Nexus 7 tablet running Android, everything up to date a few months ago.

I was trying to cut down on those annoying auto-updates and all those extraneous apps I never use, and apparently did something stupid. I disabled (may not be the exact name for the button) a few apps that I have no interest in, never use, and didn't think the OS needed.

Apparently I was wrong about the OS needing at least one of them. I shut down the machine completely, and did a reboot. After a few minutes, the OS comes up, and says it's "optimizing" app xx out of yy. After it gets thru that, the tablet immediately reboots and starts this process all over again. There seems to be no opportunity for user intervention anywhere there, other than shutting it off completely. YY can be different on successive reboots.

Is there some way to recover and make the tablet usable again? Did I irreversibly brick it? Help!


Was usb debugging enabled in the device? Or, do you have a custom recovery installed or bootloader unlocked? You would have to factory reset the phone if the answer is "no" for all of my questions

Yes, USB debugging was enabled on this tablet (it's not a phone) a long time ago. However, if I remember right, a factory reset was performed since then.

I don't know what a "custom recovery" nor a "unlocked bootloader" is, so I'll assume I have neither of those. Yes, I would love to factory reset the tablet. It won't come up to the point where there are menus and I can do that though, hence the question here.


2 Answers 2


You should be able to power it on and immediately hold the volume down button to get to the bootloader. You should get a menu with "start" being the defualt; use the volume keys to select "recovery", and then press "power". You should get an Android with an exclamation mark; press power + volume up. Wipe data/factory reset should be an option there (volume up/down to select, power button to activate again).

This will of course erase all your data.

There are YouTube videos showing the procedure; here is one (unfortunately overly-long) video I found: Nexus 7 Hard Factory Reset Fastboot Bootloader Recovery Mode.

  • This sounds exactly like what I was looking for. I'm not where the tablet is now. I'll try this and report back in a day or two (not sure when I can get to where the tablet is currently). Commented Oct 5, 2017 at 17:44
  • This sequence works partially. If I hold volume- down when powering up, I get to the menu with the recovery option as you say. Clicking power makes it go black for couple of seconds, then there is a picture of the android on its back with the belly door open, a exclamation mark above it, and "no command" written below. No clicking seems to have any effect, except holding power for maybe 10 seconds powers the unit down. Where did I go wrong? It's tantalizingly close, but I'm still stuck. Now what? Commented Oct 7, 2017 at 20:43
  • @OlinLathrop that's where you should press power + volume up
    – derobert
    Commented Oct 7, 2017 at 20:51
  • 1
    I looked at the video you linked to more closely. You have to first press and hold power, then click volume+, then release power. That did the trick. I was able to factory reset the tablet and get it working again. Thanks very much for your help. Sorry, but I can only upvote this once. Commented Oct 7, 2017 at 21:05
  • "that's where you should press power + volume up" or rather, press and hold until something happens. Worked for me. Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 7:03

Apparently, you can enable apps using adb: Enable and disable system apps via ADB

Maybe you can quickly do this while the phone is still booting. (I don't know how soon adb is loaded.) Maybe it works through the newest versions of twrp, which support adb!

Good luck!

  • I followed that link, but it is all over my head. It looks like somehow they got into a text command shell, but I have no idea how to do that. The tablet keeps rebooting in a infinite loop without any opportunity (that I know of, hoping you folks might be able to help) to get in there and do anything with it other than power it down completely. Commented Oct 3, 2017 at 11:36

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