Have you come across the term ‘flashing a phone’ and wondered what it is? Do you have a basic idea about it, but do you want to know how to flash a phone properly?
But we seriously emphasize that if a single step goes wrong, your smartphone can end up broken, forever!
The truth, however, is that flashing a phone requires a bit of technical knowledge but is still doable as a DIY.
In other words, if there is a proper guide, you can flash a phone on your own. The purpose of this article is to provide a complete guide on how to flash a phone successfully.
Part 1: Why Do You Want to Learn How to Flash a Phone in the First Place?
Before getting into the steps on ‘how to flash a phone,’ you should know the requirement for it. In fact, there are many reasons for why flashing is the only resolution left.
However, in this article, we emphasize only a couple of those instances for your reference.
Instance 01: Your Android is Bricked, Locked, Dead, or Stuck Completely
In general, Android devices are known for their flexibility and customizability. Android is an open-source platform. However, due to such flexibility itself, it is prone to various issues related to the operating system.
Many individuals try to do new tweaks every now and then with their Androids. As a result, they may end up causing a bricked phone. Although there are various fixes to address such issues, the last resort would be flashing.
Instance 02: You Need to Install a New Custom ROM on Your Android
All Android devices are preloaded with an OS, which is also called ROM. However, for some reason, those default ROMs don’t offer some of the features they should have.
To get those unavailable features, Android experts build custom ROMs with plenty of new features. These custom ROMs can be installed on your Android device, replacing the default OS.
These custom ROMs can actually make your device run faster, and apply new themes, and various other features. To install any of those custom ROMs, you must flash your Android device.
Perform a Hard Reset on the Device Before Trying to Flash It
Flashing a phone doesn’t give you only the benefits. Obviously, flashing a phone is associated with some drawbacks, as well.
One of the major drawbacks associated with this process is that you lose all the data on the phone. Also, if you don’t like the features of custom ROM, you will have to repeat the installation process.
Moreover, if you can go for a hard reset, that’s a very effective way to fix plenty of issues. If you make a single mistake while flashing your Android device, you are likely to damage it PERMANENTLY! Therefore, we encourage our readers to perform a hard reset before opting to flash an Android.
It is true that there are plenty of Android devices out there. The method of hard resetting may differ from one device model to another model.
So, it is not practical to list all those methods under one concise article. Nevertheless, we will emphasize a pretty standard method that can be applied to most of the popular models.
Important: As a result of a hard reset, you will lose all the data/files on the device. That means your apps, videos, pictures, recordings, contacts, text messages, settings, etc. will be gone. So, make sure that you create a backup prior to flashing your Android.
If You Wonder How to Back up Your Android, You May Follow the Steps Mentioned Below.
- Go to the ‘Settings‘ option on the device.
- Then, choose ‘Reset Option‘ which can be found under ‘System‘ > ‘Advanced‘ >
- Once you have ended up finding the ‘Reset‘ option, tap on ‘Erase All Data‘ or ‘Factory Reset.’ As mentioned before, this option can be available under a slightly different name on some devices.
- Now, tap on ‘Reset Phone.’
- If you are prompted, enter the passcode or PIN.
- Tap on the option called ‘Erase Everything‘ and wait until the process is completed.
For most users, this method fixes pretty much all the issues associated with the device.
Part 2: How to Flash a Phone Properly?
In general, after resetting the device to factory settings, you will see the issues are gone. However, if you see the issues remaining, you are left with the only option of flashing the device. In fact, there are several ways to flash an Android device.
All those methods, however, are manual. So, performing such a process can be pretty risky and may end up causing permanent damage to the device.
The good news is that there is a way of flashing your device AUTOMATICALLY! That means you don’t want to go with the standard, lengthy, and risky process of flashing anymore. Instead, the ‘old-school’ method can be replaced by a simplified software tool to the delight of many Android users.
Well, we will explain several methods for those who wonder how to flash a phone. Nevertheless, before performing a flash, we strongly suggest you make a backup of the files.
Mentioned Below Are the Steps to Make a Backup of Your Android Device Successfully.
- Go to the ‘Settings‘ app on the device.
- Go to ‘System‘ and then go to ‘Advanced.’ Then, navigate to ‘Backup.’ If you don’t find a similar option, just perform a search on the search bar using the word ‘Backup.’
- Tap on the option labeled ‘Back up now.’
- Tap on the option ‘Continue.’
Please note that the process will slightly vary based on the model of the Android device.
Some Tips When Creating a Backup of Your Device
- Create a manual backup of videos, images, songs, etc. by copying them into PC.
- Upload data into your Google Drive, so they are secured.
- Use Google Photos to back up your photos instantly.
- Google Drive can backup documents as well.
If you are dealing with a dead or frozen phone, backing up isn’t possible through the above method. Instead, you will have to recover data using a special tool and back up them. However, there are instances where it won’t be possible. So, it is much better if you can turn on an online backup for your device.
After securing your data through a backup, you should move to the process of flashing. Mentioned below are the steps on how to flash a phone.
