Lumia 950 and 950 XL restart issue is a never ending saga

Madalina Dinita
by Madalina Dinita
Former Managing Editor
16 Comments
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The Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL are two of the most powerful Windows phones offered by Microsoft. However, users often can’t take advantage of these two interesting pieces of technology because both phones reboot when users need them the most.

We’ve all had restart issues with our phones, but the Lumia 950 and 950 XL have been plagued by this problem ever since they were launched. What’s worse is that Microsoft keeps on using the ostrich policy when it comes to acknowledging and providing a fix for this issue.

If you check out this forum thread on Lumia 950 and 950XL restart issues, you’ll see that user complaints span 44 pages. The most interesting part is that Microsoft’s Support Team hasn’t posted anything on this thread — they haven’t even confirmed they took into consideration this issue, let alone provide a solution.

Here’s how users describe these random restarts:

Mine would restart while it was sitting on my desk.  Nobody touched it or moved it, so there was nothing “jiggling” or “knocking on the screen”.  One day I was just sitting there watching a video on my computer and I noticed it was restarting out of the corner of my eye.

The restarts on Lumia phones occurs for both Insiders and non-Insiders. The Windows 10 Mobile builds Microsoft has rolled out have so far been unable to fix this issue, as Insiders confirm.

The problem is extremely annoying as most Lumia 950 and 950 XL owners use the phone for business purposes. Also, sporting price tags of $600 should offer a superior user experience to what’s currently being experienced.

Judging by user experience, random restarts can be triggered by four main elements (although not all the elements below apply to all users):

  • microSD card with more than 64 GB
  • Wi-Fi with 802.11ac or 5 GHz band:

Well, since changing the wireless network to use the 2.4GHz band it’s been up and running for just over 19 hours without a restart. I think it’s safe to say that there is some issue with using the  5GHz wireless connection. I hope that Microsoft has a fix that will address the issue. Anyway, the installation of the SanDisk 64GB micro SD card doesn’t seem to cause restarts / reboots […].

Disabling Bluetooth, or enabling Bluetooth only when I needed it, certainly seem to help keeping the random restarts down to a minimum.

Microsoft’s lack of response is definitely very frustrating for users. Since there seems to be no permanent fix for the restart issues on Lumia 950 and 950XL, the best solution would be to simply purchase another phone — despite much as you love your Lumia phone.

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  • My 950 just did a random restart after sending a text. Since this is not the first time I’ve had a random restart since getting this phone I decided to do a little search to see what others were saying, this post finally had more recent dates with the same issues. I have also noticed that MS has not come out with a new phone since the 950/950XL…once my contract is up on this phone it looks like I will be making the switch back to an iPhone, which I have been trying to avoid.

  • Had the 950XL since January 2016 and always had restart issues but the last few months it’s been dozens of times a day. Restarting has now been joined by screen black outs when switching between apps, pressing the windows button etc. After a blackout, if left, the phone will restart after a while but most of the time you have to hold the on/off button down until the phone buzzes and it starts up again. Both solutions zap the battery big time, lost up to 35% after a blackout and restart and if the battery is already low it can lead to the ‘battery flat’ symbol when you try to restart it. Getting sick of it to be honest and I’ve been with Nokia/Lumia/Micrsoft since 2001.

  • It is very annoying that 950 reboots every few minutes. I tried all workarounds. I’ve been a loyal MS supporter and it is time to throw away this crap and move onto Android or iPhone.

  • Same here brought a 950 xl in July fine up to xmas but after latest windows update nothing but random restarts.Phone will now not restart at all have tried all methods but to no avail.
    Shame because the phone specs are very good but phone is so reliable have to carry my old sony experia as back up which never let me down.Why dont Microsoft reconize this fault and do something about it these phones aint cheap.

  • My Lumia 950 is restarting like 20 times a day! I loved Nokia and Microsoft for a long time but this is starting to piss me off a lot… I could not find the answer to this problem anywhere so it might be a time to switch to Android or iOS.. However, getting into details, it never restarts when plugged in for recharge so it is probably related to battery or some hardware I guess. Recent software update did not help.

    • seems to be very true! I recently had my 950 sent for service and used my former Lumia. I restored the 950 configuration onto this phone ane except from being able to restore all my apps, I only had to configure some e-mailaccounts and alike. It worked like a charm! No reboot, no problem with loss off power. Nothing! Perfect.

      I then received my 950 and tried to restore the same image. Was not able to restore the image nowhere near the same quality! Lost a lot of sounds, the homescreen was rubbish and in the end it told me that it was not able to restore like it should.

      I have long suspected the HW to be the REAL error and I find it proven!

      The phone acts exactly the same as insider or non-insider. Microsoft has got a hardwareproblem and not an OS-problem!

  • Random reboots were happening to my wife’s 1020, Microsoft swapped it + cash for a 950, same thing, MS swapped out the unit for another 950 a few months ago and this new 950 appears not to be rebooting. Fingers crossed, also I just bought a 950XL.

    Random reboots were happening to my 830, which was exchanged and the new one doesn’t have the problem.

  • I have had the same problem. My Lumia 950 would keep restarting up to 10 times a day until I played a little with the 3g / 4g network thingy. I set it up to max 3g and voila. Sixth day and no restart yet.

  • What? “However, users often can’t take advantage of these two interesting pieces of technology because both phones reboot when users need them the most”. I have had my Lumia 950 XL since November 2015 and can say this has never happened. I have several colleagues also with the 950 and 950 XL and not one of them knew what I was talking about. Where did you get this rubbish from? and to say “users can’t take advantage of them” is just misleading and untrue .

    • It happens to me all the time. It has since I got the phone. You’re a lucky one to be honest. My 950 is soooooo buggy, but the restart thing is actually hard to cope with.

      • Truth. I updated it to the most current software the day I got it and I’ve caught it rebooting 3 times in the past week.

    • Same here had my 950 XL since March 2015. Only reoboots I get is from some updates. Not saying others aren’t having problems but I do hear users in the insider programs having the most problems with restarting but that’s to be inspected.

    • There’s a link in the article to a Microsoft support site of 56 pages of people complaining about their phones rebooting so there’s nothing “rubbish” about this article’s claims. Frankly, unless you’ve had your eye on your phone 24/7 you can’t honestly say whether it’s randomly rebooted or not.

      • Actually you can tell when it’s rebooted; it tells you on the login screen in big letters “Your phone has restarted…” and says you have to unlock it with the passcode instead of iris scan. And those 56 pages – the vast majority are from 2015 when agreed the sw wasn’t ready, running insider builds or caused by dodgy batteries.