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

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

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

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 ukmobilereview.com.

  • Mike

    Nice! Worked for me. Thanks for posting.

  • http://www.themobilefanatics.com 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!

  • http://www.themobilefanatics.com Mike Macias

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

  • http://twitter.com/LadyRocki 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. :)

  • http://www.themobilefanatics.com 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

    Thank-you!

  • @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..

  • http://www.themobilefanatics.com 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

  • http://www.themobilefanatics.com 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?

  • http://www.themobilefanatics.com Mike Macias

    How is the refurbished 920 working out?

  • Chass

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

  • http://www.themobilefanatics.com Mike Macias

    You’re welcome! Hope to see you back here at Mobile Fanatics soon! Be sure to visit our Windows Phone Fanatics page: http://www.themobilefanatics.com/windowsphone/

  • 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.

  • http://www.themobilefanatics.com Mike Macias

    No problem. HOw are you liking your phone?

  • http://www.themobilefanatics.com 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