How to hard reset your Lumia 950 or Lumia 950 XL to factory defaults settings

Here are the step-by-step instructions to hard reset your Lumia 950 or Lumia 950 XL phone to the factory default configurations when you cannot access the Settings app.

Lumia 950 running Windows 10 Mobile in the Microsoft Store

There is no such a thing as the perfect smartphone, no matter which one you own, it’s just a matter of time until you need to hard reset your handset and go back to the factory defaults, because things aren’t working the way it should.

If you’re a proud owner of a Windows 10 Mobile handset, it will eventually come the time when the phone will stop working properly. For example, recently I received the Lumia Home Trial Kit to take part in the Lumia Home Trial Campaign (#LumiaVoicesTrial), and after setting up the Lumia 950 handset the Start screen wasn’t working and I couldn’t get access to any setting — I just received a black screen –. I had access to the Start button, but it wasn’t working either. I turned the phone off and on again a number of times and I waited to see any change, but nothing happened.

At this point with no access to the Settings app to use the “Reset your phone” option on the System page or to the Start screen. My only solution was to try a hard reset the Lumia 950 to its original factory default settings and try setting it again — process that eventually fixed the problem.

If you come across any issues with your Windows phone hard resetting is an option that can save you a lot of time and hassles. However, remember that this process will erase everything in your phone, including personal files, contacts, settings, apps, etc., and it will restore your phone to its original factory settings.

Hard resetting your Lumia 950 or Lumia 950 XL is an easy process, just make sure you took all the precautions to backup your data before proceeding.

Hard reset a Lumia handset

  1. Turn off your phone completely as you would normally do, and wait about two minutes.

  2. Press and hold the Power button and Volume Down button for about 15 seconds.

  3. When you feel a vibration coming from your phone, stop pressing the Power button, but keep pressing and holding down the Volume Down button, until you see a big exclamation mark (!) on the center of the screen, and then let go.

    Lumia 950 Volume Down and Power buttons

  4. Now, you need to quickly perform the following button combinations: Volume Up, Volume Down, Power button, and Volume Down.

  5. Without further prompting your Lumia 950 or Lumia 950 XL running Windows 10 Mobile should now reset to factory default settings.

While this is another way you can refresh your smartphone or get it ready to securely sell it without giving away your personal information, you should use this method as your last solution. You can always open the Settings app > System > About and click the “Reset your phone” button to accomplish the same process.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].