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Windows Phone 8.1 Preview users still need to downgrade their OS in order to get Lumia Cyan

Earlier today, AT&T announced that their Lumia 1520 is now receiving the Lumia Cyan and Windows Phone 8.1 updates. However, it quickly became evident that those with the Preview for Developers installed on their Lumia 1520s did not have an update, but those with Windows Phone 8.0 did. The reason for the discrepancy is Microsoft has put on hold updates for those running the Preview.

As such, those who are on the Preview and who still want the Lumia Cyan update need to downgrade their OS first. This is still Microsoft's position on the situation.

The original issue stems from those who were using the Preview for Developers version of Windows Phone 8.1 and who have BitLocker encryption enabled (through their employer). Although those affected are a small minority of users, when they installed the official 8.1 update, it caused the phone to lockup. As a precaution, Microsoft halted the Preview program for everyone. In a previous statement to Windows Phone Central, Microsoft advised:

"We are currently investigating the issue. We have paused delivery of the update to customers using the Preview for Developers, and will resume once a fix is in place. Customers whose phones have been affected should use the Nokia Software Recovery Tool to return your Lumia to a normal commercial software state before downloading the Lumia Cyan update. More information about the tool can be found at www.nokia.com/support/recovery-tool."

Microsoft is sticking with that statement today, and it applies to those with the Lumia 1520 on AT&T who would like to update now to Lumia Cyan. Presumably Microsoft will eventually push out a fix for the Preview program to allow carrier updates to continue, however, as of today they have no ETA on that update or anything further to add. In other words, it could be days or weeks.

This situation is not limited to Lumia 1520 owners on AT&T, as it applies to anyone who is on the Preview for Developers version of the OS and are eligible for the Lumia Cyan update.

What to do next

Those people wishing to grab the Lumia Cyan update today for their Lumia 1520 need to downgrade the OS to Windows Phone 8.0 first. The option to not downgrade is up to the user, but Microsoft is advising the returning the phone to 8.0. Users can take a wait-and-see approach if they desire.

Before proceeding, you are advised to back up your device first (Settings > Backup > App + settings > Back up now) before starting the restore process.

Download and install Nokia Recovery Software Tool

Now you need to grab the necessary software to restore Windows Phone 8.0.

Proceed to install the software on your Windows 7 or higher PC.

  • Open Nokia Software Recovery Tool
  • Connect your Lumia to the PC with a USB cable
  • You will see which software version you can install on your Lumia – Click install below that
  • You will need to acknowledge that the data and content on your phone will be erased. If you can still access your phone, make a backup by going into settings -> backup . You will also need to know that photos, music and apps will be wiped during this reset process. Click that you understand and then click continue.
  • You will now begin downloading the software. Network speeds vary, but your download might take about 15 minutes.
  • The software will now begin installing to your phone. Do not use your phone or disconnect the cable during this step. Just go for a quick walk while your phone and PC do their thing.

Once you are back on Windows Phone 8.0, you can then proceed to download the Windows Phone 8.1 and Lumia Cyan update from AT&T. As soon as that is completed, you can hard-reset the phone. The reason for the hard reset is so that the OS can offer up the Restore process from the backup you created earlier. Of course, if you prefer to start completely over, then you do not need to wipe the device.

More on the Nokia Recovery Software Tool process is available in our tutorial.

