Windows 10 Mobile is dead: this is how you save your data

Users of Microsoft’s mobile operating system received their very last update this week. This puts an end to the company’s experiments with the smartphone OS. This way you save all your data to take with you to something new.


Windows 10 Mobile phones still work, but even the latest devices with Windows 10 Mobile (version 1709, the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update was the last for Windows 10 Mobile) will not receive any new patches or updates since the very last update this week , also not in terms of security fixes. It officially ceases to exist.

Making a backup

If you own a Lumia 640 or 640XL you have already noticed the approaching end, because the support for these devices expired in June. But the last word has now been said for devices such as the HP Elite x3, Microsoft Lumia 550, 650 and the Lumia 950/950 XL, the Alcatel IDOL 4S and 4S pro and the Alcatel OneTouch Fierce XL.

If you do not switch, you are on your own. The Microsoft Store app may work or may not work. Apps are still supported, says Microsoft, but how long that support continues, depends on the developer.

The only practical solution – which Microsoft also recommends – is to make a manual backup as quickly as possible (Settings> Update and security> Backup> More options> Back up now). The time for that is urgent: “After the end of the support, automatic or manual creation of new device backups for institutions and some applications will continue for 3 months, until 10 March 2020“, warns Microsoft, but it is not clear which applications can be backed up with that.

Switch to Android

Both iPhones and Android devices have access to Microsoft’s applications and can take over some of the functionalities of Windows 10 Mobile devices. The relatively open approach of Android gives you more leeway if you want to connect to Microsoft services, so we recommend Windows 10 Mobile users that OS as an alternative.

Make sure you have a backup, with synchronized photos, e-mails, etc. If there are documents that are not automatically managed and synchronized (ie outside of photo services and document services), it is best to use OneDrive to copy them (temporarily) to the cloud or another location. This also applies to still hanging MP3s or videos on your device.

Google account and Microsoft apps

You will have to take a Google account, if you don’t have one yet, because it is part of the entire Android experience, for example for syncing and registering apps. Google also encourages users to take Gmail as their primary email client, but that is not necessary.

This way you can use the excellent Outlook app for Android. His calendar is much more practical and clearer than the native calendar app in Android. Other recommendations for Windows 10 Mobile switchers are OneDrive for backing up photos and Microsoft’s Your phone, to connect your Android device to your PC.

Export and import contacts

Of course you also want to transfer your contacts and text messages from your old device. Exporting contacts in Windows to Android is fairly easy. Go to the tab in the web interface People (bottom left in the sidebar) and select at the top right Manage. Click on it Export contacts and the service offers you a csv file.

Then go to to import this file again. The contacts that you sync here are then also available on your Android device via the linked Google account. In the bar on the left you see the option Import and here you select the newly created csv file to add the contacts.

Transferring text messages

Exporting text messages is a bit more time-consuming. When I migrated my wife’s Windows Phone to an Android device, I used the app WP Message Backup, but the problem is that the free version only copies 100 messages at once to an xml file, and that quickly becomes very annoying.

You can park the created XML file in the cloud and download it to your Android device, or transfer it via a wireless connection or USB. In Google Play, a large number of apps are available with which you can restore text messages to add them to your Android device, such as this one or this one.

Now also for Microsoft: Android

If you miss the interface, you can also vermicrosof your Android device with the Microsoft Launcher app. This even synchronizes with Bing’s image of the day. The graphic skin offers standard options of apps and services from Microsoft on your Android device.

Even though Microsoft has announced a new smartphone – the Surface Duo – it will only run Android. Because the Duo is planned for December 2020, in the future you will therefore have opportunities to purchase a smartphone from Microsoft. But for Windows Mobile: that is really dead now.

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