How to Copy Files Over to your Android In a Bootloop with No OS using ADB!

For those of you who are installing custom ROMs on your rooted Android smartphones or tablets, there may be a time where you may end up with no OS (Operating System/ROM) booting or a bootloop.

Now, these cases are very easy to solve if you have ROM backups or have custom ROM files on your device.  If you don’t, usually you can use a microSD card to solve the issue and copy over the ROM files you need to get your Android device up and running.

Wait, but what if you have an Android device without external microSD card slot such as a Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7, Nexus 10, or even Kindle Fire 8.9???

Well, so long as you have CWM or TWRP recovery installed on your device, you can use ADB commands to copy files over.  If you don’t have CWM or TWRP recovery installed, you can use fastboot commands to install that also.

Presuming you have CWM or TWRP recovery installed (since you probably got stuck while installing a new ROM), here’s how to copy files over to your Android in a bootloop with no OS installed using ADB!  This can also be handy when you don’t have a microSD around even if you have a microSD slot.

*Note – With TWRP recovery, you can use an OTG Flash drive if you have one!

Step 1. Boot into your TWRP or CWM Recovery on your Android device.  TWRP or CWM Recovery has recovery ADB functionality, which means ADB commands work while your Android device is recovery mode.

Connect a micro-USB cable from your Android device to your computer.

howto-copy-files-over-android-bootloop-no-os-1

Step 2. If you have Mac or Linux, skip to Step 3 as you do not need drivers.  If you have Windows, open Device Manager and check for “Android ADB Interface”.

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Max Lee

Max Lee is the founder of HighOnAndroid.com. Max makes Android tutorials and review videos for people who want to get high on Android over at his YouTube channel and Korean YouTube channel.

78 Responses

  1. Abdusslam says:

    Sorry for that but i think it’s useless.

    Is there to install stock or custom roms without recovery or download mode.
    like (preload mode) i have samsung device doesn’t work because it’s firmware has been damaged.

    I need help.
    Any ideas ?

    • brandon says:

      I have a verizon note 3 and done this myself. It’s fairly easy. Xda developers has a firmware library for your device. Type it in Google to get you there and when you find it download it. You also need odin 3.09. After you find the firmware version that matches your phone (should be around 1.5 gigs) you want to plug your phone into the computer but first get your phone on download mode. Hold volume down home and power and when the screen comes up plug your phone in the computer. In odin click the PA tab and find the firmware you have down loaded on your computer and open it to odin IN THE PA SLOT. Do not make any other changes in odin. Press start and let odin do its magic!!!

      • Abdusslam says:

        I mean without odin or download mode even without recovery mode….(like chinese copy phone).

        Thank u Anyway .

  2. brandon says:

    Correction in odin. PDA tab in odin. Load your .tar file or .md5 file in the PDA slot. Also make sure odin recognizes your phone by saying added along with a box on top highlighted in the windows. Something like 0:com.8 or something g

  3. karthik says:

    I had boot loop in my android.I just rooted that and I tried to install fonts using rom tool box.I did nt install cwm or twrp but I have adb side load option in android recovery..help to fix it

  4. Malik says:

    hey hello
    my problem is a little different. I have installed twrp and tried flashing a cyanogen Mod ROM but something went wrong and now i am unable boot into recovery nor into os and my tab stucks on android logo after turning on. I googled alot but no one answered this question. Thanks in advance
    ******My device*****

    Ainol Novo Spark 9

  5. me says:

    i need help when i try to reboot my phone says no os instaled and install super su

  6. Hassan says:

    thnx a lot .. u r a life saver. same thing happened to me. i applied ur adb codes and copied the rom. now flashing.. 😀

  7. Ankit says:

    Hi,
    I did everything that you described. But my device number is not shown in the command prompt.
    What do I do now? Please help, please!!

  8. suraj says:

    I have a same problem on my htc desire 616 but it says internal memory 0 … i tried adb push … adb sideload … nothing happens … please help … i have twrp installed …

  9. Ombray says:

    I was using Utube Android FROZE Restarted it Got stuck at first screen Android FROZE many times B4 and Restarted but not this time. This is NOT EASY to Follow I can ONLY Get Into Download Mode and HAVE NOT Got Any CWM or TWRP or Recovery Installed On Android I Hope I Can Get it Booting Up Again. Will I LOSE ALL MY DATA with This Recovery Method. Is it Only to Restore OS and WIPE ALL DATA OR will it SAVE MY DATA. I Should ASK DATA FROM THE ENTERPRISE MAYBE. CAN YOU FIX IF I POST YOU MY PHONE OMBRAY.

