Phone stuck on the Android system recovery screen? Try this…

Is your phone stuck on the Android System Recovery screen? When you turn on or restart your cell phone does it go directly to “Android system recovery <3e>” and refuse to power on like it should? This guide will go over why this usually happens and best of all how you can try to fix it.

The purpose of the Android System Recovery

So, what is this Android system recovery screen anyways? This feature on an Android device can be used to accomplish a few very helpful things and can be a very powerful tool when it’s needed.

One of the most helpful being that the Android system recovery screen can be used to hard reset an android phone without having to access the phones settings. This can be extremely useful if your phone is not turning on properly or is experiencing problems with its touch screen or if you’re having problems navigating or accessing the settings on your device. If you were unable to access the settings on your phone for whatever reason then you wouldn’t be able to perform a Hard Reset or Factory Data Reset through the settings and this option could help save your phone.

So be grateful for the Android system recovery screen because it’s awesome. If you would like to know more about the Android system recovery screen you can read more about it HERE. Otherwise let’s try to find a solution to your current problem.

How to open the Android system recovery screen

This is actually very relevant in this situation as it could be the exact cause of the issue. If you wanted or needed to hard reset an Android cell phone by accessing this feature (which you don’t want to do for this problem just yet, so don’t actually attempt the following steps as a hard reset is typically used as a last resort) then you would do so by first powering off your phone, then you would press and hold specific keys on your cell phone, such as the Volume Up key the Home key and the Power key (or whatever the specific key combination would be for your particular cell phone) and this would cause your phone to boot into the Android system recovery screen. You could then erase all of the user data on your Android cell phone by highlighting and then selecting the “wipe data/factory reset” option and then confirming the reset by highlighting and selecting “Yes – delete all user data”.

For this situation you want to try and avoid doing this as it will delete everything from the phone and wipe the phone clean.

So how is this relevant?

Well if your phone is stuck on the Android system recovery screen then one of the most common causes is that one (or more) of the buttons used to access this feature is being pressed down, is defective, or is malfunctioning…

So for example, if you had a phone that used the Volume Down button and the Power key to access the Android system recovery screen and its Volume Down button wasn’t working properly and the phone thought that it was pressed in, then when you pressed the power key to turn on your phone, your phone thinks that you were holding the Volume Down and Power button at the same time and it thinks that you are trying to access the Android system recovery screen and it’s doing exactly what it supposed to.

The Top Solution: Check the keys

So make sure that you check the physical buttons on your cell phone to make sure that that they are responding properly, especially the volume bottoms.  Sometimes they may look perfectly fine but will be unresponsive or will be responding incorrectly.

Before trying the following suggestion I recommend that you power your phone off. You don’t want to accidently select an option you don’t mean to and you certainly want to avoid unintentionally erasing anything from your cell phone.

What I suggest you do though is try to press down on your keys a few times and try to loosen them up and if they are stuck or pressed in, hopefully pressing them will loosen them up or get them into the proper position to start working correctly again.

Once you have pressed down on the keys for a bit try to power the phone on and see if it will boot-up properly. If your cell phone starts up like it’s supposed to then you might want to do a quick backup of your phones information, if you don’t already have one, just in case. You don’t want your phone to have a serious malfunction or get damaged and lose all of your important information.

After you backup your data you might want to power your phone off and then back on, just to make sure its booting up properly now and you didn’t just get lucky.

Enjoy your working phone

If your phone turns on like it should and it’s no longer getting stuck on the Android system recovery screen then enjoy your working smartphone.

If you found this article informative or helpful don’t hesitate to let me know that you liked it by leaving a friendly remark in the comment section or by simply pressing the Facebook Like button or Google + button below.

Thanks again for reading and enjoy your working smartphone, tablet, or other Android device.

Still not working

If this occurred right after trying to install a custom ROM, or after trying to Flash or Root your phone or after trying to install a custom Recovery Mod (such as the ClockworkMod aka CWM) then it’s likely that the installation was unsuccessful and you should try it again. Make sure to pay very close attention when performing these types of modifications as they can cause some serious trouble if done incorrectly.

