How to Go Back to Stock Android From a Custom ROM: 3 Ways

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How to Go Back to Stock Android From a Custom ROM: 3 Ways

There are several reasons why you would wish to restore your rooted phone to stock Android. The most significant are selling it or filing a warranty claim. However, you must do that if you wish to install a system update. Or maybe you’ve installed so many changes and customizations that you simply want to return back to normalcy.

In this post, we’ll look at the three basic methods for returning to stock Android. You’ll find a solution that works for you, whether it’s going completely unrooted with a locked bootloader or just returning to the vanilla ROM while preserving root access.

1. Restore a Nandroid Backup

Restoring your Nandroid backup is the easiest method to restore your phone to its stock ROM. Assuming you have an up-to-date one, this shouldn’t cause much—if any—data loss.

A Nandroid backup is a complete system backup that is made during the recovery process. You should make one each time you flash a fresh ROM or apply a mod. If you ever need to unbrick your phone, this is the first tool you should use.

A Nandroid backup provides an exact copy of your phone, including the operating system, applications, data, and everything else. Thus, restoring it restores the ROM you were using at the moment. If you have a backup from when you were running the stock ROM, you’re good to go.

However, utilizing a Nandroid backup to restore stock is just a temporary solution. The backup will restore your previous applications and data, which means that apps you’ve removed will resurface and text messages you’ve received in the past will vanish. If your Nandroid backup is more than a day or two old, you should save it solely for emergencies.

How to Restore a Nandroid Backup

Fortunately, the processes for restoring a Nandroid backup are straightforward:

  1. Start your phone in custom recovery mode. TWRP is our recommendation.
  2. Choose Restore. You’ll get a list of all the backups that are accessible.
  3. Choose a backup created using the stock ROM.
  4. Choose which partitions you wish to restore. Normally, this implies that you should check all of the boxes.
  5. Finally, swipe the Swipe to Restore bar. It takes a few minutes to finish, and then you may restart.
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This returns you to the stock ROM. To complete the process, you must also unroot your phone.

How you accomplish this depends on the app you used to root. If you used SuperSU, click to the Settings page, choose Full Unroot, and then reboot your phone. It will be unrooted now.

Finally, you may wish to relock your bootloader. This will differ depending on the device. Fastboot with the command fastboot oem lock or fastboot flashing lock is the most often used approach.

Re-locking the bootloader completely wipes your device. You should only do so if absolutely necessary, such as when sending your phone in for warranty repair or selling it.

2. Flash a Stock ROM

If restoring a Nandroid backup isn’t an option, flashing a stock ROM is your next best alternative. This comes with the extra annoyance of having to go through the process of backing up and restoring your Android data if you need to do a factory reset along the road.

There are advantages to switching from a custom ROM to a standard ROM as well. It’s possible to find a pre-rooted version of the ROM. Flashing ROMs is also quite simple.

The most significant disadvantage of utilizing a ROM to restore stock settings is that you must depend on someone else to develop the ROM for you. This won’t be an issue if you have a popular phone with an active community on the XDA Developers forums. A stock ROM for a lesser-known handset may be more difficult to locate.

If you possess a OnePlus smartphone, you are exempt. You can get a flashable stock ROM from the OnePlus website in this situation.

How to Flash a Stock ROM

Our guide to installing a custom ROM has all of the information you need. Here are the instructions in case you need a refresher:

  1. Look for a stock ROM for your phone. Navigate to the XDA Developers forums and search for the forum for your device. Stock ROMs are often available in sticky postings at the top of development forums.
  2. Install the ROM on your phone.
  3. Back up all your data.
  4. Boot into recovery.
  5. To factory reset your phone, choose Wipe. This is optional (if you don’t want to deal with backing up and restoring), but if you don’t do it, you may get issues or even get trapped in a bootloop. Swipe the bar to begin wiping.
  6. Select Install from the recovery home screen and browse to the stock ROM you downloaded.
  7. Swipe the bar to start the installation process. When it’s completed, you may reset your phone.
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You’re now set to go if you downloaded a pre-rooted stock ROM and wish to keep it that way. If you used a non-rooted ROM and wish to return to stock settings, all you need to do now is re-lock the bootloader. Keep in mind that this will erase your phone.

3. Flash a Factory Image

The ultimate way to restore your phone to factory settings is to flash a factory image. This practically returns your phone to the condition it was in when you first unboxed it. After that, all you have to do is lock the bootloader and your device will be entirely factory fresh.

Factory photos are obtained directly from gadget makers, and many do not make them available. Among the main businesses that do so are Google and Motorola. Factory pictures are typically available from Samsung and LG, but you may need to get them from third-party sources.

Furthermore, if they are accessible, they are more difficult to install than any of the other ways we’ve discussed. Some situations need utilizing the ADB and Fastboot utilities with the command line. Some manufacturers, like as Samsung and HTC, develop their own software.

Regardless of the challenges, flashing a factory image is the best solution if you need to totally reset your device. It may also be used as a last resort if you’ve bricked your device and no other methods of repair are working.

How to Flash a Factory Image

The process for flashing a factory image varies depending on the device. In the instance of a Pixel, the processes are straightforward:

  1. Get the ADB and Fastboot utilities and install them.
  2. The factory image may be downloaded from the Android website. Unzip the downloaded file to your desktop.
  3. Connect your phone to a USB port and enter Fastboot mode.
  4. Start the Command Prompt or Terminal application.
  5. Run flash-all.bat on Windows or on macOS or Linux from the command prompt.
  6. Wait for it to complete before rebooting.
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This will boot you into a stock, unrooted ROM with stock recovery. Lock the bootloader, and everything will return to normal.

Instructions for other phones may vary. They’re frequently explained on the same website where you acquired the photographs. Remember that in most circumstances, flashing a factory image will erase your phone entirely.

Reinstall the Stock Firmware

Returning to stock employs the same methods as installing ROMs and modifications in the first place. If you’re used to dealing with a rooted phone, nothing in this instruction should be unusual or worrisome.

The procedure should only take a few minutes after you’ve downloaded the original program or discovered an adequate backup of your own.

Remember that running stock firmware for your phone is not the same as running stock Android—it still contains the skin, applications, and other changes introduced by your phone’s manufacturer. However, there are several advantages to running stock Android that are definitely worth investigating.

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