We learned a few weeks ago that when Microsoft released the Creators Update for Windows 10 Mobile the list of eligible devices for the final build would only consist of 13 devices.
That means an unknown number of Windows Insiders, those who had been testing some of the 19 mobile builds released for Redstone 2 over eight months of testing, would not be able to upgrade their mobile devices to the Current Branch or final build of Windows 10 Mobile Creators Update.
Of course, Windows 10 Mobile has been in a downwards spiral since the company wrote off their purchase of Nokia a couple of years ago and this is not the first time loyal users have been left behind as a new update for Windows 10 is made available. In fact, it happened when the first version of Windows 10 was released in early 2016 when just 18 Windows Phone 8.1 handset models were part of the supported devices for Windows 10.
The drop to just 13 supported handsets for the Creators Update does not mean Windows Insiders that have been testing Redstone 2 on their now unsupported devices are left completely out in the cold.
In fact, by taking a couple of key steps those users will be able to continue using Build 15063.XXX on their handsets and get monthly updates just like the supported handsets but there are some caveats.
Let's begin with getting your device into a configuration that allows you to get the monthly updates for your now unsupported handset. This new guidance was provided by the Windows Insider Team in the Feedback Hub earlier this today.
-- If you are on an unsupported device and already on the Windows 10 Creators Update (Build 15063): Go to Settings > Update & security > Windows Insider Program and move to the Release Preview ring in order to continue receiving Cumulative Updates for Build 15063. Your device should pick up Build 15063.251 today.
-- If you are on an unsupported device not on the Windows 10 Creators Update (Build 15063): To get to Build 15063, join the Windows Insider Program on your device and get into the Fast or Slow ring. Once in the Fast or Slow ring, your device will begin taking multiple “hops” to get to Build 15063. Older devices will likely have to take the Windows 10 November Update (Build 10586) and Windows 10 Anniversary Update (Build 14393) in order to get to Build 15063. Once you get to Build 15063 on your device, make sure you go to Settings > Update & security > Windows Insider Program and move to the Release Preview ring in order to continue receiving Cumulative Updates for Build 15063.
-- If you are on an unsupported device and want to return your device to a supported state: You will need to remove your device from the Windows Insider Program by using the Windows Device Recovery Tool to re-flash your device and use the Upgrade Advisor app to get back to Windows 10 Anniversary Update (Build 14393). From there, your device will receive the latest Cumulative Updates for the Windows 10 Anniversary Update going forward.
Then there is this additional note for anyone who was on the Anniversary Update, Build 14393, and enrolled in the Release Preview Ring just to see the cumulative updates ahead of their public release:
Please note: If your device was in the Release Preview ring and receiving Cumulative Updates (Build 14393.xxx) for the Windows 10 Anniversary Update previously but no longer supported for the Windows 10 Creators Update – your device will no longer receive updates via the Release Preview ring. You will need to go to Settings > Update & security > Windows Insider Program and press the “Stop Insider Preview builds” button to leave the program. You will then continue receive Cumulative Updates (Build 14393.xxx) for the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.
After posting this information in the Feedback Hub and sharing the link on Twitter, Brandon LeBlanc one of the Windows Insider team members at Microsoft, clarified that users who remain on the Creators Update using an unsupported handset would be on their own. He also clarified that any feedback from those devices would not be looked at by the Windows developers.
I know that seems harsh and there is a lot of frustration out there about the limited number of handsets that are supported however, they are at least providing a means to stay up to date for any fixes and security patches that come out for Creators Update.
Also, be aware that the writing is on the wall that this method of unsupported handsets being able to remain on Creators Update and get those monthly updates will come to an end in September when Redstone 3 is released. This will happen because updates in the Release Preview Ring will then shift to previews of updates for Redstone 3 instead.
Will you be staying on Creators Update or reverting back to Anniversary Update on your unsupported handset?