Today’s tutorial walks you through how to boot the Essential Phone into Fastboot Mode (which is also commonly referred to as Bootloader Mode).

Android has a number of different boot modes which are made available to the user for a variety of uses. Some help you to troubleshoot software related issues, others enable you to unlock the bootloader or to gain access to other special boot modes. Earlier this week I showed you how to unlock the bootloader of the Essential Phone and in it I told you that it requires you to boot into Fastboot Mode in order to execute a specific fastboot command.

I received a few questions about how to boot the Essential Phone into Fastboot Mode after that was published so I wanted to do a guide specifically for it.

Some Android devices let you boot into special boot modes the same way as others. However, there are a handful of OEMs who like to do things differently and this is why I like to do tutorials for individual devices. Thankfully though, the Essential Phone doesn’t change too much of the Android OS so you may already be familiar with the process.

How to Boot the Essential Phone into Fastboot Mode

  1. Shut down the Essential Phone
  2. Wait until it is completely powered off
  3. Press and hold the Power button and Volume Down button at the same time
  4. Continue holding these two buttons past the splash screen and vibration
  5. Let these two buttons go once you see the Fastboot Mode menu


As mentioned, if you’ve ever had to boot into Fastboot Mode on your average Android smartphone or tablet then nothing is changing with the Essential Phone. There are cases when someone is completely new to Android though, or completely new to tinkering with Android. So it’s always good to have the basics laid out in a way that everyone can understand them. You can even follow along with the short video I embedded above to demonstrate how this works.

Since this is a boot mode, we need to shut down the Essential Phone. We can do this like we normally do by pressing and holding the Power button down for a few seconds. This brings up the Power Menu and from here we just need to tap the Power Off option to begin the process. It should only take a few seconds to shut down but that will depend on what else is running in the background. Once the Essential Phone is completely powered off, then we can continue.

Essential Phone Fastboot Mode Menu
You’ll need to use the hardware buttons to navigate through the Fastboot Mode menu.

From here, we need to press and hold both the Power button and the Volume Down button at the same time. This triggers the phone to start booting up and the phone then detects that the Volume Down button is pressed during the boot cycle. It’s this Volume Down button being held down during the boot cycle that tells the Essential Phone to boot into Fastboot Mode. You’ll want to continue holding these two buttons down through the initial splash screen as well as the vibration effect.

Shortly after this though, you’ll notice that you have booted into Fastboot Mode. Once you see you’re at this special menu, you’ll want to immediately let go of these two buttons. There have been times when letting go of these two buttons triggers the phone to reboot (because I let go of the Volume Down button first). So if you want, you can let go of the Power button first and then let go of the Volume Down button. In Fastboot Mode, the touchscreen doesn’t work so you’ll have to use the hardware buttons to navigate through this menu.


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