  10. Roman says:

    Simply great – thanks a lot for that tutorial!

  11. Jon says:

    where can i find a clean download for current gapps for cm-11
    Thank you,
    Jon

  12. AD Rehman says:

    hey i m deleted my framework folder from my internal storage what to do? to solve it

    my phone is not opening…it is stuck on boot animation …please tell some thing to do

  13. Adnan says:

    HI, I followed your steps at LG g2 TWRP infinite loop. it works for that problem though. BUT it’s now stuck at FAST BOOT PROCESSING COMMANDS …… Plz HLEP……

  14. pudzian says:

    I <3 You mon! I don't even know is that simple ! 😀

  15. Abhigyan Singh says:

    plzzzzzzzzzzzz help whenever i type cd fastboot it shows me the system cannot find the path specified

  16. GiankulottoGranbiscotto says:

    I need help, when i use adb pus….name sd card ecc ecc give me a error that is “no such file or directory how i can solve?

  17. Ravi Chandran says:

    you are great… thank you very much

  18. red7896 says:

    i did evrything right, but the files i tried to copy just dont appear. My device is samsung galaxy tab 3, i think its 4.4.2 or probably 4.1.2 still, idk cause its been boot looped for quite a while, i didnt have a pc before. You think you can think of something?

  19. can anyone help me Im stuck on push stage.. no movement further it shows the file name in twrp recovery file manager but in command line it is not showing completed..

  20. Yash Srivastava says:

    plz help me i cant get my one plus one in the command after adb devices where u get

    device name recovery
    plz help plz

  21. Jrinindy says:

    Was wondering if you could help me a little? When I enter adb push cm-9 an tab to get the file there it will give me a long list of code. but Ive noticed also instead where you say “You should see your Android device serial number along with “recovery”. If you see that, you are good to go. instead of recovery mine says sideboot. Please help..Also Im trying this on a rca pro 10 model rct6103w46….and can u recommend a good os or something compatible if thats my issue… im tryin to push this os cm-9.0.0-tf201

  22. Liam Branigan says:

    Thank you so much for this, however I am still having a problem. I have a bootloop error using the note 4 SM-910P. I rooted the device, and installed TWRP but have no OS. I was able to successfully push the stock OS (BOB7) and it says successfully installed – but then it continues to boot loop! Please help!

  23. Mike Collins says:

    Have HTC One M8. S-ON, and cant get to recovery with no OS installed. Only fast boot. No mount, so how do I install OS or get back to recovery?

  24. odame kwabena says:

    i didnt use any codes here.. for twrp u can mount ur internal sd card straight onto ur pc. with ur usb cable.use the “mount” option at the home..for twrp. u can copy what u wnt. datsall

  25. Marjel Erasquin says:

    sir .. i have this problem of “no such file or directory” . but my filename is correct and the file is in the fastboot folder .. any solutions please ? 🙁
    thank you in advance

  26. Nakoruru_Shiranui says:

    This saved my butt. Thank you.

  27. (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ says:

    Is there anyway to copy files from android to your PC using this method? Plz reply!

  28. Ram Rajbhar says:

    Hey max it worked for me 🙂 I just had to launch the command window from the fastboot folder holding shift key then right click > open command window here and I was able to just put the command to transfer the file…

  29. Ram Rajbhar says:

    Thank you very much for such a life saver video.

  30. Aalay Shah says:

    Hey sir!
    I have this problem with my tab (intex Ibuddy 3),
    I’ve successfully installed CWM recovery but the problem is I can not operate with any of the available commands!
    please help!
    Thank you.

  31. Leo Santos says:

    I was losing my hope when i see this post. Thanks guy, adb push save my bricked G2.

  32. Yusri Amry says:

    my samsung galaxy just boot into recovery not to system please help

  33. Shantanu Kajale says:

    Thanks, This worked !

  34. Jose Luis says:

    it woooorksssss

  35. Chaitanya Thakare says:

    the command “cd fastboot” is not working for me, plz help !!
    it says the system cannot find the path specified

  36. Mumin Emad says:

    awsome dude thx you saved me

  37. ankur das says:

    thanks bro you’re a life saver….

  38. Rashrider says:

    list of devices showing up blank!!! but ADB interface shows – Android Sooner Single ADB Interface.
    (it was earlier providing a serial number)

  39. Chiunti says:

    Thank you so much, you save my phone

  40. Natalyiia-katrazyna kalashniko says:

    it doesnt say recovery next to the device it says its offline

  41. Santiago Clausse says:

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

  42. Jonathan Salomon says:

    Device list is empty and it said it cannot be found. Any idea?

