Windows 10 Mobile not coming to Lumia 1020, 925, 920 and other older Windows phones

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
14 Comments
Download PDF

Windows 10 Mobile is finally available as a free upgrade to older Windows Phone 8.1 devices. After more than a year of testing the new OS through the Insider program, Microsoft finally began to roll it out to devices that didn’t originally came with Windows 10.

But as delighted as people are that the full version of Windows 10 Mobile is finally here, a lot of users are disappointed by Microsoft’s approach to delivering the update — especially after waiting for more than a year after more than a few false alarms. Now that the OS is finally here, users of certain Windows Phone 8.1 devices are shocked to find out that Windows 10 Mobile is not available on their phones.

As we reported last week, Windows Phone 8.1 devices with less than 1GB of RAM won’t be eligible for the upgrade. But it’s looking like some otherwise eligible phones didn’t get the upgrade either, models like the Lumia 1020, 925 and the 920. Understandably, people began to wonder if Microsoft had plans to change its policy and still deliver the update to these devices eventually as part of a presumed second wave of upgrades. One user asked Microsoft about just that on Twitter but unfortunately, received a negative answer.

As Microsoft pointed out, the list of eligible phones is final and there won’t be any second wave of upgrades. This angered a lot of users who are now forced to either stick to Windows Phone 8.1 or switch their current device for a new one. 

Here’s why you won’t receive the Windows 10 Mobile upgrade

Although Microsoft didn’t provide any details behind its decision to not deliver the upgrade to select phones, there may be an explanation after all. The main purpose of the Insider program on both PC and mobile versions of Windows 10 is to obtain feedback about system performance. Microsoft is guided by that feedback when it comes to developing every aspect of its operating system — including its decision on which devices will eventually receive an upgrade.

So at first glance, it may look like the Lumia 1020 can run Windows 10 Mobile without any problems. But, a lot of users have reported various problems with the device while running Windows 10 Mobile Preview, forcing Microsoft to decide to not deliver the free upgrade to the Lumia 1020. We assume that’s the case with other phones, as well.

Although we don’t have an official word from Microsoft on this, when asked why the Lumia 1020 won’t get the upgrade, Gabe Aul confirmed the theory on Twitter:

So it’s obvious now: Microsoft would rather have Windows 10 Mobile only on devices able to run it smoothly rather than to force the upgrade to all devices and cause even more problems for users.

What do you think? Would you rather use Windows 10 Mobile on a device that isn’t able to run the OS smoothly and face various issues or switch to a new, Windows 10 Mobile-compatible phone? Let us know in the comment section below!

  • Yes I am going to get rid of my Nokia 920,liked the phone very much but alot apps are not being updated and cannot update to windows 10 so good bye Microsoft hello new Nokia 8 android

  • That’s the final nail in the coffin for loyal Windows Phone users – I’ve been using Windows Phone and its predecessors since Palm started using it over a decade ago. We were told that any phone successfully running Windows Phone 8.1, such as my Lumia 920, could be upgraded to Windows 10 … 🙁

  • It’s not just, that Win 10 doesn’t work properly on those phones, it’s also because, out on all Win Phone users, very few of them use these specific models, and the costs to make Win 10 work on them are to high for so few users.

    It’s about how many people used them, versus how much it costs to make them work.

    This might sound like a reasonable business decision, but it’s actually retarded, because when those people bought their phones, how were they supposed to know, that a few years later, not enough people would be using those specific models, and making the latest versions of Windows work on them would cost too much, causing Microsoft to decide, that it’s not profitable to maintain them anymore.

  • This is a low blow from Microsoft… They made their users hold on their Windows Phones for over a year with the promise of the update… Now they are attempting to push users into upgrading their hardware hoping they have stayed loyal to the platform and not switched

  • Their enormous reduction of the onedrive space promised me and accumulated over 4 years of wp7-10 loyalty couldnt even phase me, but this is the very very very last straw. I actually just bought a replacement 1020 for one I broke last week. The one i had was running the latest version of 10 fine. I tried to restore, it has only gone to 8.1, as it has now been removed from insider preview, and i have lost ALL of my text message history with family and friends going back a couple of years. basically they have lost a true fanboy and they can F*** right off. I’m going to buy an iPhone much as it pains me to say it. I was thinking about the 950 but couldnt pull the trigger because of the size and the build qulaity of the buttons, etc…. I have defended these aresholes to the last, but I am officially done.

  • All I can say is if those models “supposedly” cannot run the update properly, it’s stupid to release the damn thing on Lumia 535, 532 and others due to the fact that the hardware is already so similar to the models not getting the update. Microsoft just can’t admit that they can’t promises, this is why their Mobile division is trash. I have the builds running on my Lumia 920 and had no issues. I waited for so long and nothing. Stupid company with stupid moves. Former Microsoft fan

  • I’d prefer that Microsoft stopped lying to us.

    Last year they said Windows 10 would be available as an upgrade for all WP8 phones so those of us who got burnt in the WP7-WP8 disaster were perhaps willing to forgive them.

    I love my 1020 for its amazing camera, but there are plenty of Android phones out there doing a better job now. I can’t think of a reason to buy another Windows phone this time around – surely they’re finally killed it?

    • i’m the same. love my 1020 as i just posted above, but that is it for me, this and the snatching back of onedrive space, they seem to be spitting in our faces and then pissing themselves laughing over it!!!!!!! But they did just sell Nokia today, so basically they are getting out of mobile completely except for one flagship surface device. they are trying to ape apple, by shutting down all support for non-microsoft built hardware, but the enormous ill will they have generated by this act seems idiotic.

      • I have to take back a lot of my anger. I still seem to have it through Insider. Running win10 right now on my 1020, and its great! A little slow on a few things, but a fair price to pay on an old phone with a great camera and image stabilisation!

    • Thankfully my banana 1020 is now fully updated to win10 again with all my contacts, so the restore option DID work, even though there were a few scares and I had to completely redo all my tiles. The only thing that would make me continue is a jaw-dropping surface phone, BUT not a huge one! TBH i find the 950 just a tad too large, also the buttons feel sharp and cheap i even looked at a mozo replacement case, but those buttons felt equally crap, whereas my 1020s black rounded but well-sized buttons are a joy. It is sad to know that Nokia will be making smartphones again, but only for android and not for windows.. The 1020 is as large as I really want to go with a phone, and i’m even thinking of going for the iphone 5SE just because I miss have a ‘phone sized phone’ in my front pocket. I’ll miss the 1020 camera the day i leave though, and currently only the 6s plus has image stabilisation.

      • How is W10 on the 1020 now?

        I tried Insider Preview a few months back (and was later informed the version I’d tried effectively was the release version) and found it pretty awful.

        Slower than WP8.1 and with a shorter battery life (I guess slow and a reduced battery life is to be expected running a new OS on an ollder device).

        But more disastrously some features were unreliable – particularly wifi htospot which disconnected my laptop every time the phone screen locked. As 5 min was the longest time I could set the phone to before it would lock the screen it meant I had to sit with the phone beside me and poke the touchscreen every few minutes. After a few days I gave up and rolled back to WP8 (which didn’t work on the first attempt!).