(How to) Reset/Update a bricked Nokia Lumia Phone using Nokia Software Updater v4.1

Update (Feb. 2016) – Nokia Software Updater (NSU) is not available now as Microsoft first transformed it into Lumia Software Recovery Tool (LSRT) and then into Windows Device Recovery Tool (WDRT). So please refer to this updated guide which explains the use of WDRT to update/reset WP/Lumia phones.

There are many scenarios when a phone needs to be reset/flashed – like a dead/bricked phone, frequent restarts, restart-loop issue, WP8-Lumia cog-wheel issue etc. Quite a few tools are available for general public which can be used to reset/update/flash firmware of a Nokia phone like Nokia Care Suite, Phoenix, JAF, NSS etc. However with the change of Nokia’s firmware download policies and shifting focus to Windows Phone Lumia devices, older methods are getting obsolete. Most Lumia phones (specially newer ones like Lumia 920, 925, 525, 625, 928, 1020, 1320, 1520) are not supported by Phoenix, JAF and NSS. Even latest version of Nokia Care Suite is useless for general public as Nokia has removed the Care Suite External login option from it (thus only authorized Nokia personnel can login and use NCS now).

Fortunately a new version of an old software recently came out to the rescue in this scenario, specially for Lumia owners. It is good old Nokia Software Updater (NSU) which came out in a new updated Avatar (version 4.1 Retail). Whether it has been leaked or deliberately made public by Nokia is not known (but who cares!). Originally NSU was intended to update Nokia phone’s software when the phone is in working condition. But Nokia has added a much needed “dead phone flashing/recovery” capability in this version of NSU which makes it extremely useful for average users. One of the change-log of this new release read – “Dead phone recovery for WP8 devices that do not boot up correctly”.

Unlike Phoenix and other such complicated flashing softwares, NSU is very simple to use. Here is how you can use NSU 4.1 to get your bricked phone back to life (or update it to the latest software version) –

WARNINGbefore jumping into action, beware of the fact that phone flashing is not a fun and casual process intended for novices thus –
you must know exactly what you are doing
follow the below given instructions very carefully
phone battery must be charged to at least 3/4th of the full, however if the phone is dead and you do not know the battery charging status then do not use the phone charger/Wireless charger to charge the phone as it may heat up the battery and damage it, instead use a low-power USB data cable charging via computer
Dead phone flashing/recovery process will delete everything in phone memory so take a backup of your data if possible
Be patient and DO NOT touch or disconnect USB data cable before the whole process finishes as interruption in flashing may render your phone irreparable.
As this process takes quite some time, make sure that your computer is not set to go into standby/sleep mode when left unattended for long period as it will interrupt the flashing process.

Ready to go? – follow the steps given below

1. Download NSU 4.1 for Retail free from here (not available now) and install in your Windows PC (Win7, 8 or higher) – it will take some time as many components will be installed

2. After installation, launch NSU – you must be online to use NSU (a fast internet connection is recommended) – you should see following launch screen

Nokia Software Updater

Nokia Software Updater 4.1 Retail

3. Now there are two scenarios

A. If you have a normally working phone – just connect it with a supported USB data cable and wait for a while (do not click “My device does not boot up”) – NSU will detect the device and check the latest available software for it online – after some time NSU will show you the latest phone software details as shown below

Nokia Software Updater


Now click “Update” button – wait as NSU will start downloading firmware files (download time depends upon phone model and your internet connection speed) – after download finishes NSU will start flashing the phone and will notify you when successfully done!

B. Dead/bricked phone flashing – if your phone is having problems booting up (completely dead, restart loop etc) due to whatever reason (except hardware issues), then at “Connect your device” screen do not connect your phone – click the “My device does not boot up” button – NSU will forward to another window as shown below –


Nokia Software Updater

Now connect your phone (preferably in switch off condition) with computer using USB cable – if phone is a Nokia Lumia device then press and hold Volume Down and Power button simultaneously for a few seconds – phone will vibrate and NSU will detect it and after a while will start downloading firmware files

Nokia Software Updater


now all you have to do is wait, wait and wait as downloading over 1GB data (varies depending upon phone model) will take time and then flashing will also take some time. NSU will notify you once the process finishes, done! Back to life your Nokia phone.

Note – Although specifically designed to solve bricked Lumia phone issues, this version of NSU works perfectly well for other Nokia phones too (Asha, S40 and Symbian).
Supported Nokia Lumia phones (WP 8/7.5/7) – Lumia 800, 900, 510, 610, 710, 520, 620, 720, 820, 525, 625, 920, 925, 928, 929, 1020, 1320, 1520 etc)


9 Responses to (How to) Reset/Update a bricked Nokia Lumia Phone using Nokia Software Updater v4.1

  1. Catoer April 9, 2014 at 7:02 PM #

    Hi there,
    I have my lumia 720. it was working fine with amber, but then I tried to reset it and the cog wheel problem appeared. i brought it to Nokia Care and they solved the problems (and upgrade it to Black) but then all the sensors went dead. Can I use this NSU software to bring all the sensors back alive? Which method should I use? updater or no booting? thanks.

    • Shoaib Siddiqui April 12, 2014 at 12:59 AM #

      Use not booting option and I hope your sensors are back again. However if it fails then Nokia Care guys can only help you in this matter….gud luck…

  2. Dennis June 2, 2014 at 9:22 PM #

    Symbian phones no longer supported

  3. sarath April 5, 2015 at 8:26 AM #

    tried the instrudtions for my bricked nokia lumia 925….gettin the message phone not supported..plz help

  4. dev January 25, 2017 at 10:04 AM #

    hi shoaib!
    i understand its too late to contact you, but problem came sooooo late.
    my phone is connected to PC (windows10), showing “QHSUSB_DLOAD “in device manager, device description is showing as “nokia emergency connectivity”. but my phone is not detected by NSU for retail 4.1.0.
    I tried to press vol down and power button for few seconds, the home screen button light goes on for 3-4 seconds and then goes off. nothing happens afterwards. i don’t understand how to recover my phone. if there is any issue with connectivity of phone to PC, how to solve it? pls help.

    • Shoaib January 25, 2017 at 11:50 AM #

      Which phone do you have?

  5. Davi Souza February 26, 2017 at 12:34 PM #

    Tenho um nokia 925 e está no meso caso que do amigo ai, o pc só reconhece como “QHSUSB_DLOAD” . Fui pesquisar o o significado e diz por ai como Brikado ou aparelho morto .Quando aperto Power mais volume pra baixo, a luz da logo acende e depois de 3 a 4 segundo apaga … Não entendo o porq disso, antes ele estava perfeito e funcionando . Mas depois que atualizei ele deu pal e não liga por nada. Pode me ajudar amigo ? meu numero (021-990225473) , por favor me ajude se puder ?

  6. siviwe August 20, 2017 at 2:34 PM #

    I tried everything but it does not detect it

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