This guide is not intended to resolve those types of issues and I recommend that you refer back to whichever guide or set of instructions that you were following when attempting the installation and for proper assistance.

If this just randomly happened for no particular reason at all then as mentioned above its likely a hardware issue and even more likely to be related to the actual buttons of your device. For good measure and to rule out the slight possibility of this issue being software related you can consider selecting the “wipe data/factory reset” option on the recovery screen which would scrub any bugs, glitches, or viruses from the device and put the phone back to its factory default settings. Even though this will also remove any existing user data from the phone, you will be unable to access the information to perform a backup anyways; it’s pretty much a last resort.

Double check for physical and liquid damage as well, if a piece of your phone is damaged (especially a key or button) then it can lead to such an issue occurring. You should be able to visually scan the phone for physical damage but most phones will also have an LDI (Liquid Damage Indicator) as well which will change from white to pink or white to red if enough moisture enters the phone to cause damage.

The location of your phones LDI is going to depend on the make and model of phone that you have but if you do find indications of damage, those types of issues can often be difficult to fix. If you find evidence of liquid damage then you might consider reading How to try and fix a water damaged phone for a cool tip that could help.

If your phone is still getting stuck at the Android system recovery screen and no matter how much you play with the physical buttons it refuses to power on correctly then you will most likely need to look into your repair or replacement options. If you would like to review some options that might be available, you can read about them by clicking HERE.

Thanks for reading

I hope that this guide has helped you find the proper solution for your particular situation and I really hope that you were able to get your Android to start up properly and stop getting stuck on its Android system recovery screen. If you have any suggestions or tricks that you used to fix this issue on your smartphone or other Android device and would like to share it with others please do so in the comment section below.

If you liked the article don’t forget to let me know you liked it by pressing the Facebook Like button or Google + button below. Thanks again for reading and visiting the site. I hope you have a fantastic day.

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48 thoughts on “Phone stuck on the Android system recovery screen? Try this…”

  1. You are a godsend…
    You, my friend, are a godsend. I started having this happen to my phone, and I immediately thought that I needed to move forward with an update or an upgrade to a new phone. Sure enough, once I came to this article, it dawned on me that a may have a key stuck that was causing the recovery mode on start up. Once I unstuck the depressed key (it was the volume up key on an galaxy s4), and rebooted the phone, it started working like normal again.

    You saved me a ton of time and money in rectifying this. Thank you thank you thank you.


    1. You’re welcome

      You are most certainly welcome my friend. Thank you for taking the time to post such a friendly comment to show your gratitude. I appreciate it.

      Enjoy your working Samsung Galaxy S4, and if you ever have any more issues with your smartphone then don’t hesitate to come back to the site and ask.

      1. Thanks dear. Problem resolved…
        Thanks dear. Problem resolved as per your tips.
        Volume button found stuck.

  2. You’re a godsend!
    I also was stuck in this recovery mode with no idea why and nothing seemed to fix it… until I read this thread and started playing with the buttons. Turns out my camera button was stuck! I remembered that my camera kept turning on in my pocket earlier today and I didn’t know why. Next time I will pay more attention!

    Thanks a bunch!

  3. This article was fantastic.
    This article was fantastic. I had the exact same problem as Will just mentioned, where the up volume key was stuck on a Galaxy S4. I couldn’t get it unstuck but I was able to offset it being stuck by holding down the down volume key when I was powering on the phone. I may eventually need to get a new phone because of the volume keys, but I was able to back up my pictures on my phone in the meantime from another link in this article! My technology people at the company I work at told me there was nothing I could do and I should try a factory re-set. So glad I decided to google my problem a little more and found this article. Thank you so much, I very much appreciate!!!

  4. Thank you so much
    Thank you so much. After reading what you said I remembered that I couldn’t get my volume up. Between that and working my camera that was the end of my phone. I got this message while at the beach with my 4 kids and had just got stung 3 times by a fly. My foot and leg are swollen and still hurt but at least my phone is working again. I feel much better now. Thank you again.

