Here's a quick fix for a creaky Lumia 950 XL back cover

Lumia 950 XL
Lumia 950 XL (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

There is a lot to like about the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL, but the super thin polycarbonate back covers could be better. Sure, we know have some of the lightest and thinnest Lumias to date, but the trade-off is somewhat flimsy.

One issue some folks have noticed, and we have too is rather unfortunate: some creaking in the corners.

The issue is undoubtedly due to the thin shell and some mild warping when removed to put in SIMs and microSD cards (or changing into a Mozo shell). The result is near the corners of the device there is an audible creaking when pressed. It's not the end of the world, but it does take both phones down a notch. It also seems to be more prevalent with the Lumia 950 XL due to the larger cover.

Luckily, there is a stupidly simple fix for it. Granted, this is something that Microsoft could – and should – fix in production, but for now you can just take the 45 seconds to fix it yourself.

The easiest way is to grab some sticky posts and add four pieces to the lower sides and corners of the cover as seen above. You could, of course, Scotch tape them too if you don't have sticky notes. The bigger point is to get some padding in there, so, in theory, you can jam any material in there to help.

We applied this to our Lumia 950 XL, and it's been a much better experience. Creaking cases are one of those nuisances that once you notice, you cannot un-feel and it could spoil the experience. If you are wondering if this applies to the more expensive Mozo cases, the answer is a tentative yes, but it is a lot less pronounced and probably more rare.

Our Lumia 950, on the other hand, is just fine both for the default and Mozo cases. Then again, if you do experience some creaking you can do the same trick above to alleviate it.

Thanks, Brandon R., for the tip and photo!

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Daniel Rubino
Editor-in-chief

