How to Unbrick Your Android Phone: 4 Methods for Recovery
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So you’ve bricked your phone. You flashed a ROM, installed a mod, tweaked a system file, or did something else—and now your phone won’t boot.

Don’t panic! It’s almost certainly fixable. Here’s how to unbrick an Android phone.

How Is Your Phone Bricked?

bricked android phone

The steps for how to unbrick a phone depend on how it’s bricked in the first place. There are two categories of bricked phone:

  • The soft brick. The phone freezes on the Android boot screen, gets stuck in a boot loop, or just goes straight to recovery. So long as something happens when you press the power button, it’s soft bricked. The good news is these are pretty easy to fix.
  • The hard brick. You push the power button and nothing happens. Hard bricks can be caused by issues like attempting to flash an incompatible ROM or kernel, and there’s normally no software solution for them. Hard bricks are terrible news, but fortunately they’re quite rare.

Most likely you’re soft bricked, and you’ll see something like the image above. While the differences in how various devices work make it hard to come up with a catch-all solution to unbrick Android, there are four common tricks you can try to get yourself back on track:

  • Wipe the data, then re-flash a custom ROM
  • Disable Xposed mods through recovery
  • Restore a Nandroid backup
  • Flash a factory image

Before you get started, make sure your phone and computer are set up and ready with the proper tools.

What You Need to Unbrick an Android Phone

Chances are you already have most of the tools you need to unbrick your phone. They’re the same tools you used to root your device and flash ROMs, so you should already be familiar with how they work. Even so, double-check before you begin.

Most important is a custom recovery. You likely installed this when you rooted your phone, but it can sometimes get overwritten by the stock recovery, or wiped entirely. If you do need to reinstall it, we recommend going with TWRP. It’s a fully featured custom recovery that’s to easy to use, and has builds for most popular devices.

Next, you might need Fastboot and ADB. These are commonly used for rooting and flashing system mods, and you can get both from the Android Developers website. Check our primer on how to use Fastboot and ADB if you aren’t familiar with them.

download fastboot and adb

And finally, some manufacturers use special software to flash factory images. Hopefully you can avoid doing this, but if you need to you can use Odin for Samsung, the LG Flash Tool for LG devices, and the HTC Sync Manager for HTC. You can also try the ZTE Unbrick Tool if you’ve got a ZTE device.

Most of these tools will let you fix a bricked Android phone using a PC. However, you can often do the job directly on the phone itself.

1. Wipe Data and Re-Flash a Custom ROM

Try this method if: You flashed a ROM and now Android won’t boot.

One of the most likely causes of soft bricking your phone is when you have problems when flashing a custom ROM 4 Common Issues to Know When Installing a Custom Android ROM 4 Common Issues to Know When Installing a Custom Android ROM Thinking about installing a custom Android ROM? You might be in for more than you expect. Here are common issues to consider. Read More . The culprit here is often that you didn’t wipe your data first.

This is referred to as a “dirty flash,” and occurs when you choose to forego the inconvenience of having to restore your apps and data by flashing a new ROM on top of your old one. As a general rule, you can get away with it if you’re flashing a newer version of your existing ROM, but you must always wipe your data whenever you flash a different ROM.

Fortunately, it’s easy to fix—as long as you’ve backed up your phone properly. If you haven’t, well, you’ve learned an important lesson the hard way. Follow these steps:

  1. Boot into your custom recovery
  2. Navigate to the Wipe option and choose Advanced Wipe
  3. Check the box marked Data (you can wipe the system, ART cache, and cache again too), then hit Confirm
  4. Re-flash your custom ROM

Wiping your data effectively performs a factory reset, but it shouldn’t clear your internal storage or SD card (although, again, you should back it up just to be safe). When you restart your phone, you’ll see the Android setup screen. After entering your Google account information, your apps should begin reinstalling automatically.

If you need to, you can restore your data from your Nandroid backup. See the Restore a Nandroid Backup section below.

2. Disable Xposed Modules in Recovery

Try this method if: You get boot loops after installing a new Xposed module.

