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[GUIDE] How to Run Windows Phone 8.1 on Your PC


How to Run Windows Phone 8.1 on Your PC

The mainstream release of Windows Phone 8.1 is still months away, but if you just can’t wait to run Windows Phone 8.1, this guide will teach you how to run WP 8.1 in an emulator on your PC. Follow the steps exactly as written and in order, as this is a delicate process, and can fail if you mess up.


Step 1: Download the Windows Phone 8.1 SDK ISO from here

Step 2: Download Visual Studio 2013 Express from here

Step 3: Install Visual Studio Express first!

Step 4: Extract the WP 8.1 SDK, and run the installer as an administrator (this is important)

Step 5: Wait for the installer to finish running. It’s a hefty install, so it should take a bit of time.
Step 6: Start Windows Command prompt as an administrator and run the following command (cd C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft XDE8.1)

Step 7:Run the command (XDE.exe -vhd “C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft SDKsWindows Phonev8.1EmulationImagesFlash.vhd”)

The emulator should boot up. Enjoy WP 8.1!


  1. If you’re using a 32 bit pc, this process will not work. Instead, download and install VirtualBox or VMware, and then locate and start flash.vhd from there.
  2. If you’re using Windows 7, you need to install Service Pack 1 for the above process to work.
  3. If you need help or more guidance, post below in the comments or use the chat function.


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About Jasper

Jasper is a tech enthusiast, dedicated to Windows Phone.


  1. I’m lost with this.

    I do not have EmulationImagesFlash.vhd

    I extracted the iso and there is a VS2013.1.exe in the root, running this returns a message that I do not need to install it because I have a newer version (and this is true).

    I tried running several of the exe/msi file from the different directories but get a message to run setup.exe and to see more info in the readme.html – both are not in the image. What in the world do I need to start from the extracted iso to get the thing installed? VS2013.1.exe isn’t it as it is a service pack, and Preparation.exe from the packages directory doesn’t do anything.

    I may be wrong (most likely I am but I have gone over the install about 100 times and fail to find what I need to do), but either the iso is no longer complete or there is an step missing that needs to be added.

  2. this is not working for im using 8.1 x64 when i run the setup of iso it shows a newer version is alredy installed plz help i try it with WP8.1 emulator but it not shows XDE folder in program files x86

  3. I have installed Visual Studio 2013 Pro with Update 2 Final and Windows Phone SDK 8.1.

    Can it works for me?

  4. Hi,

    Please note that there are UTF-8 specific quote characters in the mentioned commands. So when people copy-paste your code, they end up with XDK.exe telling you how to specify command line options.

    You should format your code so it is not displayed as regular text, but as unformatted code or something.

  5. The Windowsphone 8.1 sdk works on windows 8.1 only. If you are on windows 8 you need to upgrade to windows 8.1.

  6. v8.1EmulationImagesFlash.vhd”)

    i dont have the emulation folder

  7. Have you followed the instructions to the T?

  8. Thanks a lot Sir!! It is working perfectly!!!!!!

  9. When I click on XDE It says:

    The windows Emulator cant find a virtual machine with the name Default Windows Phone Emulator .You are also missing -vhd parameter, Which is required to create virtual machine .

    My windows is 8

    • Hmm… If the Windows Emulator isn’t functioning, try using VirtualBox or VMware. This works perfectly on my Windows 8.1 pc, so I can’t seem to understand why it isn’t working for you. Have you followed the instructions correctly and in order?

  10. It’s not working for me. There is a window with Windows Phone Emulator Version 8.0.12298.0, I click the OK button, and it’s exit. :/

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