Smartphones with 512MB of RAM will not be upgraded to Windows 10 Mobile

Microsoft has confirmed that Windows Phone 8.1 handsets with only 512MB of RAM will not be upgraded to Windows 10 Mobile. It was believed this was the case since only smartphones with 1GB of RAM are included in Microsoft's own eligibility list, which was published alongside the rollout of Windows 10 Mobile.

As spotted by WinBeta, to ensure there's absolutely no confusion, the official account for the Insider program confirmed this as the case on Twitter:

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Microsoft previously spoke about how there could be potential limitations with 512MB with regards to Windows 10 Mobile, and while insider testers may have had a smooth enough experience on hardware with only 512MB to test the OS upgrade, Microsoft may have considered all potential issues and felt it necessary to remove said devices from the eligible list.

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

657 Comments
  • Shame.  There are an awful lot of 512 MB devices out there.  I never understood the logic.  The cost difference between adding 512 MB and 1 GB is fairly small.  There were so many compatibility issues in the beginning and now this. Looking forward to the doom and gloom comments...  
  • Windows Phone is already doom and gloom if you have not been noticing. And the reason is exactly stuff like these. 
  • Cheap phones are exactly that. They don't really contribute much to the ecosystem. Stats show people with cheap phones are less likely to buy apps. These users can upgrade their phones to something else including windows or go elsewhere. No loss really. My mom has the 520. She doesn't need windows 10. It's just a cheap phone for basic phone use.
  • Those are their best selling phones man.. People will be pissed and rightfully so! And if I am not wrong, Micsoroft did say that all phones running Windows Mobile 8.1 will be upgraded to Windows 10M. This is not the first time Microsoft screwed their loyal fans. I was one of them.
  • They sold because they were cheap and people just wanted a cheap solution to the flip phone. It was the best one at the time. But now android can compete with cheap.
  • Well, I bought my Lumia 625 for 16000₹ i.e around 260$, that is not cheap! That is a mid range phone price in india. Even L640 was launched with a price tag way below that.
  • And using Lumia 625 for 2 years you have used all ₹16,000. Go buy a new phone buddy. Posted From WC app for Windows 10 Mobile on my NOKIA Lumia 730.
  • I bought a Lumia 620 for about 185€ two and a half years ago, now they go for around 100-110€. I replaced it with an 830 about half a year ago, and payed 215€. So the 830 was only about 30€ more expensive than the 620 back when I bought it. And you can't really compare them, they're in a different class. Phones are just expensive, when they just release. For example the Lumia 650. Here in Latvia it costs almost 200€. 640, which is better in almost every way spec wise, costs about 120€ for the LTE version and 100€ for the dual-sim
  • What the hack? Phones are cheep in your country man! I mean, 650 in Germany is around 225 euros...
  • I would have though the 435 and 535 would outsell a 512mb device. Who buys a 512mb to use as a long term smartphone?? Those who just want a phone, not a pc in their pocket. Feel for those who picked the wrong 635 though. That was an unnecessary confusion in the line up. 4g and 512? What was that about?
  • The 520 was a damn good phone at that price... Better in some ways than the 435
  • You surely have not used Lumia 720 sir. It is the best 512 Mb phone ever. And yes, it is a long-term smartphone.
    The thing is, I understand what and why Microsoft did this. And I kinda understand their situation.
    But that does not change the fact that Satya Nadella had 'promised' in one of his interviews that all devices will get windows 10.
    Then they changed the statement and said all devices with more than 4gb storage will get.
    Then again, while releasing the update, they give a shock. No windows 10 for 512mb devices. And 430, as far as I know, has 4 Gb memory, still it is getting. Weird.
    Basically, all I want to point out is that they messed up bad.
    At least, after testing the insider builds, they should have informed about this. And then later, they should have released the updates.
    But right now what they did is like they made the fans test the windows 10 via insiders, then gave them hope that it will be fine some day, in interviews declared everyone will get windows 10, and when everyone was waiting, dying for the update, they reveal the horrible truth that no 512mb devices. This is what makes me sad.
