Find out exactly how to access and enter Fastboot mode on the new Nokia 8.1. If you are looking to flash an official firmware or other system files such as root, you would be required to enter fastboot mode and here is how. Basically, fastboot mode — also known as bootloader mode — is a special system state that Nokia 8.1 can boot in to allow for a computer to modify its system files. As mentioned, firmwares, root files or even custom recoveries can be flashed through this special mode. Rather than having a simple option within the normal UI, users are required to go through a specific feature to boot Nokia 8.1 into fastboot mode due to the sensitivity of this partition.
Mainly designed as a direct access for a computer to diagnose and modify system files, fastboot mode has become more and more useful for enthusiasts as well. Rather than waiting for an OTA update to arrive, fastboot allows for immediate manual installation. Further, if you are stuck in a bootloop or are facing any glitch, bootloader mode can be utilized to re-flash stock firmware. Now, before we start explaining the steps, make sure that you have proper USB drivers installed on your system.
What is Fastboot Mode?
In simpler words, Android has this maintenance mode (Fastboot) natively built into it for diagnostic and upgrading purposes. If we look into details, this is a mode designed for re-partitioning the phone, accessing vital system data and manually flashing firmware. Usually, this mode is meant for developers but if you find yourself okay with experimenting than there is no such danger in accessing Fastboot.
With Fastboot, you can easily flash certain parts of or a full system. There are key parts to Android OS, the modem, bootloader and system. These parts can be upgraded or changed manually via a computer that recognizes the phone and has the Fastboot software.
One main use of fastboot mode, ability to flash custom recovery images. Just as the firmware or stock recovery is flashed through this mode, you can also flash a custom one like TWRP through it. This is probably the most used functionality for many Android enthusiasts.
Booting into this mode is totally verified by Nokia and there is no risk of losing warranty. But, if you try flashing different firmware or firmware which aren’t authorized by Nokia, you could end up with a useless phone and total warranty loss. This is exactly why we will advise if you are not good with computers or the protocols laid by Android, you shouldn’t connect your phone to your PC while in Fastboot mode.
NOTE: The following steps can be used to enter Fastboot mode on the Nokia 8.1 – all variants. For recovery mode, check: How to Enter Recovery Mode on Nokia 8.1.
Method 1 – Enter Fastboot / Bootloader Mode on Nokia 8.1 using Buttons
The following procedure doesn’t include any commands but you still need a computer connection for it to work.
Step 1 – Power down your Nokia 8.1 by pressing and holding the power button.
Step 2 – Once it is powered off, connect the phone to your computer.
Step 3 – The Nokia 8.1 will show you a Powered by Android image and then proceed to the battery animation.
Step 4 – Once you see the charging animation, hold the Volume Up button and Power button simultaneously.
Step 5 – A countdown would start telling you to “Please release key to power off..” . Ignore this message and keep holding the buttons.
Step 6 – After the countdown is finished, your phone would enter the recovery mode.
Step 7 – From here, you should see an option “Reboot to bootloader mode“. You can highlight it by using volume keys and then once highlighted, select it with Power Key.
That’s all! As we mentioned earlier, if you have a custom recovery installed, the process is exactly the same for Nokia 8.1.
Method 2 – Enter Fastboot / Bootloader Mode on Nokia 8.1 using Android SDK
Step 1.1 – Download Android SDK from the Android Developers website and install. Also set it up with downloading platform-tools and USB drivers package in SDK. See: How to Set up ADB and Fastboot on Windows.
Step 1.2 – Download ADB / Fastboot – Android SDK Platform Tools separate package and install on your computer. Download from the following links depending on your OS and extract it anywhere in your computer.
- Windows: Download platform-tools-latest-windows.zip
- MacOS: Download platform-tools-latest-darwin.zip
- Linux: Download platform-tools-latest-linux.zip
Step 2 – Enable USB Debugging mode in your Nokia 8.1 and connect it to your PC.
Step 3 – Go to Fastboot/Bootloader mode now. How? If you did Step 1.1 then Navigate to android-sdk-windows\platform-tools directory and open Command Prompt (Shift + Right-click > Open Command Prompt). And if you did Step 1.2 then simply go to where you downloaded/extracted the package. Open the folder and open Command Prompt (Shift + Right-click > Open Command Prompt).
Step 4 – Type in the following command and press Enter.
adb reboot recovery
Step 5 – Nokia 8.1 will switch off and then boot into the recovery mode.
Step 6 – Navigate downwards to “Reboot to bootloader” option via the Volume buttons and select it with the power button.
Step 7 – The phone will power off and boot into fastboot mode.
That’s it. You are now in the Fastboot Mode. If you wish to return to the normal boot, just hold the power button and volume up button simultaneously for round about 10 seconds.