The Xposed Framework is one of the simplest ways to mod your phone, but it’s also one of the most dangerous. The best Xposed modules The 13 Best Xposed Modules for Customizing Your Android Device The 13 Best Xposed Modules for Customizing Your Android Device The Xposed Framework is one of the best reasons to root Android, and these Xposed modules add awesome functionality. Read More are so easy to install—many of them are available in the Play Store—that they lull you into a false sense of security. It’s unlikely anyone makes a Nandroid backup before installing a new Xposed module, even though they can brick your phone.

Use ADB Push to Install the Xposed Uninstaller

The best way to deal with these problems is with the Xposed Uninstaller. This is a small flashable ZIP that you can install through the recovery to remove Xposed from your device.

If you don’t already have it on your phone, you can put it on an SD card, or you might be able to copy it over using the ADB push method:

xposed uninstaller

  1. Download the Xposed Uninstaller to your desktop.
  2. Connect your phone to your computer via USB and boot into recovery.
  3. Launch the command prompt (Windows) or Terminal (Mac) and use the cd command to change the directory to where you have adb installed.
  4. Type adb push [full path to xposed uninstaller.zip] [full path to destination]. On Mac and Linux, precede the command with ./ (such as ./adb).
  5. When the file finishes copying, flash it through the recovery.

How to Disable Xposed Modules in Recovery

If you can’t use ADB push, try either of these solutions.

This method lets you disable Xposed through recovery:

  1. Boot into recovery, then navigate to Advanced > Terminal command
  2. Create a file called /data/data/de.robv.android.xposed.installer/conf/disabled
  3. Reboot your phone

This method prevents Xposed modules from starting:

  1. Boot into recovery and select File Manager
  2. Navigate to the folder /data/data/de.robv.android.xposed.installer/conf/ then delete the file modules.list
  3. Reboot your phone

None of these solutions will undo any changes the modules have made to your system. If these changes caused your phone to brick, you will have to restore your Nandroid backup.

3. Restore a Nandroid Backup

Try this method if: You need to remove other system mods, replace a tweaked system file, or if the methods above didn’t work.

The Nandroid backup is the safety net for Android mods and tweaks. It’s a complete snapshot of your phone—not just your data and apps, but of the operating system itself. So long as you can access your custom recovery and have a Nandroid backup, you will be able to get your soft bricked phone up and running. To do so:

  1. Boot into recovery and navigate to Restore
  2. Select your backup, confirm, and wait while it’s restored
  3. Reboot your phone

restore nandroid backup

Nandroid backups are a bit of a pain to make. They take a while and cannot be done in the background. But they’re worth it: they’re the simplest way to unbrick your phone.

Recover Data From a Nandroid Backup

A Nandroid backup can also save the day if you had to wipe your data and didn’t back it up in an easily restorable form. It’s possible to extract specific parts of a Nandroid, so you can restore your apps and data without needing to restore the operating system as well.

Here are the instructions for this:

  1. Boot into Android and install Titanium Backup from the Play Store.
  2. Tap the menu button and navigate to Special Backup/Restore > Extract from Nandroid Backup.
  3. Select your backup from the list.
  4. Choose whether to restore apps, data, or both, and select them (or hit Select All).
  5. Tap the green tick icon to start the restore process.

extract from nandroid titanium backup

4. Flash a Factory Image

Try this method if: None of the other options work.

If your attempts at unbricking Android have failed so far, the nuclear option is to re-flash a factory image. This restores the phone to its original state and will wipe your internal storage as well as everything else. It’ll also unroot your phone.

Because it wipes everything, you might be better off trying to flash a stock ROM first. OnePlus actually offers flashable ROMs for recovery rather than factory images, and you’ll find similar for virtually every device at xda-developers.com. In many cases you’ll be able to flash a pre-rooted stock ROM for added convenience.

oneplus roms

Where flashing a factory image differs from flashing a ROM is that it happens over a connection to your desktop computer rather than through recovery. Some devices use the Fastboot tool from the Android SDK, but others use custom software. Samsung uses the Odin tool, for instance, while HTC uses the HTC Sync Manager.

Because of the different methods used, the instructions for flashing a factory image differ for each device. And not all manufacturers make their firmware publicly available, so you have to find them from unofficial sources.

Here’s where to find factory images for some popular Android brands:

What About Hard Bricks?

First make sure the phone really is bricked—plug it in and leave it charging for a while. Attempt to reset it by holding the power button down for 10-15 seconds (or pulling your battery if you’ve got an older device).

