Android How to start and use the recovery mode

The recovery mode is some kind of second operation system that is made to save the Android device if nothing works anymore. But what exactly can i do with the recovery mode and how do i use it?

Recovery-mode: What's that?

The recovery mode is an extremely slimmed version of the original Android system without any significant graphics. There are often Apps that create problems within the device, but the device can't solve them. This can create a boot loop, where the device shuts down, starts anew, notices that the problem is still existing, shuts down...until the battery is empty. If the reason for this is an app that you installed before, or maybe you set up something wrong, you can wipe your device within the recoverymode and set it back to factory settings. Note that this deletes ALL your pictures, videos, messages and numbers saved on the internal storage.

Starting the recovery mode

At first, the device has to be turned off. If that is not working like usually, for example if the display freezed, pressing the power button for at least 15 seconds could help. This is someting like a forced shut down of the device. If there is really no other way to turn the device off, you can take out the battery, this should be the last option as it can cause damage on your device. How to start the recovery mode differs by brand and device, mostly it is a combination of pressing the power button with one of the volume buttons.  

Huawei, Xiaomi, Nokia

Manufacturers like Huawei, Xiaomi oder Nokia use the volume up key to start the recovery mode. Shut down your device. Now press and hold the volume up-key together with the Power-key, untill you see the recovery mode popping up. 


  1. Turn off your device
  2. Press and hold Volume up and Power simultaneously
  3. Wait till the recovery mode started

The following brands are also using this key combinations: Cubot, Doogee, Nomu, Umidigi, UleFone

Sony, HTC, Alcatel

Some devices need the volume down key to start into recovery mode. This key combination is used by Sony, HTC and Alcatel. After the device got shut down, you need to press volume down simultaneously with the power button to start the recovery mode. 


  1. Turn off your device
  2. Press and hold Volume down and Power simultaneously
  3. Wait till the recovery mode started

The following brands are also using this key combinations: Oppo, Blackview, LG


Opposing to the most Android devices, Samsung's got a special way to start into the recovery mode. If the device is off, you need to not only press and hold the Power button simultaneously with the volume up key, but also the home button. Hold the keys until the recovery mode shows up.

Samsung Galaxy 8 devices and newer need the bixby key instead of the home button pressed.


  1. Turn off the Samsung device
  2. Press Power-, Volume down- and the Home-key(Bixby-key) simultaneously
  3. Hold and wait until the recovery mode is shown on your display


No Command

No worries, if the little Android bot with the warning sign shows up, there is nothing wrong. Your device is simply waiting for input, in this case "Show me the recovery mode!". Just press the key combination again that you used before. Note, some devices only need a short input of the key combo, for others you have to press and hold the combination for 10 seconds. 

Which settings are to find in the recovery-mode?

The recovery mode is a list full of commands you can scroll through using the volume buttons. The power button is used as confirmation.

  • Reboot System (now)
    No changes here, just a simple restart of your device.
  • Reboot to bootloader
    This restarts the device but you will be automatically back to the recovery mode.
  • Apply data update from ADB
    ADB, Android Data Bridge, is a direct interface between smartphone and PC. If the device is connected to a PC via USB, there are certain updates or "custom roms", alternative operating systems made by users that can be written over the Android system. For this, the debug-mode has to be active on your device, and you need special programs on your computer for this. To install a custom rom is not really easy and can damage your device, at best only the warranty for your device is lost. We suggest to only try this with the needed knowledge about custom roms.
  • Wipe cache partition
    Cache is some kind of temporary storage, where all datas are stored that are needed to start an app. The device saves those datas to use them at the next time the app is started to speed up loading times. If you tap on Wipe cache partition, this storage will be cleaned which can sort out boot loops and a lot of other problems.
  • Wipe data/Factory reset
    This sets the device back on how it came ex works. All saved datas are lost, while firmware-updates stay untouched. If also an Android 8 Gerät got updated to Android 9, the device will stay on Android 9 even after a factory reset.
  • Mount system
    This option is interesting for developers, here is a place to test some settings.
  • View recovery logs
    Under this option you will find all logs regarding resets.


Explained step by step - 135 simulator instructions
    1. Home screen

      1. Apps & Shortcuts

      2. Folder

      3. Widgets

    1. Network

      1. Mobile network

        1. Mobile data

          1. Data warning and limit

      2. WLAN

        1. Wi-Fi Direct

        1. Tethering

          1. WLAN-Hotspot

    2. Display

      1. Status bar

        1. Font

        2. Screen saver

    3. Volume & Tones

      1. System sounds

      2. Volume

      3. Do not disturb

      4. Vibrations

    4. Storage

      1. Memory card

    5. Battery

    6. Lock screen

      1. Screen lock

        1. Settings

        2. Smart Lock

    7. Security & Privacy

        1. Fingerprint

      1. Privacy

      2. Location

    8. Apps & Notifications

      1. Screen reader

      2. Display enhancements

      3. Interaction and dexterity

      1. Date & Time

      2. Languages & Input

          1. Text correction

        1. Developer Options

  1. Functions

    1. Phone

      1. Display

      2. Settings

    2. Messages (SMS)

      1. Settings

    3. Contacts

      1. Settings

      2. Groups

      1. Shutter

      2. Settings

      1. Timer

      2. Alarm clock

    4. Browser

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