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How to install Windows 10 on your phone

Have a Windows Phone device and want to test out Windows 10 on it? Now you can.

Windows Insider app. Jason Cipriani/CNET

Microsoft has made Windows 10 Mobile available for those who like to live life on the bleeding edge of tech and help troubleshoot issues found in the upcoming operating system. The Insider Preview is a beta of what will eventually make its way to consumer devices when it's released this summer, but you can use it now if you're so inclined.

The beta comes with a few caveats, as is typically the case with software still under development. Microsoft does an excellent job in its official announcement of the preview builds of setting proper expectations. There will be some features that break after updates, that could potentially include the ability to dial a phone number. Which, for some, is a pretty big miss.

With that said, you should have a spare device, but if you don't mind troubleshooting issues (you can always rollback to the previous OS should things get really bad) then by all means dive right in.

  • To load Windows 10 on your mobile device, you'll first need to check your device against the list of compatible devices. You can find the list here.
  • Make sure your device is running Windows Phone 8.1. You can do this by launching Settings and going to About followed by Info.
  • Next you'll need to sign up for the Windows Insider Program if you haven't already. You can do so on this site.
  • Finally, download and install the Windows Insider app from the Windows Phone Store.

Once the app is installed, it will scan the specifics of your device and guide you through the upgrade process. It's a good idea to have your device connected to a charger, ensuring that the update is able to finish without issue.