If it is definitely hard-bricked, then you may be out of luck. A few phones can be revived with a USB Jig, a tiny device that plugs into the USB port and puts the phone into Download Mode to reinstall the stock firmware.

usb jig

You can find these for cheap on Ebay, but only for a very small number of devices. Even then, there’s no guarantee that they’ll work.

Beyond that, you may need to send your phone in for repair (though rooting it might have voided your warranty) or seek out a local phone repair person. But you most likely will end up needing to buy a new device.

Tweak Android Safely

Hopefully this guide has helped you to unbrick your Android phone. And hopefully your experience hasn’t put you off rooting and hacking Android altogether.

But if you’d rather play it safe in future, you can still have a lot of fun with your phone. Take a look at our guide to the best Android tweaks you can make without rooting The Best Android Tweaks You Can Make Without Rooting The Best Android Tweaks You Can Make Without Rooting Android tweaks aren't only for tech geeks. Here's how to get the most out of your non-rooted Android phone or tablet! Read More for some amazing ideas.

Explore more about: Android Rooting, Custom Android Rom, Data Recovery, Troubleshooting.

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  1. Viking
    September 22, 2019 at 7:52 am

    I tried to follow the link in this article to the firmware archive at updato.com, but no matter what I do, all I get is redirected into zillions of advertising pages for stuff I do not need. This article seems to be just hoaks!

  2. Sonia Singhal
    June 25, 2019 at 10:36 am

    Thank You, Its more useful for us.

  3. BRUJOjr
    January 4, 2019 at 11:41 am

    Hello, I'm scared of flashing ROM since you explained the hard brick.

  4. Nunito
    September 23, 2018 at 8:25 am

    How about after finish the installation and starting to reboot your phpne and you accidentally remove the battery then trying to switch the phone, again it's turn on and off its stack in phone logo and also I can't access the recovery mode its that fixable?

  5. PapaDrac
    July 2, 2018 at 8:04 pm

    Hello mate. I am khairul from malaysia. Here so hard to get usbjig. The only way to fix something like that happend, send it to retailer. But that for others. I have experience this situation last 2 weeks. My sony xperia zr ntt docomo, cannot turn on. I charge it for 2 days. Still wont turning up. I make my step. I try sony xperia companion, failee. I try flashtool, failed, i try adb, also failed. I still wont turn up. My final step, i use mtk8789 and usb cable, then i restore back to my original japanese code firmware, then i run clockworkmod. And jow i can use it as a new unit. All running smooth.. thats all from malaysia.
    Adios

  6. Leo
    April 18, 2018 at 1:52 am

    I hard bricked my Huawei P10 VTR-L09 by trying to flash an update through TWRP, I ended up deleting my "system" database by mistake and had not made a backup. It is totally my own mistake, but now my phone is wiped clean and I would like to use it for software development but Huawei have their way of making bricked phones unusable.

    • Kavish Bansal
      April 21, 2019 at 1:25 am

      How did you do it, even I flashed wromg TWRP I think, but now it is stuck on first boot screen. PC doesn't recognises it, and can't get into any recovery modes listed. Please help.

  7. Phone Phreak
    April 16, 2018 at 6:47 am

    There really is no such thing as a "Soft Brick" , its known as a boot loop and you can always get your phone into download mode at this point in time so its not really a brick yet, when you have bricked your phone its dead and I mean dead, its mostly caused by flashing a wrong boot loader and the phone has no way to even turn on so you now have a bricked phone.

    Some phones like Samsung use a usb dongle (jig) to get into download mode (hardware feature built in) so you can flash the proper firmware and the phone comes back to life, if you have a hardware failure then your not going anywhere so its now a expensive paper weight for your desk. Hardware failures are less common than a brick compared to them damn boot loops when flashing custom roms.