Method 01: Use a Simplified, Professional Tool to Flash Your Android Phone
Flashing a device can be done using several methods, as we have mentioned before. The easiest and most reliable method of all is using Tenorshare ReiBoot (Android). This software is specifically developed, focusing on convenience and reliability.
- As the first step, you should download Tenorshare ReiBoot for Android on the PC. Then, get it installed and launch it. You will see a button labeled ‘Repair Android System.’ Click on it.
- Now, on the next page, you should provide the details on your Android device. Then, click on the option called ‘Download Firmware.’ Now, the software will download the most accurate firmware on your device.
- You can now connect the troublesome Android device to the same PC using the USB cable. Then, put the device into ‘Download Mode.’ If you don’t know how to put your device in download mode, ReiBoot offers you the instructions.
- Now, ReiBoot will identify the connected device and start the process of flashing. All you have to do is to wait until the process is done. Once the device is flashed, it will be restarted automatically.
- As the last step, you should click on the option called ‘Done.’
That’s basically it! How convenient is it? However, if you still want to know about the other methods of flashing Androids, just follow the steps.
Method 02: How to Flash a Phone Using Manual Method Through Custom ROMs
Please note that this method is a manual one, so if something goes wrong, you cannot undo it. Therefore, we strongly suggest this method for those who have substantial knowledge of Android devices. Also, you should hold the whole responsibility for this process.
First, make sure that you have the following things done.
- Get the Android device you want to flash in hand.
- Create a backup of the respective device.
- Find an appropriate custom ROM and a custom recovery tool.
- Have the bootloader unlocked.
- Make sure that the device is charged at least 50%.
#1. Download a Custom Rom
As the first step, make sure that you download a custom ROM. In fact, there are plenty of custom ROMs available for Android phones. So, go through the list and find a good ROM.
Make sure that the ROM you found is compatible with the phone model. Then, download it (and it is available as a .zip file). Save the ROM in your device.
#2. Unlock Bootloader
This is an optional step. Pretty much all Android devices come with an unlocked bootloader. Nevertheless, some of the manufacturers have their bootloaders locked. If this is applicable to you, you should contact the manufacturer of the phone and unlock the bootloader.
#3. Boot the Device in Recovery Mode
At this step, you will have to use the recovery combo buttons and boot the device into recovery mode. This option might vary from one device to another too. You can do a Google search on the accurate button combo for your model if you don’t know it.
In most cases, the correct key combination is ‘Volume Down‘ and ‘Power Button.’ Holding down these two buttons for about 5 seconds will do the trick.
#4. Flash the Device
Now that you are in recovery mode, you will see a screen. This screen will vary depending on the recovery mode. Cyanogenmod recovery, TWRP, ClockworkMod, etc. are some of the recovery modes.
Nevertheless, TWRP and ClockworkMod are considered to be mostly used options. So, we explain our process based on those two options.
If you are using TWRP, you should select ‘Install.’ If you are using ‘ClockworkMod,’ choose ‘Install zip from SDcard.’ Then, make sure that you browse to the custom ROM you have downloaded.
Once you have browsed the custom ROM, you can install it. Select the option called ‘Swipe to Confirm Flash‘ (on TWRP). Or, ‘Apply SDcard/update.zip‘ if you are using ClockworkMod. When you do it, your phone will be flashed with the newly installed custom ROM.
#5. Clear the Cache
Once the flashing is done, you should wipe the cache data on the device. To do that, you should go back to the recovery mode (you already know that). Then, choose the option called ‘Wipe cache partition.’
That’s it. If everything goes right, you will see that the device is flashed correctly and running. Nevertheless, there are several other methods to flash an Android device.
To try the other methods, you should be able to use a PC and different types of software tools. They are called ‘Flash Tools.’ We don’t want to share all those methods because it will make this article unnecessarily lengthy.
However, we intend to share some of the names of the most popular flash tools.
- Samsung devices – Odin
- Nexus devices – Nexus Root Toolkit
- Mediatek Chipset – SP Flash Tool
- Sony Experia – FlashTool
- Chinese models – Miracle Box
Also read: Best Android SMS Recovery software online.
- What does it mean to flash a phone? Flashing a phone refers to the process of changing or updating the firmware (operating system) of a phone.
- Is flashing a phone illegal? No, flashing your phone isn’t illegal, but it might void the warranty of your device.
- Can I flash my phone myself? Yes, you can flash your phone yourself. However, it requires following certain procedures correctly, and there are potential risks involved.
- What happens if flashing a phone fails? If the flashing process fails, your phone may not boot properly, or it might even get stuck in a boot loop. In severe cases, your phone might become ‘bricked,’ rendering it unusable.
- Can flashing a phone improve its performance? Yes, flashing can improve your phone’s performance. Some custom ROMs are designed to optimize and enhance device performance.
We explained several ways of flashing an Android device for your convenience. All the methods we have emphasized are practical and effective. However, some of the methods are better than others.
As you may realize, some of the methods are riskier. So, if you want to know how to flash a phone with minimal risk, we suggest Tenorshare ReiBoot (Android). Please let us know your thoughts about this article.