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All about Recovery Mode

Everyone who likes and researches about Android has come across this term, especially if one likes to customize their device through custom ROMs or simply by adding unique functions. In this article I will explain everything you should know about Recovery Mode.

nexus 5 recovery fastboot start

What Recovery Mode?

Recovery is a running environment independent of the Android operating system, situated in another part of the internal memory. This separation allows it to be accessed even if the main system is damaged (brick), offering the user a set of instruments to repair the device. For this reason, a base version of this mode is present on any Android device.

Bootloader will determine when to run Android or Recovery, but we can interfere and force Recovery mode to boot whenever the bootloader is not locked. Check out how to unlock the bootloader of various devices in these topics of our forum.

How to access Recovery Mode?

Recovery Mode can be accessed in a number of ways, depending on the device and other factors.

Button Sequence

For most devices you can start Recovery by simultaneously clicking a few buttons:

  • Power + Volume Up + Home: the most common way.
  • Power + Volume Down + Home: Galaxy Fit gt 5670, Galaxy Gio gt-s5660, Captivate Glide.
  • Volume Down + Power: Nexus 4, Nexus 10, Galaxy Corby i5500.
  • Volume Up + Volume Down + Power: at & t Captivate, t-mobile Vibrant, Verizon Fascinate, Galaxy S, Galaxy S 4G, Mesmerize, Galaxy S2, Infuse 4G, at & t Galaxy S2 skghocket sgh-1727, t -mobile Galaxy S2 sgh-t989, Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy Note, Galaxy W i8150.
  • Power + Volume Down: Galaxy Tab 2 (7 and 10.1), Galaxy Tab 7.7, Galaxy Tab 8.9, Galaxy Note 10.1, t-mobile Sidekick 4G.
  • Power + Volume Up: Galaxy Tab p1000, Nexus S, Epic 4G touch, Galaxy Player 4.0, Galaxy Player 5.0, Galaxy Note (at & t).
  • Volume Down + Call + End Call: Galaxy Spica, Intercept
  • Home + Power: Galaxy Ace s5830, Galaxy Mini.
  • Volume Down + Camera + Power: Sprint 4g.
  • Volume Up + Volume Down + Home + Power: For the poor users of the Galaxy Ace Plus s7500.

Note: If you know another combination not specified above, please write it in the comments and we will update the list.


Some apps allow you to access Recovery with just one click, but require root permissions. The most famous Quick Boot:


If you have not yet rooted your device and the button combination does not work, you can enter Recovery Mode by using a computer command. To do it the fastest way, install your device drivers on your PC and the Minimal ADB and Fastboot program:

After opening the program, do the following:

  1. Enable Debug USB on your device and connect it to your PC;
  2. Make sure your device is recognized: Type the adb devices command and click Enter. If an alphanumeric code appears under List of devices attached, he was recognized;
  3. Type the adb reboot recovery command and click Enter. The phone be restarted in Recovery Mode.

What is it for?

As already mentioned, Recovery was created with the intention of intervening in the Android operating system, allowing to update the firmware and fix it. The following will list the main functions as follows:

recovery 02
Recovery stock example. / AndroidPIT
  • reboot system now: Allows you to reboot the device.
  • apply update from: Allows you to install official firmware previously downloaded and placed in a certain location. In addition to recovery stock we can do it from internal memory (* .img), from SD (option external storage) or PC (adb).
  • wipe: wipe deletes the content specified in the option. In case of data / factory reset, the phone will be restored to factory settings, while cache partitions It is one of the most common means to solve the bootloop problem (when the device shows the start animation forever).

Custom Recovery

If Recovery's core functions are somewhat limited, the same cannot be said for Custom Recoveries by the open-source Android community. In addition to the functions offered by Recovery stock, we will find many other options. These include:

galaxy nexus recovery cwm
Custom Recovery Example (ClockworkMod). / AndroidPIT
  • backup and restore: Allows you to perform full backups called NANDroid. At once you can save applications, data, settings and all your customizations, thus creating an exact copy of your device.
  • install zip: an evolution of apply allows you to install any custom ROM, as well as official firmware, directly from your phone.
  • advanced: option to open a second menu, full of other functions. Among the most used are wipe dalvik cache, the third of the advised (would say required) wipes to install different ROMs.

How to install a Custom Recovery

There are several custom Recoveries, and the most famous is ClockworkMod. You can flash this Recovery simply by opening the ROM Manager app and following the procedure outlined in our forum tutorial. Root permissions are required, which can be obtained quickly by following this tutorial.

ROM Manager
Install on Google Play

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Have you accessed Recovery Mode on your device?

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