How to Restore Your Windows Phone 8.1 Lumia Factory Image

Windows Mobile 10 Just Ain’t Lookin’ Good.

I’m a huge fan of Windows Phone, and have been for a few years now. Way back when I was rocking an iPhone, I ran into trouble when Apple decided it’d be funny to release a bloated OS update. IOS 4 made using the phone something of a nightmare. At the time, I figured I’d run on down to the AT&T store and grab the newest iPhone (4 at the time). When I walked in and found the moving, gleaming, vividly colored Windows Phone 7 devices there, I decided to shake things up and I never went back. Windows Phone 7 on my Samsung Focus was fantastic, and unlike my iPhone, it was blazing fast. And while that phone only ever got faster with later upgrades, it was eventually left behind when the 8x line came out. C’est la vie.

Anyway, fast forward a few years and not only do we not have to worry about Windows Phone 8.1 devices getting left out in the cold (as much) anymore, we get to enjoy the Windows Insider preview program, which lets us try out newer versions of the OS before they’re released to the general public. Sometimes that’s great! Other times, not so much. This tutorial is about the not so much, and it’s prompted by my experience over the last 24 hours with Microsoft’s latest build of Windows Phone 10, which I installed on a Microsoft Lumia 640, which is my current daily driver.

Nutshell: Windows Phone 10 build 10512, like earlier builds, is AWFUL. I mean it is so incredibly early I think they’d have been better off not releasing it to anyone, because man, it’s bad. Yes, I tried a hard reset. Yes, it improved things like the speed, at least a little. No, it’s still not good enough. I’ll get to an article about that eventually. The long and short of it is this: if you don’t feel Windows Mobile 10 is up to snuff, as I don’t, there’s nothing to worry about because you can easily go back to Windows Phone 8.1 for a faster, smoother, more polished experience with a far better UI. Here’s how.

Download and Install Your Tools

First things first: you’ll need the Windows Phone Recovery Tool. The linked page has some info from Microsoft, but if you just want the app, that’s fine too. Get it here.

Once you’ve downloaded it, install it and then come back. Just follow the prompts and don’t worry–there’s no malware in the package. Once you’ve done that, launch the software and follow the step by step directions in this gallery:

And that’s pretty much the long and short of it. If you made a backup while still in Windows Phone 10, it probably won’t work anyway, or at the very least will link to stuff Windows Phone 8.1 doesn’t have or labels differently. Your best bet is either to restore from one of your Windows Phone 8.1 backups made earlier, or to just start fresh.

Good luck! Have any problems? Let me know in the comments and I’ll see what I can do!

Leave a Reply

Editorials Entertainment Events Innovations Mobile Video Games
pieces of gaming gear every nerd needs
Pieces of Gaming Gear Every Nerd Needs
Pack gaming gear safely
Moving? How to Safely Pack Your Gaming Gear
Call of Duty WWII Trailer is Gorgeous!
Apps Books & Comics Gadgets Games Movies & TV
Thor Ragnarok is the Marvel Comedy to Watch This Weekend
Review: West of Loathing – a Western Adventurer is You!
Rick and Morty Season 3 Episode 2 Review and Spoilers: What We Saw at SDCC
Computing Life Hacks
pieces of gaming gear every nerd needs
Pieces of Gaming Gear Every Nerd Needs
Pack gaming gear safely
Moving? How to Safely Pack Your Gaming Gear
family safety updates - all that nerdy stuff
Microsoft Releases Family Safety Updates
Cheap Free
Surface Pro 4
Save $400 on Surface Pro 4 256GB
Blu R1 HD Android Smartphone from Amazon
Amazon Offers Blu R1 HD Android 6 Phone for $50!
Gamestop Blast from the Past Bundle Xbox 360 PS3 Wii
Blast from the Past Bundle: PS3, Wii, Xbox 360 $159!