I have a Galaxy Tab 10.1. It was powered off and charging when my nephew picked it up and turned in on. When he handed it to me on the screen was a graphic of an open box, the android logo with the words downloading.

It has been in this state for 4 hours now and I cannot switch the device on or off. Please help me understand what has happened and what I should do.


Your device is in Download Mode. I don't have that device, but if the battery doesn't come out, you will probably need to use ADB and send an adb reboot to get it out of Download mode. If you don't know how to use ADB, then you can just let the battery die. I don't like that option though because the same image will be on the screen for an extended period of time.

Does the screen look like this: enter image description here

To use ADB:

  • Download the USB Drivers from Samsung
  • Download the Android SDK
  • connect the device to your computer via USB cable
  • open a command prompt where the Android SDK was installed and change to the platform-tools directory. for example, my sdk is installed at c:\android-sdk so I run the following:

    C:\android-sdk> cd platform-tools

then try to reboot with adb:

C:\android-sdk\platform-tools\> adb reboot

if that doesn't work try the following command:

C:\android-sdk\platform-tools\> fastboot reboot
  • Thanks, what is an adb reboot and do I execute? – stephenmyall Jul 28 '12 at 15:09
  • yes, Thats the screen. – stephenmyall Jul 28 '12 at 15:13
  • see my updates, hopefully it helps – Ryan Conrad Jul 28 '12 at 15:21
  • I appreciate your efforts, but this wont help. My computer OS is Ubuntu 12.04 (linux) and the drivers you are suggesting are for WIndows. I didnt include this information in my question stem as I didnt think it was relevant ( and its clearly stated on my profile) – stephenmyall Jul 28 '12 at 15:27
  • Make sure you have the linux sdk tools installed, and then, with the USB cable from your PC to your tablet plugged in, do this from your terminal, sudo fastboot reboot – t0mm13b Jul 28 '12 at 15:35

You most probably see this, right:

enter image description here

This is the Galaxy Tab's 'download mode' to install new firmware as a last resort via Samsung's Odin or to side-load aftermarket firmware.

You can wait for the battery to drain by itself without taking further action.

  • Nice to know it helped you. The easiest way for a regular consumer but it needs some time though (until the battery ins empty) – ce4 Jul 29 '12 at 21:44

I don't own a galaxy tab but some tablets have a hard reset button similar to windows power reset button. It's generally a small hole and you can use a pin to reboot the device by pressing the pin in the hole for few seconds. Basically what it does is it reboots the tablet. You don't require to wait for the battery drain.

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