Windows Phone 7.8 Update

Forcing the Windows Phone 7.8 update: Camera button not required but patience is

If you've checked your Windows Phone 7.5 device for the 7.8 update with no success, you may want to try to force the process, just as we did with other Windows Phone updates like Mango.

This is a little different than downloading and installing Windows Phone 7.8 manually, which we reported on earlier. With this method you're basically tricking the Microsoft servers to recognize your Windows Phone and initiating the update early. Think of it as cutting in line (and Microsoft is okay with this, no worries).

The other benefit with this method (versus the CAB one) is it means you are getting the official carrier/OEM update that usually includes the firmware too. If using just CABs you are updating the OS but not any device specific software. That's not a bad thing but it's really not ideal. 


How to

Forcing requires patience and the ability to disconnect your computer from the internet. Make sure you have the Wifi and your data connection turned off on your Windows Phone and connect to Zune.  Go to settings and check for an update and as soon as you click the "Update" link in the settings you'll need to disconnect from the internet.

Let Zune come back and tell you that it can't check for an update right now, reconnect to the internet and you should see that an update is now available. Timing seems to be key and it may take you a few tries to get things just right (took me six tries).  From there you follow along with the update wizard and your Windows Phone is updated.

Windows Phone Updates

If this trick doesn't work, it likely means that the update files for your device aren't out there on the servers yet to be installed.  We were successful in forcing the update on the AT&T Nokia Lumia 900 but couldn't get the HTC HD7S to update.  When all was said and done, the Windows Phone version ended up being 7.10.8858.136.

Interesting note on the 7.8 update is that it provides support for devices without a camera button. More than likely this is for future low-end devices like the Alcatel One Touch where the lack of a camera button will keep production costs down.  You may see this in a smaller update that installs before the 7.8 update goes through.


Step by step instructions to force the Windows Phone 7.8 update

  1. Connect your Windows Phone to a PC and launch the Zune software
  2. Click on Phone > Settings > Update. Allow the software to tell you whether an update is available. If so, skip this guide. If not continue to the next step.
  3. Time to force the update. Click another button (any of the options above or below the word Update). Then click the Update button again, and this time disconnect your computer from the internet after 1-2 seconds. Do this by pulling out the Ethernet cable, disabling Wi-Fi, etc. If it says your phone is already up to date, you didn't disconnect quickly enough and need to try this step again.
  4. Wait 30 seconds or so and Zune should display a notification that an update is available.
  5. Now reconnect to the internet and continue with the update process through the Zune software.
  6. Depending on what OS build you are starting with, you may be prompted for several OS updates
  7. Let the phone update and wait. The final OS build is 8858. If you are getting just 8779, you'll want to repeat 1-4 above
  8. You may also be prompted to install a firmware update at the very end, follow through with this
  9. Celebrate! The whole process, including backup could take up to 60 minutes. Check that you are on build 8858 to see if you are done.


What if this method just doesn't work?

This won't work for every Windows Phone out there, only those that are officially designated for the 7.8 update, so your experience will vary.

If you don't get the update, it can mean one of two things.

  1. Your software update is literally not on Microsoft's servers for your phone/carrier. Try again in a few days.
  2. Your update may never come.

On the second point, we're not too confident generation one devices or Sprint's Arrive will ever "officially" get this update, which is why try as they might this method will never work. For you folks, you'll have to do the more tricky manual CAB method.That will do the job but obviously it won't include any firmware. C'est la vie.

Let us know in the comments if you've had success with the forcing trick to get the update.


Reader comments

Forcing the Windows Phone 7.8 update: Camera button not required but patience is



Updating my unlocked HD7 from Switzerland...only had to try once! :D 
Edit: just realised I didn't even turn off WiFi or cellular on my phone ^_^

Danish Lumia 800 owner here, updating as I type! I've been at it for two hours and I just finally got it right, so just be patient! I believe I counted around 1½ - 2 seconds in my head, from pressing update till I turned off Wi-Fi.

I does exactly the trick, but it gave me the update i already have , for 7.5( 8773 )but nothing for the 7.8

Hmm... When I try to do that, I get
"Can't check for updates right now. Please try again later. We couldn't connect to the update server. Disconnect and reconnect your phone, make sure your computer has an internet connection, then try instaling the update again. 80072EFF"
Omnia 7

It's just a matter of timing. I find it works for me if i count off the seconds as "One-On thousand, Two one tho" PULL the plug.

