Custom Recovery and Stock Recovery on Android

As the name implies, recovery in Android Smartphone is used to recover the phone when it fails to work properly. Say, the phone hangs often or if the phone freezes in the boot logo, you need the recovery partition to recover the phone. The recovery comes with the phone by default is the stock recovery and the developer version of the recovery is called custom recovery. Let us see the difference between these recoveries in detail.

Stock Recovery

The recovery that comes with your phone by default is the Stock Recovery and the modified version of this recovery is called Custom Recovery. You cannot do any modifications to the system files using the stock recovery and the options are also limited. The main purpose of the stock recovery is to delete all user data and files when the phone’s software shows error or the phone fails to boot. It can only be used to install the update provided by the manufacturer of the device. If your Phone is powered by MediaTek Processor, you may like to read: Flashing Android device using Smart Phone Flash Tool.

Stock Recovery in Android
Stock Recovery in Android

Limitations of Stock Recovery

  • Stock recovery can be used to take backups of the user data in most of the phones.
  • Can do a complete reset of your phone which is also called hard reset.
  • It can install update packages provided by the phone manufacturer after signature verification.
  • It can be accessed by pressing a few keys together when the phone is booting.
  • This can be controlled with the volume keys and power buttons in most of the phones. Touchscreen support has been added to the recent models.

Custom Recovery

Custom recoveries come with a lot of features. As the name indicates it is customized to have a lot of options. You can create your own recovery or just port it from other recoveries. The most widely used Custom Recoveries are Clockworkmod (CWM) , Team Win Recovery Project (TWRP), Cannibal Open Touch (COT), etc and also a lot of modified versions of these recoveries are also available namely Philz Touch Recovery, Carliv Touch Recovery for MTK devices, Philz touch recovery for MTK devices, etc. Phone must be rooted to install these recoveries. Don’t forget that rooting voids your phone’s warranty.

Custom Recovery - CWM and TWRP
Custom Recovery – CWM and TWRP
Custom Recovery - Philz Touch Recovery
Custom Recovery – Philz Touch Recovery

Advantages of Custom Recovery

  1. Comes with a lot of features
  2. Can take a complete backup of all the partitions of your phone and is called Nandroid backup. This can be used to bring back your phone to life when something goes wrong during the update.
  3. Can install custom updates and ROMs easily with few clicks.
  4. Can restore all the partitions or a particular partition from the Nandroid backup.
  5. It has options to do an advanced backup and restore facility.
  6. Can do pre-flash wipe. Which means formatting all the partitions of the android file system to install new ROM.
  7. Can be accessed through key combination while the phone is booting also can be accessed through some softwares with root access.
  8. Inputs can be given by pressing the buttons. Touch inputs are available in almost all the custom recoveries.
  9. The file system can be accessed in the recovery.
  10. ADB sideload is possible.
  11. Can be used to connect the phone’s SD card to the PC.
  12. Themes can be applied, to have a good look.
  13. Can skip signature verifications while installing updates.
  14. Can root and unroot your phone in advanced options and much more.


There are a lot of methods available to install the custom recovery. Choose the one that is best suitable for your smartphone. XDA can give you the best ideas. Note that recovery partition is different for all the models. Don’t try to install recoveries meant for other models. Flashing the incompatible recoveries may brick your phone. Bricking in the sense it will be just like a brick and cannot be recovered.


Rooting your phone and using custom Recoveries and ROMS have risks and may result in bricking your device, and has nothing to do with Google or the device manufacturers. In case of any mishap, I am not responsible if you brick/ruin your phone in any way.

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