Daniel Rubino
Executive Editor

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

639 Comments
  • Is this only for Lumia phones?
  • It says Lumia Cyan in the title...so yes. HTC and Samsung have not started updates, so no one knows what will happen there yet.
  • :) thx
  • Why does Microsoft make everything so damn difficult... especially for the people who helped them out and downloaded the Developer Preview? It's really annoying!
  • Why do people need to whine incessantly when the pre-release software no one forced them to download turned out to be pre-release software? What part of developer and preview did you miss? Oh, when was the last time Google or Apple offered people the opportunity to try pre-release versions of their OSs, other than the fact that Android general releases might as well be alpha or beta releases.
  • And....OWNED!
  • Always an asshole somewhere.
  • I mean you, not him.
  • I've read the comments and you're the biggest winner - I mean the biggest asshole! Congrats!
  • Could not agree more
  • MO-MO-MO-MONSTER KILL!!!
  • For the win! Thanks for the dose of common sense.
  • In the words of Mortal Kombat, Finish Him!! Good Response!
  • iOS have beta versions. And... Android L have Developer Preview. 
  • Uh, just don't release DP's to everyone, period   Some people wanting WP info will come to WPCentral and other places, and when these places tell you about it, you'd try, even without much knowledge to it. Now that is that. If MS is so open about the DP, they shouldn't require you to DOWNGRADE your OS to install a newer one. That's just pure bull and shouldn't be coming from a company like MS, especially when you have a long way to climb up. 
  • I guess you didn't read the entire article? It's not a requirement, you can wait for the fix if you want, and at least they admitted there was an issue. This is for Lumia owners who want cyan asap.
  • I did, and it IS a requirement right now if you want it. Sure you could wait. I could even wait until WP9. But you'd want it now too, like you stated, ASAP right? If so you have to downgrade which is a requirement now. They have to admit there is an issue. What do you expect? I'm all for MS and WP. Stuck with them 4 years because I like the OS approach. 
    Support and develpoment these 3-4 years is a different story. As much as I want more people to recognize WP, these things are a turn off and something I don't expect from MS if they want to do something about the 4%  they're stuck with. No room for excuses. 
  • Stop being a crybaby.  They found a problem and this is the workaround. Boohoo, get over yourself.  
  • Crybaby? LoL you don't get it. What I want for MS is the BEST so more people get on board. More on board means more support from others. These kind of mistakes, including the broken Calendar earlier, slow updates and extra hassle is what hurts the platform. MS has been roaming around 3-4% for a couple years.  There will always be bugs, but that is why you get to UPDATE to squash bugs. Not revert back to an older version to avoid it. That's bull.
  • How can a developer preview be a mistake? For Pete's sakes, its a test release. The fact so many "enthusiats" sign up for potential pain is not MS fault. You got early access, this is a consequence. If you don't want and issues, wait for the full release, like my GF who couldn't give 2 sh*ts about Cyan. You need to calm down on the old hate. The reversion is there for a reason, if you don't want to do it. WAIT. Just WAIT. Its this childlike sense of entitlement again. Get over it.
  • If you want an optional item, you have to take some form of action.  Why is this a point of contention? 
     