At least that's what works for me.

Tried another 10 times but stil no luck.
By the way I have an unlocked 800 in New Zealand.

I'm also stuck with my Omnia7 and always the same error on second update. As I see only we with Omnia7 have this problems :'(

Yep, stuck with same error. (Phone in airplane mode, click update, casually count to two, unplug.)
Although I've only tried a few times.
Will wait and try again later.
Omnia 7 - Virgin Mobile UK
UPDATE: After several attempts (generally waiting a long 2 seconds before disconnecting) I got it to update. It first updated to 8779. I then had to repeat the process (several attempts) to get it to update to another version and finally repeat the process again to get it to 8858! :)

Finally it worked!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I did it like a millllion times, I forgot to turn off my Data Connection on my phone, worked on the first try!!!!!

Anyway, i asked HTC by mail if it was a chance that 7.8 update will be release if they see how much people are upset of that...the response was short and clear ,there will be NO upgrade of wp 7.8 HTC phone user. Maybe if everyone flood there mail box beggin for the update...

@great_smell_of_brut, how did you update it to 7.8? I tried both CabSender and SevenEighter tools to push the cab files, but neither of them worked for me. I tried Zune update approach too, but no luck. SevenEighter worked fine with my HTC Arrive after 4 or 5 attempts. Titan update is not going through. Please let me know.

I just plugged my Lumia 900 to my computer with Zune, and the update came up. No force required. I'm in Louisiana. I hope the Focus gets the update, I need it for that phone too.

I'm also in Louisiana with a Lumia 900 and I have not received a notification to update. Also, I tried the force update trick and it did not work. It seems like it is working for everyone except me. 
Did the notification pop up on your phone or did you have to connect to your computer?

I plugged my phone up and Zune started. My Zune has an issue about syncing to the internet. But when I hit the update button, my phone popped up a message saying update available. I looked at Zune and the Update screen was up.

The best way of doing this is by turning of your Wi-Fi completely and using an Ethernet cable instead because that thing can be pulled out in a second. Next, I'd recommend gauging it.
Plug your phone into the PC with Zune open (turn all connections off on the phone itself though) and then just normally check for the updates. If it says no updates then at least you know the connection is working and Zune has already checked for the update.
Now, just click on the button below "Update" (it is Wireless syncing, I think) and then click on Update again but this time, count till 2 and remove the ethernet cable. Really a fool proof way of doing it.
Basically, you have to time it right. If you pull too fast, Zune won't be able to check for an update properly and if you take too much time, you won't see the update. It'll work if you stick with this basic principle.

anybody got this trick work for tmobile nokia lumia 710? I am about to give up :(
keep getting - "We couldn't connect to the update service ...."

Heya guys, managed to trick Zune into updating my spare white Lumia 900.
1) Set Lumia to Airplane Mode
2) Let Zune check for update for about 6-7 seconds and then disconnected Wifi. Got it in about 4 tries. Mainly the timing was off. First three tries, I was disconnected after 4-5 seconds which didn't work.

I'm updating my Samsung Omnia 7 on TMobile USA as I type. I let the check complete the first time while counting the seconds it took then tried again (without disconnecting the phone) and disconnected my internet 1-2 seconds before the check was complete. Thanks for suggesting 6-7 seconds, I never would have gotten it with the originally suggested 1-2 second disconnect time!

I'm quite pleasantly surprised 7.0 devices are getting the update. I never expected HD7 and the like would be updated. Huge props to MS.

Has anybody had any luck on HTC Titan for AT&T-US? I have be trying the disconnect trick for a while and no luck, i'm about to the point to give up.

I agree! My Lumia 900 picked it up on my second try but my wife's HTC Titan won't update. I tried for about a half an hour and gave up.

that is because no one on ATT but the L900 got the update today.  We still have to wait for the US carriers to push out the update. 

It is exactly what MS said.  It all depends on whether your carrier will support the update or not. 

