Lumia 920 Freezes

I had this problem too with my brand new Lumia 920 (AT&T service). I was getting a completely frozen phone, with the Lumia logo on the screen along with the black background. This was very bad, as I actually use this Windows 8 phone for work! OK, I use it for play as well, but I really need it for technical alerts emanating from my Windows servers and overall network infrastructure. I read on a Microsoft forum that using a certain button combination may help to restart it. And indeed holding the Volume button along with the Power button at same time eventually worked.

But wait, there is more …

Many are already having this issue, it seems, as I found on various Microsoft and Nokia forums. The primary recommended solution, however, either confuses people or does not work. So, the other solution given was “take it back to the store for replacement”. No, save yourself the trouble. Read on.

The first time I tried holding the volume button and power button simultaneously, I held the upper (top) volume part along with the power button. This did nothing, the screen was still frozen stiff. For some bizarre reason, pressing the lower (decrease) portion of the volume and power simultaneously did work, but not the upper (increase) volume. It is probably coincidence, but I am not certain. Also, the recommended 10 seconds hold did not work either, so for good measure, I increased the time: Hold both lower Volume (decrease) AND power buttons for a full 20 seconds. You should get a vibration from the phone. Trust me, this is a good sign. HOWEVER, give it an additional 10-20 seconds to refresh before you start panicking.

One last thing: to troubleshoot, I had removed my SIM before trying the above solution. I was hoping for some sort of miracle cure by doing this, but it did nothing. So, even after the above restart of the Windows 8 phone succeeded and a correct reinsert of the SIM Card, I got a “no SIM found” type of message. What now? I could see the screen, internet (WIFI) worked, the Apps all worked, so … reboot. Yes, I held the power button for a few seconds then slid the screen downward to restart. Voila, now the SIM card is recognized and everything is working well.

My Lumia 920 has been good since this all occurred.

Before using this Lumia 920, I was using the Lumia 900 for about 6 months. I never encountered this particular freeze or total lock up of the phone. I love this Lumia 920 phone, and love Windows 8 but I hope this particular Lumia 920 or Windows 8 screen freeze issue is patched soon! I want this phone to succeed.

28 Replies to “Lumia 920 Freezes”

  1. Thank for posting this!

    Mine froze with the Nokia logo and I waited for 20 minutes hoping it would restart.

    In the past I would have just removed the battery.

    I really appreciate people like yourself that take the time to share their knowledge.

  2. I spent some time with my phone trying to sort out root cause of a similar issue. I’ve had my 920 since release day and only in the last couple of days has it demonstrated symptoms.

    When accessing voicemail, it’ll allow me to navigate to the list with no issue, but when I select any voicemail, the screen goes black. The work around is to hold down the power button until the lock screen appears and then hit the windows key.

    The three major possibilities for troubleshooting are (at least for my purposes) OS, hardware and service provider. This is an AT&T phone, so we’ll table that avenue for a minute. Focusing on the other two, here’s the interesting thing I experienced: I tried duplicating the problem three ways. Under battery power, plugged in to my laptop via USB and plugged in to an AC adaptive charging station (which is really cool BTW. The Nokia wireless stand is kickass). I was able to duplicate the issue in all three cases. After duplicating the issue, I set the phone down and went for a beer. When I came back a couple of minutes later, the phone was sitting ready and the voicemail I had originally chosen was ready to play.

    Investigating this further, under battery power (over 50 %) I duplicated the problem again and let the phone sit, timing it this time. The screen immediately went black, console keys going dark. Exactly one minute later, the phone recovered and the voicemail I selected was ready to play. I navigated to settings and shut the battery saver off. Duplicating the problem again, the phone recovered in exactly two minutes. I repeated the above drill a few times in both cases. One minute down time with the battery saver on, two minutes with it off; both under battery power and with AC support.

    Here’s the punchline. On the last test, I played the voicemail. The problem immediately went away after that and the phone resumed acting normally.

    Not trying to publish a thesis (it may be too late for that), here’s the point: with reasonable certainty leaving the service provider and the OS as ‘persons of interest’, it may be a firmware issue related to screen timeout with other suspects including battery control.

    The reason I’m posting this information is two fold. First and foremost, hopefully someone reading this will benefit from a couple of hours of my curiosity and avoid themselves the same aggravation. It’s a nagging problem, but one I don’t think justifies a warranty claim.

    Second, the Chinese finger puzzle reset did not work for me; it was one of the first things I tried before reaching this blog.

    My phone has the most current OS update, so here’s hoping the fix is around the corner…

  3. Semicode, you are very welcome! Yes, I used to remove the battery from my iPhone to resolve various issues in the past. But unfortunately we cannot do that with the Lumia 920 as you insinuate. And … Anonymous, that is a lot of research you did! I am sorry none of the troubleshooting techniques worked out. I do agree the issue should be fixed with a firmware update. I certianly hope so. I truly enjoy this phone overall.

  4. Mate. Seriously.

    You are a GENIUS! Thankyou so much!!

    I talked to Nokia Support and they couldn’t help me with this (told me to send it to their repair hub). I am going to give them a gobful.

    The unusual thing was what I did last time (the hard reset) when it did this last time, holding all four buttons down worked.

    But thankyou thankyou so much for your alternate solution, you are seriously a genius!

    I love the phone too but this happening twice in 2 weeks of having it isn’t a good sign…



  5. Carlton and Weebz – you are welcome! These Windows 8 Nokias are awesome, but Nokia and/or Microsoft need to fine tune a few details. There must be a specific feature or action that is causing this. For me, it seemed to be related to taking pictures. A few others have mentioned this as well. But it could be anything, really.

