This page may uses affiliate links. When you click on affiliate link, we get a small commision at no cost to you. See Our Affiliate disclosure for more info


Recovery Mode on Samsung Galaxy Smartphones – Complete Guide (2023)

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr

Are you a Samsung Galaxy smartphone/tablet user? 

Do you know about the Recovery mode on your smartphone? Or do you just know the most used options like Wipe cache partition, Reboot, or Factory data reset?

Want to learn the entire Recovery mode? Let us enlighten you!

In this guide, you will learn about the recovery mode on your Samsung Galaxy smartphone, its options, and how you can use them to troubleshoot or modify your device. Keep reading!

What is the Recovery mode on your Galaxy smartphone? What does it do?

What is The Recovery Mode on Android

Let us briefly explain this without using tech jargon. Recovery mode or recovery menu is a pre-installed, separate software that sits on a separate partition on your smartphone. Since the recovery mode is not installed alongside the Android operating system, anything that happens to the Android OS won’t affect the recovery mode.

Every Android smartphone has a recovery mode. However, the features it brings depend on the device models and manufacturers. 

Example: There is a feature called “fast boot” which is only available on Google Pixel. It can be used to give commands to the smartphone from a computer.

But you don’t need to worry because this guide is all about the recovery mode features of your Samsung Galaxy smartphone. 

What does the recovery mode do? The recovery mode on Android devices is to troubleshoot and open doors to modify the device firmware. That means you can even change the recovery mode software on your device though it completely revokes your device’s warranty.

Did you know? There are custom recovery menus and there was a time they rocked the Android world. Two of the most popular ones were TWRP and ClockWorkMod. They have many features like back up, install custom ROMs, etc.

That means you should be aware that some functions on the recovery menu can compromise the warranty of your device. But don’t get scared, we will explain them to you so what you do with the recovery mode will not affect the warranty.

How do I put my Samsung on recovery mode?

Boot Into Recovery Mode - Method 01

If you do not know, you can follow these steps to boot your device into recovery mode:

  1. Power off your device
  2. Press and hold the power button and volume up key for a few seconds
  3. You will see the usual power-up screen and the device will boot into recovery mode
  4. Release the keys

How can I put my Samsung in recovery mode without the power button?

Boot Into Recovery Mode - Method 2

There can be instances where the power button does not work or is jammed. In such cases, you will not be able to boot into recovery mode using the above method.

But there is a way to boot into recovery mode even without using the power key. Here is how:

  1. Plug the USB cable into a power source or a computer
  2. Press and hold the volume up key
  3. Release the key when your device boot into recovery mode

Features on the Samsung recovery mode

Features on Samsung Recovery Mode

As we said before, the features can vary from the device model even when it comes to Samsung Galaxy smartphones, old devices will not have one or two features that the latest devices have.

But to keep our promise alive, we will tell you which devices have or do not have the features described in this guide. 

Let’s start with the first feature, “reboot device now.”

Reboot Device Now

This functions just like the restart option you get when you press and hold the power button on your device. 

Well, then you might ask why is it important if it just restarts my device? It is actually there to reboot the system after a troubleshooting or system modification is done. If there is no reboot option, how do you get back to the Android OS?

Another helpful situation is when the device does not power up. Yes, there can be situations in which your device won’t boot at all. Maybe because of a system glitch, boot loop, or malware that corrupted the system to glitch.

Reboot to Bootloader

The bootloader is a custom code that runs before the Android system does. When you reboot the system to bootloader, it allows you to do three (3) things (basically):

  1. Flash official firmware (ROM)
  2. Flash a custom ROM (Needs a bootloader to be unlocked)
  3. Flash a custom recovery mode (Needs a bootloader to be unlocked)

What are these? Firmware? ROM? Bootloader unlocking?

These words might confuse you so let us break them into more understandable words.