  • Haha, exactly. I have no idea how this is hard to understand. It's clearly stated what the Developer's Preview is, and what it is for. If you chose to install it, you cannot in complain here about downgrading to get the official update without sounding like a fool.
  • Patience is a virtue :/
  • A Developer's Preview is intended for DEVELOPERS. That is tech-savvy people who know that it comes three quarter baked with a good chance that there are still bugs in it. Non-tech savvy people should have only installed it after accepting this risk and shouldn't complain. I'm sure over 90% of forum participants will have no sympathy for your position on this topic.
  • Yes, but since it was so open, are you seeing the majority of people complaining about this over the minority of people that are tech savvy?  I'm pointing out this is MS's mistake for making it so easy to install. Non-tech savvy users won't expect to have to DOWNGRADE because of this.  If you even do a bit of research and dig back WPCentral posts, they actually encourage you to download this, specifically stating non-developers SHOULD download and install. Here's just one paragraph I extracted from a post.
      "That’s what the Program is for. It’s labeled ‘Preview for Developers’ but in reality, it’s foranyone with a Windows Phone 8 device, as the barriers to participate are extremely low. Microsoft is well aware that carriers tend to drag their feet on updates, so this is their way around that roadblock. It’s a sly move as Microsoft actually wants you to use this Program so that they can show carriers that these updates won’t take down their networks (seriously, that’s what carriers worry about). All you need to do is register your email address and download an app to your phone."
  • Yeah, that's my bone to pick as well.  It wasn't MS, they had all the proper warnings and hoops to jump through to get the update.  But before I installed the DP I went to this site to see if it would mess up upgrading to Cyan and the real 8.1 update.  These guys said, nope!  Everything will upgrade just fine, don't you worry, there is no reason not to jump on board, here's how to do it.
  • I am on a beta of Apple OSX 10.10 Yosemite as of yesterday. Fully stable and usable as a daily driver. Also, beta software is available for developers through all stages of beta program for iOS devices and there's always a free for all GM (golden master) of iOS that can be installed even as a non-developer. Upside and downside of GM is that with Apple, you know the exact date when that GM will go out to the whole world, so you only get 2 weeks of being ahead of everyone. Less time to brag, but perfectly executed world wide update isn't really something to hold against Apple. Now. As far as this Microsoft cockup. I have a Lumia 925, i was on DP from day one and i was on the previous DP. This wasn't part of the deal, it was always stated that DP devices would get the update as all other devices. Reverting was never mentioned. And a big part of the problem is the fact you CANNOT revert if you are a WinRT user or a Macbook user or, i'm guessing, a Linux user. So, what Microsoft failed to mention and warn people about, is that they might not be able to do what they will HAVE TO do if they join the DP. So, it's not so much whining as much as disbelief that they mess up stuff like amateurs, over and over.  
  • I think you may want to check your facts. WPCentral said that many times, but I don't recall ever seeing that information from Microsoft when I signed up for the DP.
  • Actually one of my friends had a beta IOS 7 running on his phone long before it was released to the general public. So Apple does offer some sort of beta program for their phones similar to Microsoft's dev preview. But I do agree Android final releases run as if they were still a beta lolol!
  • Where is the "like" button for this one!!!  
  • My gosh, I never thought of it that way! EVERYONE LISTEN TO STEPHEN, NOBODY ANYWHERE EVER PROVIDE ANY FEEDBACK FOR PREVIEW OR DEVELOPER SOFTWARE OF ANY KIND!!! It will just make people sad if you say things don't work. :-(((
  • Developer Previews are just that.   
  • It was in the fine print. Crap like this can happen. If you took the risk and downloaded it, you can't complain about any drawbacks that happen.
  • Yeah because everyone reads the fine print right douchbag?
  • It wasn't even that small of fine print. It was right there in front of you. Second screen on the Preview for Developers app install warns you of the risks. You had a choice of reject, or accept. These risks were mentioned in articles as well. If you ignored all the warnings, you are the problem.
  • Exactly. I don't understand how he can call you a douchebag by pointing out the fact he ignored the warnings that something like this could happen if he installed a BETA product...
  • You should dig back WPCentral articles. They suggest you update it and it is for everyone to update with no hassle no problems.  MS wants you to do it, that is why it is so easy to sign up for the DP version. 
  • Those articles came out later, and are part of the problem. It gave people who should never have downloaded it a false sense of security. WPCentral, the users, and the ones on the reddit sub, ARE NOT MICROSOFT.
    Microsoft just made it easier for those who wanted to, to be able to. To skip the carrier if they knew the risks. They gave the warnings not to do it as it could void the warranty of your device, and they were not liable for any problems that might happen. Just because people from WPCentral said to do it, does not make it Microsoft's fault. People have no concept for self liability these days. To quote Homer Simpson "It's everyone's fault but mine".
  • That is the dumbest victimizing logic ever. The ENTIRE purpose of previews, alpha, and beta software is specifically for gathering feedback. Complaining when things don't work is EXACTLY what you're supposed to do, even obligated to do, when you're dealing with software. How else would Microsoft know what to fix?
  • Uhhh...how does your download of the Dev Prev help Microsoft, again? Cuz I installed it too, but I don't see how that helped them out. . .it was a purely selfish act, honestly.