Over an hour and you are giving up? My zune keeps telling me numerous errors of connectivity and I tried for about 8 hours continuously. Still working on!!! Zune can't check for updates if phone's wifi is off. Much odd thing. And I've a wireless USB modem. Figuring it out :/

After many tries, it worked!!! I have an unlocked Lumia 900 with TMo. I removed the SIM card and it worked for me then. The timing to disconnect is also a factor. I clicked "update", right-clicked my network sharing icon and then disconnected the NIC cable. (Win7) That's what worked for me. (I only right-clicked on the network sharing icon to try and disconnect the internet that way but realized it would take too long so I unplugged) However long that is, that is what is needed to trick it. Hope this helps somebody. :)

My Freind tried this and only got a Firmware update (shown in the first screenshot) the 7.8 update hasnt come through

Estuve como 1 hora con un lumia 710 y por fin pude actualizar al primer update despues de 1 hora no te desanimes hombre que si se puede
Tengo telcel como operador
Saludos :)

asi es ahorita apenas voy por el segundo update estoy desactivando mi internet wifi ya que estoy conectado mediante el despues de dar click a actualizar pasa un segundo y lo desactivo mediante la tecla de funcion y la tecla especial para apagar el wifi suerte :)

Got my update on my HTC HD7 in Switzerland...unlocked of course...did not disconnect WiFi tho, but it worked...took me only like 20 minutes :D

I can confirm that both the mozart 7 and nokia 710 on orange uk CAN be tricked. Ps. The nokia's timing needs to be a casual 3 seconds "ish" persist and it will work :-)

Wouh, that was strange. As I Opened this article in the WP central App the popup with the notification for the update come in. I first thought that the article forced my update :)

I didn't expect it so early on my HTC trophy with Vodafone German branding.

Hey it works =) , for all the people that have  a telcel i just updated my 710 to 7.8 =P so the cable trick works perfectly .

Worked perfectly on my Optimus 7 on Telus.   This was my old phone with no SIM in it though.   Had to go through 2 older updates but it finally did 7.8.   Runs well.   Moving around tiles isn't as smooth as my 8x but that is to be expected.  Otherwise it runs great for what I tried. 

Just updated my HTC Radar which I bought outright. I didn't have to do this trick to get the update. After connecting my handset to Zune, it went straight to the update page. =)

Thanks for the tip. Worked like a charm. My "old" 900 is updated.  It was a trusty backup since I bricked my 920 and had to get a warranty exchange and now it is restoring which is taking a LONG time.  I'm having 2nd thoughts about selling my 900 now.  It's a great backup and it works well with Zune and ALL my music and playlists. 

Yes my Focus unlock (917R) now updating Canada
did some body know what is the 7.10.8779.8 update is? I did not have the new tile, no accent...

You should see 3 updates as part of the 7.8 update with your Focus.
The last update brings the new start screen tiles and features. Be patient and try again if you haven't already.

Updated Lumia 900 UK  earlier, have just down loaded Nokia Bluetooth app, which now works.  Got the QR code from WP Central previous articles.  All good.  Ring tone Maker still not working.

Got it to work after half a dozen attempts on a HTC 7 Pro in the UK. Thanks for the tip :)

Your instuctions worked the first time hurrah! Had to be done twice to get the right firmware just like you said. I'm in CA 
Lumia 900 ATT unlocked,Will sell it for $300, just pop in your simcard with any gsm provider,cyan phone in new condition.

I give up.  Doesn't help that my update time can be anything from 5 seconds to 1:16.  I wish MS/Telco's would realise the stupid lengths we are all going to to simply update our phones in a reasonable time frame!!!

Dude, this is like day 1 of a multi device, multi week roll out. Be patient and your device will tell you when it's ready. Or, if you are not the patient type, jump through the hoops.

Ok I'm officially announcing Trophy doesn't have an update avaliable. Since I've heard EU versions of the phone went through I swapped out my sim for a European one, changed the region settings on my phone as well as PC, disabled locations on my phone and hoped for the best. It seems like the update is designed for the European version of Trophy aka"Spark."  My guess is that were gonna be last to get the update since Verizon is one of the few i know that has phones run under CDMA, and that will require a tweak or two.