  5. Thank you for the advice
    Thank you for the advice my poor dropped phone wouldn’t turn on and I thought my pictures were gone for good! Some help from a small razor blade and now im on to saving all my pictures and numbers!

  6. Thanks you saved the day
    Turns out I have dented the volume up button but as Lisa said holding the down button made it start up as normal, was backed up anyway but just need to repair the dent.
    Saved a lot of dicking around or an unnecessary factory reset

  7. I had the same problem
    I had the same problem with my s4… Turns out that my volume button was broken and as the phone turned on it would go to the recovery mode. I found that when I held the volume button down it seemed to help get passed the recovery mode… Maybe this is helpful for anyone.

  8. Thanks that was a very useful suggestion…
    Thanks that was a really useful suggestion. I have a Samsung Galaxy S4 and it says android system recovery<3e> i pressed the volume up key very hard and the power button and the apps button and it works automatically. Thanks for your really good knowledge.

  9. THANKS A LOT!!!
    THANKS A LOT!!! i realize that the volume up key was permanently pressed so i took a knife and remove it from the chip, and that worked

  10. Thank you for this
    Thank you for this information!! My phone died and was stuck in recovery mode after charging. I didn’t know what to do but so glad I did not hit the delete data and reset. I had dropped my phone and thought it was ok….but a rock must have hit the right spot on the volume button. I pushed it back out and walla back in business! Thanks a ton!

  11. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!
    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you !!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was my volume up. You saved me a trip to the store and a lot of money 🙂

  12. Thanks, this article saved the day
    Thanks, this article saved the day for me too. My volume up button was also stuck. Cheers for your help 🙂

  13. Alas… my phone still won’t budge
    Alas… my phone still won’t budge ;-(
    Guess I have to take it in for repair.

  14. Good info.
    Good info. I’ve had a damaged volume up button on my phone for about a week, and today was the first time the phone had shut down. It was working fine until then, and didn’t appear to increase the volume, it just rendered volume up useless. Anyway, I guess the next step would be to take it the shop and get it fixed (volume button) and see what comes of it.

    Anyone with other suggestions?

  15. I was about to do a factory reset
    I was about to do a factory reset with no other choice. I read your article and saved my phone with all the pictures and memories. Thanks.

  16. Oh, thank you so much!
    Oh, thank you so much! I was about to do the factory reset because I didn’t know what else to do. Thank Goodness I Googled… I would have lost a lot of baby pictures!
    Thanks again!

  17. Great info
    My step-daughter came to me this afternoon complaining that her S4 was stuck on the Android recovery screen (she had recently dropped her phone and cracked the screen) – after reading your article I noticed the the volume button was bent (she confirmed that the volume can be adjusted down but not up); I took the phone apart, removed the volume button, straightened it out by pressing it against a hard surface, and put everything back together again – works like a charm! Thank you not only for the great advice, but also for taking the time to share and help so many people – cheers.

  18. Hero status
    You helped me figure out the problem before I went incredible hulk on my phone. Thank you.

  19. Cheers for the help
    Cheers for the help. Turned out it was my case which seemed to be slightly pressing one of those keys.

    Great to know for the future buddy. Thanks again.

  20. You are the King
    You are the King
    You helped me resolve the problem I had with my android.

    Long live the King

  21. I cannot THANK YOU enough!!!
    I cannot THANK YOU enough!!! Who knew the Volume button was stuck (obviously based on comments this is a major issue with S4)? Photos of my first baby up to 5 mos. are on that phone!! I have been so nervous and dreading a trip to the Verizon store…Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!!
    On a side note I recently upgraded to the Galaxy S6 and it is terrible!!! Now that the S4 is working again, I might just switch back 😉

  22. Thanks for such great info.
    Thanks for such great info. Like many others it was the volume up key that was stuck.

  23. I am using a Sony Xperia Z Ultra…
    Dear James Bond,

    I am using a Sony Xperia Z Ultra and my problem is that my phones keypad misbehaves frequently. Keys start to press automatically & the screen starts to blink. Although rebooting fixes this issue there are many situations where rebooting is a very painful task since the screen blinks and choices in the reboot menu keeps flickering…

    Please help.