    Microsoft is sadistic. They love to see fans get hurt. Believe me, I have 830, I will get the update. But still I feel so bad for others. They ruined their own phone fan following.
  • I bought Lumia 735 after using Lumia 720 for 18 months. I still think Lumia 720 is the best Lumia that there ever was ! I would love to have offcial Win 10 upgrade on my 720 but looks like it aint happening. Even the 730/735 should have been exactly like 720 down to the last mm. Just newer prcessor and more RAM.
  • I was surprised so many people complained on the lack of updating for the 512MB L720. I've got one, subscribed to the insiders program and installed W10M on it. This was all before the "news" or "shock" came that their would be no W10M officially available for my phone. W10M ran horribly slow and crashed often first but now after an update it's running just slow and it's more or less stable. The WP8.1 which ran before on it was even more horribly buggy and crashed and freezed sometimes 4 or 6 times a day. So I'm better of now, the phone is "usable". I also work on an iP6s which is a day and night comparisson with the L720. MS did the same with my L610 which got to 7.8 and was horrible slow too (256MB remember). MS blocked the road for it with WP8. So a L720 solved that up to WP8.1 and with a bit of luck I got the W10M now on it. What's most disappointing is the fact that the recovery tool for returning from W10M preview builds to WP8.1 on my L720 doensn't work anymore. MS just gives me the message: your device is not supported for W10M, although it's working perfectly on my phone! So they got me parked with a preview phone forever.  
  • I accidentally got the 512mb lumia 635. No returns. Stupid confusion, they should have named the variants differently.
  • @rastkodotk So did I! I remember comparing Lumia 635 from my Canadian carrier vs. Microsoft Store. I ultimately bought it outright from my carrier and went prepaid. I believe the Microsoft Store one was unlocked and 1GB whereas the one I got is locked and 512MB. The latter, I did not know. I did not even know there were two memory variants for Lumia 635. I just noticed I had 512MB RAM instead of 1GB after installing Aida64 about a month after my 1-year warranty expired :) It's okay. I have now pre-ordered a Lumia 650, which by all means is an upgrade from my Lumia 635.
  • Oh and I called my carrier the other day to see if I can have it unlocked. They apparently have a $50 unlocking policy. That means I should just not have gone cheap back in 2014.
  • People would also be pissed if their phones became useless because they got an upgrade that their hardware simply can't run. You get what you pay for in life, if you buy a phone with limited hardware then you get limited upgradability. And I think you are wrong, I don't think Microsoft ever said all windows 8.1 phones would be upgraded to W10M.
  • The 1020 runs 10 just fine. They apparently just didn't want to spend the time to get the camera app to work well with the OIS on that device. So no inclusion on the list.
  • This exactly. People with 512gb phones have a phone right now that works and has worked well since they bought it. The upgrade to 10 would have made the phone operate worse with no clear benefit to the user
  • Yes zoom, I agree. But you are not getting the reason why people are upset.
    It was clearly told in interviews that every device will get windows 10 update.
    'every'.
    I totally agree with you about phone not working properly. My spare phone 720 has windows 10 in it. It is horrible.
    But the thing is we were given false hope, and then exactly at the time of launch, when the hopes are at the highest point, they said no 512 Mb devices will get them. That is very common sadistic nature of Microsoft. They love crushing hopes. They really test their fans to the limit.
    Why couldn't they just tell this before? I am pretty sure they didn't decide that last minute that "hey Satya... Windows 10 on my 512 Mb is crap. Lets not let the update out for them...?"
    It was a well thought decision. Why couldn't they just tell it before, so that people get angry then, and calm down, and then enjoy windows 10 update whoever gets.
    Right now it is like it was the most anticipated day. But then now it has has become the suckiest day in the history.
    That's what the problem is.