I must be dense. The instructions are conflicting. I'm trying to update my HTC Titan on AT&T.
The first set of instructions say to unplug your computer from the Internet and wait for Zune to give you an error that it can't connect. Then reconnect to the Internet and it should tell you there is an update. But Zune needs an instruction to tell it to look again, no? I get nothing when I plug back into the Internet.
In the second set of instructions, #4, it says that Zune will tell you an update is available, not that it will give you an error message as was indicated in the first set of instructions.
So I'm confused. I have data and wi-fi off on the phone. I connect the phone to Zune, it starts looking for an update, I unplug from the Internet, I get an error that Zune can't connect right now try later. I reconnect to the Internet and Zune just sits there.
Any tips?

Pretty sure this ATT update is Lumia 900 only-unless someone can show me where it says its for all 7.5 devices..

No you are correct. Only the L900 on ATT got the update today...people who try the zune trick are only wasting their time and causing frustration for themselves.

...if only people read other comments on these posts, everyone would understand this!

^^^The instructions are conflicting. I'm trying to update my HTC Radar on T-Mobile.
The first set of instructions say to unplug your computer from the Internet and wait for Zune to give you an error that it can't connect. Then reconnect to the Internet and it should tell you there is an update. But Zune needs an instruction to tell it to look again, no? I get nothing when I plug back into the Internet.
In the second set of instructions, #4, it says that Zune will tell you an update is available, not that it will give you an error message as was indicated in the first set of instructions.
So I'm confused. I have data and wi-fi off on the phone. I connect the phone to Zune, it starts looking for an update, I unplug from the Internet, I get an error that Zune can't connect right now try later. I reconnect to the Internet and Zune just sits there.
Any tips???

You are unplugging your internet too soon. Unlike the article stated, I had to give a good 5-7 seconds before unplugging.

Worked on my L900 AT&T. I noticed that Zune always did the "no update" message so even with no internet it would display that. If that happens, it will never work until you fix that. Putting the phone into airplane mode fixed it for some reason. Maybe zune checks if the phone sees an update when windows can't connect. Anyway, you are on the right track if you get the "can't check for update" when you cut the internet too soon, and you get the "you have the latest" message when you are too slow. You have to catch it in between.

The problem seems to be that I have maybe a second before I get the "up to date" message.
Let me make sure I understand:
1) Turn off cellular/data, wi-fi, and maybe need to try airplane mode
2) Fire up Zune and then plug in the phone, let the first update check go through
3) Click out of Update in Zune and then click Update again while possibly simultaneously disconnecting the computer from the Interwebs
4) Hopefully Zune doesn't give you "can't connect" or "up to date" but instead the glorious "update is available"

im trying to do it, but it keeps telling me that it up todate (7720) doing something wrong?
i have a lg quantum att...

My lumia 900 att will say on the phone its self when i try to force update it. it will say on the phone update isavailable but on my computer it will say cant check for update or whatever what do i do? cause when i close out of the update is available thing on my phone it says up to date on the phone its self as well help

ATT LG Quantum successfully updated to 8779 from 8773. I had to unbrand it first and then do the Zune trick. I haven't proceeded to 8858 because Zune made a backup so I will wait a few days to make sure the phone is stable first.

Nothing, I'm a veteran of the Mango Force-Update so i know what i'm doing.
My Old HTC Mozart refuses to sneak the update.... >< 

ATT LG Quantum successfully updated to 8779 from 8773. I had to unbrand it first and then do the Zune trick. I haven't proceeded to 8858 because Zune made a backup so I will wait a few days to make sure the phone is stable first.

Hi there, everyone! :) I'm in a bit of a doozy that from what I've seen from the comments, no one has experienced this issue yet. I have an AT&T Nokia Lumia 900 and because the normal update process doesn't show Windows Phone 7.8 as available yet, I resorted to forcing the update. Starting off, everything went smooth; I disconnected the internet at the right times, got the updates to pop up, and proceeded to install the update with the internet turned back on. NOW for the problem. When the update process gets to the very end (restarting your phone and completing the updates, it's a 2-step process), it resets my phone normally. However, when it gets to step 2 of 2 and says "completing updates", I immediately get an "Update Error" message that says update failed. The error code is 80070003. I tried again with Airplane Mode on, tried a third time with just Wi-Fi and Data off and my sim card removed, and my latest try was Airplane Mode on with sim card removed (my first 2 tries were with sim card inserted). Is there anyone that has experienced this issue and if so, can anyone help me get passed it? I really would love to have WP7.8. :(

I got it to work! Though I changed the registry a long time ago from ATT-US to ROG-CA when I got tired of at&t holding out on the disappearing keyboard fix. It was actually quite simple to change the registry. Took a couple of hours though as I recall.

