May 24, 2010
My Digital Life Editorial Team

How to Access Android Bootloader or System Recovery Mode

Bootloader exists in Android-based mobile phone to start the sequence of loading operating system into RAM. Different versions of Android OS and different models of cell phone may have different version of bootloader. On some cases, Android phone users may want to go into bootloader mode, either to view the bootloader version or flash new SBF.

There are a few methods of going into bootloader mode on Android phone devices, depending on whether the phone has QWERTY keyboard built-in or models, and here’s step-by-step guide to launch bootloader mode:

  1. Shut down the phone by pressing on Power button for a while, and choose Power Off.
  2. Method 1: Press and hold the Up direction button on the D-pad of the phone (Up direction button is toward the screen), and press the Power button until the screen lights up.

    Method 2: Press and hold the Volume Down button and the Camera button, and press then Power button until the screen lights up.

    Method 3: Press and hold the Volume Down button, and press then Power button until the screen lights up.

  3. The phone screen should display text similar to below:

    Bootloader
    <version number>

    Battery OK
    OK to Program
    Connect USB
    Data Cable

    The phone is now in bootloader mode. If a USB cable is plugged in, it will display Transfer Mode: USB instead.

On other case, Android users may want to go to System Recovery Mode of the Android phone actions such as wipe cache partition, wipe data and factory reset the phone, or to apply update.zip on SD card such as in the process to root the phone for superuser access. Here’s the step-by-step guide to enter into System Recovery Mode on Android device. Note that it may not work for all Android devices, but should work on Motorola Droid/Milestone.

  1. Shut down the phone by pressing on Power button for a while, and choose Power Off.
  2. Method 1: Press and hold the X key on the QWERTY keyboard of the phone, and press the Power button until the screen lights up. When the Motorola logo appears, release the Power button but keep hold of the X key until icon describe below appears.

    Method 2: Press and hold the Camera button on side of phone, and press the Power button until the screen lights up. When the Motorola logo appears, release the Power button but keep hold of the Camera button until icon describe below appears.

    Method 3: Press and hold the Volume Down button, and press then Power button until the screen lights up. Then select Recovery and press Power button to confirm.

  3. A yellow or red triangle with an exclamation mark (!) will be displayed on phone screen. Press and hold the Volume Up and Camera or Power buttons simultaneously to bring out the system recovery menu.

    Android Recovery Mode

  4. Use the D-pad to navigate the menu and select the appropriate action.

Tip: You can also access bootloader (fastboot) or recovery mode via ADB.

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  • manangupta

    My boot menu is not loading up, its hangs and only shows samsung

  • infoseekrs

    I dropped my Motorola A855 (I think that’s what it is – pics with that label seem to match; it is QWERTY slide keyboard, runs 2.0 I think [I’m so not techie]) in water and after drying several days with moisture absorber all it will do is go to the Droid eye/ Motorola M and then turn off or sometimes back on. I can get it to the screen with:
    Bootloader

    Battery OK
    OK to Program
    Connect USB
    Data Cable

    . . .but I don’t know what (if anything) to do next; I don’t understand what I’m finding online. Is there an explanation for dummies you can give me to reload the OS so I can have functionality back on my device? I’m not asking for help to recover files, just need a working OS (factory default?). Any/Every assistance will be much appreciated. 🙂

  • Er Shivam Patel

    My Karbonn A2+ (OS 4.0.4 ICS) mobile is not working … not turning on …plz help me …thanx

    • the truthsayer

      Throw it away. Buy a real phonee.

  • Donna Walker

    my slide buttonwill not slide what can do to fix it

  • shthoe

    Need help my samsung intercept is stuck it says SAMSUNG with the website addres under it and ive tryed to do this but nothing happenes

  • Gambit

    Man! you are a lifesaver! I installed a Rom that was corrupted and I could not go further than the starting screen, I just couldn't figure out how to enter into the recovery mode to restore the backup on my milestone but pressing X on the keyboard did the trick! Thanks!!

  • Roger

    You missed a step, on some phones recovery mode is hidden, after the triangle comes up, you need to tap the lower right corner to unhide it.

    • aravind

      In my samsung recovery mode can’t visible… then how can I recover my handset

      • ajmal aboobacker

        root it download terminal emulator type
        su
        then type
        reboot recovery

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  • matthew

    I have an LG Optimus S through sprint. It was rooted with z4root 1.3. I want to put a custom rom on it but i know I need to make a back up first how and what app do I use?

  • Mathias

    With my android lg phone. is my mobile typing following: Emergency mode

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  • tim

    You can do it to the i1, I took my phone out of my pocket and it was in the mode, I have not been able to duplicate it. I was leaning against a table before I took it out of my pocket.

  • Ricardo

    i1 and motorola (nextel) as it does? none of these work?