  • I believed that too and thought that was awesome. Now I'm not really that sad. Even if I cannot update, I've had my Lumia 635 since September 2014. I think I already got and used up what I paid for. I might sell it or use it as a back-up now. I will have it remain in Windows 10 Mobile 105...(whatever).164
  • Sir, you clearly don't follow the news and interviews then. Not one, but in many many interviews, it was clearly said by Satya himself that every windows phone will get windows 10.
    He specifically mentioned all windows phones with 8.1 will get windows 10.
  • Your last line says it all, al Windows phones with 8..1 will get Win10, which meant "All phones shipped with 8.1 by default would get it" This excluded devices that shipped with 8.0 and then updated to 8.1. Agreed, they should have been more clear about it. I have a 720 too and I know how horrible Win 10 runs on it, but I think it gave a very good value for Money uptil now. We got so many updates right from 8.0 to Win 10 insider. I think its fair enough that they didn't want people like us to cry about how horrible Windows 10 is on a 512 mb phone. Yes they could have optimised it, maybe they will until the 10586 branch is dead. But they probably didn't wanted to waste resources on it. Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • Again kunal. You don't get it.
    You just twisting the words. Once a device is update from 8 to 8.1, it is an 8.1 device.
    Anyway, I totally get what you are trying to say. I remember the old days... Nokia Lumia amber update was the first one. Then all the way to denim. And then insiders... All this for just one device that I bought in 2013. Microsoft did very well.
    And again, I never said that the decision is stupid. All I meant to say is that the timing of the decision is stupid. They hurt our sentiments. That's why I am hating them right now.
    I have always been a ms follower, even biased at times. But now moves like this just make me hate them.
    That's all I wanted to say. :)
  • Lumia 630 DS came with WIndows 8.1 OOB. Common man! That too the first phone to come with 8.1
  • There were a lot of people asking whether the WP8 devices will get upgrade back then, after the whole wp7 devices not upgradable thing. Microsoft did make the promise that "All Lumia WP8 are going to get Windows 10 upgrade", yet they fail to deliver again.
  • It's 7.5 to 8.0 all over again. The most pessimist commenters were correct again. Any developer that develops an app intended for W10M users will loose out on the majority of users using their app. Everyone was misled. Developers will now need to keep their old app or maintain the old app alongside the new app. Same as 7.5 to 8.
  • Far far from 7.5 to 8.0
    A but dramatic it seems
  • Windows phone 7 couldn't be updated to 8 because 8 runs on a totally different kernel version
  • That & how the bootloader was written
  • There was no upgrade path to 8.0 from 7.5/7.8
    It is not same at all. It is important to clearly understand the situation before commenting.
  • It's very much the same from a developer situation and from a user being stuck with orphaned apps. The situation is understood.
  • I certainly remember it at least being suggested that all Lumias would be able to upgrde to Windows 10 Mobile. Doesn't really matter now, I guess. The whole thing has been a disaster. Windows 10 is great, but the mobile side is (let's face it) pretty much dead. I wouldn't be surprised if MS pulls the plug on it within a couple of years. It can't be financially viable to market something just for the Microsoft fans.
  • If they drop mobile; they will be dropping desktop too. Handheld devices are the future and Desktop/laptops are here to stay but in fewer quantities than before. Google and Apple will eventually integrate their OS (Desktop&mobile) and Microsoft has to have a good foothold unless Staya plans to make a new IBM.
  • Yes history repeats and déjà vu starts again.
  • I'm glad they are sacrificing some users so they are not limited in evolving the OS. Same can be said for devs that had to declare if they supported 512MB devices. A good move from MS. Anyway a customer that has a 512MB old cheap phone and doesn't want to buy a new one in 2016 is not a great customer neither for phone sellers (there is no margin in selling 50$ phones) nor for devs (I don't think you are going to pay 2$ for an app if you can't afford an 80$ phone with 1GB ram).  Sorry if you are leaving but you won't be much satisfied with updates to 50$ android phones either :)
  • All those 1020 users with 2gb of RAM are included in that batch of disenfranchised users, along with many other users, so MS decided to give the bird to a wide swath of their users, not just 512mb.
