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Windows 10 Mobile users can now grab new phone firmware after updated Insider app

Yesterday, Microsoft sent out a mandatory update for the Insider app and at the time we speculated that it was in preparation for some Windows 10 Mobile Redstone releases.

As it turns out, it is more than that as the app now lets users un-enroll from the Insider program but all puts them back onto the production track for updates. This change is a rather big deal as previously users would have to hard-reset to get back into production mode.

Here is what it means, especially for those on the Lumia 950 or Lumia 950 XL as those phones have new firmware.

Windows Insider 1.3.233.2 Changes

With yesterday's update for the Insider app the changelog has now been refreshed too. Here is what is new with emphasis on the third bullet point:

  • Show Windows OS version instead of Phone build version in about screen
  • Fix a possible provisioning deadlock issue
  • Leave program will now attempt to provision the phone back to official production builds. When official builds catch up, the phone will receive compatible official updates again
  • Several smaller bugfixes

You are an Insider but not getting new Lumia 950 or Lumia 950 XL firmware?

One of the odd bugs of being an Insider was you could have a Lumia 950 XL and be on the latest OS version e.g. 10586.63, but not get the latest firmware that was released. To get the firmware, you would have to either hard-reset the device so that it would wipe the Insider track from the phone or use the Windows Device Recovery Tool (WDRT) to flash the firmware.

Needless to say, this could take around two hours. This time scale applies if you use the restore function on your phone to put it back to normal after you take all the updates and then re-enrolled in the Insider program. (Having said that, sometimes doing a hard reset also fixes a lot of update issues, so it's not always a bad thing).

With yesterday's update, you only have to remove yourself from the program using the app (directions below) and the phone is now put on production. This action means the phone will act like you hard reset it. Using Windows Update under Settings should let you install the new firmware with no interference (assuming it is there; the Lumia 950 on AT&T still has not had the firmware approved, for instance; but when it does, you can then use this guide to get it too).

As always, taking the new firmware or any OS updates does not wipe the phone. All your information, settings, and files will remain intact.

For now, this only applies to the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL as other Lumias do not have new firmware available. Long term, this can affect other devices should new firmware be released by Microsoft.

How to stop getting Insider builds for Windows Phone

  1. Launch the Windows Insider appFrom your Start menu launch the Windows Insider App. If you need to re-install it just use this link for the Store.

  1. DisenrollFrom the ellipsis menu near the bottom open the menu and choose Leave the program

  1. Sign inTo confirm your account, you need to sign in again

  1. Leave ProgramOn the Leave program screen select Continue to confirm

You are now disenrolled in the Windows Insider Programs for phones. You will not get any more OS updates through the Insider service, but your phone can now grab any official updates through production releases e.g. new firmware.

If you wish to change your mind at any point, just launch the Windows Insider App and re-enroll through the initial steps. This step applies after you grab the new firmware as re-enrolling in the Insider program will never remove the new firmware.

New firmware update for Lumia 950/950 XL: 01078.00027.15506.020xx

As a refresher, this is what the latest firmware for the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL brings. Many user reports confirm better battery life and, more importantly, less heating of the phone due to background processes:

  • Stability and performance improvements.
  • Improvements for SD memory card support.
  • Improvements for automatic display brightness settings.
  • Fix for a camera problem that was causing noisy images in low-light conditions for some users.
  • Fix for a 4K video problem that was causing stripes to show up while playing back recorded videos for some users.

Conclusion

This course correction by Microsoft is one that should have been there early on when the Insider program began. Granted, the disconnect between firmware and OS updates was not so discernable a few months ago before the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL even existed, making the "issue" more theoretical. Now that we have those phones and Insiders stuck with old firmware the reality of the disconnect is, well, disconcerting.

With yesterday's update, Microsoft made switching between Windows 10 Mobile for Insiders and Windows 10 Mobile production much easier with no more hard resets. This change in how the program works also means that Microsoft does not need to put the firmware on the servers for Insiders, however, they are reportedly still exploring that option too.

