What to do if your Galaxy S8 fails to boot after unrooting [troubleshooting guide]

Many Android users generally root and unroot their devices without problems but apparently, some Galaxy S8 users are reporting the opposite. Since an issue like this needs more relevant data, we have no way of telling whether there’s a certain pattern with these cases. We’ll continue to collect information about the problem and for now, you can check our suggested solutions to fix it.

What to do if your Galaxy S8 fails to boot after unrooting

Unrooting is supposed to be the reverse of rooting a device but it’s actually not that simple. Once an Android device has been rooted, a lot deep level changes takes place, some of them for good, so unrooting it is not that simple. In most cases, unrooting proceeds like clockwork but in others, even a minor variable in the operating system can brick a device. If you have trouble booting up your S8 after unrooting it, here’s how to fix it.

Solution #1: Clear your S8 cache partition

Your Galaxy S8 uses storage partitions in order to work properly. One such partition is called the cache partition which keeps temporary files and other miscellaneous pieces of information. Sometimes, updates and other software modification (such as rooting and flashing) can mess the system cache in the cache partition resulting to boot problems. A corrupted system cache may lead to boot up problem if some data that Android needs to load is missing or misplaced.  If the only different thing that you’ve done before your S8 fails to boot up was to unroot it, then wiping the cache partition may work.

Regularly clearing the system cache is also recommended even if you are not experiencing any trouble to prevent bugs from developing. Wiping the system cache won’t delete any of your data but if you get the chance to back them up, make sure that you do ahead of time.

If you haven’t tried wiping the cache partition yet, follow these steps:

  1. Turn off the device.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Bixby key, then press and hold the Power key.
  3. When the Android logo displays, release all keys (‘Installing system update’ will show for about 30 – 60 seconds before showing the Android system recovery menu options).
  4. Press the Volume down key to highlight wipe cache partition.
  5. Press the Power key to select.
  6. Press the Volume down key to highlight “yes” and press the Power key to select.
  7. When the wipe cache partition is complete, “Reboot system now” is highlighted.
  8. Press the Power key to restart the device.

Solution #2: Master reset

If wiping the cache partition won’t fix the problem, the next best thing to do is perform a master reset. This will wipe your phone and erase all your unsaved data but sadly, you really don’t have much choice in the matter at this point. All the rest of your troubleshooting options from here on out will involve wiping your phone so those photos, videos and other stuff that you haven’t saved before unrooting your device are good as gone.

If you want to see if there’s a way to recover your data before performing a master reset, we suggest that you consult a professional. There’s no one-size-fits all solution to recover data from an Android device that won’t boot up. And remember, data recovery is not guaranteed. Even a good specialist with all the right tools may still be unable to gain access to your phone’s storage device, or get anything substantial.

If there’s nothing to lose, go ahead and do the reset. Here’s how:

  1. Back up data on the internal memory. If you have signed into a Google account on the device, you have activated Anti-theft and will need your Google credentials to finish the Master reset.
  2. Turn off the device.
  3. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Bixby key, then press and hold the Power key.
  4. When the Android logo displays, release all keys (‘Installing system update’ will show for about 30 – 60 seconds before showing the Android system recovery menu options).
  5. Press the Volume down key several times to highlight “wipe data / factory reset.
  6. Press Power button to select.
  7. Press the Volume down key until Yes — delete all user data is highlighted.
  8. Press Power button to select and start the master reset.
  9. When the master reset is complete, “Reboot system now” is highlighted.
  10. Press the Power key to restart the device.

Solution #3: Use Samsung Smart Switch  

Some users were able to find success in booting their Samsung Galaxy devices before after using the Emergency Software Recovery tool in Smart Switch. What Emergency Software Recovery tool does is basically flash a stock firmware to your phone. This means that you’re going to install the official Samsung firmware to your device.

In order to do this Emergency Software Recovery procedure, you need to have a computer. You also need to install the Smart Switch application to that PC. If you need help installing Smart Switch to your PC or Mac, kindly visit this page. This solution may not work if there’s no available update for your device. If that’s the case, you should proceed to the next one.

Solution #4: Flash bootloader and/or firmware via Odin

Should nothing work even after using Smart Switch, you should then try to manually flash the device’s bootloader and firmware. Some boot up troubles after unrooting are related to a corrupted bootloader so flashing your device’s bootloader should be first. The steps are similar to flashing a firmware so if it won’t fix the issue, you can then try to flash the firmware as well.

Below are the general steps on how to flash a bootloader of a Samsung Galaxy device. Exact steps may be slightly different for your specific phone model so be sure to look for a good guide on how to do it.

Before you start flashing your device, be warned that you’re basically modifying core system files and configurations. There are a lot of variables that can affect the outcome of a flashing procedure so even if you’re careful, you may still end up bricking the device for good. Do it at your own risk. The steps below are for demonstration purposes only and may not be the exact ones for the particular phone model you have.

  1. Look for the correct firmware for your phone model and download it. Make sure that you select the right one. It should be the same exact firmware that ran previously on your device. We assume that you list down the firmware version somewhere. If you did not take note of it before, there’s a chance that you may pick the wrong one. As you may know now, using an incorrect firmware can cause complications so good luck with that.
  2. Let’s now say that you have identified the correct firmware. You then want to download it to your computer. The firmware file should have a bunch of files in it like AP_, BL_, CSC_, etc.
  3. Look for the file that starts with a label BL; this should be the corresponding bootloader file for this firmware. Once you’ve identified the bootloader file, copy it to your computer’s desktop or to any other folder that you can easily access.
  4. Proceed with the rest of the flashing procedure using the Odin program.
  5. In Odin, click on the BL tab and make sure to use the bootloader file you’ve identified earlier.
  6. Now, make sure that the “Device Added” status and its “ID:COM box” has turned blue before hitting the START button. This will initiate the flashing of your phone’s bootloader.
  7. Restart the phone once the procedure is finished.

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