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January 4, 2016

How to get started with your Windows 10 Lumia

You’ve bought a new Windows 10-powered Lumia 550, Lumia 950, or Lumia 950 XL, but now what? Here’s everything you need to know to get started.

Lumia 950 XL

Sign in using your Microsoft account

Microsoft account sign in message

When you first set up your new Lumia with Windows 10, sign into your Microsoft account.

Doing so gives you immediate access to your Outlook email and apps and games from the Windows Store. You’ll also be able to see settings and files from multiple Windows 10 devices, and cloud-based contact details (friends, family, work contacts, etc.) you have stored will be synced and waiting for you in the People app.

If you don’t have a Microsoft account yet, you’re given the option to create one.
The best way to connect to make all the happen is to …

Connect to a Wi-Fi network

Network and Wireless settings

Connect to a Wi-Fi network to save the cost of downloading information over your data plan. When asked if you want to connect to Wi-Fi during setup, select “yes” and input your login details.

After set-up, some pre-installed apps may require updating and should do so automatically. However, you can manually check by following these steps:

Store > Menu > Downloads and updates > check for updates.


Cortana, your digital personal assistant on your Lumia, can give you the local weather, remind you to pick up groceries the next time you’re near a grocery store, update you on live traffic information for your commute, tell you a joke, and much more.

Head to the Cortana tile on the Start screen to set it up.

Personalize your Start screen

Changing the accent color of your Lumia

With Windows 10, you can change the background of your Start screen to your favorite photo, change the color theme to match your mood, and include an extra column of tiles (if using medium size tiles).

More tiles mean you can fit more of the important apps or games on your Start screen.

You’ll find all the options here: Settings > Personalization > Start

Glance screen

“Glance screen” displays the time and date and other notifications such as email, messages, and missed calls on your phone’s idle screen.

No need to press the lock key here; just pick up your phone and you’ll see everything that’s important to you at a glance.

Want an additional background image on your Glance screen? You can do that in either color or black and white. Glance screen can be found here:

Settings > Extras > Glance screen

Explore the Windows Store

Windows Store home

The Windows Store is your one-stop shop for digital content that work on your Windows 10-powered Lumia, PC, or tablet:

Apps such as Skype, Microsoft Health, and WhatsApp.

Games such as Minecraft: Pocket Edition, Candy Crush Soda Saga, and Plague Inc..

Music such as Adele – 25, the Beatles and  Justin Bieber – Purpose.

Movies & TV such as Ant-Man, The Walking Dead, and The Man From U.N.C.L.E..

Pin email accounts to your Start screen

The Outlook Mail app on your new Lumia isn’t just for Outlook accounts; you can also add other email accounts such as Gmail and iCloud. In addition, you can pin those accounts to your Start screen so you won’t miss messages from your friends, family or work colleagues.

Within the Outlook mail app, select the menu bar at top left of the screen. Tap and hold on the different accounts, or folders, and select “Pin to Start.”

Battery saver mode

Battery Saver settings

While the Lumia 550, Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL already have long-lasting batteries–the latter two can also charge super-fast thanks to USB-C charging ports–you can squeeze even more performance out of your Lumia by using the battery saver feature.

That feature extends your phone’s battery life by limiting background activity and pushing notifications when the battery power reaches a certain level.

Need 24/7 access to several apps when you’re low on battery? No worries: You can nominate specific apps to run when battery saver is switched on. Find the battery saver settings here:

Settings > System > Battery saver

Take photos like a pro

The Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL come equipped with top-notch imaging hardware and software and the latest iteration of the camera app, Windows Camera.

Besides a user-interface update, the latest imaging hardware and software improvements help you take vivid natural photos and include slow-motion effects: Find out more on that here.

In fact, the cameras are so good that National Geographic photographer and Microsoft Devices Ambassador, Stephen Alvarez, recently captured the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef using the Lumia 950.

For a closer look at what you can do with your new Windows 10-powered Lumia, the online Windows 10 emulator walks you through many of the phone’s settings and features, step by step.

Have you recently purchased a Lumia 550, Lumia 950, or Lumia 950 XL? Let us know how you’re enjoying it over on Twitter.