  • I would have to disagree. They did fine tune some things and Cortona sounds even more natural. I downgraded to get the actual update. As mentioned before, it was a preview and I'm thankful for the opportunity to get to play around with it. Now that the actual update is available, it is less buggy than the DP, as far as I can tell. So, it did help them polish the OS for you, me, and everyone else.
  • They get all sorts of user interaction and telemetry info.
  • For real I'm not going to downgrade my 920 till I'm sure its getting the update in 2 or less days..
  • You need to calm down... It's not like Microsoft went "lets put a hold on preview customers just for the lols..." Instead its that they have found a major bug and have decided to fix it... In your eyes they lose either way... As if you was able to update and it messed up your phone you would complain... But now they are trying to fix it... You still complain... When developing games, apps and especially OS updates, its not gunna be a bed of roses... Your gunna come across major bugs.
  • M agreed with you m stuck with it.
  • I hope Microsoft fixes it and HTC releases their Official Windows Phone 8.1 release. My HTC8X still works great on Dev Preview no problems at all.
  • Same here, 8X is running great on DP ... I hope they fix the app though ... Both the tile and Lockscreen are not working.
  • what app you talking about?
  • The HTC Clock\Weather App.
    http://www.windowsphone.com/s?appid=e462a4e4-0798-4e01-9ed7-fada88e38357
  • I am not downgrading...would rather wait for a fix...my Lumia 928 is running flawlessly and so great on WP8.1 dev preview
  • @HTC13.... I couldn't agree with you more. We are in the same exact boat. My 928 is running flawlessly with 8.1 DP. I'm in no rush at all as I shouldn't be since all the perks of Lumia Cyan doesn't apply to our phones (928).
  • Both my 925 and 625 were on DP 8.1 when the Cyan update became available for my phones and updated them without a hitch. But my point is, honestly I don't feel the difference in the way my phone works between the pre-Cyan and post_Cyan updates. I'm not saying there aren't any, but I certainly don't notice it in daily use.
  • Agreed. I also do not notice anything. The update also went through without an issue, so no need to downgrade anything.
  • Mine was running great until the most recent 8.1 dp update. Now it freezes every few days and I have to do a soft reset each time. And I still haven't heard an eta on the 8x firmware release :/
  • My 8x (Verizon) started having alot of issues after gdr2. 2-3 times a day it would randomly turn off. The device would forget the SIM card randomly. Gdr3 didn't help and neither did the 8.1 preview. Currently using a Lumia icon on official software.
  • I had that problem too, but the problem was the sim card.  Adding the piece of paper in with it to tighten up the fit solved that problem for me.  And I never opened up the sim slot since I got the phone, so had nothing to do with use.
  • My 8S works great with the 8.1 DP. Its strange to see higher end phones have so much issues with it. The only problem I have that everyone else is having is the low battery life.
  • I feel like people are just screwing with you now. This is the second face palming first comment question in as many days. The guy yesterday asking if the VZW ICON update was coming for the 928 made me want to bang my head on my desk.
  • Sorry to the commenter but I thought it was very cringe worthy.
  • I took that guy's comment ("928?") to mean, "since Verizon seems to be paying attention to one of their Windows Phones, is there any news/indication that they have done anything update-wise with the 928?" Maybe I'm giving the guy too much credit.
  • Daniel, You're very short today .. Having a bad day?
  • Sam is the nice one.
  • Dan, do you have to reply so sarcastically? He was merely asking a question. Please choose wiser with your words next time, will you?
  • How many times do you think Daniel has to answer a f**king stupid question because people don't read the article?? I think he is showing remarkable restraint. A bit of sarcasm.. or irony as Amercians call it, is always welcome in my opinion!!!!
  • 1) Who are the Amercians? 2) Americans actually do use the word sarcasm. 3) Sarcasm and irony do not mean the same thing. Perhaps you might want to look them up next time before trying to sound clever.
  • Aaand here is the asshole again.
  • You think he's the asshole? Now that is irony.
  • Well, this proves my point.. You didn't get the sarcasm that was intended... Americans use the word sarcasm, but on many occasions confuse it for irony. It was just a sug-jestion Oh the irony.....
  • There's always ignoring repetitive questions. Helps to keep me stress free and sane
  • Daniel and all of you, I own the 1520.3 DP without carrierstickyness to it and i love it but now i see i have a problem going to cyan because AT&T is the only carrier pushing the update out for the 1520. Any suggestions? 
  • If your Lumia 1520 is a country variant (CV), also known as unbranded and factory unlocked phone, then you have to wait for the update directly from Microsoft Mobile when they finish the tests. This update is only for the AT&T variant. :)
  • tnx, i was affraid for that, lets hope the CV's come quickly
  • jorgeservin I contacted microsoft today and this is part of the answer: Steven B.: Can you check something on the phone for me please? Go to Settings > Extra+info > More > Manufacturer.
    ron: rm-938_ita_ita_905
    Steven B.: Thanks, give me a few moments to check into that.
    ron: ok
    Steven B.: ron, I apologize for the delay. I am still reviewing my database and researching for a solution. Thank you for your patience.
    ron: no problem
    ron: I appreciate your help
    Steven B.: So I looked into it, it appears this is an unbranded Italian phone. This means were waiting on the OEM to release the update in Italy. We don't know when this has be officially released but is due to release in the near future. I changed my region to italy but no updates available. Maybe a roll back will do it as on att?  
  • As I told you before, you have to wait for Microsoft Mobile (the former Nokia Device & Services division, which should not be confused with Microsoft Corporation) to release the update. And it has nothing to do with regions, but with product code and firmware. Changing regions won't do anything.
