(Tutorial) How to Format/Hard Reset Nokia Lumia Windows Phones?

There are many scenarios when you need to reset/format your Lumia Windows phone – frequent restarts, boot loop issue, phone is not starting due to corrupt firmware or any other malfunction. The cause of such malfunctions may either be a software-issue or a hardware one. Software-related issues are relatively easy to solve (by an average user) rather than the hardware ones which require professional service and tools. Here I will try to explain some easy reset/format methods for Nokia Lumia phones WP 8/7 (Lumia 800, 900, 510, 610, 710, 520, 620, 720, 820, 525, 625, 920, 925, 928, 929, 1020, 1320, 1520 etc) – which can solve most “soft-brick” issues for these devices. Phone format is frequently required in following conditions –

a. If the phone is not booting up or get stuck at boot screen
b. If the phone hangs (freezes) frequently or has become slower than sloth
c. If the phone is not functioning properly (apps are not starting, frequent restarts, malware infection etc) and you are tired of the mess
There are three possible ways to format Nokia Lumia mobiles – via phone’s settings menu, by certain key-combos and by flashing via computer. Here we will discuss the second one (Lumia/WP flashing has already been discussed in some older posts – see note at the end of post). A simple forced-restart, soft-reset (phone data is preserved) or a full format/hard-reset (data is lost) should do the trick in most of the soft-brick cases. These reset methods restore the phone to original factory settings. Anyway, just follow the steps given below to revive your Nokia Windows Phone devices (Lumia 5xx 6xx, 7xx, 8xx, 9xx, 1020, 13xx 15xx) by using physical (hardware) buttons –

1. Press and hold the power on/off key for about 10 seconds until it vibrates and boot screen is shown (if the phone is not getting switched on then this method will force-start it in most of the cases provided the battery is not deeply discharged) – this method will not reset/format the phone

2. If the first method does not work (or not required) then switch off the phone completely (go to step 3 below if it is already switched off)

3. Soft Reset – Press and hold Volume Down + Power buttons simultaneously – after a few seconds phone will vibrate – keep pressing the buttons until boot screen is shown (release the keys now and wait for the process to complete) – this will reset the phone to original factory settings but the data in phone memory will not be deleted. Proceed to step 4 below if soft-reset does not work

4. Hard Reset – Press and hold Volume Down + Power + Camera buttons simultaneously – after a few seconds phone will vibrate – release the power button but continue pressing the power down and camera buttons for a few more seconds until the boot/formatting screen is shown – now release the keys and wait for the process to finish.

If the phone is in working condition then format/hard-reset can also be done via phone’s settings menu. Just go to Settings/About menu and select “reset your phone” – confirm the action and done!! Wait for the process to complete. However many users have experienced the persistent “spinning/cog-wheels issue” if they tried to hard reset their WP8 Lumia phones via Settings/About/Reset your phone option or via 3 button hard-reset (as described in step 4 above). If this happens to you then refer to this post which should help you out.

NOTE – Pressing multiple keys simultaneously is a tricky-task (especially for peoples with heavy hands) so repeat the process if you are not successful in the first attempt. Hard-reset process will delete all the data in phone memory so (if the phone is in working condition) remember to backup your important phone data before attempting the hard reset. Also make sure that phone’s battery is charged to at least 3/4th of the full before formatting it.

Reset methods described above should work for all Nokia Lumia phones – Lumia 800, 900, 510, 610, 710, 520, 620, 720, 820, 525, 625, 920, 925, 928, 929, 1020, 1320, 1520

If none of the above method works for you then you may try flashing the phone using NSU (described in this post) or Nokia Care Suite (described in this post). Good luck!

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