||The Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is the core economic area of the “Silk Road Economic Belt”. The urbanization of this region plays a highly important role in economic and cultural communications between China, Central Asia and Europe. However, the influencing factors of urbanization in this region remain unclear. In this study, we presented a new modified thresholding method to extract the urban built-up areas from two nightlight remote sensing data sources, i.e., the DMSP/OLS and VIIRS/DNB nightlight imageries. Then, geographical detectors and hierarchical partitioning analysis were used to test the influences of anthropogenic and geographic environmental factors on urbanization. Our results showed that the relative error between the actual and the extracted urban built-up areas calculated using our method ranged from -0.30 to 0.27 in two biggest sample cities (Urumqi and Karamay) over the last 27 years. These errors were lower than those calculated by using the traditional method (-0.66 </= relative error </= -0.11). The expansion of urban built-up areas was greater in the northern regions than the southern regions of Xinjiang, as well as was greater in large cities than small and medium-sized cities. The influence of anthropogenic factors on urbanization has continually decreased over the past 27 years, while the influence of geographical environmental factors has increased. Among all influencing factors, fixed asset investment, topographic position index and per capita possession of water resources have the high contributions on urbanization, accounting for 18.75%, 15.62% and 14.18% of the variance of urbanization, respectively. Here, we provided a new method for studying urbanization by using remote sensing data. Our results are helpful for understand the driving factors of urbanization, and they provide guidance for the sustainable economic development of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.