  6. Thanks a bunch! got my lumia 920 working again with this 🙂
    I’ve noticed some trouble with it locking/freezing up on me, when i have bluetooth activated and a headset connected.
    I was just thinking the same thing, semicode… “damn – I cant remove the damn battery in this one…” interweb to the rescue!

  7. My Nokia Lumia 920 freezes daily.
    I have disabled bluetooth and NFC. I have Uninstalled the Facebook APP. I have never installed Skype.
    Fortunately the Windows Phone 8 reboots pretty quickly (~30 sec, as opposed to the +5 mins the iPhone uses) so I haven’t returned my phone – yet.

    I think I see a pattern:

    People Hub is unstable, especially when connecting profiles.
    I don’t add contacts on my phone, as I synchronize everything with Exchange and Google accounts.

    If running apps in the background the phone hangs very often.
    The trick is to remember to use the arrow back (the leftmost button at the bottom of the phone) when leaving an app, not the windows button (the button in the middle). If you use the windows button the app keeps running the background, and all of these apps stack up, and the phone hangs. If you use the arrow back, the app is closed. You can try to hold the arrow back button and you will see ll the apps running.
    If you close all apps, the phone still updates the live tiles, and the battery life is actually prolonged substantially (at least on my phone), going from great to amazing (Note: I had to use the Battery Drainer before the battery came to life).

    Some games, especially from XBOX 360 makes the phone crash. The problem is intensified if apps are running in the background.

    If the phone heats up, you know that a crash is coming soon. As told before, it’s no the NFC or Bluetooth that makes the phone warm as both are disabled.

    I hope that Microsoft identifies this problem soon. It’s a great phone, much better than iPhone and Android. But if the freeze issue is not solved, we all switch back to the competition.

  8. That is a lot of useful information and observation, anonymous! I cannot confirm one way or another the content. But I do agree re: the heating up of the phone – I have noticed this in advance of a crash once. But a crash has only happened twice for me since I started using it. Your People Hub comment is very interesting. And I agree re: the arrow usage vs. the Windows button. It is likely best to use the arrow to jump around. The Apps should be set to time out after ‘x’ number of minutes if the Windows button is used … Thanks for commenting!

  9. Hello; I just had this problem after charging over night on the wireless plate (1st though was I overheated based on postings on other sites). Of course I panicked as in the car when I powered on. So when I returned to get the power plug and head to AT&T store (only 6 weeks so not about to send off for “repair”), I first searched various posts and found more than one helping do the reset by pushing volume/power buttons simultaneously which worked! So am posting to say 1)The problem has not been fixed by the Nokia update I recently installed and 2)I think I know what triggered it in my situation or its a big coincidence; turning the ringer volume up to 30. I did so for the first time just yesterday as I always used that setting on my HD7 to hear the phone across the house. Since the fix involves the power button, and appears to work when pushing the lower end of the volume button when doing the simultaneous fix… will leave it on 27 and see if it occurs again. Ann

  10. Thanks, Ann for the feedback. I just tested the volume set to 30. So far, there have been no issues. But it may very well be related. Some have theorized that the camera is the culprit, while others say it is various other apps. I have not had any issues since the last software ore firmware update. And there is another one available right now. I am going to install it now. Thanks again!

  11. Hello,

    my phone had frozen once in the past and I used your reset tip -> volume down + power button and that worked fine.
    Last night the phone shut itself off, appeared to try to turn back on and got stuck.
    So I tried the soft reset you mentioned again.
    ..Nothing. The phone will vibrate and it trys to turn on but the screen then just stays black it does not start up at all.

    Have you heard of this? I plugged it into my computer and it doesn’t recognise it is their either.

    Any other tips? I just want it to turn on again! I don’t want to send it away for someone to wipe it clean I want all my photos!

    Thanks in advance.

  12. got this problem a day ago thanks to you i,ve started my phone again..
    but as i was worried about the same problem occuring again, i tried to reset my phone….now its been more than 3 hrs..these two wheels keeps on circling….is there a problem with my phone or resetting time took very long on lumia 920?

  13. pressing the power and volume button simultaneously at the same time worked….after pressing for a few seconds there was a buzz….the blackout happened on my lumia 700 while i was charging it…

    thanks a lot for this tip….

  14. Hi,Marissa – you are very welcome!
    Peter, I am not sure what is happening with your phone. It sounds like the general solution worked but then you tried to reset it(?). I don’t think you needed to do that, but I hope at least you backed up any files/apps beforehand etc. But no, 3 hours is not normal. I would try the solution above again to see if it can at least break the cycling.
    Of course, I am responding 4 days later, so I’m sure you figured something out by now.

  15. UPDATE: it has now been more than 8 months since this happened. Guess what? It has not happened since the original incident. It may be chance, perhaps I have not used a certain App that may have caused this issue, or maybe one of the Windows updates fixed the matter. But whatever the reason, my Lumia 920 has been running solidly ever since this original post!

  16. I have a 928 and the same thing happened. Only thing that worked was the simultaneous lower volume and power button reset. I really appreate people taking the time to post these tips and help others out.

  17. Anonymous folks who commented from Sept/Oct 2013 … you are welcome. I appreciate it when readers thank me! These phones are pretty sweet. I still love mine, although the Windows /Lumia 1020 looks AWESOME.

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