  43. Navin Kumar says:

    I am getting a serial number but next to that i am not getting “recovery” instead it just says device. am i good to go ?

  44. Mark Forbes says:

    Just tried this and got to the final step my Team Win Recovery Project asking for a password (This was a brand new Nexus 7 and had never had a password set by me)

    If I cancel and goto install I can see folder names but no files in any folder and Storage: Internal Storage is showing as 0MB…

    Please help if you can!

  45. Mario K. says:

    Hi, I’m Mario and I have a problem with my smartphone… My Meizu MX4 stocks in bootloop, my clockworkmod recovery is in chinese and the fastbootmod on my MX4 does nothing.. I also can’t connect my Meizu to pc because my device isn’t shown on the pc… do you know any solution for my problem??? Please help

  46. WicCaesar says:

    I can’t access adb but I can access fastboot. How can I do that through fastboot?

  47. Nick says:

    says
    error: closed
    and everything worked until i went to push rom

  48. Edward Rao says:

    hey man … recently i have deleted my os accidentally and i cant seem to boot my phone… my question is , if i flash a custom rom will it replace a new operating system… im using a asus zenfone 2 selfie by the way

  49. hemant says:

    sir can u help me please, i have huawei honor 6 h60-l04, now i cant boot in recovery mode, and also i cant boot it in installation mode with poser + vollume down + vollume pluse, my android os is currupted, i already toomuch try install android os with fastboot mode, but m fail,

    please help me….

  50. Snow fox says:

    hello sir i have accendently rooted my removed my os without unlocking boootlocker i have teamwin recovry and i cant install any new coustom rom on my device

  51. Snow fox says:

    custom rom not installing

  52. Jacob Zimmerman IV says:

    You just saved my butt! Thanks for such a thorough walk-through. No other site I found explained this quite like you did. Even though I have an sd card, twrp wouldn’t install my ROM from it, so I had to push to the internal sd and viola! I am now loading the os back onto my phone!!

    **Edit**

    Well, still didn’t work. Installation said it was ok, but phone still won’t go past bootloader menu.

  53. Brett Fitzner says:

    thanks!

  54. Mjk says:

    Thank for this How to…, my OPO is back on track

  55. Ree Veew says:

    I get stuck on the first part of step 5. I have adb, twrp, and fastboot. I am trying to get cm13 on to my one plus x, and I am using a macbook pro. After using terminal to type in the commands, I get a string of numbers and letters (maybe the serial number?) and then the word unauthorized. If any helpers need more details please ask. Any help would be much appreciated! Thanks!

  56. Kiran Dhathri says:

    thank u it worked for me

  57. Mohammad-iDxG says:

    hey..
    I have oneplus3 i formated everything by mistake the os and all
    evrey thingg

    idid every thing I stopeed ar adb devices
    becaesue it says unthorized

    idid try also otg but didnt apeer on the phone help plzz

  58. Walid MH says:

    Hey sir !
    i have a Accent speed Y2 i watch a video of editing build.prop and i did it this editing to my rooted phone and now he is bootloop and i can’t fing any firmware or usb drivers for him please help me !
    Thank You.

  59. Tibucio Uetela says:

    -I have rooted my htc mini2 and after a while decided to restore the original ROM but everytime i turn on the phone i have that red warning message.
    One day i decided to delete de TWRP backup files bacause it takes a lot of space on my internal memory .
    Yesterday my baterry died so when i was turning my phone it gets stuck on that message screen . So i can’t get through because on my internal memory i don’t have the TWRP files to backup or get into recovery mode.
    Is there any solution? i was thinking about putting those files on my sd card and see if the phone will read them?

  60. xjofficial says:

    plz awnswer (alcatel pop 4)
    i installed a root custom animation app and installed a long boot animation but it freezes half way thru and crashes and my alcatel pop 4 reboots i factory rest and now my computer doesnt recognize it please help

  61. Snehil says:

    hi my phone’s os is not working and i m not able to enter in the recovery mode and while using adb it shows me unauthorized after my list of device
    {s51c1lv1i0149875 unauthorized } what shoud i do now..

  62. Tony says:

    Thank you very much! Thought I’d bricked an old 7510!

  63. Tony says:

    Thank you very much! Thought I’d bricked an old 7510! Excellent.

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