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

206 Comments
  • That's ridiculous... Then again, my 1020's were/are creaky as well and that was made by Nokia.
  • Every solid body Lumia I've owned had creaks. 900/920/1020 and 1520. So much for Nokia's famous quality huh?
  • My 900 didn't creak. Annoyed that my 1020s (I returned one for the creaking) did. That being said. I've had my 1020 for 2.5 years now and it's still going strong. Not many iphones or androids could that be said about without having a cracked screen.
  • Huh, I thought the 900 had some of the worse creaking/hardware/bugs of them all. That purple screen was bad.
  • I guess not all batches are the same, lol. I thought my 900 was solid. Part of the reason I was so disappointed with my $350 on contract 1020 at first.
  • How could I forget the purple screen "issue" that was magically fixed by an update...I remember having the ATT rep open up 4 900s and each having that problem...
  • My 900 took a fall off my motorcycle and landed face down on a rock along a highway. No damage besides a dent on a corner. Never had a creaking, either. Actually, of the problems I had/heard of with the 900, I think this is the first I've heard of the creaking. Sad. :-(
  • Neither does my 730 although mom's 520 doescreak a bit...
  • Creaky 920? Where? HOW? (I've had my 920 for 2,5 years now and haven't experienced any creaking).
  • Dude seriously?? Here is just one thread http://forums.windowscentral.com/nokia-lumia-920/232788-creaking-nokia-l...
  • Yeah I have no idea how a 920 could creak...  I've had mine since the beginning.  I got my first crack on the screen 2 months ago after it fell out of my pocket in the mud and then got run over by a golf cart.   Still works, still no creaks.   Looking to finally upgrade a 950xl. If they ever get back in stock....  The lack of stock on Lumia's and Surfaces has really been pissing me off 
  • 920 is solid as shit... This 950 nonsense does not compare. 1520 & 930 are worthy of the Lumia name as well...
    ......
    I can't believe some of you are actually going to condone what MS has done with the 950/XL by getting this device.. How could a true fan support a product that is inferior?
  • My 920 creaks if and only if you force it too by purposely choking the crap out of it or pressing the flat ends very hard where there's no reason to ever press there. In short, it's solid as the earth's core.
  • I cant believe your 920 is solid as shit...what have you done to it???!!! Sounds crap man. The L1520 I had was awful, very poor quality with phantom touchscreen issues etc, the only good thing about it was the battery life. I'm getting my 950XL tomorrow and I'm sure it will be £330 well spent. 
  • £330!? Is that a typo? :)
  • Not a typo. Had a promo code to use :)    
  • Tell me more! :) Which retailer etc?
  • My first 920 the corner pushed into the phone. Second one creaked. My 950 now is just fine. Dont know what else to say.
  • Same here... Except the complete opposite on the 920. One of the lower corners were sticking out like a millimeter, and pressing that side made a creaking sound. Everytime I searched it made a creak. Couldn't be bothered to send it back though. :)
  • @buluss, press down the Nokia logo on the back with a little pressure :P. Some creak here, some don't.
  • My 920 creaked when I squeezed the the top right corner of the device a bit
  • Neither have I.
  • @kraziehustler:
    I couldn't care less about creaking sounds, weight or (to a certain degree) thickness of a device. But the good ol' Nokia unibody Lumias of yesteryear felt rock solid to the touch.
    That was what made them respectable, especially compared to Microsoft Lumias' flimsily built peel-off backs.
  • Another demand of the silly people. Everyone wanted thinner and thinner devices. I for one didn't have a problem with tickness of the 1020, or its weight. Like you said, it felt solid - and it was.
  • iPhones are thin, and they don't creak.. I have seen ANYONE'S bend either...
    .....
    Can't wait for a Surface phone..
  • I have yet to see an iphone screen that isn't cracked... No thank you
  • I held an iPhone 6s earlier that a customer of mine uses as a work phone.  it felt so cheap, I was very surprised. It felt like a hollow "demo retail handset". Plus screens break at the slightest bump.
  • The only bent phone I have seen was a 6 plus. My favourite iPhone is the 4s, I think that is the last time they looked "premium". I think it was their best put together. Crack happy screen, but nice up until it does. You not getting an XL Rod? I know it is heading in the wrong size direction for you though. I reckon the Surface phone will be more your cup of tea, possibly nearer to 1520 sized screen.
  • Neither do they have expendable storage and exchangeable batteries.
  • Iphones don't have removable back cover and I guess it's expected on some level with that really thin cover. Though the cover could have been a bit more rigid in some places
  • They bloody do. Not to mention the 6 & 6s seem to look horribly worn after a couple of months. That tacky band round top and bottom doesn't help either.
  • Yes they do...and badly. I think with any phone the experience is individual.
  • @Jack Ciriello:
    I wouldn't want to tote around a brick. But within today's common boundaries I absolutely don't care about the thinness of a device.
  • Odd. I've had 2 different 1520s and neither of them creaked.
  • My 1520 doesn't creak... This is a damn shame. Whoever was the chief designer of the 950 needs to be completely taken off the team..
    .....
    This is by far the worst high end device to wear the Lumia name.. SMDH. So glad Panos is working on a fix.
