With the end of support of Windows 10 Mobile you may be thinking of throwing away your old Lumia 950 or 950 XL, but why not get it out of the draw and try full Windows 10 on it? A team of developers have created a way to install the full version of Windows 10 onto the Lumia. It installs Windows 10 on ARM (the same version as the Surface Pro X) and you get the full desktop experience along with apps like Microsoft Edge, command prompt and even apps line Your Phone. I initially tried the project back in January with limited success but in May I tried it again and found the project had progressed nicely.
The main issues with the original installation is that you could not charge the phone while running Windows 10 which I am pleased to say has been fixed. This is certainly a good thing as the battery drain is still high, about three hours with the screen on and about 13 hours on connected standby.
To get started first you need to unlock the phone. The tool I used is called Windows Phone Internals which enables you to boot the phone in mass storage mode. This mode makes the phone work as a USB drive so the tools can copy over the Windows image files.
Next you will need an ARM version of Windows 10 to apply to the phone, the site https://uupdump.ml/ enables you select an image that you can download for the phone. You select a build that you want to download making sure you select the ARM64 version. You can select the current release version or Windows Insider versions.
Go through the wizard on the site and it will download an ISO file. You will then need the WOA deployer tool from the Github site
The tool asks you to browse and select install.wim file which is in the ISO file you download in the previous step. The way to access the wim file is to double click on the download ISO file which mounts the file and then the WIM file can be found in the sources director of the mounted image.
You will need the Lumia 950 XL in mass storage mode so you can deploy the image. Once you have it in deploy mode you can use the WOA tool to deploy the image to the phone. After it has copied the files over the phone restarts a few times and you will see the familiar Windows Setup screen.
Once Windows is up and running you should be able to get Bluetooth working, USB-C charging, USB-C docks, keyboard and mouse. I didn’t get 4G data working in the latest build but I did get it working in the past. I also could not get USB-C HDMI adapters working so no external monitor at the moment.
You should be able to get Windows apps working from the Microsoft Store and download 32bit x86 apps and ARM apps directly from the web. I couldn’t get the ARM version of the new Chromium Edge browser but it should be possible, plus the original version of Edge works fine.
If you want to have a go yourself head over to the WOA project on Github
and leave a comment, let us know your experiences.