If you’re using the new Google Pixel XL 3, then you shouldn’t forget that you have to learn how to complete some basic Android operations. Through these processes you will be able to access the Android system and to customize it for being able to customize and optimize the overall Android daily experience. Well, among such basic operations we have the recovery mode and the steps that must be followed for bringing this environment on your Google Pixel XL 3. So, as you can already tell, this subject will be further detailed during the following lines.

By default we discuss about the stock recovery image as that’s pre-loaded on your Google Pixel 3 XL. This environment is there to help you access the Android system in order to perform official / supported operations like making a hard reset, clearing app data cache or manually setting up a new OTA. Of course, the recovery mode can’t be accessed by using built-in settings as it cannot run at the same time with the Android mode. And that’s why a reboot sequence must be followed instead.

Now, since from recovery mode you can access internal Android processes, you can also use this environment for tweaking your Google Pixel 3 XL. In that case you will first have to replace the stock recovery with a custom software like CWM or TWRP recovery – then you will be able to apply different custom operations like flashing custom kernels, installing apps from other sources than Google Play, gaining root privileges, setting up custom ROMs such as Lineage OS, AOKP or Paranoid Android and so on.

Do note that both stock and custom recovery environments can be accessed in the same way – in that matter you can always use the steps explained below. Also, reaching recovery is an official operation supported by your OEMM. Therefore, you won’t have to use third party apps, risky programs and you don’t have to worry about losing your phone’s warranty or access to built-in apps. Moreover, the methods from below will work on locked or rooted systems, on locked or unlocked bootloaders, on stock or custom ROMs and so on.

A backup should be applied on your Google Pixel XL 3 if you plan to use the recovery mode for making a hard reset or for completing a custom operation – some processes might erase files from your device so the best will be to be precautious. And saving personal files can be done without hassle as you can use from different backup and restore solutions – you can save stuffs on an external storage device, you can sync files on your Google Account, you can download dedicated and already tested backup and restore apps from Google Play or you can just use the built-in cloud storage platforms from your Pixel XL 3.

A charging process might be required first – as a general recommendation you should verify the power that’s left on your Android device before starting to apply the next steps. So, if the power left is currently lower than 50% you should plug in the charger. In that way you can make sure that your phone won’t get turned off while you try to access and use the recovery mode menu. If a sudden switch off happens you risk in soft-bricking your Google Pixel 3 XL – different software related problems can cause severe Android malfunctions, so try to keep everything safe and secured as much as possible.

How to Enter Recovery Mode on Google Pixel XL 3

Method 1 – do it by using the hardware keys

  1. Your device must be turned off. So, do that first – don’t reboot the Android OS, switch it off completely.
  2. Now, press and hold for a few moments the Volume Down and Power buttons.
  3. When the fastboot mode shows up release the keys.
  4. From fastboot mode choose to reboot into recovery mode.
  5. When the Android robot logo is displayed start pressing the Power key and while doing that click on Volume Up once.
  6. The recovery mode menu should be now displayed.
  7. Use the Volume rocker keys to scroll up and down and the Power button to select.
  8. You can return to Android mode if you choose ‘reboot system now’.

Method 2 – set up Android SDK and executed a dedicated adb command

Recovery mode can be entered by executing an adb command too, if you can use a computer where the Android SDK toolkit is installed – if not, learn how to install Android SDK on Windows or how to set up ADB on MAC OS X / Linux first. As usual, the Google Pixel 3 XL drivers must be set up on your PC. Before starting the steps from below check the USB Debugging feature on your phone – you can find this entry under Developer Options. And if Developer Options cannot be accessed, go to About Phone and tap repeatedly on Built Number until the ‘you are a developer’ message is returned. And, when done, follow:

  1. Power on your smartphone and connect it with your computer – just plug in the USB cord.
  2. On your PC go and access the Android SDK folder.
  3. In there, launch a cmd window – press the Shift keyboard key and while doing that right-click on any blank space and choose ‘open command prompt window here’.
  4. Afterwards, in the cmd window type ‘adb reboot recovery’ and press Enter.
  5. The recovery mode menu should be now displayed on your Google Pixel 3 XL.

Method 3 – download and run a specialized third party app from Google Play

A more intuitive solution implies in using a third party app available on Google Play. You should be careful though as some apps might require root access enabled on your Google Pixel 3 XL. You can try the Quick Boot software as it can easily reboot the recovery mode menu on your device – download and install the tool and then follow on-screen prompts for accessing the desired mode.


There you have it; that’s how you can enter and use the recovery mode menu on your own Google Pixel XL 3. So, now you can use this mode for performing other custom operations on your device and you can start tweaking the built-in Android system, especially if you choose to set up a custom recovery image first. If you have questions don’t hesitate and contact us; also, use the comments field from below for sharing your overall experience with us and with the other users who are ready to apply the steps explained during this tutorial. Of course, if you experienced issues we will try to find the perfect troubleshooting solutions for you and for your Pixel XL 3.

And, for similar other step by step guides and Android related tips and tricks stay close and don’t forget to search through our dedicated ‘how to’ page. Enjoy.

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