Lumia-640-XL-4g-SSIM-Apps-jpgThe official GDR2 documentation reveals a very interesting feature coming with Windows Phone 8.1 GDR2. If manufacturers enable it, upcoming Windows Phone devices will come with a new anti-theft mechanism enabled. Windows Phone 8.1 GDR2 has “reset protection” to secure your device in case it is stolen and it requires your Microsoft account credentials.

So, if your device was safely unlocked when it was stolen then the thief won’t be able to reset or re-flash it for reuse. Anti-rollback protection won’t allow use of devices by rolling back to any previous version without “reset protection”. Here are the details. Read what all GDR2 brings in term of new features by clicking here.

Introduced in Windows Phone 8.1 GDR2, Reset Protection helps you secure a device in case it is stolen. It must be enabled on the device during manufacturing time.

Reset Protection consists of the following parts:

  • Reset and reactivation protection – The stolen device cannot be reused by resetting or flashing the device. When a user performs a factory reset on the device, they will be asked to enter the Microsoft Account credentials that are associated with that device. Additionally, if the device is flashed with a new image and Reset Protection is turned on, the Microsoft Account credentials that were associated with that device is required to finish OOBE and use the device.
  • Anti-rollback protection – If Reset Protection is enabled, the stolen device cannot be flashed to an earlier version of the operating system that did not support Reset Protection.

It will however be possible for manufacturer or operator to disable “reset protection” from your device with help of a recovery key in case you forgot the Microsoft account credentials that were used to turn it on.

Before you can remove Reset Protection on device, you must get the recovery key. A recovery key is used to remove Reset Protection without having the Microsoft Account credentials that were used to turn it on. To get a recovery key for a device, you need to upload the IMEI code for the device to the Reset Protection unlock page. After the IMEI code is uploaded, you’ll be given the recovery key.

To request a recovery key by using the Reset Protection unlock page

  1. Create an input CSV file that contains the IMEI code for each device that should be unlocked.
    • The input CSV file must have the IMEI code in the first column.
    • The column header for the first column must be imei and is case-sensitive.
    • Here’s what an example input CSV file might look like:Input CSV example
  2. Browse to the Reset Protection unlock page:
  3. Sign in with Microsoft Account credentials that are allowed to use this service.
  4. Click Browse, upload your CSV file that was created in Step 1, and then click Submit.
  5. After you click submit, you’ll get a new CSV file that contains the IMEI code, the recovery key, and a status. The status can be one of the following:
    • DeviceUnprotected – The unlock code column will have a recovery key.
    • DeviceAlreadyUnprotected — The unlock code column will have a recovery key, but the device might already be unlocked.
    • MultipleDevicesFound – There were multiple devices found with the IMEI code.
    • DeviceNotFound
  6. The output CSV file might look like:Output CSV example
  7. Reset Protection is now removed on that device.