This guide will walk you through returning the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ to stock Android and stock recovery so you can accept OTA updates again.

Lately, I’ve been showing you a number of tips and guides that walk you through how to modify your Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+. I’ll be covering regular software features in future walkthroughs, but a lot of people want to use a custom recovery and they also want to gain root access to their phone.

However, doing this modifies the /system partition and this means that you can no longer accept OTA updates on your device.

Having the latest version of Android is important though, so this guide I want to show you how to return the Galaxy S8 back to stock Android. This also means it will return your device back to the stock recovery as well (eg. not TWRP), and this is required in order to accept an official OTA update from Samsung, your carrier, etc. The process may seem complicated at first, but it’s quite simple thanks to a Windows PC program called Odin.

Note – This will wipe all of the data you have from your device, so backup your important information and be prepared to install all of your applications and games again.

Galaxy S8 Return Stock Android

  1. Install Samsung’s USB drivers by installing Smart Switch
  2. Download v3.12.3 of Odin and extract the contents to the PC
  3. Download the Galaxy S8 firmware for your specific model
  4. Extract those files from the firmware ZIP file
  5. Boot the Galaxy S8 into Download Mode
  6. Launch Odin on the PC
  7. Click the AP button
  8. Browse to and select the largest AP_ TAR.MD5 file
  9. Wait until Odin loads the file into memory
  10. Then connect the Galaxy S8 to the PC with a USB cable
  11. Click the Start button in Odin
  12. Wait until Odin is finished and the Galaxy S8 reboots itself
  13. Disconnect the USB cable from the Galaxy S8
  14. Then setup Android when it finishes booting

Explanation

If you’ve never used Odin before, it may seem daunting at first because of how many options and buttons there are. However, we’re only going to be using one specific thing here so as long as you follow the steps detailed above then you’ll be okay. Once you have the USB drivers installed, you can then download the version of Odin linked above. Extract the contents of this ZIP file and then go ahead and double click on the Odin EXE file to launch it.

You’ll also need to download stock Android for your Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8+. You can get this from the linked website above, or you can download it from some place like SamMobile. Just make sure you trust the source you’re downloading from. Extract the contents of this firmware ZIP file and you should get a bunch of TAR.MD5 files. We want to ignore them all except for the biggest one (which will have the filename that starts with AP_).

Galaxy S8 Download Mode
Press the Volume Up button when you get to the Download Mode splash screen so you can actually see this on your phone.

You can now go ahead and boot the Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8+ into Download Mode. This is required for Odin to actually install the firmware we need it to. Now turn your attention back to Odin, and then click the AP button that you see here. This will bring up a file browser, and this is where you will locate that bit AP_ TAR.MD5 file that we just extracted from the firmware ZIP file. Once you select it in Odin, it will take a minute or two to load it into the software.

Just be patient because it will eventually load (even if it says Odin isn’t responding) and you can see this in action in the video above. Once it loads up, you can then connect the Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8+ to the PC with a USB cable and you should get an Added! message in Odin’s log window. If you don’t see that, then you may not have installed the USB drivers properly (or you may need to reboot the PC to finish installing them).

Galaxy S8 Return Stock Android Added
If you don’t get the Added! message, then the PC does not recognize the Galaxy S8 properly due to USB driver issues.

If it says Added! though, then you can click the Start button in Odin and then wait for it to return your Galaxy S8 back to stock Android. As you can see in the video above, this will take a few minutes so we just need to be patient here. You’ll be shown a progress bar on both the Galaxy S8 as well as in Odin. Be sure you do not unplug the USB cable from the Galaxy S8 during this install process. If everything goes smoothly, then the Galaxy S8 will reboot on its own.

As soon as you see the Galaxy S8 reboot, you can then disconnect the USB cable because the process is complete. This first boot cycle will take longer than normal because Android has to set everything back up. Just be patient again and you’ll then be taken to the Android activation screen. You’ll now be on stock Android with a stock recovery and can now accept official OTA updates from Samsung or your wireless carrier.

[sc name=”galaxys8″ ]

1 COMMENT

  1. @doug – Do you know if this works on both the Qualcomm and Exynos versions of the device? Which did you use? Thanks!

    • I believe I responded on YouTube, but yes, this will work on both Qualcomm as well as Exynos versions. It’s using Odin to just flash the stock firmware that Samsung has on their phones. Just be sure you download the firmware for your specific model/carrier/country

  2. I did all the steps however the S8 keeps rebooting. It is doing the same thing it did before, it will display the startup logos, then restart itself.

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