Experiencing a bug in the Windows Phone 8.1 Preview? You’re probably not alone

Windows Phone 8.1 Microsoft recently released the Windows Phone 8.1 Preview for Developers, but already many consumers who opted to upgrade are experiencing some rather odd glitches. A popular thread is well under way on our community forum, enabling users to share issues they discover while using the latest version of Windows Phone on their devices.

Just like our previous article covering glitches on Windows Phone in general, we're interested to know what you've come across in 8.1. The thread is an invaluable place to not only file these issues, but also to help get some support by reading through to see if anyone has found a solution. There's also a handy reference with frequently reported bugs. Here's just a snippet of what has been shared already:

  • Bug: Store icon buggy – updates vanish if not attended to
  • Solution: Force check for updates from within the store settings area
  • Bug: No comma button in keyboard
  • Solution: Settings > Keyboard > Advanced and select the necessary box
  • Bug: Alarms don't work
  • Solution: Remove Windows Phone 8 alarms, set new ones
  • Bug: Apps stored on SD cards are laggy
  • Solution: Use Class 6 or Class 10 SD cards

Windows Phone 8.1 However, it’s worth noting that these glitches you experience in the Windows Phone 8.1 Preview for Developers aren't unexpected. This build we’re all using hasn’t been fully optimized yet and firmware updates from carriers and OEMs will likely address any odd things you encounter. A lot of this stuff is likely to be addressed in the final update before it’s pushed over OTA to regular consumers.

So what strange, weird and wonderful things have you discovered while using the Preview for Developers? Be sure to head on over to our forum to join in the discussion.


Reader comments

Experiencing a bug in the Windows Phone 8.1 Preview? You’re probably not alone



On my Nokia 1520 I had to change the photo on the lock screen, and then power off and back on for it to take.

I couldn't change lock screen photo on my 1520. Always now a piano keyboard pic is there.

Yeah, I can't either. 3rd party app lockscreens work fine. But selecting one of my photos does not. I've tried restarting but does not work.

That happens with me too! But specifically for some third party apps. Simple calender, the app I just love cant change my lock screen!! It happens that whenever I attempt to do that one stupid preinstalled big wheel photo from the backgrounds folder gets pasted.... every time! Feeling irritated... 

Yes sometimes not able to make calls. Have to put into flight mode to fix. No other error showing, not good as possibly not able to receive calls either..

Are you on T-mobile? I have an 8x on T-mobile and it is only either on the AT&T network or it says "no service".  All my other phones work fine and they are all showing the T-mobile network. The T-mobile store couldn't figure out a way to fix it either. I like the WP 8.1 upgrade otherwise, but this makes the phone unusable.

No I'm in Australia, on the Optus network. I have a full signal at the time of the error, but but able to make calls. It has happened twice now.

Mine cleared up and started working fine again the next day. Seems like t-mobile took a bit to get everything connected to the device.  Do turn off wifi calling though if you have T-mobile.  That T-mobile app has a known bug in the wp version that causes mms messages to not send or receive if it is near to or trying to connect to a wifi network of any kind. Typical of T-mobile, they still haven't fixed it after many months.

I'm having a random bug on my ATIV S. I get a SD card error. Scan to fix. I have a class 10 64GB with about 42GB being used. It doesn't happen alot. Probably about 3 times so far. Also when I'm in a app I sometimes have to repeatedly hit the home button.

I've seen that when doing soft resets with the volume down/power (lock screen) key on my Lumia 820. That's the only time I've encountered it. When has it cropped up for you?

I've had this problem on my Lumia 820 twice now. My one has started restarting itself too and then showing up the 'Scan to fix' thing. Any ideas?

But we're getting that flash go off whenever we take a picture using the native camera app now....even with flash set to off.

You can change this behaviour in Photo Settings > Focus Assist Light (at the bottom of the settings list).

However, this is not a new issue.. I've had it before WP8.1, somewhere, I remember.

Other than annoyingly filtered contacts still showing up when using 'Phone book' from PHONE app, my L920 is also working perfectly with WP8.1.

The camera issue sure is though. Have you tried recording video? Siwtch between video and picture mode a few times and the camera will lock up and won't work until you reboot.

I also have ativ s which not struggling at all! loving it :) in uk thinking ativ se if it is released here

Hi, I'd like to ask you something, what is your phone? I'd like to know if doing what you did will fix my lag problems. I've a Lumia 520 ;) thanks

Hi, I used a Class 4 and games didn't run good, I bought a Class 10 and didn't change a thing ¬_¬ haha but you could try it ;)

I started to install another keyboard, but before the required reboot, I checked the comma box and then deleted the keyboard I had added. No reboot required!

It's automatically selected if you only have 1 keyboard installed. If you have more then the comma is replaced by a keyboard selection button unless you check the box.

I only have one keyboard but I don't think I have any issues applying comma. It's right there on the screen

Because it's always there if you only have 1 keyboard installed. Once you install a second keyboard it's hidden and the keyboard toggle is shown instead. The checkbox makes the comma show when the keyboard toggle is showing but makes your space bar smaller.

