Trouble with your Nokia Windows Phone? Restore it with the official Software Recovery Tool

Nokia Windows Phones are solid smartphones running Microsoft's mobile operating system and we've previously looked at how physically durable the devices are. According to AdDuplex reports, almost 90 percent of all Windows Phones are part of the Nokia Lumia family of devices. Consumers have enjoyed both stability and reliability when it comes to said Nokia hardware, but there are times when things can go wrong.

The Finnish manufacturer has made its Software Recovery Tool available for consumers to download, should they experience issues with their Nokia Windows Phone and its OS. It seems to be a re-brand of the 'Nokia Software Update for Retail', which we covered months ago as a solution to fixing your Lumia.  Nokia appears to have made now made it 'public' instead of a tool for themselves.

This suite enables consumers to fix their Windows Phones without having to go through support channels, perfect if you're stuck on spinning cogs or the Windows Phone simply won't play ball. While this is an officially endorsed tool, released by Nokia, we do recommend caution when installing the software and running through the wizard to restore your device to an operable state.

WPDownUnder spotted links to the tool on both the Nokia US and UK websites, though there are links available on other Nokia sites. We imagine the software download is the same per region, installing a fresh copy with the correct region configuration, so it shouldn't matter which one you choose to download – however, we've yet been unable to confirm this, so don't attempt to use this tool on your main device unless you know what you're doing.

Some requirements and notes when using the Software Recovery Tool:

  • Microsoft Windows 7 or later.
  • USB cable to connect your phone to the computer.
  • Minimum 2 GB free storage space.
  • The files downloaded by the Nokia Software Recovery Tool may be as much as 4GB, and may take a long time, depending on your internet connection and phone model.

As always when using tools such as this, you're likely to lose data stored on the Windows Phone as its wiped and rebooted with a fresh lease of life. Check out the two tool downloads below:

Caution: it's worth noting that this tool will not work with Windows Phones from other OEMs. That all said, be sure to let us know how you get on, should you try these tools in different regions.

via: http://www.wpdownunder.com/?p=11353WPDownUnder; thanks, Cree, for the tip!

