Recovery mode in Android
Although not everyone knows the true meaning of its existence, advanced Android users are sure to know that it is recovery.
Here we are going to tell you exactly what it is, why it is so important, what it can do for us and what types there are.
And everything in a simple way so that any user, whatever their level, can understand it.
What is recovery?
Recovery is a part of the memory, or partition, where a very light recovery program is stored, alternative to the operating system itself (in this case Android). In other words, it is an alternative to the usual smartphone boot.
Its function is to be able to recover this operating system in the event that a problem occurs and, for example, it cannot boot.
To enter recovery mode we must press a combination of keys, which may vary depending on the device.
In some cases we first enter another previous mode called bootloader or fastboot and from here we can select the recovery.
There are two types of recoverys: stock and custom. The main difference between the two is that the stock recovery is the manufacturer’s own and the custom recovery is created by the community.
The stock recovery (or simply recovery) that each smartphone has by default is the one that each manufacturer installs on their devices to offer a minimum of options to recover the system.
The options of this type of recoverys are going to depend a little on each manufacturer but in general they are a little limited.
Custom recoverys, developed by the community, have advanced options that help in routing and installing ROMs or GApps.
As it is not an official manufacturer support there is no custom recovery of all devices, only of those that have a group of altruistic developers behind.
The most famous custom recovery is TWRP (Team Win Recovery Project), which has support for a large number of devices. The installation method is through ADB and Fastboot.
What features does recovery offer?
The functions offered by the default recovery mode on our smartphones depend very much on the manufacturer, as we have already said. Here you have all the functions that has the recovery that Google installs in its Nexus:
- Reboot system now: restart the normal phone, i.e. start the Android operating system.
- Reboot to bootloader: restart the device without booting the OS or recovery, this way we can connect it to a computer and flash the phone partitions.
- Apply Update from ADB: to install an update from a computer with ADB, the so-called sideload.
- Apply Update from SD card: to install an update from a file stored in the phone’s internal memory or on the microSD card.
- Wipe Data/factory reset: erases all user data (Photos, documents, installed apps, etc.) leaving the device as fresh out of the box.
- Wipe Cache Partition: clears the entire phone cache.
- Mount /system: allows you to mount the system partition to access it from a computer with the ADB.
- View recovery logs: to access the recovery event log to have information about what happened if a problem occurred.
- Power Off: turns off the device
With a custom recovery installed on the recovery partition we have better access to the rest of the smartphone partitions, to install other software or to make backups.
TWRP is the most widespread custom recovery, with a wide range of supported devices and is also tactile.
The main functions we can perform with TWRP custom recovery are:
- Transfer files to the phone’s internal memory from a computer using a USB cable
- We can make screenshots as in the Android system
- Install ROMs, root or GApps from .zip files
- Wipe the different partitions
- Backup of all partitions
- Mounting Partitions