At least for now, Microsoft has saved users a lot of work by negating the need for a hard reset just to get any official updates.

For more information, you can head into our forums where users are sharing their experiences.

Source: Windows Central Forums; Thanks, Shaun S., and Bryant F., for the tips!

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.

301 Comments
  • So wait, firmware for all Lumias?
  • In theory, yes. In reality, no, as only the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL currently have new firmware.
  • Here goes my faith for more fluid W10 on my Lumia 625 :(
  • You are not the only one.....I have lost mine too :(
  • So my LED in my Lumia 730 will have to wait to work then.
  • Badly waiting for new firmware to enable the LED feature in my L730.
  • What my Lumia 730 had led notification lights???
  • What is it?? LED???
  • Light Emitting Diode. Basically the same light that most phones use for the camera flash and flashlight. The 730 has an extra on that blinks when you have notification, but it is disabled. The users are hoping for a firmware update to activate it.
  • LED? 730 doesn't have one...how are they gonna enable that?
  • It does have, you can see it if you dissasseble your phone. 930 also has it. Looks like Nokia played smart, for phones which doesn't have Glance, they've put LED.
  • But Microsoft might not enable it.
  • Its a shame Dan. My Lumia 1520 has many issues which I think are firmware related. For example, on my Car, when paired with bluetooth, W10M has lots of disturbances, distortions or even dropouts while playing music via BT. Same car, never had issues with WP 8.1 and worked like a champ. There are few others, but I wouldn't list them all.
  • I hear you Sunny. My 1520.3 has lots of faults, which I understand in a test builds, but we are getting precious close to the end. I'm worried my device might be an outlyer, except others complain too, but only a few. Still not working for me are Glance, Hey Cortana, Motion, Moton Data, and couple others, importantly, all  Microsoft apps. If this build and new Insider app doesn't help, I may go all the way back to 8.1 and start over. Ugh.
  • Did you do a clean install? I haven used my l1520 all that much but it seems to run fine with the latest build
  • I can't say for certain that is even firmware or just OS related. We have seen from previous OS updates that Bluetooth can be heavily effected and improved.
  • Still not updating. The app is on version 1.3.231.4 but still it's Store page shows no update available since the previous article. Anyway it doesn't look much relevant to non-950 phones. Or is it?
  • I had the same issue and had to uninstall and re install insider app... And after that I got the new insider fast configuration update... Running smooth and nice
  • Yeah, uninstalling worked.
  • Any idea for those of us who can't see the update for the Windows Insider app? I've checked for updates manually a few times to no avail, and it's not auto-updated itself as when I try to use the app it says I need to update to the latest version. :S
  • Uninstall/reinstall worked for me. Lumia Icon
  • Currently windows store is down for many users from last several hours which cause to not showing app updates.
  • But ATT still has to allow it?
  • @Daniel Rubino or anyone reading this. Why isn't the Firmware revision number in this article fully listed out? Are the last three numbers different based on if it's a 950 or 950XL? What you listed was 01078.00027.15506.020xx. Meanwhile, I have 01078.00027.15506.020005 and I'm not certain if that's the latest firmware. Thanks.
  • I believe the last few numbers correspond to variants depending on the region. So as long as the rest of the numbers before the xx are the same, you are definitely on the latest firmware release for your specific device/region.
  • Is it likely to allow me to get the denim update?
  • still stuck on .29 release on 950
  • This does NOT fix the provisioning deadlock issue. STILL stuck on .29. any advice?
  • I got an update to the new version for Windows Insider app on my Lumia 535
  •    
  • I don't care about firmware. What I care about is: When will there be a release date for windows 10 mobile for all lumias except 950??? When Cortana for the whole world?? MS is sleeping and getting slower each second!
  • Yawwwnnn
  • Dang we're lucky you found the right channel to express those thoughts!
  • When it is ready. When language support is ready. Its not like any other company is faster.
