Tip - How to soft-reset a Nokia Lumia 800 & Lumia 900

While it is very rare for any Windows Phone to crash or freeze, we have on a few occasions seen it happen. It's rare because 3rd party apps don't have access to the core of the OS and therefore it's very difficult to cause the system to become unstable. Still, the problem may pop up and we figured we would cover you for the Lumia 800 & 900.

Why these two Nokia devices? With their unibody design, there's no physical way to access and therefore pull the battery. That puts users in a pickle if they need to soft-reset a stuck device. So without further ado, here's how you do it:

Lumia 900

  • Press and hold the volume keys, power button and camera together for 3-5 seconds
  • The phone should soft-reset (although some say you should feel 3 vibrations, ours never has)

Lumia 800

  • Press and hold the volume keys and power button together for 3-5 seconds
  • The phone should soft-reset

That's it. So although you will probably never need this it's good to know if you're in a pinch.

Edit: Some are saying in comments that just holding the power button for 10 seconds works too.

Daniel Rubino

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.

  • when i need to do it [happened to me twice maybe], i always press the power key until the screen goes off...
  • Same here...I've had to do that once before when the screen wasn't responding (although the phone hadn't frozen)
  • Same. I never knew there was another way. Still, holding down the power button is much easier.
  • Nice to know thats much easier.  The touch screen became unresponsive so when i tried to power off by sliding down it wasnt working  holding the power button until it went off did the trick.  Thanks 
  • Could have done with this post yesterday ;), cheers though!
    I had the phone phone freeze whilst listening to music and trying to connect to WiFi, can't reproduce though
  • Same here... Lumia 900, hold power for about 15 seconds and it will restart from a frozen state, black screen etc...
  • Ya I hold till screen shuts off again. Moment I let go it boots
  • Try pressing the power button and the start key and holding them together it also works.
  • Simply holding the power button until it reset always worked for me.
  • I had to use this a couple of times when running slacker while the phone was locked
  • youve just saved the day, thanks!!!
  • Are you sure these are not for hard reset? For soft reset I just hold down the power button.
  • lol, positive. I wrote this up because I had to do it yesterday. I also did it again before I published (to test and verify). My phone did not hard reset. A hard reset supposedly involves the same key combo but you release the power button when it resets and continue to hold th other buttons in for five more seconds.
  • 10 second power button hold worked for me on my Lumia 900
  • Thanks bro, now I can stop yelling "On your feet private!" at my NoLu900 :)
  • Curious that it seems so hard to locate this tip in the documentation from MS or Nokia. I'd really like to have known this earlier!
  • Quoted directly from the Nokia 900 (U.S.) manual:
    If you have an issue do the following:
    - Reboot your phone. Press and hold the power key for about 10 seconds. The phone switches off. To switch your phone on again, press the power key.
    - Restore the original factory settings.
    If your issue remains unsolved, contact Nokia for repair options. Before sending your phone.....
    I would be a little concerned that the key combination described in this article, is a bit to close to a hard reset combination, and might get more than one person in trouble. Just sayin.
  • Yes holding the power button on the Lumia 900 from AT&T for 10 seconds wiill do a shutdown and reboot.  I found this out accidentially when I thought I was hitting the camera button to lock focus...doh!
  • If only you'd posted this about a month ago. My Lumia 800 froze while I was listening to music, and while the screen would turn on and off, I couldn't get past the lockscreen. When I was finally able to get to a computer I found out how to do it. Several frantic tries later and the phone stopped resisting and quietly turned off.
    Now I know it runs Windows :P
  • I've used this a total of once on my Lumia 800 when it seemed to get totally battery drained. After 8 hours of charging it still wouldn't respond, holding power also didn't work, but the volume and power key combination got it back to life.
  • I wish you had posted this tip a day before. Yesterday, my phone, NL900 screen was unresponsive. I couldn't  even switch off the device as I have to slide down the screen. Fortunately, I had a BT headset with me and I was able to answer calls. Once the phone battery is drained, it was all fine after that. In any case, thx for the tip. 
  • Holding just the powerbotton (atleast on the 900) is Nokia's recommend way. It was told to me by a support tech, and is on their website in the troubleshooting steps. 
    Reads something like
    (if your phone does not have a removable battery you can press and hold the power botton for 10 sec). 
    Found link:
    Second option from the top: 
      "How do I restart a device which has an integrated battery if the device jams or freezes? " To restart a device having integrated battery (e.g. Nokia N8-00, E7-00, N9, Lumia 800), press and hold the power key for about 8-10 seconds until the device switches off. Then you can switch your device on again normally.
  • Never needed till now.
    5 months with a Lumia 800 wo even sw resetting (except 4 updates :)
  • The sequence as described does not work, at least it never has on my 900. Rather, holding the power button for about 10 seconds always shuts the phone down and then, after you release the power button, it restarts. Soft reset accomplished. Have not had to do the hard reset and not sure I will ever have to on a windows phone.
  • Thanx for sharing the knowledge. Now, I actually know what I was doing. I found out about the soft reset technique for the 800 by mistake. My phone has frozen about 3 times since I bought it. The freezing is not frequent, so it's not that much of an issue.
  • Right, so i was updating my phone through the zune software when i accidently dropped my phone and the phone had came off the chord. The picture showing from when zune was updating my phone is still on the screen. I have tried the soft reset technique but the picture still came up on the screen when i turned it back on. Any ideas of what else i could do apart from the hard reset? In desperate need of help!!
  • I did hard reset but its not done :(
    Its restarting but the OS is not getting loaded.Please help me.
  • My Nokia Lumia 900 is not working. I was using my ihome, listening to music.. The battery was almost dead. Then it just shut off. I didn't even touch it. So I tried turning it back on, nothing happened. I tried charging it, nothing happened. Then I tried to plug it into my laptop, it couldn't find my device. Same thing with my computer. Then I tried holding all the buttons in on the side like it said too, nothing happened. I tried holding the lock button for 10 seconds. Nothing happened. Please help!! I don't know what else to do.
  • Hi for me something same....I had a prolem and i needed to reset my phone..... i didnt see batery % ...i got low batttery...i start resseting it and boom battery goes of now gives me "restart your pc error 0x0000005c"and i cannot make anything :(
  • which reset deletes my messages ? the soft one or the hard one ?
  • My phone has completely died and none of the reset options are working! Anyone got any othe ideas... or an explanation as to why my found has just got dead?! 
  • Since I have been using my Nokia Lumia 900 it has constantly been going to a static white screen with bright lines across it. I had been turning the phone off, waiting 10 minutes and turning it back on. Thats usually did the trick. Until today, it started off with the same thing, so I turned my phone off and waited, then turned it on. However, today it did not work, the phone just keeps a black screen. Although i know it is not frozen because i can hear my password buttons making a noise. I tried the soft reset and i felt the vibration, then i let go of the keys... but the screen continued to stay black.
    Am I going to have to get a new phone? Is there another way to fix it?
  • The screen is broken. Get a new phone.