Cool so the ROG-CA trick is still working for the Focus. I'll have to give that a try tonight.
yup, worked for both of our Focii. 1 updated without being forced, the other needed each update forced. Well worth the effort.

No luck updating my HTC HD 7. I was able to force the Mango update during the 1st try but I'm not feeling good about this given the latest news that HTC won't support us. I'm bummed and may say good-bye to HTC.

Have you read peoples post and the article? Plenty of people have got this on their HD7. Just not Tmobile. Hopefully soon. Not all carriers have it yet.

I have found that timing is crucial if you want to make to make it work with the cable trick. Here it says 3 seconds max. For me it had to be up to 8 seconds to make it work, so keep trying with 3,4,5,6,7,8 .....

WOOOO HOOOOO!!!!!!! Working with my Lumia 800 in Canada!!!!  Took a few tries disconnecting interent, connecting/diconnecting phone but getting it right now!!!!!  Looking forward to it finishing.  After mine completes, time totry my daugter Lumia 610!!!

BOOM!! installing now on my at&t l900. Hopefully it all goes smooth. Took me about 25 tries, but after reading the comments I let it check for updates for about 4.5 seconds then pulled the plug and it worked! If you are getting the message "cant check for updates no internet connection, blah blah blah", you pulled to early. That was my problem. But it's going now! Gonna try my old focus next

No love with my quantum after about 10 tries from step 1-10 (although, your text description and actual steps description differ, at least how I read them).
Any other Quantum users have luck?  I did it with Mango no problem...

ATT LG Quantum successfully updated to 8779 from 8773. I had to unbrand it first and then do the Zune trick. I haven't proceeded to 8858 because Zune made a backup so I will wait a few days to make sure the phone is stable first.

A few tips for people.
After much frustration it finally worked. I found that if you disconnect in time it waits for a while and then says "can't check for updates right now" before it says that, keep toggling the WiFi connection on and off. This worked for me. Hope it helps.

I fully disabled my wifi, turned off wifi and data on phone and use wired connection on my laptop.  much easier and quicker to disconnect reconnect etc.  Also it seemed to work better unplugging my phone and reconnecting for each try

I can't get Zune to install on my Windows 8 PC. I didn't bother after I switched to the 920, but I want I update my 900 backup phone!

Updating to version 7.10.8783.12 on my unlocked Lumia 800 in Venezuela. I received the update as soon as I connected it on Zune, there was no need of using the trick above. I'll have to wait until this one ends and see if i can get the last version (7.10.8858.136) automaticaly. Patience! :) 

ATT LG Quantum updating to 8779 right now from 8773.  I had to unbrand it first and then do the trick described in this article.  There's a typo in the update.  It says "his update will:" instead of "This update will:"
Update was successful.  I will have to stay here for a week or two to make sure it's stable since a backup of 8773 was just taken.

My L900 isn't pickup the update on the phone and att is no help, I thought we were first on the list how long do I have to wait

Update currently in progress here. Step 8 out of 10 on the Lumia 900 on ATT. I followed the step by step instructions as it is in the article with the addtion of turning on airplane mode first. it wouldn't work with airplane mode on for me. It also wouldn't work with Zune being open already. I had to close Zune and let the phone wake it back up when I plugged in. It would hang when I tried without closing Zune first. I will report if I have issues after completion. 

I tried on my Lumia 900 at&t and i cant download the just hangs at downloading at long did it take for your update to download?

Did you turn on /plug in your internet connection when before it started trying to download the update?
I know it was a silly question but something easioy overlooked.
Your phone may allow the update over your wireless network after starting it so you may just want to try to get it to update indipendantly of your computer.

Tried multiple times on my HTC 7 Mozart, with no success. :( This trick worked when i updated to Mango, so i'm pretty sure i got the timing right too...

It did an update but it shows as 8783 after the that the ccorrect version. It's Lumi 900 on AT&T

You have to do the process one more time after updating it to 8783. Then it should show that the next update (8858)

It should be build 8858. It took me multiple tries but I finally got it to update. You just have to keep trying the trick till it works. Make sure your phone is in airplane mode as you do it.