  • You can't be serious.....
  • January 19th - according to Swisscom.
  • Not even my AT&T Lumia with updated insiders app. Checked and still have old firmware and it won't update. :-(
  • Please check out the last picture: Updatering för windows....
  • This is what happens when you push out a bazillion different models instead of just a few really good ones. You have to support all that crap.
  • I thought windows users can now grab "WINDOWS 10" update :(
  • Guess you shouldn't read so fast ;)
  • Early 2016... Whatever that means...
  • Super easy, that means that something (made by MSFT) is not going to happen the first eleven months of 2016 with high probability of neither does the twelfth.
  • Is anybody having problems with app updates from the store? My Lumia 550 has been unable to find any app updates since installing .63, so to get the latest insider app I had to uninstall and reinstall it.
    It can't find app updates after a hard reset either, leaving me with an incredibly buggy app experience.
    Is this a .63 issue, or a store issue?
  • My 950 has been doing the same thing. I didn;t notice it until I tried to update the Windows Insider app. I am on the old version, but the new version is in the store without an option to update it.
  • Yes i have the same problem. I can't receive any update in windows insider app. After installing build .63 .
  • Uninstall the app and then re-install from the Store. That will force you to get the new one.
  • Except it won't reinstall. Error: 0x8024401C
  • Edit: I uninstalled the WI app and now when I hit the Install button for it in the Store it just says "Working..." and never does anything. Why is this app store stuff so difficult for MS to figure out? So now I am left with no WI app to move to a newer build and no way to install or update existing apps. So it looks like I'm hard resetting or flashing my phone again.
  • Took three times, with various error codes, but finally successfully download and installed. Hang in there.
  • Same here
  • I'm having this problem too. My 920 can't find app updates. I was considering doing a hard reset, but since it didn't work for you, I'm not sure what to do now.
  • Same here on my 920. We'll have to wait...
  • Same problem. L920   Update: deleting and reinstalling the app seems to work.   
  • Same on my 635 that I use for testing.
  • I can confirm this issue on my lumia 640. Did a hard reset today and I'm unable to find any app updates
  • I'm in the same boat, but I don't even have W10 yet.  I'm still on 8.1 v2.  Tried to hard reset, then install W10 last night, when it started doing this.  I restored my phone from my most recent backup (done an hour before I tried to update last night), but now a lot of my apps just say "pending" but won't do anything.  And the Windows Insider app keeps telling my there's a server error :/  WTH! 
  • Same here, seems like a bug
  • Yup, can't get the lastest Windows Insider...was able to update to Facebook Beta from the app screen in the store only. I just uninstalled Win Insider and i think it's working now after downloading again.  Kept telling me I had to update to the latest version. Not sure if that's working or not.  It's now letting me rejoin the fast ring and rebooting.  And repeat, and repeat.  No firmware.  Damn!  
  • I also noticed app update issues since the .63 release. I never got the Windows Insider or Facebook Beta app updates that WC reported. Been checking for updates in the Store app and nothing. I guess I will need to uninstall and reinstall like others have mentioned.
  • Same issue in my L540. No app updates in the store. Not getting windows insider and Facebook beta app update.
  • Same here Chance. After I did a hard reset yesterday, the Store had almost no new updates. I guessed it might be to the impending .63 release to everyone. Otherwise, a bit disconcerting. I'm downloading the Insider update now (on the third try after error messages).
  • same here
  • Same here...I uninstalled to get the update but now I'm not seeing the new firmware. Has anyone else gotten it through the updated insider app? EDIT: tl;dr... Have to leave the program first. Whoops.
  • Yeah my 920 did the same thing. This fixed my issue. 1) uninstall the insider app. 2) Restart your phone. 3) Go to store and install insider. 4) open and set up fast or slow updates.** phone will restart again**. 5) check for updates.
  • Darnit, should have been patient. After hard resetting I'm now stuck without nearly all of my old texts.
