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What is bricking a phone?

Bricking a phone refers to making your phone about as useful as a brick. When a phone is bricked, it typically fails to boot up properly and becomes non-functional. There are a few main ways that phones can become bricked:

Software Errors

One of the most common causes of bricking is software errors. This can happen if there is a problem with the phone’s operating system or firmware that prevents it from loading correctly. For example, a corrupted OS update or faulty custom ROM installation could brick the phone. Flashing the wrong firmware version for your specific phone model is another way software errors can brick a device.

Common software issues that can brick phones:

  • Bad OS update
  • Faulty custom ROM installation
  • Flashing incorrect firmware
  • System file corruption

Hardware Failures

Hardware issues like motherboard failures can also brick phones. For example, if the eMMC/flash storage chips become corrupted or damaged, the phone may not be able to access the operating system files needed to boot up. Dropping the phone in water and frying internal components is another hardware fault that could lead to bricking.

Common hardware failures that cause bricking:

  • eMMC/flash storage chip corruption
  • Short-circuited motherboard
  • Fried components from water damage
  • General component degradation over time

Bad Flashing Processes

Problems during flashing or rooting processes are another common bricking culprit. If something goes wrong while you’re flashing a custom recovery, rooting with Magisk, or installing a custom ROM, you could end up with a bricked phone. For example, if the flashing process is interrupted by a power loss or glitch, it can corrupt firmware files and prevent booting.

Issues with flashing/rooting that can brick a phone:

  • Power loss/interruption during flashing
  • Using incompatible recovery or firmware files
  • Allowing phone to run out of battery during flashing
  • Unplugging the phone early from PC during process

How to Fix a Bricked Phone

Okay, so your phone is bricked – now what? Here are some tips for fixing a bricked Android phone:

Wipe Cache Partition

Wiping the cache partition can clear out corrupted files causing issues. To do this:

  1. Boot into recovery mode (press and hold power + volume keys)
  2. Use volume keys to scroll to ‘Wipe Cache Partition’
  3. Select it with power button and confirm
  4. Reboot and see if phone boots up properly

Factory Reset

Doing a factory reset will wipe all data and restore original software. This can fix bricking issues caused by software errors:

  1. Boot into recovery mode
  2. Select ‘Wipe Data/Factory Reset’ option
  3. Confirm reset and reboot

Reflash Stock Firmware

You’ll need to download the correct stock firmware for your phone model, then reflash it using a USB cable and PC. This fixes software-related bricks.

Replace Hardware

If hardware damage caused the bricking, you may need to replace components like the motherboard to fix it.

Take It to a Repair Shop

Mobile repair shops have the knowledge and tools to diagnose and fix bricked phones in many cases. This is a good option if you can’t DIY a fix.

How to Avoid Bricking a Phone

Here are some tips to avoid bricking your Android device during modding/flashing:

  • Research proper ROM flashing procedures for your model
  • Only flash ROMs and recoveries made specifically for your phone variant
  • Check MD5 hashes to verify file integrity before flashing
  • Follow instructions precisely and do not interrupt flashing process
  • Maintain adequate battery charge to avoid power loss
  • Backup important data in case you need to factory reset

Risks and Precautions When Rooting/Modding

While bricking is usually fixable, there are some risks to be aware of when rooting and modding phones:

  • Voiding your warranty – Modifications can void factory warranty
  • Data loss – Flashing and factory resets erase data
  • Permanent damage – If hardware is faulty, bricks may not be fixable
  • Security risks – Rooting weakens security protections
  • Instability – ROMs and mods can bring bugs/glitches

To mitigate risks, research mods thoroughly, backup data, confirm files are for your exact model, and follow instructions carefully.


Bricking renders phones non-functional, much like a brick. It’s commonly caused by software errors, hardware failures, and flashing problems. To fix it, you typically need to wipe caches, reset the phone, reflash firmware files, replace hardware or take it to a repair shop. With caution and care, you can avoid bricking your phone as you customize it.