Factory resetting your HoloLens


After playing with the emulator for awhile I finally caved and bought a real device.

While doing the initial setup I got stuck at the network connection screen. At first I thought this was due to the hotel internet needing a special browser page with details to login so I left it.

The next day when I had more conventional wi-fi I realised something wasn’t quite right. I’m back a the same screen and I can’t see a network…hmmm… Luckily I’m in a room full of other HoloLens geeks so we got someone to share their phone data as a hotspot…still nothing.

At this point I realised something was amiss and I was going to need to reset it.

So I came across the page about restart, reset or recovering here. Because I hadn’t made it past the initial setup I had to go straight to the bit about the recovery tool which you can get from here.


From here I followed the instructions. Plugged in my HoloLens, downloaded the software and installed to the HoloLens. Halfway through the install I got a failure. I tried running it again but it couldn’t find my device now as it was in a funny state.

So now I’m going into manual recovery mode.


1. Hold the power button for 15 seconds, until all the lights are off. For me this felt like it took a minute…

2. Press and hold the volume up button

3. While holding the volume up button, press and hold the power button for 10 seconds, until the middle LED on the device arm lights up. Again, this felt like at least a minute.

At this point you won’t be able to do anything with the HoloLens. It took a few goes before my computer would pick it up in this mode. My 2nd attempt failed and I ended up having to do it for the 3rd time.

After the install worked, I was able to get successfully through the start up, calibration, network connection and away I went.  I must say I was getting quite worried I’d bricked the device for good.

Hopefully this will help anyone else that gets themselves into a funny state on the HoloLens.