  24. Thanks a lot!!!
    The volume up was stuck. After some quick pressing down, it started to work normally. 😉

  25. Vodafone785 Android 4.2.2 update problems!
    Hi I’m having lots of trouble with my phone it showed me there’s a software update available for my Android I downloaded the software and the phone restarted and asked to install I pressed install and it installed it then this came up…
    Android system recovery <3e>
    Reboot system now
    Apply update from ADB
    Apply update from sdcard
    Apply from cache
    Wipe data/factory reset
    Wipe cache partition
    Enable ADB
    So I thought update from cache it gave me this:
    So I clicked on lost +found/ and all it gave was ../
    That’s it so I go back and click on Recovery and again it
    Gave me this../
    Nothing ells..
    So I go back to the main menu.
    Clicked on Enable ABD and then on
    Apply update from ADB
    Then this came up …Now send the package you want to apply
    To the device with “adb side load “…
    That’s it nothing else and it stays stuck there until I take out the battery and put it back in again… then it brings up the same menu I went through all of them nothing happens nothing… just because I updated my phone now it is not working anymore do you have any ideas on how I can fix this as nothing in that menu works. Even the wipe reset does not work. Are there any files I can download to my sdcard and install the software from there??
    Please help!!

  26. THANK YOU!!
    I dropped my phone and about an hour later, I changed batteries to put a fresh one in. When I went to turn my Galaxy S4 back on, it went to the Recovery screen and was stuck there every time I tried to reboot.

    LUCKILY – I found this site and didn’t have to format!!!! The volume button was stuck up (pushed in when I dropped it) and I was able to pop it back out with an eye-glass repair flat head screwdriver.


  27. Samsung Galaxy S4
    YES IT WORKS! I took it to work with me, trying in my spare time to fix it, with no success. Then when I got home I spent several hours calling my provider and searching online looking at Samsung’s website, Owners & Support, also with no success. But after reading your Solutions and spending about 20 minutes on it, it worked afterwards. On a note, I should have known it was the up button since I couldn’t scroll up on the system recovery. Thank you for your phone solutions.

  28. Ellipsis Tablet
    I actually read this in reference to my daughter’s Ellipsis Tablet. She had broken her case and we bought a generic one in a store a few days ago. I read the part about buttons being pressed in conjunction making the device think you are giving it commands. The case has elastic straps that were going right across the volume buttons and power button. I removed that strap and the tablet powered on like normal. I doubt it would have ever occurred to me that the buttons were being pressed. Thank you!

  29. Galaxy S5
    Genius. I had a LifeProof case on my phone. Once I took the case off the phone came back on normally. You saved me so much aggravation. Thank you so much.

  30. Galaxy S5
    The volume up key was stuck on my phone and it would not loosen up so I rebooted as suggested with the volume down key pressed and the start button. It worked great. Thank you so much.

  31. Thank you also 🙂 You helped me…
    Thank you also 🙂 You helped me too because a few days ago I damaged my button so it was stuck on the Volume UP. I wasn’t paying much attention to it, until I had to restart my phone… And, as most of you guys, I wound up here… Long story short – check your volume up button! Android recovery 3e 🙂

  32. Wow this is amazing
    The comments also led me in the right direction. I have thousands of pictures of my son who was born 3 months early and the pictures mean so much to me and also my grandma has sent some pretty important texts I’m so relieved I didn’t need to factory reset and my hubby is now off the hook for dropping the phone and getting the up volume key stuck 😀 Thank you!!!

  33. My volume up button was stuck
    My volume up button was stuck. I unscrewed the phone, and fixed the issue in a few minutes. Great page!

  34. OMG it actually worked.
    OMG it actually worked. I just wish I would have read it before factory resetting the phone. Thank you so much.

  35. It works!
    Time is passing by, but these tips are still valid.
    Galaxy S4, volume up button…

  36. Great! I worked for me!
    I had similar issue with S. galaxy S4. Fortunately got your article and solved the problem!! Thanks James…Its really a great tip!

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