How to boot into Recovery Mode Nexus 7

How to boot into Recovery Mode Nexus 7

How to boot into Recovery Mode Nexus 7

Here’s a quick run-though of how to boot your Google Nexus 7 into “Recovery Mode”.

Recovery mode can be used to:

  • apply update from adb
  • wipe data / factory reset
  • wipe cache partition

The steps below can be a bit tricky/finicky to get right so I suggest you read through them a couple of times first before attempting them.
Also apologies for the quality of the screenshots (taken on my digital camera) but there is no method of capturing screenshots in the state Android is in below as it’s before the OS has properly booted.

1. Power off your tablet.

2. Now press and hold Power + Volume Down until you see this screen:-


3. Use the Volume keys to select Recovery (press Volume Down twice), until your screen looks like below and then press Power to select.


4. You should now see the Google logo for 5-10 seconds before you see an otherwise blank screen with our little Android buddy looking worse for wear and the text “No command.”




5. Now you will press Power + Volume Up for about 3 seconds before releasing Volume Up (keeping Power pressed).  That should land you at the Android system recovery screen below.  You can execute the various commands the same as you did when you selected “Recovery mode” in step 2.  The Volume Up and Volume Down buttons chaneg the selection and Power confirms the selection.


49 thoughts on “How to boot into Recovery Mode Nexus 7

  1. Thijs Oost

    Thanks for this: ‘Now you will press Power + Volume Up for about 3 seconds before releasing Volume Up (keeping Power pressed).’

    Didn’t know you have to release the volume button.

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  3. Bill Rugg

    when I execute step
    “press Power + Volume Up for about 3 seconds before releasing Volume Up (keeping Power pressed).”
    4 my nexus 7 v2 either
    1. turns off if I let pwr go when screen goes black or
    2. reboots if I continue to hold pwr.reboots.

    What am I missing?

      1. Vita

        That’s exactly the same way as in your article. TBH the first time I tried it a couple months back, it worked perfect. No such luck this time, even after trying it multiple times.

  4. Bob

    Sir I have a question, if I don’t get the red triangle with the android bot how can I resolve the reset to factory defaults 4.2 original firmware

      1. Paul

        My Nexus 7 2013 is in the same stuck state. I can’t get to the ‘no command’ screen. After the recovery mode is selected, I get back to the stuck black ‘Google’ screen. Power + button-up or any other combination doesn’t work.

      2. Tony Pena

        Same exact problem as Iman… I press the power button after having it selected on recovery mode, get the screen that simply says Google and I’m dead in the water. Never get the: No command. My Nexus is one year and five days old. LOL Google support is supposed to eventually email me. If they solve the issue I’ll come back and share. Absolutely loved this little tablet. Never a moments problem… oh well…

  5. Job

    Point 5. below seems to be the way as an alternative to the 3 second method.

    1. If your tablet is on, turn it off.

    2. Press and hold the Volume Down button, then press and hold the Power button at the same time until the tablet turns on. You’ll see the word “Start” with an arrow around it.

    3. Press the Volume Down button twice to highlight “Recovery mode.”

    4. Press the Power button to start Recovery mode. You’ll see an image of an Android robot with a red exclamation mark and the words “No command.”

    5. While holding down the Power button, press the Volume Up button.

    6. Use the volume buttons to scroll to “wipe data/factory reset,” then press the Power button to select it.

    7. Scroll down to “Yes – erase all user data,” then press the Power button to select it.


    Greetings. The problem I’m having is that when I try to run the 4.4.4 update I end up with the dead android and “no system.” I can’t get the update past that. I have tried doing a hard reset to no avail. The other thing is that when i connect to the computer all I can to is connect as a camera. Any thoughts.


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  8. paul

    I have gone through all the steps and made it to the ” wipe data / factory reset” stage.
    I have completed this step a total of 6 times and i get returned to the same step.
    I reboot and there is no way the tablet will get beyond the start page.
    Can I have to do something else or is the table finished.?
    I can’t seem to see it on the desk top when connected via USB.
    Any help would be appreciated.

  9. Harold McFarland

    I had the same problem as Bill Rugg. The key to getting past step 5 (“press Power + Volume Up for about 3 seconds before releasing Volume Up (keeping Power pressed)” ) turned out to be releasing Power very soon after releasing Volume Up. Otherwise, the device executes the first command in the list, Reboot, and you get to start all over again.

  10. Tony

    Thanks Rob, saved my life!

    Last time I let the Nexus go completely flat it seemed to recover by plugging the original charger in rather than just any charger that happened to fit. This time I didn’t have the original charger with me but going into the recovery mode and connecting a non Nexus charger seems to have worked.


  11. Evert

    Thanks for this guide.
    I seemed to have soft-bricked my Nexus as it’s stuck in a bootloop on the spinning CynaogenMod icon.
    Followed your instructions, they work in as far as the last screen but whatever option I choose brings me back to the bootloop.
    Any ideas on what to do?

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  14. Angela

    These were great instructions, so thank you! . Having battled with getting to the correct screen from other sites / forums instructions, I came across your step by step and it worked 1st time! But just wondering after selecting reboot, how long the process takes and if there are any indicators that it’s actually doing something? Thank you again.

  15. Frank

    My Nexus 7 would not respond to touch. Pressing the power button got me the Google screen. I used the power+ volume down simultaneous press to get to Recovery mode but I could not get past step #4, that is I got stuck on the Google black background screen and could not get to the screen with the red triangle on the dead Android guy. What cured me was simply plugging the device in. I connected it to my tablet and pressed the start button and voila. All better. It was that simple.

  16. Come on

    Rob – please edit your article – you’re wrong.

    Pressing Power + Volume Up (then release Volume Up) while holding Power, is wrong.

    It doesn’t work – in fact, it reboots the tablet.

  17. Don C.

    I’ve noticed in step 5 that you mention holding the button combination for about 3 seconds. I’ve noticed a few other website saying the same thing. I have a Nexus 7 (2012), but I assume the recovery mode is the same for both. What I’ve found on my tablet that to get from step 4 to step 5, I need to press the power button then press and release the volume up button and finally release the power button. The how process takes less than 1 second. I suspect that holding the buttons for 3 or more seconds is what is causing some of the units to come up with a black screen. The same result as pressing and holding both the power button and volume up button continuously. In other words, holding them for more than 3 seconds causes the tablet to go into the black screen mode. I’ve noted on my tablet that even if I get the black screen, if I just lay the tablet down and not touch it any further, it will do a soft reboot after about 30 to 60 seconds. In any case, the process can be restarted by simply pressing the power button and volume down buttons again until the start up screen in step 1 is showing. This can be repeated as many times as needed till the unit is rebooted. Just remember that once you get to step 5, press and hold the power button, press and release the volume up button, and finally release the power button when the screen in step 5 appears. Shouldn’t take more that 1 second.

  18. Kim

    my internet has been down on my nexus all day and i have talked to a asus rep several times to get this resolved, last time they said i would have to send it in for repairs. i don’t really have money to spare so i tried this alternative or have the factory reset done. hope it works

  19. Sanjay Joshi

    Your process to recover our android device is just awesome….I m highly impressed …..keep posting…….I m liking ur work…….good one

  20. Robert Peacy

    I’m in recovery mode tried rebooting from there, it didn’t work still stops after the Android logo. It says secure boot enabled and lock state locked so If I do a factory reset will it unlock this and disable secure boot

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