  8. AD M
    January 3, 2018 at 7:23 pm

    My coopad note 3 lite is soft bricked when I flash it.It's flash successfully but it's always going into boot loop and and I also try
    Adb cammand but my computer says error: null no device found

    Please help me

  9. aries
    November 27, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    my O+ android phone is dead when i click power button' Its just nothing happen what i did is while my phone is updating firmware through computer i accidentally unplug the cable then boom after shit happens. I think my phone is hard brick........... can't detect to my PC anymore ...... sorry for my bad english

    • Harshit
      December 25, 2017 at 6:16 am

      Same with my android phone. While flashing my pc turned off due to insufficient battery and now I ended up getting a bricked phone

    • roberto roce
      May 8, 2018 at 6:29 pm

      i can be fixed, try to unscrew your phone and look for colo/kcolo then solder it to the ground then flash again this method will force the emmc

  10. darshan
    November 13, 2017 at 7:17 am

    My device is Lenovo phab 2 it's not booting because I installed twrp after I go and wipe data after reboot my device is a not booting mobile is stucked and One thing is I am not backuping my device , pls help me how to recovery mobile. And how to backup my software pls pls pls help me........

  11. sandhu
    November 5, 2017 at 4:04 am

    Please tell how to unbrick micromax a111

  12. sandhu
    November 5, 2017 at 4:04 am

    I hard bricked my miceromax a111,please anybody knows how to unbrick it.

  13. Abhishek Alexander
    October 19, 2017 at 8:03 pm

    hi,
    my Lava Iris x1 grand phone is soft brick .i have custom recovery . so,how to flash stock framware rom ?

  14. KONDANI Sukumar
    September 26, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    Hlo. I firstly used TWRP 3.0.2-2 . And istalled AOSP for my Lenovo k3 note. As it had some bugs I thought to flash Super RR custom rom by Jdesing. I tried to flash the rom through the same version of twrp recovery. Error 7 occurred. I searched on Google about error 7 and I came to know it happens because of fake version of TWRP. So again backup my previous data and installed Flashify app and flashed TWRP 3.1. and it prompted for 'Flashing Complete' 'reboot'. I rebooted. And its stuck in bootlooping. And as for my fate, I didn't enable USB Debugging before doing all that. Can anyone please tell me what to do now?

  15. Pavan kumar
    September 12, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    Hello i am facing a hard brivk in my micromax e353...is there any solution for it

  16. Rohit rawat
    July 23, 2017 at 11:24 am

    I have redmi 2
    In multirom mod ,,I flashed roms in multirom mod
    I flaah Tesla then temasek both are OK but then I flash miui Rom lollipop version
    It takes too much ..After completing when I click ..reboot to system in twrp
    All black neither recovey nor fastboot and my device not turning on and detected by pc!!:(

  17. Brandy Hodges
    June 30, 2017 at 6:10 pm

    OK.. I soft bricked my Samsung Galaxy s3 . I have twrp installed and I did backup my system before. I followed all instructions to restore backup and it's telling me that there is no is installed..
    I do have a backup on my SD card... my USB port also isn't working to connect to a computer..
    I need help.. I don't know what to do.

    • Sam
      July 29, 2017 at 5:04 am

      Hi there, have you got your phone running again yet? I have a Samsung Galaxy S3 that i have successfully recovered from a soft brick experience. My phone is model I9305 if your phone is same model i can send info on how i got mine going again.

      • Brandy
        July 29, 2017 at 5:51 am

        Unfortunately I haven't gotten my poor old phone up and running. I truly appreciate your offer of assistance but mine is a SPH-L710

    • God bless you
      September 22, 2017 at 3:24 pm

      You need driver to detect your devices. Just flash stock rom with odin(choose scatter file only preloader in download mode 1st)usb work back. After that flash again all file without preloader. Again, flash again whole file scatter will revive your phone. Now your phone imei and wifi not working. Google nvram or .... For solution.

  18. Tutong
    June 11, 2017 at 10:27 am

    I bricked my phone, first a softbrick where I flashed android 6.0 ROM on my Alcatel Flash 2 and can't enter recovery mode, then I tried ADB fastboot but it also wont let me do fastboot -w, down to my 3rd option is sp flash tool I did the format all+download (which I think or now know is wrong) plugged my phone and error occured in the middle of the process, instead of the green check box, I had a red txt error which where I know I f*d up bad, now my phone wont turn on, pc is reading it but as USB DA, adb wont recognize it as well as sp flash tool, not charging as well. I guess i have now a Hard Bricked Phone.

    • James
      August 10, 2017 at 4:35 pm

      were u able fix?