  • Not set to back them up?
  • Set to back up everything.........they aren't backing up. Backed up right before the reset actually. In the past they've magically reappeared within a couple of days, but no dice yet.
  • Config>System>Messages> Download Messages > From any time (I think it's this in english, sorry if I'm wrong). Maybe your getting messages from just the "Last Month".
  • After my recent hard reset it took a while to get them but they didn all eventually come back
  • I had the same issue with my 950 on AT&T. Backed everything upp, hard reset, and was missing like a month of texts. It's almost like it didn't actually finish backing all of my texts up when I did the backup even though it said it did. They all stopped on like 11/4 and I did the backup and reset mid December.
  • This happened to me after one of my OS updates and hard resets... It stayed that way for 2 updates, then on .36 they all came flooding back! Joy :)  
  • Brett favre? Posted via the Note 4/Nexus 7 (2013)/Lumia 1020/Lumia 2520
  • Out of box question: Does installation of 10586.63 build in 8.1 requires a hard reset?
  • No
  • It's upto you, actually Daniel made an article about this..in which he's telling us about his personal experience..
    I would suggest you must do a hard reset as it will smooth out your experience and os will work flawlessly.
    You can follow this steps
    1) hard reset on 8.1
    2) install insider app and get preview builds
    3) Now as you're running wp10 now, hard reset one more time and than install your apps (don't do backup restore & this 3rd step is voluntary not necessary)
  • Nope
  • Still waiting for official release on my phone
  • When is the official release comming and wichone ?
  • At the announcement of Windows 11.
  • I've had the leave option with the previous version 1.3.231.x for some time now. Also I don't get mandatory update request for the Insider app too.
  • Of course, you could always "leave" the Insider program. That is not the news here. However, all leaving did was block you from getting Insider updates. It did not, however, let you get production updates e.g. new firmware. That is exactly the issue described here, hence this article and why it is important. The reason is the registry changes made by the Insider app and choosing Slow or Fast Ring remained on the device keeping you in a sort of limbo for firmware.
  • Yep. I can now confirm all is working now. What should have been mandatory update for the app, didn't show neither in the app itself, nor after a manual check in the Store. Had to reinstall it, to force my phone to update it. The only downside I see, is this actully makes me leave the program (unlike the desktop version, which is per device). Lost my "Insider since Oct 2014" badge (found in Insider hug). Thanks, Daniel. P.S. Tell the technical guys this comment editor has had problems with keyboard navigation in Edge for some time now. Pressing Enter returns you to start of text instead of new line.  
  • Actually leaving only unrolled your Microsoft account from the Insiders program before, your phone would still be on the Insidier program and still get Insider builds. I wish they gave us the option, other than a hard reset, to have the phone leave the program but have your MSA stay, so that your join date doesn't get reset.
  • Yea, my 950 is still stuck on .63 and when I leave WI the firmware is called "Production-Threshold". Nothing else. It seems my 950 is not seeing the new code, or I have no idea what I am doing.
  • .63 is the current OS version, there is nothing newer to get. But now that you are on the "Production-Threshold" track you should be able to get the latest firmware, assuming that: You haven't already gotten it. It has been released for your phone/carrier/region.  
  • Just a little bit of reading will explain the updated function of the leave option now.
  • Too bad the store is dead at the moment. I can't update the app. Edit: It's back!!! :D
  • Uninstall and Re-Install... That's exactly what I did now
  • How could I reinstall the app if the store wasn't working at the time?
  • Well, the store is working for many and presume you can still access it. Some can use the store but are not seeing app updates, which is what he is saying. If the latter is your situation, then it is a workaround.
  • Store not back for me. 1520.3
  • I am.not getting updates since yesterday from W10 store for windows insider and Facebook Beta for both 920