  • "My 1520 doesn't creak... "
    Right. The Lumia 1520 instead as a touch sensor that separates from the display making it unreliable. Let's not put all non-950 phones on a pedestal. You folks bitch and moaned about every release. Lumia 930? No glance, no removable storage and only on Verizon.
    "1520 & 930 are worthy of the Lumia name as well..."
    You're full of it, sorry. The 930 was one of the worse selling Lumias and people hated the design. What rosey glasses we have...
  • Very well said Daniel. I completely agree. Except, I did like the design of the 930 lol
  • lol, fair enough. Although reviews were less flattering and I remember around here many people not liking the design at all.
  • Typical "Rose tinted Glasses" situation, and people have extremely short memories. I think 930 outclasses 1520 personally and was delighted when MS agreed to swap my 1520 for a L930 in April this year after the issues with digitizer/sensor/screen placement. I have a white 950XL on the way tomorrow here in UK, and am excited.  I'm happy to accept any compromises with back cover quality (Mozo cognac flip case on preorder expected Xmas week) and niggly SW (to begin with) for the benefits of this device will far outweigh the negtives.  
  • Well said Daniel. Articulated perfectly. 
  • @Daniel Rubino:
    You pretend the Lumia crowd is unpleasable.
    Give me the Lumia 950 XL's technical specs in a device with the design of the Lumia 900 and 1020 and I'd be the happiest camper around...
    There was simply no need for them to mess around with the Lumia line's gorgeous design formula.
  • That MAY be true. However based on my experience, 6 months ago the common whine was "I don't care what it looks like, if s/w is ready, etc I just want a flagship!" Now the common whine is "These aren't ready and the design doesn't look like (insert favorite phone) they never should have bothered to make these!" Maybe YOU would be happy with Lumia 900 or 1020 design, but many others wouldn't, and for every whine of yours we don't read there would be others who aren't happy without expandable storage, or a metal exterior, or whatever.
  • Daniel, how's the 950XL treating you? Battery? Bugs? There are some really negative comments on the forum re. returning it to MS. I'm really torn. Was really, really, really looking forward to upgrade from (old but still solid) 920 to 950XL... now having second thoughts. I trust your impartiality. Is the whole 'experience' an upgrade? Trying hard to justify staying with MS, but getting more PO'd by the day. Maybe it is time to try (ugh!) iPhone if the MS apps are better!?!
  • you are 100% correct. I have been saying that for a LONG TIME. No matter what MS releases, there has to be those who will find something to BoooHooo about it. My wife and i absolutely LOVE, LOVE,.....our 950 and 950XL. Screen is beautiful, 2 SIM slots, MicroSD slots, Removable Battery, liquid cooling system, USB-C, MoZo optional battery covers with leather and style, unclimbable camera,...................LOVE IT. I will be getting the MoZo RED leather battery cover in a few weeks, so it can remained me of my Red Lumia 1520. I might even buy a Black and a White MoZo cover too, just to have 3 colors to exchange here and there.  I do have 1 question for you Dan. What is the least expensive and really good Wireless charging pad we should buy for these AWESOME phns? What do you recommend(will Nokia charging pad works?)? (if you sell them on WC, please let me know too, and i will buy 2 of them for us)
  • Yeah, the 930 design is uninspiring. I did find that the 830 was an improvement on the 930 design.
  • All 3 of my 1520's had phantom touch issues. My 950 works like a gem. Would never pick up another 1520 after that headache.
  • My 920 is a tank. No creaks at all, and has survived a few falls without a single scratch.
  • Even my 925
  • My unibody 1520 is solid as stone.
  • Yes. Yes it is. I love it.
  • No Phantom touch issues?
  • Wait, is the creaking noise still there when you get a mozo case? Or is this just with the OEM back cover
  • The article said the creaking is still there in the XL, but not as pronounced :)
  • And the problem with my 830 is that its back panel has so many clips that even if a single clip is left out, the whole panel detaches from the phone. What if this happens in a crowd?!
  • Actual, its not ridiculous. The reason, 1st, its a REMOVABLE, THIN battery cover, unlike many Lumia phones(1520, 1020,.......). 2nd, many removable battery cover phns do the same in some areas. However, what's ridiculous, is that iPhone 6 and 6+ gets bent in your pockets when you sit on it so easily, and makes the LCD digitizer glass come apart. A phone that does 1/16th of Lumia 950/950XL that is 4 years behind technology as well, with a lot more money. I LOVE my Lumia XL. its AWESOME.  Honestly, the cracking noise i feel on my 950XL is only noticeable when i push on the cover, and only comes out of top right(if you looking at the screen)corner, and its very mild. I do NOT feel anything when I'm talking to some one at all.   Best way and easiest way to fix is, used a """""Window Weather Striping Foam""""" used on doors and Windows around the house(Home Depot, or Lowe's,.........have many selections and type of these weather stripping). it comes in different type of foam and sizes. I used the dense foam version. i cut a very very small piece and since it already has adhesive on its back, it worked great. All you need is a very small piece of this foam, for that corner, and it works fantastic. Foam also shapes to whatever its in front of it, and keeps noise down too, and with its own adhesive, it never falls off, when you take the backdoor off.  