  19. Krishan sharma
    May 5, 2017 at 8:05 pm

    Hey I have flashed twrp recovery on infocus bingo21 m430 by flashify app(root users) after flashing , as I click on reboot in recovery , then it stops on infocus android logo screen & showing fastboot mode..
    Plz anyone help me

  20. Mazeen
    April 27, 2017 at 7:23 pm

    I flashed wrong twrp.img which is for other device because I cant find twrp for Lenovo A2010,so it stops at the Lenovo logo and reboots again and again and it doesn't boot into recovery mode...now it became worser the battery drained out and it connects and disconnects automatically while charging indicating low battery it does the same when connected to an PC....can anyone help me with a solution
    plz help me

    • srikar
      March 10, 2018 at 5:48 am

      same problem bro...did u find a solution?

  21. Amritayan Mukherjee
    April 17, 2017 at 12:45 am

    I was able to successfully root my phone and things were working pretty awesome.

    However, when I tried to flash linux.img using TWRP, the phone phone went into a bootloop (I guess). Now, the phone keeps flashing the screen light and immediately attempts reboot. I am using a HTC Desire 626g plus dual sim and the above mentioned loop just keeps going on.

    Kindly advice whether it seems like a soft brick or hard one. Also would appreciate any sort of guidance towards resolution.

    Thank you in advance.

  22. Rohit Pathak
    March 15, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    I soft bricked my galaxy gt s7582,...but I was successful to solve that problem... Kinda internet
    ??

  23. Chad Edwards
    March 8, 2017 at 10:55 pm

    Hard bricked my 200 quid zuk z2 by lenovo. im guessing theres nothing I can do D:

  24. Emmanuel
    February 4, 2017 at 10:02 am

    Hi there, thanks for your article. Please I got a Sm-T311 tablet clone. Same tablet other company call it HDC tablet. Mine came originally with android version 4.2.2. Mtk 6582. I tried to upgrade to android 5 which I didn't succeed, but got a dark screen now. I have search for a ROM everywhere, which I got 1 ROM out of 8, which when flashed with sp tool, tablet will be charging but two colors on screen, with no images. Please I have a nandroid backup in my PC which I did before bricking the phones. Please any help with my nandroid backup?

  25. Sean
    January 16, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    Although it was awful at the time, I've hard-bricked a Nexus 4. Was playing around with some kernel tweaks that weren't compatible with my kernel. Phone suddenly shut off and refused to power back on. I knew it was all over when the charging LED went out. Kinda glad that device is gone though - needed a new battery and overheated very badly (like 90 degrees badly). I'm much more educated now, and enjoying my Nexus 5X.

  26. Yatin verma
    January 14, 2017 at 11:10 am

    My yuphoria yu5010 is hard bricked during installing a custom rom update plz tell me solution call me if u have zig tool in UP 8057648799

  27. iqandroid
    January 4, 2017 at 6:49 pm

    When your android phone or tablet gets bricked and won't start up, bootloops or stuck on the logo screen, you should seek expert help. Many novice android users attempt to root, flash custom rom or install apps that could mess up their android device. iQAndroid helps in person and remotely with rooting, custom rom installation, backups, flashing custom recovery, fixing bricked devices and more. We are members of XDA Developers and have many years of experience with several android devices and versions of software. We are software developers who understand how android works and are familiar with many methods of fixing, rooting, and restoring android phones and tablets. We have a website and youtube channel where we share information and offer support.

  28. melvin
    November 2, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    can i install a different rom for any phone

  29. 3ppleA
    October 30, 2016 at 5:35 am

    I av flashed an infinix note 2 16g 2g with a ROM for 16g 1g and now d phone is bricked is there any hope for me to revive d phone?

  30. Jeffrey Mack
    August 24, 2016 at 3:48 am

    I have an HP Slatebook 14 that is soft bricked and I cannot get it into recover, ADB, since HP locked the device down so hard. I have an OTA update file but from about a full week of research and scouring all the sites its a huge mystery how to fix this. I had TWRP on it and rooted but as I said it just boots to the HP powered by android screen and stays. Every once in a while it reboots on its own and back to the for mentioned screen. HELP!!! PLEASE!!!!

  31. Vladimir
    August 23, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    Yep, I've hard-bricked mine (LG L5 E610) after a couple of unsuccessful flashes of some of the CMs (probably just bad versions). Boots into a screen with some strange lines and colours and stays like that. But it was high time I bought a new one, the LG was really at the end of its life. Looking back, I'm glad I did it, lol.