I didn't know about long pressing the full stop, but I did find the comma when switching to numbers. It was annoying me with the fact it wouldn't appear all the time, but that setting is useful. I guess it's a nice option for people who would like a longer space bar.

I'm using a class 10 64gb sd in my 820 and apps don't feel laggy but storage sense never loads and music takes absolutely forever. At least music's definitely going to be fixed but I presume we'll need an OS update for storage sense to work.

Storage sense won't load for me either... Also, I can't add any email accounts to my phone. My second outlook account and my two Gmail accounts can't sync because the permissions sequence doesn't work. The dialogue box pops up, but when I tap connect it just goes back to the dialogue box endlessly.

I played Angry birds today, and extreme lag, to the point of freezing and then crashing. I have 920, so it is not the SD card problem. Anyone else having problems with this game?

All the games I tried today are as smooth as ever. Angry birds, Asphlat 8, Temple Run. (L920). But there is a general Lag while scrolling in the Games APP,I noticed, even after updating it, this morning.

Not really a bug but Cortana is a big battery drained. Went from all day to 50% batt to 20% battery after just 8 hours at work not even using my phone. Shut Cortana off and some of the notifications in the notification center and all better.

Biggest bug is probably IE11 absolutely nuking the battery life. I've noticed up to a 26% per hour discharge rate using various battery meters just by browsing the web under IE11. I've compared this to a non-flashed 1020 and IE11 drains power roughly 1.5-1.8 times as fast now....which is brutal if you're used to WP 8.0 where browing the web will indeed drain your battery, but now it nukes it. 

I thought I was dreaming when I saw on Battrey usage that IE11 used most of it at the top! Is there a way out? I have already stopped it running in the background

920- IE is affecting the battery; But Cortana is not. She is nice to me so far. I love the remind me feature. Especially remind me when I am at a <Place>

I don't understand why IE 11 keeps reloading all previous pages/tabs when you open it. I usually kill all tabs from recent (using X) and disabled background process for IE.

Yep, have this bug too...a lot of sites will redirect to mobile site...ebay was one I was notified this on...

I'm not experiencing anything. Not a bug or Windows Phone 8.1 itself. -coming from a Lumia 810 owner. :/

I have a few words of caution if you do want to use the preview, be aware there are known issues with the preview, most of them relate to firmware though so they should clear up once new firmware is released. This has an effect on battery life and the camera in most cases.

So of the built in apps have issues as well but Microsoft seems to be very quick releasing updates for the affected apps, most notably Xbox Music.

Some people report lag after doing a factory reset and restoring from a backup, this is normal as the device is reinstalling all your apps.

If you do decide to go ahead and update to the preview, make sure you have enough space on the phone, 4GB should be more than enough. Keep the phone plugged into the mains while doing the update and most importantly don't mess with the device while it's doing the update.

Facing some problems with whatsapp...The photos and videos are saved in a folder called 'other pictures'. Now the problem is I cant access the photos or the videos from within the app but I can send from the picture hub.

Same here. Other pictures is added by wp8.1 OS. Somehow the folder is not accesible for WhatsApp. I hope it will be fixed in next WhatsApp update .

I had WhatsApp on my SD card. Now when I press home button then I see blank tiles for about 1 second and also my WhatsApp seemed to be laggy. After moving it to phone memory again fixed the lag.

In general my Lumia 620 has gotten very laggy after the 8.1 update. And I'm not talking about apps on the SD card, but the OS itself (I am using a Class 10 card though). Often times I'll hit the home button and see a bunch of blank tiles for a while. If I tap on a system app, like Messages, I'll watch the tile sink in as normal, then sit there for 5 seconds, then finally pop back out and begin the animation to open the app. Even typing on the keyboard lags at time. I'm not the only one with this issue either, but it seems to affect the 620s the most...

Me too! My 720 is being laggy after 8.1 . I hope that Nokia optimizes WP8.1 with their Lumia Cyan update. If it keeps lagging then I'll have to go back to WP8, I just can't stand lag!

Have you guys tried a hard reset? That sorted out all my lag. I performed three and it seemed sorted after that but that was only because I was having glance issues too.

Yes I did a hard reset, still having animation stutters when closing apps, and it's really annoying!

same here did hard reset three times and still it lags, feels like using a android device in my hand

Experienced same lag but after moving apps like WhatsApp from SD card to phone memory and a couple of hard resets fixed the lag(L520)

Especially with 5G band, I see only a single dot for signal strength, when before it used to be almost full strength. L920

  • Bug: Alarms don't work
  • Solution: Remove Windows Phone 8 alarms, set new ones

I tried that and I also even did a factory reset on the phone.
If the phone was connected to a charger and then disconnect it, the alarm won't run.
If I setup an alarm, again, it will run.

Another thing that I noticed, after I unplug it, the level indicator still shows that the phone is charging.
If I leave it like that for a few minutes, it will show correct, or if I restart the phone.