  • Hah you again you always make me laugh uncontrollably.
  • Yes, soon as I saw his name, I got some popcorn...
  • uuuhhh, I love you guys. 
  • As long as you don't cry uncontrollably, like those poor iSHEEP getting ripped off, by CrApple, and paid $1000+ for their overrated iJUNK, just to find out its Overheating, Bending, Horrible and very low mAh battery, NO wireless charging, NO full NFC, NO Quad HD screen, NO Turbo/Fast Charging, NO MicroSD slot, NO dual Sim, NO removable battery, NO killer camera like 950/950XL, NO Continuum, NO USB-C, NO liquid cooling technology,.........................and many many more NO's, and you keep laughing, your are good:-) So do you see how laughter is so much better than sadness/crying? By now you know. MS/Windows/Lumia/Surface/Band/.......makes me happy. Unfortunately, CrApple does NOT. 
  • They really shouldn't need this. They're £400+ phones.
  • This.
  • Cheap non-unibody 'design'. Thanks Nadella.
  • This phone was designed a long time before Nadella took over. You might as well be blaming Obama for the creaky back-plate. Unless you're of the opinion that Nadella should have scrapped the project entirely and pushed back any WP flagship being produced for even more years?
  • But quality control is still done under Nadella and current MS team.
  • Frankly - bolony.  MS and Nadella had ample time to change the design if they wanted to (and in fact there are some who claim they did). This is an MS design, even if the first design studies may have been done before MS took over. MS and Nadella are 100% accountable for it. Having said that, I quite like the 950/XL designs by now - sure, not earth shattering but clean and simple, some elegance to them.
  • Thanks Obama
  • Thanks Obama
  • Trying to glitch the 950 so his Obamaphone keeps on selling/being given, damn him.
  • Can't have it both ways. Everyone complained that there wasn't an SD slot and that there wasn't a replaceable battery. Now they gave that to you and people complain about it not being unibody. lol
  • Replaceable battery people are tiny tiny minority. My solid as rock unibody L1520 also sports SD slot.
  • Tiny portion of average users maybe I know lots of business users whose number 1 complaint about a lot of phones is the lack of a replaceable battery.
  • As much as i loved my 1520, one thing i wish it had was a removable battery like my NEW 950XL. I fund myself in many occasions running out of battery and had no time to sit around and charge it like those iSHEEP at CES show in Vegas, taking over every plug all over the convention halls. Now i can buy 2 extra batteries and pop on in when i run out in 3 sec, and never stop for charge. LOVE IT. its a MUST HAVE in every phn, IMO. 
  • @Jack Ciriello. Most people don't know what they want. Plus combined very short memory and attention span... Not a good combo at all.
  • Yep. Abomination.
  • Do you realize its a BATTERY COVER?????????????? Also, that you can buy several brand battery cover with leather to replace it, as it mentioned in this article?????????????????? I WANT to remove my battery. I WANT to buy extra battery and have them in my pockets if for some reason i need to replace dead one with fresh and fully charge one in 3 secs. I WANT wireless charging. I WANT to have options to buy different Battery Covers with different colors and style. so please STOP whining and Booohoooing. This phone ROCKS. I'm loving my Lumia 950XL. its 1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000x better than all iJUNK phns combined.
  • 824$ here in Sweden :(
  • Ha! I should put some tape on my new $650 phone
  • I prefer duct tape. It fixes everything. 
  • Indeed. Duct tape is like The Force. It has a Dark Side, and a Light Side, and it holds the Universe together.
  • Duct Tape Theory
  • It's magic. I've used it on pretty much everything and my wife and I joke about it. Need to fix something? Where's the duct tape. Of course, there is one thing it doesn't work well with, it's original inteded target: ducts. Go figure.
  • The trade-off is a replaceable back and a removable battery.
  • That not everyone wanted.
  • Some did
  • It's not a real Lumia.. What do we expect..
  • What is a real Lumia? A fan boy concept or just an excuse?
  • It's better known as the "No True Scotsman" fallacy.
  • @Rodneyej, there is no "I" in "we". You don't speak for all of us :P.
  • its the BEST phn/Lumia i ever owned. I LOVE my 950XL, and my wife loves her 950. Its has unbelievable OLED Quad HD screen, with unreal BEST lumia camera ever made, USB-C, removable battery, Wireless charging, 2 SIM slots, MicroSD slot, ................just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this phn. So not sure what you and people like you even talking about. 
  • Fill it with silicone
  • Epoxy
  • This is a common issue with plastic phones. Especially ones with removable backs. My old Samsung Galaxy S1 & S2 had this issue. Always seems to happen in the lower right corner.
  • That's usually where you peel off the cover.
  • As you said, it's a common issue. The problem is, a few years/months ago, Samsung was flamed by this very same community for using "cheap" plastic covers. Apparently, removable battery was also considered "useless" by a vast majority of users here. Now that it's coming to WP, it's suddenly amazing and the cheap plastic is not an issue anymore. Some people are even finding excuses for the creaking noise while it was "unacceptable" on a Samsung flagship phone to happen. Even the thinness of the competition was flamed by this community. "no good grip"; "no good feel in hand" and now it's a pretty good excuse to explain everything.  That's what annoys me the most. People who couldn't bear things before because they couldn't get it and are now ok with it because... well, you can't rage when it's happening to you.  I still think it's uncacceptable considering the price point and i don't care if it's made by either Samsung, HTC or NOKIA. However, I do understand the technical challenge that comes with a removable back cover. But don't call others names and close your eyes for the brand you worship when the same problems arise.    