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

136 Comments
  • I hope this means I can recover my ATT Lumia 920 from that damn Rogers rom that I impulsively flashed for the amber update. This could possibly work
  • Doubt it...probably just reinstall the same Rogers fw
  • Going to try nonetheless. When I get a chance Here's hoping
  • Nokia HERE Maps hoping...
  • Let us know how it goes. I am going to try it as well as I did the update and gave the phone away to a relative not realizing that internet sharing doesn't work with AT&T on that rom...
  • Actually, if its really a rebranded NSU Retail, then it goes off the model #, not Rom Ver,, to detect your device. So they should be able to.
  • I'm sure you can, just download the right ROM. I think it even asks what color your phone is... Ha ha.
  • Of it asks the color maybe you can force different themes??
  • Same thing happened to me I got it fix with this method. Download Nokia software updater for retail 4.1.0 . I promise you it works
  • It will restore your device to the original rom variation installed. When changing roms the products variant code never gets changed and that is what these tools check.
  • Yeah used this tool before in SG, after getting stuck on spinning cogs. accidentally reflashed the wrong provider edition.
    So, you should be able to flash it with any rom thats compatible. Just make sure to DL the rogers firmware as well so you can reset if everything goes horribly wrong :D success!
  • I am selling my Lumia 1520
  • Why are you selling?
  • Eh? Why?
  • Ill buy it if the price was good.
  • Why you are selling? it is a very reliable device. The 1520 is the only phone that has made my life easy.
  • Best smartphone out in the market and selling it.
  • How much? I may buy it.. Twitter me @Montpbm and we can talk price etc...
  • Also may be interested. KSmithservices@live(.)com
  • I love the phone but the touch sensitivity sometimes makes me wanna smash the phone to pieces! Have all updates. Now there's some flickering. Sometimes tap to wake doesn't work. My God Nokia!
  • At least they're trying. Maybe having the balls the phone has creates some issues with software. The software has to be precisely compiled. The phone is only as smart as its software. The software is only as smart as we can program it. That provides limitations. As long as they stay on top of it... No hard feelings. What's life w.o challenges.
  • Trying is one thong but not addressing the issue is another. When that's the case, Nokia is telling their is nothing with the phone WHEN THERE IS!
  • Tap to wake just work if the light sensor is not covered with something or isn't getting enough ligth.
  • I tested your theory. Doesn't work. Sorry.
  • recently L1320 got some firmware update(about 220mb) even though having black update may be L1520 will be having it!! to resolve d scroll/tap issue!!
  • I hope so. If wp8.1 don't fix, I'm calling att or Nokia!
  • L1520 got a firmware update as i predicted!! lol!!
  • Honestly, if you want to sell the phone I'd buy it for the right price! And i already own a lumia 1020 :P 
    Okay to adress your issue, I had the same double tap to wake up problem but it as due to the high seisitivity of the touch screen {configured for the glove touch (supersensitive) }. When i put it to normal it worked just fine. Also theres was a update some time back for glance screen about 200ish mb.. it was supposed to fix the issue you are talking about(tap to wake). Mine became fine as soon as I switched it to normal sesitivity. The flickering could be a hardware issue you better take it o a care center.. hope this helps you..   
  • Take it back for an exchange, its defective.
  • I'm interested
  • I would love to know your Lumia status,,then we negotiate,,I will buy it if we agree,,but am in Uganda /Africa,,,(east Africa ) contact me by what sap +256 703687308,,or by emailing me at. josephnsubuga52@gmail.com
  • Since the last preview update MetroRadio randomly goes to max volume or plays music max volume 20 minutes after closing the app. All while volume set to 0 and ring on silence.
  • I used this when I had The Spinning Gears of Death after a hard reset on my L920...
  • Same here, after the local AT&T store couldn't do anything
  • I had this on my 928 last night!  I let it go all night and it was still stuck.  However, I read line to try to do a soft reset and it worked.  But it is good to know this tool worked for you if all else fails.
  • Thanks for the tips ! Gonna download and save it for later use if something bad happen on my phone.
  • Too bad it still causes you to lose your data, we need to be able to make a skydrive backup of all our game data and such (this is still great though)
  • I agree.  I went through a string of bad 928s and was incredibly tired of losing all my game save data and other things.  I don't even really play games any more because all my effort was wiped clean and putting effort into them again seems pointless in case my phone craps out again.  I was also tired of having to re-set-up my home screen over and over again.  Also, the first replacement phone automatically downloaded all my apps, the three subsequent ones required me to go onto windowsphone.com and download them all again invidually.  Cloud backup for these items would be great.
  • Totally agree with you. It is my biggest complaint about the OS. That and the fact that if an app/game you own gets pulled from the store, you can't put it on your new/replacement phone. My daughter's new iPhone 5s arrived yesterday. She backed her iPhone 4s to iTunes, I took the new phone out of the box and told it to restore from iTunes. All of her apps, settings, app data, game saves...heck even in game state, were easily and conveniently restored such that her phone was a perfect copy of the old one but now in a nice 4 inch flavor with more storage. Why can't anyone else do what apple does in that respect?!?! It just can't be that hard to actually backup the application data and restore it.
  • Exactly, I'm hoping we get something out of 8.1 in this regard...
  • Why? because apple is the only one (at least until the Microsoft/Nokia deal goes through) that makes their own software and hardware, therefore its very easy to simply completely transfer the data over from one phone to another. Plus they only release at most 2 phones a year. That being said, I expect that it will work exacly the same with 8.1 and the acquisition of Nokia by Microsoft.
  • If that should happen to you again, download the app App Reinstaller from the store, that way you can download all your apps on file w/o having to go on a computer & individually select your apps. The cool feature about App Reinstaller is that you can select multiple apps & have them downloaded in queue.
  • This looks helpful.  I will the app history online could be filtered and that you could delete apps from the history.  There are some apps that aren't even available any more and other that I know that I will never install again.
  • Thanks for sharing, wasn't aware of that app.  I believe I have heard it of, but didn't think of it in the heat of app installing.
  • What does this app do that the normal reinstallation process doesn't do?  For example, when I get a new phone and log into my existing Microsoft account during the phone's setup process, the phone will automatically download and install all of the apps I had installed on the old phone.
