Windows 10 Mobile updates for September 2019

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Windows 10 Mobile is now into its last three months of Microsoft's official support, though of course phones aren't going to suddenly stop working when 2019 ends. Under the hood here there are kernel and security fixes, for all phones currently running the '1709' branch (potentially most of you, see the links below). Grab this September 2019 update in Settings.

To help you visualise where we are in terms of the window for these monthly OS updates, here's a helpful chart:

Timeline - Sept 2019

The Fall Creators Update ("FCU", 'rs3', i.e. 'Redstone 3', at least in name) is the 'production' branch of Windows 10 Mobile, and these are regular 'Patch Tuesday' fix round-ups for it, with the official list for 15254.587 (from .582), the '2019-09B' update (no, I don't know what the B stands for, either!) is mainly composed of minor fixes and security patches, at least in terms of mobile relevance. 

From the official release notes:

  • Security updates to Microsoft Edge, Windows apps, Windows graphics, and Windows kernel

This FCU update applies officially (see below for how to add your phone) to the:

  • HP Elite x3, HP Elite x3 (Verizon), HP Elite x3 (Telstra)
  • Wileyfox Pro
  • Microsoft Lumia 550, Lumia 650, Lumia 950/950 XL
  • Alcatel IDOL 4S, Alcatel IDOL 4S Pro, Alcatel IDOL 4 Pro, Alcatel OneTouch Fierce XL
  • Softbank 503LV
  • VAIO Phone Biz
  • MouseComputer MADOSMA Q601
  • Trinity NuAns Neo

All of which are fully supported officially, with updates until the end of 2019.

Update tips

1: Given the issues some are having with the OS not booting properly after the update, now would be a good time to do a manual backup in 'Settings/Update & Security/Backup/More options/Back up now' - just in case!! 

2: If your phone hangs on its manufacturer 'splash' screen after the main 'spinning gears' section of the process, for more than 10 minutes, it's safe to long press (10 secs) on the power button to do a full emergency shutdown and then power up as normal, whereupon the 'optimisation' section will hopefully resume. It's not clear why or when this all happens, but it's happened twice to me and this usually always got it going again!

3: As a last resort, if the 'long press power down' action doesn't work then try holding down power and 'volume down' together for 12 seconds. This is a harder reboot and worked for me when the step above didn't. Please comment if you have other advice!!

As usual and as per the graphic above (the rectangles in a shade of red), other Windows 10 Mobile branches have now stopped getting updates, so all those older phones (Lumia 930, 830, 735, 640, etc.) finishing life on the Creators Update (if the user was clued up enough to have been on the Insiders Programme for most of 2017) now have a decision to make. Device name spoofing can help keep these in step with 1709 for the rest of the year, but you'll need to geek out just a bit to accomplish this. Only proceed if you fancy a challenge.

The same has applied for a while for phones finishing life on the Anniversary Update (AU) in November 2018, which is why that linked tutorial above takes the old Lumia 735 (with 1GB RAM) as its example - if that can be hacked a little up to 1709 then most other phones from the era or since can also be.

However, looking to the future, don't worry too much if your phone still runs AU (Windows 10 branch 1607) or CU (Windows 10 branch 1703). Although you'll not get any more OS updates, Windows 10 Mobile is a very, very small malware target in the grand scheme of things, so you'll be fine as you are. And you'll still get application updates, of course, possibly for years to come, though increasingly some of the more ambitious Windows 10 UWP titles are being compiled for 1709 or later. I've already noticed a slowdown in third party app updates in the Store. Your mileage will therefore vary!

But for anyone with a phone legitimately (or otherwise) on branch 1709, as usual, in today's vulnerability-stricken, malware-strewn and fraudulent times, we should never disregard security fixes and, the later the branch and security state, the better. So update when convenient and then feel free to look a little more smug than before.

As ever, with all phones, head into Settings/Update & Security/Phone update in order to (try to) get the update immediately.

One good question is what will happen to all of these phones after December 2019, when the last Windows 10 Mobile branch leaves support? I'll address that in a feature before the end of the year, of course. In the meantime, see my Windows 10 Mobile Service and App ready reference table.

PS. Another valid question might be what will happen to AAWP itself in 2020 and beyond? Rafe and I are still mulling things over, but a) do please join the occasional guest writers if you have something to say/review/discuss, b) do click on some of the ads on the site, as that helps the bottom line, and c) well, you know where my tip jar is...(!)