is the telephony service just not enabled? Being full 10, that should be an option, and don’t think it’s enabled by default.

  • Charles Clarke

    Please support HP Elite X3. :)

    • Sandy

      It supports only Lumia 950xl and Lumia 950.

      • Sandro

        My laptopn can’t see my Lumia 950, can you help me? I want to insall this so bad. My skype is sandro.b33, please text me there

  • drearyworlds

    Is it possible then to basically have an Android with hotspot turned on, connect your WoA phone to it, and then text from the messages app?

    • Hirox

      Logically, affirmative. It’s the same as connecting to a REAL WiFi.

    • RunningBear

      Under settings in the Android 8.0 it indicates “Mobile Hotspot and Tethering” – ON:

      – Mob HotSp is you WiFi source for your Win phone “out and about” or, simply WiFi at home from your cable provider WiFi source. (ps . works without sim card at home, but no text, calls; emails, browsing)

      – Tethering can be used with a USB cable from the phone to a computer (Laptop, etc.)

      This was available for earlier Androids, as I have used it on earlier Droid phone and laptop for several years (only where I have cell service).

      Enjoy,
      RB
      :)

  • RunningBear

    OK, I’ll bite with my $35 640 LTE and I will still have Win10 on my “other” 640 LTE.
    Wish me luck!
    :)

    • Steven Ealy

      640 LTE is ARM32 only, you can’t install Windows 10 on it.

      • RunningBear

        I’ve been using Win10 on both phones for 2+ years.

        Perhaps you are referencing Win10 ARM?

        Microsoft Lumia 640 LTE
        Qualcomm Snapdragon 400
        specs:
        + 32-bit and 64-bit capable

        Thank You,
        RB
        :)

  • RunningBear

    The Win10 upgrade from Win8.1 has run fine for the last couple of years and I hope the ARM drivers are adequate as demoed on the Lumia 950. Therefore “if” the ARM64 doesn’t work, then I’ll try the ARM32. I’m not requiring this to perform as my desktop and drive my 55″ monitor while playing 3 online games, just browsing and email; after all it was only $35!
    IMHO
    Fly Navy
    :)

    • I don’t think you understand this… There is no ARM32 Windows 10 Build that you can put on the non 64-bit phones. That’s what I’m trying to tell you.

      The drivers and instructions are specific to 950 and 950-XL. They’re not generic drivers for any Snapdragon or Lumia device. It is possible that some support for extra devices will come in the future, but they will ONLY be targeted to Snapdragon processors that are 64-bit. There will be NO 32-bit support whatsoever. You can’t run 64-bit drivers on a 32-bit processor. That’s not going to happen at all.

  • communitykid

    Hey guys.

    I’m just here to let all the WP / W10M fans know that they can at least emulate their home screen and app drawer on any Android phone. It was a really tough transition for me, and still years later I very deeply miss having a phone made by Microsoft. But Launcher 10 is free in the app store and it does a really great job of helping with that. Works well and it’s ad free. Even has a ton of sizing / color / transparency options. You do have to pay for the live tile functionality though.

    I’m in no way affiliated with the developer, just a big fan of WP and hoping to help others like me.

  • RO

    I tried it a few weeks ago (early Feb, 2019) on my 950, but it would crash during startup after a few minutes. If I connected it to a USB hub with HDMI, ethernet, and USB connections (and power pass-through) it would get by the initial error, but would fail with device driver issues (as I recall).

    The “good” news is that the backout/restore of my original Windows Phone 10 installation worked.

    Oh well, maybe I will check back in a few months if I am sufficiently bored, and/or find a cheap, good 950XL to try it on, AFTER a few more version releases …