In the Android world, firmware is a complete software kit. It includes the actual firmware and the Android operating system. The actual firmware is the program that creates the ground layer by utilizing the hardware to run the Android operating system smoothly.

What is a ROM? 

The ROM stands for Read Only Memory. But like the firmware in Android, a ROM is the system image or you can say that it is one file containing the firmware, the Android operating system with a collection of apps.

Now, let’s get into the real question, what is bootloader unlocking? Is it locked by the manufacturer? Well, a bootloader is locked in all Android devices. It is because if the bootloader is easily accessible, things can go wrong, and the manufacturer has to work hard on fixing things. It is not like uninstalling an app or resetting the device. The bootloader program is written in what we called the “machine language.” So, it is really hard to fix the code if it is corrupted.

Apply Update from ADB

ADB stands for Android Development Bridge. A program that can be used to send commands from a computer to the device. This tool is meant for developers but if you want to learn more, refer to the Android developer website from here.

Apply Update from SD Card

Note: Device models which do not support SD cards do not have this feature.

This feature allows you to apply a software update to your device manually without using a computer. You can download the update to your SD card, boot into recovery mode, and select this option to apply the update right away.

For example: Let’s say your device runs Android 10 and you want to upgrade it to Android 11 but the software update does not work. Then, you can search on Google to check whether there is a supported firmware that you can download or there is none. If there is, you can download and upgrade your device to Android 11.

Wipe Data/Factory Reset

You may know this already and what it does. Wipe data or factory reset means removing all the data that you generated, downloaded, or copied into your device. This includes call logs, messages, files, videos, and photos even the apps you installed will get removed.

The reason behind this is that it can fix a lot of problems that occur on your device. Maybe it is malware, a critical system issue, or even apps that do not work as they are supposed to.

Since the factory data reset deletes all the data, it is so important to create a backup of your data before using the feature. If you want to know how to back up your data, read our guide which is specifically written for your Samsung device.

Wipe Cache Partition

Your device’s Android system and the apps generate a special kind of data called cache files (also known as temporary files). This data helps to run the device seamlessly without lag.

However, corrupted or outdated cache files can cause errors, too. And that is why in most guides and YouTube videos, you see people suggest clearing the cache to fix a lot of issues.

So when you wipe a cache partition, the cache partition (a storage dedicated to store cached data) gets erased.


Usually, when you browse the internal storage of your Samsung smartphone/tablet, you won’t see every file on it. It is because there are some system files that should not get altered or deleted. If they do, the whole system will crash.

But if you want to see them, then this option is what allows you to do that.

View Recovery Logs

Everything that happened in the recovery mode is stored here. You can refer to them when necessary.

Example: If “apply update from ADB” fails, you can refer to the recovery log to see the issue.

Run Graphics Test

This is another feature that is meant for developers only. You can test your device’s GPU by selecting this option. But one thing to keep in mind, this test does nothing when performed alone. You will see a message “erasing” while performing this but it will not erase anything on your device. So, don’t get scared if you see that message.

Run Locale Test

Locale test checks the system’s language of texts that appear on the device. It is usually used by developers to test language translations.

Power Off

You can select this to exit from recovery mode and turn off the device.

Repair Apps

This is another useful feature that you can use to repair the apps installed on your device. What it does is that it cleans the Dalvik cache and performs app indexation.

If you ask what is the Dalvik cache, it is a type of cache that is generated when an app is first installed. Dalvik cache helps to run the app faster by reducing the time it launches.

What is app indexation? There is an index of apps on every Android device – it stores the information of the apps.


It is all about the recovery mode on your Samsung Galaxy device. We talked about every feature in the Samsung recovery mode, and it uses and clears some of the technical terms as simply as possible.

Like the article? Then, support us by sharing this with your friends. Do you have any questions? Leave a comment below!

Have a nice day!

Andrew William

Content writer and Web developer at and he is the big brain behind the technical aspects of this tech blog.

Write A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.