The other day, and I’m still not sure why, I got locked out of my Lumia 950 XL. Instead of being able to use a PIN to unlock the device, I got this error message instead:

This device has been locked

Two hours! that’s a lifetime! There had to be a workaround, and of course there is. In order to unlock your phone if this ever happens to you, or if you just want a bit more security by setting a 6 digit PIN instead of a 4 digit one, here’s what you do.

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First, navigate to while logged in to the Microsoft account associated with your phone, and locate your device:

Microsoft account / devices

From there, click on Find my phone, and select Lock. You’ll be given an opportunity to set a new PIN, a 6 digit one (if you get an error saying to try again later, just try again. On two different occasions, I was able to get the phone to set a new PIN on a second try.)

Lock my phone

From there, once you get a successful attempt, your phone will be locked, you’ll get an email from Microsoft Devices, and your phone will be all set up with a new 6 digit PIN.  If you happen to get locked out of your phone, as I was, you’ll be able to get back in.  If you just want a PIN that’s a bit harder to crack, well there you go.

By the way, I have no idea why I was locked out.  Either I “butt-dialed” a PIN too many times, which is possible but not likely (it’s never happened before), or there’s some kind of bug, which is a bit more worrisome. Still, after a quick Bing search I was back up and running, and with a 6 digit PIN, too.