Yep, same. I think this is also device-centric. I've heard some people on the 1020's the erase and reset working even if it is on the charger. On my 920, doesn't work either way.

Bug: WPCentral tile transparency comes and goes as if it has some kind of built-in intelligence trying to make me go nuts.
Fix: ?!?


I read on WP central update due next week. The transparency works when new articles appear and stops when you close app after reading an article. Roll on next week.

When I scroll up and/or down, sometimes quicker than others, the tiles are blank only showing the respective app a few moments after. And a bit laggy too... But hey guys, it's a preview!!

On my 521 with 8.1 my brightness settings are wonky now. Sometimes switching from low to medium does nothing, I have to switch from high to low to get it to react. And some times the low settings is actually the high settings and vice versa.

I'm happy it's gone by default when you have more than one keyboard installed.. I've never been able to stop pressing the comma instead of space

Battery indicator problems, jumps from 100% to 28% after a restart, restart again and now 98% per example.

I think the battery needs calibration after the update. Discharge it completely then charge to 100%. Discharge it back to 80% and then charge again to 100%. I did that and fixed most of my battery issues.

That happened to my 920 after the Amber update. Eventually got a replacement under warranty from Nokia.

Internet Explorer Advanced Settings don't work, pressing on the button just returns the screen to IE. Also Reading Mode showing blank screen. Any fixes for this ?

I am using HTC 8X International.

not working, already tried, looks no combo of power + vol up doesn't work, nor VOLUME UP > VOLUME DOWN > POWER > VOLUME DOWN sequence

Maybe its just me but sometimes when I hit the search button by mistake the phone restarts :S running 8.1 with no cortona although I have had out on before when I had USA regional settings

I have the same problem/bug with wp8.1 preview on my Lumia 920.
When I try to unlock the screen and therefore inserting my pincode, I accidentally press the second letter, a four simultaneously with the search button... Than my screen doesn't respond anymore and the phone restarts. Quite annoying...
Have more people noticed this?

I'm mainly experiencing battery drain issues. It's 3:45 and I have 24% battery left. Usually at this time I still have about 75%. I know it'll be fixed with the official update. Just gotta go find my spare charger...

This helped me, although my drain wasn't as pronounced as yours: 

Settings -> Applications -> Cortana -> Battery Saver -> Turn off "Allow app to run in the background." 



My buddy is having this issue too. My pictures and notes are there but Room live tiles have stopped working.

My Lumia 1520 bugs: Sometimes after unlock my phone the start screen takes forever to load; sometimes power button bug too.

My 1520 didn't wake up when pushing the power button this morning. After pushing it numerous times it still didn't respond. I then held out for about 15 seconds and it powered up, just like it had been turned off. It is just a preview though, and these things should be fixed in a short while.

BUG ( on my phone ) : step1) Go to setting -> start + theme and remove the start background picture

step2) Now choose a photo and press the windows key to see your photo on start screen...

step3) Press back button and repeat step2 4times ( don't remove the picture , just change it )

On my phone , the background doesn't change anymore ( sometimes it shows the wrong photo on start ) unless I remove the photo and select it again...


There is also an issue with using Cortana for directions. If you don't cancel completely out of your desired navigation app, it just returns back to the navigation an sits there without getting fresh directions.

Hardly any issues on 920. After lots of use whatsapp gets a bit weird though. It refuses to show messages on tile and in action centre. Have to open app to see them. However shutting doen the app via back button fixes it (for a while). This could be more of a problem with the app itself.

This might not be the same, but I'm running GDR3 right now and have been having trouble with whatsapp not pushing messages intermittently for a few weeks now. Every once in a while I'll just get a pack of old messages. If this is like the problem you're having, it could just be the app.

Sounds like a slightly different problem. What youre describing sounds like how whatsapp acted in the early days, before it had a dedicated wp team.

Even I don't have any software issue on 920, but battery drains very faster. Do you have issue with battery?

Battery has always been an issue with my 920. Not sure of it got any worse. But I charge mine all Through the day so i wouldnt notice.

I can confirm i have experienced the alarm bug also i have noticed when trying to select the clock to show 12 hour or 24 hour there is a huge amount of lag.

When I go to camera, click camera roll circle button, and delete all photos, I get a black screen and have to restart the app.

Pandora can no longer play music via Bluetooth without breaking up.

Not sure if it's BT that's the issue or Pandora not getting enough CPU in the new app model.

I can't attach videos to e-mail at all either.  And Gmail is misbehaving since 8.1 as well.

No bugs yet on my 1020 but, do notice a bit of lag once in a while switching screens. I did lose a lot of battery today, never have before.

Yep, have that too. Most notably, Facebook does not register any notifications in the action center. (and does not show up in notifications and alerts settings)

I'm having audio issues my lock and unlock and charging sound no longer work with all the respective sounds on :/ and heating issues and battery problems I hope cyan fixes it EDIT: Cortana apparently overrides the sounds :/

Turn quiet mode on then off apparently Cortana sometimes forgets to enable those particular sounds again