Edit: It took me many many tries and I was frustrated but I finally got it. I'm updated to build 8858. It turns out that I had switched off airplane mode after 8783. Once I realized and put it on airplane mode, the next time I tried I was able to force the update.

Oh man, I finally got it! Gotta be patient and try a couple times, took me about 12x. Currently installing on my unlocked Rogers Lumia 900 (CANADA)

Updating now on LG Optimus 7 on Telus in Canada - looks like that whole "LG phones won't get 7.8 update" thing was just a rumor.
EDIT: Didn't find additional updates after the first update - had to re-do this trick to get it to get the 7.8 update. Updating now.

Forced 7.8 update to my unlocked HTC Trophy (branded by Vodafone Germany). It took me 5 updates (all forced) to get to the last one - 7.10.8858.136.

Got it on Samsung Focus. Have to get some older updates twice before getting 7.8. (I have 7.5 before btw)
EDIT: Lock on Rogers Canada Sorry can't remember the first 2 updates.

I'm using an unlocked Lumia 800, T-mobile UK. I managed to install the Nokia update using the disconnect internet method, but on repeating to get the other updates, I get a message on the phone saying update is available but Zune says there isn't. Any ideas how do solve this discrepancy?

I've tried multiple times. And on multiple occasions I get the notification on my phone, but nothing on Zune. And it takes a good number of attempts to even make that happen!
But thank you. I'll give it a few more goes every now and then, if it doesn't work, I'll wait for the official notification. Really looking forward to this! :D.

If you are forcing this update make sure to do it again after the first update. The new start screen is the second update. There might be a third I don't know for sure yet. But u have to repeat the disconnect process for the second update. Check the article he says the final build os number to be sure your phone is at that

You wouldnt believe what just happened to me, I stumbled upon this article about an hour ago and couldnt believe that  I could get the new 7.8 on my HD7s after all, because last few days there were numerous articles on the web that the new update wont even happen for most htc-s with 7.5 OS, what made me really angry and disapointed on HTC .  And then out of the blue comes this, I got so happy, get out of my bed, turn on my computer to update it, AND YOU WOULDNT BELIEVE IT, while my pc was turning on, notification pops on on my phone that new update is available ( and I checked it via wifi minutes ago, and there wasnt any), and voila, I updated my HD7 wirellesly to new 7.8 OS without even connecting it to pc or tricking zune! :))) Its fantastic, new interface looks great, new colors, wooohoooo! hope all of you also get the new 7.8
VIP Croatia

HTC were getting a lot of criticism but you could argue that they brought that on themselves by allowing incorrect information to get out via Twitter etc.

So you're saying a first gen WP device updated over WiFi without connecting through Zune? I find this really hard to believe... 

I couldnt believe it either, Im telling you it happened exactly like that, I connected it on zune a week ago and there was no update, and when I saw this i turned on my wifi (usually turned off, mobile network faster) just to check for update, there was none, and in 3-4 minutes till I got to my pc and pressed the ON button notification on the phone poped out, I pressed update and it did the rest on its own!;) I did set up wifi update ages ago, and last few updates were via wifi also. I have apsolutely no reason to lie to you;)

Tried the Disconnect trick.... it gave an update is available for HTC Radar (Factory Unlocked) from Pakistan
Hope so it perfectly updates :)

My update has been stuck on Step 6 of 9: Restarting Your Phone for the last hour or so. Should I take any steps to cancel or just wait it out?

I've tried this at least 30 times, varying the time between hitting 'update' and the wifi switch, anywhere from hitting the switch a couple of seconds before hitting 'update' to a couple of seconds after hitting 'update'.  I'm always getting the same message, my version is up to date.  BTW, I have an ATT Lumia 900, should be capable of getting the update.  Any other suggestions?

Make sure your phone is on airplane mode when you do it. (not conencted to wifi or cellular). That was the problem on my end when I failed. I'm an AT&T L900 too.

Tried it, but didn't work. Oddly enough, I think it simply redid the 7.5 update. Well, at worst, I got another, more recent, backup point :p

Am I the only Lumia 900 owner who is content to wait until he receives the official update? Or is that too primitive for the WP Central community...  :-)