  • Exactly Paul. Lol. People don't understand.
  • Sir Paolo. Read my comments above please. All 3 of them. :)
  • I understand that you hoped MS could deliver what they said they would, on the other hand an adult can understand that admitting they could not deliver to all but only to a great number of old phones is acceptable even if not optimal. Your phone won't lock down or blow up. It is just reaching the end of it's life a bit sooner than what you expected but anyway it had a great support, much better than what you get for any other brand. You started from 8, then 8.1, then the 8.1 updates, and now it can even get a decent experience in w10 if you want to try it with the insider preview. What is unbelivable is all the drama queens in this comunity. You would have liked another update, they could not deliver it and they said sorry, world is not going to end.
  • Yes. I do agree that they had an amazing run. I have been telling this again and again, but Microsoft devices can be easily classified as long term devices.
    But you cannot ignore the fact that it was a stupid and mean move by Microsoft to wait and let people get their hopes high, and then disappoint them. Why couldn't they tell this before?
  • Because they tried till the end, then comes a time for choosing what to do and admit problems on go on...
  • I love the way you think
  • You do realise we are talking about a software giant, right? Right. If what you say is true then ip6s by no means should be the fastest device in the market. I mean, 950xl has 8 cores and is still slower for God sake. And we all know why... Anyway, going back to what i've said the problem does not come from what you say, but comes from a darker motiv, called: We are not gonna waste resorces on old devices! And that's about it. But what intrigues me is the fact that 650 is laggy and gets slow from time to time. This is the part i don't get. Windows has become an android, which is not a good sign, cause it was supposed to work flowesly even on budget devices, this is with what it's fans were bragging about. But then again an 650 can't be called budget for that price. So let's look forward! Nobody will be able to put lower hardware on a windows smartphone and make it work flowesly like wp 8 was working on an 520;). Ms didn't just gave up old hardware, they gave up on proper optimization!
  • Nokia Lumia 635.  Launched in late 2014, with Windows Phone 8.1 by default. Those suckers who bought the 512 MB variant - which, mind you, was being sold *NEW* within the past 6 months - are out in the cold.
  • It's a shame they won't post what I put earlier it will make people cringe litteraly
  • Ha. Dude nailed it with the last few sentences. I'm with Pablo on this one. I love affordable phones, and that's one reason I have continued to prefer Windows phones. For any 512MB people complaining, wait 6 months and you can buy a sub-Benjamin Win10 phone. My 635 started crapping out a few weeks ago. I wasn't really itching for Win10 but bought a 550...and am sooooo glad I did. At $140, it almost hits the ceiling of my price limit for a phone, but was well worth the upgrade. If people are drooling for the Win10 experience, either buy a new phone or wait long enough for prices to drop.
  • I for those being pointed towards the 640.
  • Now they evolved the OS, but no one's buying their new devices after this. I owned Lumia 925 and was determined get their next flagship device, but now I'm not that sure any more.
  • Do people not remember what happend when Apple put iOS 4.0 on the iPhone 3G nope cause it seems Apple always gets a pass ever if there OS has bugs
  • I cracked the glass on my Nokia 645 and was waiting for the Win 10 upgrade to get it fixed.  Well Now I can be proud of saving that $100.00 and putting it towards an LG G5 with Android 5.5.1.  No more money to MS!  I get office for free on my Android Tablet no more $ to MS there either.  I got Win 10 on my laptop for free no more $ to MS there either! All my media players run Android for free! I guess that means I won't have to give any more money to MS ever again.  Thanks MS its been great knowing you now go away and die!
  • Wasn't there a revelation that MS profits for every Android phone sold due to patent licensing? That if there's a company that really profits from Android, it is oddly Microsoft?
  • Right, they don't contribute apart from being practically the whole install base over the years. Just flush them down the drain, completely worthless users......
