I have recently been able to access fastboot but I have almost no knowledge about the different options inside it. Could someone please explain in details all the functions of fastboot?

Extra info

  • I am on a moto g 2013 with android 4.4.4
  • I am not rooted and do not have anything such as Clockwork mod installed

Fastboot allows you to send commands to your phone while in the bootloader. The bootloader is the one place that ADB is not running.

Disclaimer, not all of these may work with your device.

fastboot oem unlock

  • Unlock your bootloader. If your device supports this, you can unlock your bootloader here. Most phones require an exploit in order to gain root access, phones like Nexus devices allow you to unlock the bootloader and then it is very easy to root, or install custom ROMs. note: this will wipe all data off the phone.
  • Non-Nexus devices may require a code to go along with this command. so it would be called like fastboot oem unlock [the_code]. See fastboot oem get_unlock_data for how to get the code that goes with this command.

fastboot oem get_unlock_data

  • Motorola guide to unlock your device
  • I think this is a Motorola command, which will allow you to perform before the oem unlock.
  • This command will give you a code and you go to the Motorola website and enter the data. They will then give you a 20 character code that you use with oem unlock

fastboot devices

  • gets the list of devices that are connected to the computer. This is like the ADB devices command, but works on devices that are at the bootloader.
  • It is good to use this to ensure you can properly connect to the device.

fastboot flash

  • Flashes a custom image to specific partitions on the device.
    • fastboot flash recovery recovery.img
    • fastboot flash boot boot.img
    • fastboot flash cache cache.img
    • fastboot flash userdata userdata.img
    • fastboot flash system system.img

fastboot erase

  • Erase partitions on the device [source]
    • fastboot erase system
    • fastboot erase data
    • fastboot erase cache

fastboot reboot

  • Yep, it reboots the device.

Device Fastboot

Normal Powerup

  • Just reboots the phone normal


  • Reboots the phone to the recovery


  • Seems to just boot the device normally. Maybe 'Safe Mode'? [Source]

Switch console

  • ??


  • Brings up device serial number, ID numbers, SIM numbers, etc. as barcodes.

BP Tools

  • Baseband Processing Tools? Used for troubleshooting baseband [Source]
| improve this answer | |
  • thanks, but what about the options that you can navigate to on the phone itself with the volume buttons? – Bob Lowing Dec 29 '14 at 7:28
  • @BobLowing updated to include information about those items, at least ones that I knew, or could actually find info on. – Ryan Conrad Dec 29 '14 at 15:00

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