  • If you haven't experienced this by now, there are always plenty of users here willing to say something negative about any product. Plastic phone? You can bet a few people are willing to tell you that's stupid and should never be done. Metal phone? Same thing. Removable back, non-removable back, AMOLED screen, brand-new, not yet perfected OS? Waiting for the OS to be perfect? Thin phone, or thick phone? Doesn't matter what happens, there will be a bunch of whiners, whining.
  • I put this silicon/gel case on it and it doesn't creak anymore. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B016QCV950?tag=hawk-future-20&ascsubtag...
  • Thanks for the info, will try it later. I have also noticed that the power button sits slightly lower than both volume buttons. Not a deal breaker but would be interested to see if this is also the case with Mozo cases, as I'm waiting to get one.
  • Yeah to prevent you from hitting it.
  • Duh
  • They need to add pads there in production. To much money for a phone that creaks. Hopefully they address this soon.
  • These are flagships? Now we're making excuses for the os but fixing design flaws too? Come on MSFT. It's not acceptable for spoke and out definitely isn't for this. What on earth is going on in msftville?
  • In fairness, it's a common problem that Samsung's were known for. Still, they should have learned by now.
  • Precisely. Though, in fairness, both my galaxy note 4, galaxy 3, 4 and 5 - and certainly the gs6 have never creaked. Just because others do it doesn't mean it should be deemed the norm or acceptable. But then MSFT scuppered windows mobile and thought copying Apple would increase sales and now we're back knocking at the windows mobile door so ..?
  • We basically have heard enough excuses....
  • Oh no. There's more. Lots more.
  • My Note 4 does it all the time.
  • Uhm... All Galaxies with removable battery creaks.
  • Exactly, and no one ever found excuses for Samsung "cheap" plastic in the past. Why should we excuse MS for it now?  Plot Twist: I don't own a Samsung device but a 930. I just hate when an "unacceptable issue" with the competition becomes an excusable one when it comes to WP. The galaxy line was flamed for its "cheap" plastic because it was supposed to be a flagship and the excuse of a removable battery, Micro SD or its thinness never occured to anyone before. How come all WP users are now defending what they used to hate?
  • How much padding is needed though? Is one layer of post-it notes enough?
  • Yeah, that's it.
  • Thanks, I'll give it a shot.
  • Maybe a little wd950
  • Now THAT'S how you engineer a quality device..... /s
  • San Diego torture center of phones was closed by Nadella. As with software you are the QA.
  • I second the post on a case. I put a TPU case on mine to protect it and it is rock solid. Hopefully they just made some back covers out of spec and will be able to just supply some reworked back covers to solve the issue. As much as I would love to go caseless and show off the thin phone, I had to put a case to protect the cast and the front edges, and not a single creak.
  • I have the Incipio cover that I got from the store when I got my phone, no creaking
  • wow this screams premium price quality into a whole new level, here in Mexico the 950xl will be sold 837 dlls and you'll have to buy the dock for 119 dlls. excellent marketing! microsoft sets itself to fail with those prices in a third world country where their strong sales are lower end models, and the only way to bring higher end power users is through a reasonable price, I wanted to buy it but I won't, not at that price with all the "to happen" capabilities that right now are limited or lacking in terms of continum apps and windows 10 overall. I've bought dreams for more than 2 years since the 808, 920, 1520, now it's time for windows followers to push back the company to do what they have to do, make fucking good, reliable apps, microsoft should have an app company instead of waiting for developers forever. The possibilities for windows 10 and continuum do exist, but if you can only use 5 apps its a worthless overpriced piece of tech.
  • One, two, four.... No. Uh. One, two.......... threeeee, five, no. Ah, I'm no good at math, but I'm pretty sure my phone have more than 5 apps installed. Not only that, I'm using lots of them to...
  • He means that is how many apps utilise the continuum feature, I actually thought he was being generous.
  • I don't have the phone yet, but I pretty sure I'm going to use: Facebook, Twitter or Tweetium, Netflix, 8-Zip, Team Viewer, myTube, Readit, Todoist (almost there), TuneIn Radio, Translator and of course the brand new WC app. Of course I didn't mention MS default apps Edge, Groove, Outlook Mail and maybe Excel and Messaging.
  • Big wow Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I think everybody here knows there will be more than 5 apps that take advantage of Continuum in the future, if there aren't already. They already do "make fucking good, reliable apps", anyway.
  • I like the "more tips" section in this article. lul
  • Copy & Waste... :)
  • Yes! But will you be using the people app more, after having taped your phone a bit