How to use recovery mode on Android devices

recovery mode on android devices

Trouble in Android paradise? Thankfully, you can fix many common issues by using recovery mode on Android. Not sure how to use Recovery Mode? No worries, we’ve got your back! Read on to find out what to do when your Android phone or tablet won’t do what it’s supposed to.

What is recovery mode?

To be very technical, the Android Recovery Mode on Android is a bootable partition (section of the hard drive) of your Android device, but that also contains a recovery application. In less technical language, recovery mode on Android is just a feature that comes with all Android phones and tablets.

If you’re having issues with your Android phone or tablet you might be able to fix them simply by switching into this mode and choosing the right option as outlined below. Usually these problems are things like your phone acting up or other similar software issues.

How do you put your phone in recovery mode?

The method of accessing recovery mode on Android will be a little different from device to device. If you have a Google Nexus, Android tablet, or a Galaxy S7, all these devices have a very similar process to turn on recovery mode on Android, although the combination of keys needed may be different. 

For most Android devices you should be able to use the following method:

  1. Start by powering off your phone or tablet
  1. Press the necessary keys to engage Android Recovery Mode. This key combination depends on the kind of device you have. It’s a good idea to check your manufacturer website, or, if you’re impatient, you can also type in a Google search.

If you have a Galaxy S3, S4, S5, S6,or S7, you  can press and hold the Volume Up key, Power Key, and Home button simultaneously.

If you have a Google Nexus, you’ll press and hold your Power Key and both Volume Keys (Volume Up and Volume Down).

When the correct key combination is pressed, the system will boot and you will see the recovery mode on Android menu. You should be able to easily navigate this menu with the volume keys (up and down) and select your desired option with the Power Key.

  1. Choose your desired option with a click of the power button.

What are the Android recovery mode menu options?

  • Apply from External Storage

Choose this option to update from a memory card. You can use a computer to save the information in your memory card, then insert the memory card into the phone and save the cell phone data.

  • Apply Update from ADB

Choose this option if you want to use the ADB (Android Debug Bridge) to connect your Android phone or tablet to a computer. Although, keep in mind that this feature was originally designed for Android developers and you’d need to install a special program like the Android Software Development Kit (or Android SDK) on the computer before choosing this option.

  • Apply Update from Cache

Choose this option if you can’t access a memory card or a computer. To use this option you will need to first upload the file through an internet or WiFi connection.

  • Custom Android Recoveries

Choose this option if you want to recover your data using a third party application. One such recently launched app is Disk Drill from Cleverfiles, which is able to help recover data from any Android device.

  • Install Update

Choose this option when you want to install firmware or software from an SD card or your phone memory. Before you can use this option to install software or firmware you will need to have it downloaded to your phone memory or SD card.

Install Update can also upgrade your device to the latest version. Some devices will have the option to downgrade to an older version.

  • Reboot System

Choose this option if you want to restart your device like normal. This will close any open applications and speed up your device as it clears some of the cache memory. No data is wiped or deleted when you choose Reboot System.

  • Wipe Data from/ Factory Reset

Choose this option if you’re looking to sell or give away your old cellphone and you don’t want to worry about what the new user might find. This option will wipe all your data including the cache partition. This option can not be reversed and will wipe all apps, contacts, media files, settings etc. from your phone, so make sure you don’t choose this option until you are ready.

Basically, after a Factory Reset or Wipe Data, you will have a new phone with factory settings only and no data. No password is needed to access this option.

  • Wipe Cache Partition

Choose this option if you want to wipe all the data temporarily stored in the cache partition, a memory partition, for temporary data, in the hard drive.

Final thoughts about recovery mode on Android

Now that you know how to utilize your recovery mode on Android fully, you’ll be able to keep your Android device running smoothly by keeping cache in check, wipe your data before selling or giving away your phone, and even install new updates, software, and firmware.

Check out other articles online as well as our other tips, tricks and reviews at

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