Boot the Samsung Galaxy S20 into Download and Recovery Modes (2 Different Ways)

In this guide, I will show you how to boot the Galaxy S20/S20+/S20 Ultra into Download Mode and Recovery Mode using two different ways – (1) Physical key combination and (2) ADB commands.

If you have yourself indulged in things like software modding, flashing, etc, then you might need to enter Download and Recovery modes on your Galaxy S20 at some point. These boot modes are used when flashing the stock firmware using Odin, performing a factory data reset, sideloading OTA updates, etc. Even for an average user, knowing about these pre-boot modes and how to boot the phone into them can be useful in various situations.

So before you start, let me help you briefly understand what these boot modes are and when and why you might need to boot your phone into them.

What is Download Mode?

Download Mode on the Galaxy S20 a dedicated pre-boot mode that allows you to flash official and custom binaries to your phone through the Samsung Odin flash tool.

When it comes to practical application, Download Mode is generally used to flash the stock firmware for manually upgrading the software, unbricking, and even for installing a custom recovery such as TWRP or flashing patched AP firmware for rooting.

The image right at the beginning of this post shows what the Download Mode looks like.

What is Recovery Mode?

Recovery Mode on the Galaxy S20 is a bootable partition where the stock recovery console is pre-installed by the manufacturer.

It can be used to perform a variety of tasks to recover the phone from a boot loop or to fix software-related issues. These tasks include performing a factory data reset, sideloading OTA updates, and more.

In case you have a custom recovery installed instead of the stock recovery, you could use it to install custom ROMs/kernels/mods, take NANDroid backups, format/erase partitions, and more.

Here’s how the stock recovery looks like:

Samsung Galaxy S20 Stock Recovery Mode
* Image for reference only
Table of Contents

How to Boot Galaxy S20 into Download and Recovery Modes

Entering Download and Recovery modes on the Galaxy S20, S20+, or S20 Ultra can be done through two different ways/methods. Both of these methods have been discussed below along with their corresponding instructions.

Method 1: Using Physical Key Combination

The first way to boot your Galaxy S20 into Download or Recovery mode is by pressing a dedicated key combination. This method is often the one that’s preferred and most-used.

  1. To begin, you will first need to power off your Galaxy S20 completely. To do this, simply press and hold the side key (Power key) to bring up the Power menu, then select ‘Power Off’.
    Power off the Galaxy S20
  2. With your phone completely turned off, use the following key combination:
    • To enter Download Mode, hold the ‘Volume Up’ and ‘Volume Down’ keys together and connect the Galaxy S20 to your computer using the USB cable.
    • To enter Recovery Mode, simply hold the Volume Up and Power keys together.
  3. Let go of the keys once your phone enters the designated boot mode.

Method 2: Using ADB Commands

The second way to boot into Download and Recovery Modes is by using the ADB commands. This method is generally favored when you’re already operating with ADB.

In order to use this method, you will need to enable USB Debugging on your Galaxy S20, install ADB on your computer, and have some basic knowledge of command-line syntax. Further, if you’re operating on a Windows computer, make sure that you have the latest Samsung USB drivers installed.

Once you have done the things said above, follow the steps listed below.

  1. Connect your Galaxy S20 to the computer using the USB cable.
  2. Next, make sure that USB Debugging is enabled on your phone.
  3. Now launch the command-line on your computer in the same directory where ADB is installed.
  4. Enter the following command to ensure that your computer can recognize your phone over ADB and establish a proper connection:
    adb devices
  5. If you’re using ADB for the first time, you will see a prompt to allow USB debugging. So, press “Allow”.
    Allow USB Debugging connection on Samsung Galaxy S20
  6. Now enter the following ADB command depending on the mode you want your phone to boot into.
    • To enter Download Mode on your Galaxy S20, use:
      adb reboot download
    • To enter Recovery Mode on your Galaxy S20, use:
      adb reboot recovery

That’s it! You have just learned how to enter different boot modes on your Galaxy S20 using two different ways. Again, these modes should come in handy if you want to perform a factory data reset, flash the stock firmware for manually upgrading the software, install the TWRP custom recovery, root the tablet, and more.

If you have any questions regarding the usage of these pre-boot modes or the instructions, feel free to ask.

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