Nokia Lumia 1020, 920, 928 software froze up? — How to force reboot Windows Phone

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The unimaginable happened to my Nokia Lumia 1020 this morning when trying to launch the ESPN ScoreCenter app from my start screen. I’m not sure what might have caused the lockup, but whatever it was made the screen freeze in that state. I tried holding down the power button for 10 seconds but that did not work.

After doing some research online I discovered a way to reboot the phone when it freezes up. This applies Windows Phone 7 devices as well, it’s not restricted to Windows Phone 8.

How To un-freeze (soft reset) a locked-up Nokia Lumia 920, HTC 8X, Nokia Lumia 620, or any Windows Phone device

Image source: Mobile Review UK

Simply hold the lock button and volume down button at the same time for 5-10 seconds. Once the phone reboots you can now get back into the operating system and make sure everything is normal.

This should not affect your settings, messages, photos, contacts, etc. This function simply reboots your phone without forcing you to do a backup, although it’s highly recommended to back up your phone often.

If this method doesn’t work for you then you might have to deal with Nokia’s warranty department or whoever you bought the phone from. After performing this simple 2-button combo my phone rebooted and all has been well since.

I first read this tip at

  • Mike

    Nice! Worked for me. Thanks for posting.

  • Mike Macias

    No problem! Glad you got the phone working. How do you like the 920 overall?

  • Shin

    Thank God for this article, my Lumia 920 froze up when i locked the screen and it won’t respond… Thanks for posting this, you saved my life, Cheers!

  • Mike Macias

    You’re welcome! Glad to help. What color is your 920?

  • Rocki S.

    This article was a life saver! My white Nokia Lumia 920 froze and I had no clue how to do a soft reset. Holding down the power button alone didn’t do it.

    I think the Nokia 920 is a wonderful phone and I’m thoroughly enjoying Windows 8. :)

  • Mike Macias

    Great. Glad to help with your 920. I love mine as well! What color do you have?

  • GG

    Thank you :) do you have to do this on a regular basis? I’ve only had mine for a few days (less than a week) first time I charged it, it was fine but last night it just shut off with over 35% of battery still remaining. Following your instructions it’s now working but just wondering if you have to do this every few days or something?

  • saad

    thanks alot. it worked for me…

  • WellOiledPC

    Switching from the Galaxy Tab (the original – GT P1000) to the Nokia Lumia 920 was, for me, a necessary step: the GT P was getting to be unbearably slow and I had just got the HTC 8S for Junior, but couldn’t keep my hands off it…!

    On the 8th day of use, here is my take on the 920: its a LOVELY Phone with most things one could ask for (Windows’ handling of different Wi-Fi Access Points is still waaay inferior to Android’s), but the real fly in the ointment is the frequent Screen Freezes experienced on the 920! Yesterday, my 920 stayed frozen for longer than it worked, while on the other 6 days (today has just started for me), I’ve had frequent freezes…

    What I noticed is that the Freezes are completely random – yesterday’s Mega Freeze might have happened because both the wife’s Android Phone and the 920 were placed together and both sounded the Alarm at 5:30 AM, I felt. I had also not disabled Wi-Fi, so the 920 was perhaps still looking for my Home Wi-Fi at my office… Even the Soft Reboot (holding the Volume Down and Power Keys) did not solve the freezing, for it would boot back into the frozen state… The problem disappeared, only to re-appear again, a few times…

    At other times, the 920 froze while being charged (wired charging) EVERY SINGLE TIME. It also froze once while I was playing Spider Solitaire (3rd Party App) and a number of times without any provocation whatsoever. However, until yesterday’s Mega Freeze, the 920 always unfroze after a few minutes…

    Yesterday (15th April), there was an update, which I was able to download and install (during which process my 920 froze-unfroze 4 times!) and after installing it, I am back to Square One: no Mega Freezes, only a number of unprovoked freezes lasting for a few minutes each. Soft Rebooting the 920 does not unfreeze it still, though…

    The option is to do a Factory Reset, which I am not prepared to do yet, since hopefully, the next update or the one after that may resolve the issue completely, I hope…!

  • Abigail HAMILTON

    Thank you! Fixed it!

  • craig b

    thank you i was panicking a bit there …. phew. although i need to reset the time and date now, i hope this doesnt happen a lot.

  • Ye Zhang

    You saved me a trip to service center. Thank you!

  • lllnummmylll

    This page is really is helpful, thank you so much

  • AlanH

    thank god I found this! the phone froze while playing a youtube video and the sound got stuck as well!

  • @FriendlyFare


  • @FriendlyFare

    BTW, it’s Yellow and I named it Banana Phone! (Because my other windows phone (for business) is a black Samsung Focus and it’s name is Power of Focus and apparently I have no imagination…. :p )

  • grateful dude !

    It worked! It actually worked!
    Oh my god! It worked..

  • Mike Macias

    Glad to hear! Do you have the Lumia 920?

  • brittanyrucker

    It worked!! thank goodness..!

  • Brittanyrucker

    I do! buh mine is refurbished cause of my other phone was acting up

  • srikanth

    i love the guy who posted this tricky way too restart its working… <3

  • Mike Macias

    Hi srikanth! Thanks for commenting. Glad to help here at The Mobile Fanatics. Be sure to keep checking back for more Windows Phone content. What phone do you have?

  • Mike Macias

    How is the refurbished 920 working out?

  • Chass

    Thanks,really helped. Especially considering customer service closed @ 10pm.

  • Mike Macias

    You’re welcome! Hope to see you back here at Mobile Fanatics soon! Be sure to visit our Windows Phone Fanatics page:

  • matt

    strange how my phone also froze on the ESPN app, but this trick worked, rebooted my Lumia 928 in about 15 seconds, thanks

  • mixtechmarc

    Thanks. It worked on my 928. For whatever reason, it just locked up couldn’t swipe up on lock screen to unlock.

  • gram

    Thank you very much !! It worked … Was going to Verizon tom but fixed it with your help !! I love this phone …

  • Tome

    Perfect- thanks!

  • Leomar

    it works on my Nokia Lumia 720. thanks a lot!!!

  • clinch

    Perfect. Thank you!

  • Will

    Awesome… worked perfectly on my 928… mine wouldn’t register anything on the screen so couldn’t unlock with my code, and when I held the lock button (my first guess) it told me to swip the screen to shutdown, but obviously, still couldn’t do anything on the screen… did what you suggested, and it rebooted, and is working perfectly… thanks… :-)

  • Nancy Hayes

    This was VERY helpful. My touch screen froze up and I could not answer calls, or shut down normally. This trick DID the trick. Thank you so much. I am back up and running and my touch screen works fine again. Whew.

  • Larry Tenison

    Anyone know WHY this keeps happening? I’ve had my 928 for about 6 months, love it. BUT, it has frozen up at least a dozen times. Is this a known issue?

  • Sandra

    Thanks for the help

  • Katie

    Thanks. I was starting to freak out. Worked for my Lumia 928.

  • Mike Macias

    No problem. HOw are you liking your phone?

  • Mike Macias

    It’s a known issue for some 928s, but not all. It does seem to be happening on the 928 more often than other phones.

  • Layla

    My flash was stuck on ON and my phone was getting really hot. Forgot I had a flashlight app on. I had to set it outside in 30 degree weather until I found this article. Lumia 925 500 smackaroonies! Your a life-saver, uh, I mean phone-saver!

  • Jonathan

    Many thanks … Saves me this tip how to soft reboot my Nokia 920.

  • Carman

    Thank you! I haven’t even had my phone a week and it just froze and I didn’t loose anything. It worked for my 928. Thank you so much. I’m in nursing school and use it religiously for school.

  • Nikkiye

    this did not work for my phone, I have n idea what kind it is, but when I hole both buttons down it just asks me to slide the screen down, but I can’t…

  • windowslover

    This worked perfectly for my 928 ! I couldn’t get anything but my camera button to work. Nothing was missing from the phone after thank you!

  • Altiar112

    Thanks because I really enjoy this phone. I did not want to go back to the Iphone or android ones.

  • Archangel

    Thanks for the info – good to know

  • punkinhead1120

    Thank You very much just got my phone about 2 weeks ago and it froze when starting and it saved me from losing anything again huge thank you for the advice much appreciated.

  • Daniel Porter

    Great post. It worked!

  • L1vinInParadise

    Awesome – just got my phone and had apps freezing up and could figure out how to shut them down. Thank you very much!

  • keshav4D

    what for lumia 610?

  • lumia 925

    It worked for me. Great advice. Lumia925

  • lexibaby82

    this worked for my lumia 930 to,i was worried for a minute but thanks to this advice im all good to go.Many thanks a lesson learnt! xxx

  • webfan50

    Thanks for the info.

  • autumnshivaree

    Phew! Thank YOU! I waited for 2 hours for my phone to unfreeze; and started to think all was lost. I greatly appreciate the soft reset tip – my phone is back to working condition :)

  • LumiaAz

    Ditto!! This really helps!

  • caren

    Thank u I love u

  • wendy

    Worked…thank you!!

  • melissa

    Thanks for the information! Does the freezing have anything to do with the battery getting to low?

  • king of holland

    that worked for me! thanks for the tip!

  • karl sells

    thank you so much for the tip

  • bribri

    OMFG Thank you SO damn much omfg I woke up this morning turned my alarm off and looked at my phone about to go on my music app and it was stuck I was so mad

  • motes

    Just tried the soft reset on a 930 and it worked beautifully!

  • Seth Harkins

    This saved my life. Thank you!

  • sarah

    this did not work for me im starting to get worried ‘



  • Don Schenck

    Thank you for posting this.

  • Vote 539

    My Lumia 1020 froze up after the security update it installed last night, but this little trick appears to have put it back into a working condition. :)

  • Ian

    Thank you so much away in Amsterdam on business and could not be with a phone, Thanks again :)