    What I'm intrigued to know it's where did you buy that phone from. Because you wrote ..._ita_ita... above, but it could actually be LTA for Latin America as I remember the 1520.3 to be from.
    My Lumia 920 says lta and is the CV for Paraguay. :)
    Anyway, we have plenty of time to wait I'm sure. I waited so much for every update, like with GDR3 and Lumia Black that I just got in February. :/
  • Jorgeservin thanks for your reply's. I am upgraded to cyan since last night :).... I purchased my 1520.3 through Newegg by suggestion of Daniel Rubino in one of his articles. I had the one from ATT but i hated the 16G and no qi wireless charging and the fact that it was locked to ATT. I am a much happier camper now :-)
  • Did at&t allow data sense to remain with the official cyan 8.1 update?
  • Yes
  • Wow I was going to stay on the preview just for that. I can't believe they let data sense stay. Did they remove anything?
  • Indian 520 need wp8.1
  • Wondering if the databases from the 8.1 specific features, like Cortana and the personal ' dictionary' for the swipe keyboard, will be preserved in the pre-reversion backup and then installed to the post 8.0 to 8.1 update?
  • How do I know if I have bitlocker enabled?
  • hi,daniel ,i m trying to downgrading wp dp8.1 bulid 12400,to wp  8.0  through nokia software recovery toll , it;s showing error  code 0x80131500,what to do i m tensed ,will i get the cyan update ,or wait for microsoft for new update
  • Oh fish after downgrading to wp 8 and then updating to cyan my phone is all messed up and the saddest thing is that all my paid games are lost and its saying me to again buy the games microsoft need to fix this if anybody have the same issue please help me in sorting out this problem.. im using lumia 1320..
  • yeah. it's "Nokia Recovery Software Tool" for a reason.
  • If HTC a Samsung have no tool are they better phones cause they don't need one?
  • Just means you're out of luck if your phone ever has any issues. I just hope that I'll still receive future updates from the preview program. I have no way of downgrading because I don't use a Nokia phone.
  • I believe Samsung has a tool. With my original Focus I was able to flash other ROMs. Not sure about HTC
  • HTC has always had a rom file available in the past. I used them extensively in my WinMo days. Pretty sure I used one on my Titan too at one point. I would assume they still have them.
  • Odin is the Samsung tool.
  • When i try to use the Nokia tool i get error 0x80131500 there is no info out there about this error i have tried multiple USB cables ports, and 3 different PC's no matter what I do i cant get my phone to go back to 8.0  i may have to send it in to nokia to get reflashed. :(
  • Are you using its original USB cable? I found out that my Lumia doesn't get along with other USB cables, and usually gives errors or refuses to be discovered by my laptop when it's plugged in.
  • Same here. Tried everything. Theres a thread on the 1520 forum, but, no solutions yet.
  • Here's your sign......
  • Do you read bro? @dan great response you basically said yes dummy this is for Nokia only Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • My Sprint HTC 8XT Developer Preview randomly restarts 3-4 times per day, now less since the small update earlier this month tho. Other than that, runs fine.
  • This proves Consumer Preview is actually beta.
  • Confused about the article title. My 925 updated fine a few weeks ago.
  • I would better wait for a fix
  • I would flash cyan with full 8.1 when its released.
  • Microsoft is working on a fix for those on the WP Developer Preview. Until then updates are on hold for those on the preview.
  • What a pain.... In that case, I'm in no hurry
  • Agree. I just used the tool and now I'm not sure which version of Windows Phone I've got. Is it 8.0... 8.1... Cyan? Who the hell knows anymore?!?
  • Because it's so difficult to make one tap in the setting menu to see which OS your phone is running. Difficult! How do I turn this thing on, pressing a button is so damn difficult!!
  • Not just tap. I also have to scroll! My point is... I don't know what that 10-digit version means. They all start with 8!!!
  • If its 8.10.xxxxx then it's 8.1.
  • In the About of my friend's 1520 it says "Software: Windows Phone 8.0" and in my 925 it says "Software: Windows Phone 8.1". So yes, that was hard to differentiate ;-S
  • Running DP on my ICON. But to be honest I'd rather start with a clean slate and then install 8.1 anyways. Nothing like a fresh OS install
  • I did the same when moving from 8.0 to 8.1 (twice), and will do so again. But it's still an annoying and somewhat embarrassing hassle that this bug, which should've been caught, is happening, since the 8.1 Preview For Developers program had such large adoption.
  • Bitlocking developer phones would be an incredibly niche thing, so I'm not entirely sure you can dismiss this as "should have been caught"
  • Sure. But considering the developer preview was on far more phones than just "developer phones", and was basically just a sneaky way to bypass carrier delivery, you'd think this should've been tested. Even the niche in this case will be a significant number of perhaps rather vocal users. 
  • Well ... No matter how niche these issue, developers sometimes use their own phones to test their apps, which also happen to connect to company's mail server that require bitlocker. This can be happening when the company is using rent policy where they rent their employees' phones as test devices. I'm one of those employees. I guess when Cyan is released for 520, I'll wait for the fix or stick with this DP until I buy a new one. And if this happening (no fix whatsoever), I'm sure I won't bother using DP again in the future. Well, losing one developer (or I should say, one ISV) preparing their apps during preview period won't affect Microsoft in anyways.
  • Fresh installs are the way to go.... If only for peace of mind/OCD. I will do the same.
  • Agreed 100%
  • Thanks AT&T for the support (not....). And they wonder why they have such a bad rap with consumers...
  • How, pray tell, is this AT&T's fault? Microsoft is the one blocking the update, not AT&T.
  • Because all of the world's problems are caused by AT&T, apparently.