  • I don't know what the app does specifically, but as for the process being automated, sometimes it isn't.  I replaced my 822 with a 928 and all went fine.  Downloaded my apps, etc and it was great.  928 went bad, got a new one, same thing, proces went great.  My 928 went bad 3 more times (and I hard reset 2 of those bad ones) and during no subsequent times did my apps reinstall.  I didn't do anything differently that I'm aware of.  So for 2 more 928s and several hard resets, I had to redownload my apps mannually about 4 times in a 2 month span.  Not fun... :-(
  • For Verizon phones, in order to get your apps and texts back on new phone, you have to turn on Backup under the Settings. It does use some battery, so many people do turn it off... Wish that more games has cloud save, though... I agree with others on this point.
  • I did have it turned on. The texts backed up fine, all 5 or whatever times. No apps though past the second phone/reset.
  • Definitely agree on the game data and start screen.  The game data backup may be up to each app developer to do, but Microsoft should make it easier for them to do it.  Hopefully the home screen layout will be added to the backup with WP8.1.  If they can sync the Windows 8.1 start screen layout across multiple devices, they can backup the WP start screen layout.  As for downloading all the apps automatically, this only happens when you restore from a backup.  That appears to be only possible when you first setup the phone after the reset.  However, if you have any problems connecting to your Microsoft Account during the setup process, then you can't select the backup.  I have had this problem so I ended up resetting it again, and then was able to pull in the backup.  However, the more you reset the phone, the more likely you will brick the phone and will need to use this recovery tool!
  • Nice, I don't like doing OTA updates. They always seem to cause more bugs/issues than flashing the device.
  • My screen is flickering when the sensor recognizes bright light, (like a lamp or something) but I don't want to loose pictures and stuff..
  • Same issues here. I just ignored it after all. 920
  • Flashing your phone doesn't fix this. Already tried. Lumia 920.
  • That is normal, and it wont harm ur device. So dont worry try ignoring it
  • same here. especially in sunlight. i also chose to ignore it. :-/ sometimes bothers me though. Lumia 920.
  • So do you just download this from Nokia website. . Everytime i reset my 920 i have to send it away for nearly 3 weeks. Does thus mean i can reboot from the spinning cogs myself??
  • What about NSU ? Is there black update on NSU ?. I desperately needs to flash the device due to bloody shity yellow color tint when i capture sharp and bright images.
  • Good question
  • Yes. I used the old NSU earlier this week and it downloaded black.
  • Meaning you flashed black before the update was available to you.. Or...?
  • My current plan is to completely restore my 920 when 8.1 comes out. It is holding up pretty well, but it definitely starts to slow down. A clean OS install should fix that.
  • I use Nokia Software Updater for Retailers. It works fine.
  • Is there black update on the server of NSU ?
  • Yes. I used the old NSU earlier this week and it downloaded black
  • My 920 was just bricked. Did 100 hard resets but it never worked, wouldn't even hold a charge for more than 1 minute when off the original charger. Would this tool help? The 920 is just 13 months old.
  • Try this,if not work try NSU(Nokia software updater) . It worked for me for three devices I had (Lumia 520,800,and 1020),that was bricked.
  • Well, you don't have much to loose. Try it out and let us know if it helped.
  • Hmm, good to have, just in case something goes wrong someday. By the way, what's the calendar app on the left phone on the photo, looks quite interesting.
  • That's Simple Calendar. They just did a review of the app when it updated a fee days ago to add the "clear" tile feature. I use the app and I like it very much!
  • Great... After i had to pay someone to reflash my 920... But oh well. Good tool to have just in case.
  • Custom rom opportunity?
  • I just want my Lumina 822 to update to Black....
  • +822
  • Volume is still messed up when I go to watch videos....try turning the volume up or down during any video, mytube, metrotibe,etc and the volume stays at where I had it when the the video started. Sick of doing resets that's real the only issue I have had on my 1020 and 1520 since the most recent updates, well the black update.
  • Facing the same with l520 black update.
  • Nokia is working on this from what I've read on their support site. I have the same issue sometimes. I'm curious, do you use an app that stops music? I am starting to think that my music stop tile is causing the problem.
  • I read this at a website on monday and did not believe it.....now I believe, downloading now.
  • I had a problem with my Lumia 822.  It was stuck on the boot splash screen.  Luckily, I was already in the process of upgrading to the 928.  However, I wanted to keep the 822 as a backup phone.  I read about this recovery tool on another site yesterday, so last night I downloaded it and tried to recover the 822.  First, the install of the tool took a while and the machine had to reboot after the initial .net install.  There ended being an error installing the driver for the Nokia USB cable.  However, I didn't notice this until later.  When I loaded the tool, it took a couple of attempts before it detected the phone.  I had to keep doing soft resets before it was detected.  Even after the phone software started to download, but it lost the connection and I had to do additional soft resets before it was detected again.  Finally, the phone software started to install and I thought it was actually going to work!  However, the connection was lost again.  The tool displayed messages like “don’t turn off your phone or your phone may not work”.  Well, I tried to do another soft reset, but this time, it just shut off and didn’t restart.  The tool eventually had a pop message to do a soft reset, but I am not sure if I had waited it would have matter.  At this point, it appears that the phone is completely dead with no chance of recovery.  I can only think the USB driver failing to install was the problem and the reason that the connection kept dropping.  Just make sure everything installs properly before you proceed.  Good luck!
  • If my phone is installed with preview for developers than? Please help!
  • same here i need to know if the phone gets the black update instead of developers update from ms.
  • Tried it the other day from a fellow WPCentraler in the forums. It works like a champ.  My Lumia 920 was about full before the failed attempt at the Black update. I suspected it may not work and it didn't.  But this tool was right on time and I got a much needed fresh start with my Lumia 920.  BTW, I was running the preview as well.
  • Ah!! Wish i had this a couple months back when my L920 got spinning cogs of doom after a factory reset. Thankfully I took it in and Nokia replaced it with a new one within a couple of days...hmm thinking about it, I'm glad i didn't have this software :D
  • Downloaded and installed it. Launched program and it recognized my phone. Stopped there as I don't want it to erase my data. Hope I never need it but am glad to have it.
  • Any Candian Lumia 920 users tried this?  Is it possible to get the "Black" update through it...?  Rogers is (again) dragging their heels on approving it (it's not even listed on http://communityforums.rogers.com/t5/forums/forumtopicpage/board-id/Gene... - even though the update was announced in early January).  Frustrating.
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