  • Market share is so small it doesn't matter. Ms is trying to redefine the phone. A new category. The regular phone shares won't mean much. It's like the 2-in-1 category for laptops. Eventually that's where their shares will be.
  • And now developers are again stuck having to continue to support 8.1 apps for the majority, alongside having to develop a new W10M app to remain relevant? It's easier to just keep the old 8.1 app that will work on both.
  • No windows 8.1 will likely not get any new apps as has been the case for a while. It will vanish as it should.
  • Their phone didn't explode, it is still functioning, if they want they can upgrade their cheap old phone to a cheap new phone. Like always happened in tech :)
  • The 1020 wasn't a cheap phone. They started at $699, unless you forgot.
  • 920 wasn't cheap either.
  • Cost less then the ativ s(aws lte variant) was yet because of the cheap lame competition it couldn't shine
  • Sorry I'm commenting about the article which is about cheap phones. So let me rephrase "if they want they can upgrade their expensive old phone to an expensive new phone."
  • I love your sarcasm theefman.
  • They may be cheap from your perspective but they may not be from the view of the guy who bought it and stop commenting that such people should go elsewhere
  • Just saying if you're not happy with your current phone state then try something else. Or stick with it in the supported mode. It sucks' but that's life. That's technology for you.
  • No man, android old cheap phones are always updated to the latest OS version for years! /s
  • Not true... I got an old galaxy duos phone still on Donut... (2.3.6)... There ain't no marshmallow update coning for that.... Lololol
    I was a wp7 victim(Samsung Focus... Great phone... Still got it) but I understood what they did... So I bought a 925... Then that kicked the bucket so I got an 830...
    All phones bought unlocked... As it pertains to upgrade Os... I jus used the windows insider app to do that... Yea I know some average users wouldn't do it/ know about it but is calms so much frustration towards the OS... I can't remember if they pushed out the insider updates for the low end phones before the official release... But you could check and see... Windows 10 Mobile Insider
    Lumia 830
  • /s = sarcasm
  • @ Paolo     WRONG WRONG WRONG
  • I've seen the 520 in action. I'm so sorry for your mom.
  • bought my 620 for 13500 when it released.. about $200.. not cheap.. think about 820/920.. around 24K, 35K..
  • Re: poopyfinger,
    Very well said.
  • Poopy you're chatting nonsense my friend it's a pity you don't know what's really wrong & what's really going on, I think people who are in the know and can explain easily & better than some, when I post something's it doesn't get posted,
  • I bought 625 for 16000 ₹ . It is a good phone. I don't bother to upgrade my phone to ugly windows 10 mobile. And also I am not impressed by Microsoft's new lumias . I am a big fan of Lumia but now I am hating it.
  • Which new Lumias do you hate ? 535/540/730/735/640/640xl/950/950xl/ 830 are all gorgeous !
  • Most of em doesn't feature camera button and capacitive touch button, wireless charging, clear black display, Carl Zeiss lens , and better touch screen like my L720. Well it's old now but won't buy any new phone any time soon.
  • What are you on about ?? My 735 has Clear back display, Zeiss optics and wireless charging !
  • I believe the biggest hit will be to the enterprise market. A lot of companies that went to exclusively Windows Mobile devices ran 512mb devices. This is going not going to go over well in those circles, esp because MS has been playing the "soon" game with them around enterprise features. I can't believe they made this call. There is absolutely no critical thinking happening at MS. Staya really needs to work on a concrete vision.
  • Enterprises do not like updates, they keep the OS till they can, then they upgrade the hardware i.e. buy new handsets. Enterprises will keep 8.1 for at least one year then start upgrading buying new models so this is completely a non issue.
  • So true! Our computers at work just got Windows 7 installed and only becasue they had to. Im sure we will be on 7 until they have to upgrade again.
  • I contacted my enterprise HW referral the other day about win10 free update telling him that since our licenses are upgradable for free now maybe for once we could upgrade the PC