I am trying to install the Google Applications packages on an Android virtual device (emulator), and one of the steps requires me to be in recovery mode.

I tried adb reboot recovery, adb reboot bootloader, adb shell reboot recovery, etc. All of these commands print no output, and hang indefinitely while the emulator shows no response. (Side note: adb devices shows emulator-5554, as expected.)

I noted that issuing a shutdown command through the UI also hangs indefinitely, so I'm thinking maybe rebooting is simply not an option for the emulator. Is there a different way that I can boot an Android virtual device into recovery mode?

  • 2
    An AVD may not even have a recovery mode. Recovery isn't a different way of booting the Android OS (like, say, Safe Mode in Windows); it's a whole separate partition with its own (minimal) OS, independent of the regular Android system. On a real device, the bootloader decides which partition to boot from (normal system or recovery), but an AVD has a different way of booting.
    – Wyzard
    Sep 20, 2014 at 4:48

1 Answer 1


If your goal is to install Google Apps in the emulator, then you need to follow a completely different proceedure then the one telling you to reboot into recovery. Truth is, the emulators do not have a recovery partition, so there's no such thing as recovery mode for an emulator.

I can suggest a couple of options:

  1. Search for procedures that are specific to the problem of getting Google Apps running in the emulator. I've done it before, but I can tell you it's a pain and there's no generic way to explain it without knowing the specifics of your setup (i.e., SDK version, x86 vs. ARM, etc.). Even then, it may not be possible.

  2. If there's not a compelling reason forcing you to use the emulators, consider trying a virtual machine solution like Genymotion instead of the emulator. VMs are way faster than the SDK emulators and for most there are clear procedures available for installing Google Apps. Genymotion in particular has instructions for doing so. Genymotion also integrates with Android Studio/Eclipse and supports the debug bridge (adb). See genymotion.com to download.

  • Marking as answer. I've since found a workaround for my specific issue, but I appreciate the info for future reference. Sep 24, 2014 at 4:15

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .