If you have done some bad mods, or maybe you just had an OTA update go wrong, let’s talk about what we need to revert the Galaxy S6 to stock Android.
Here at Android Explained I talk about a lot of very powerful customization features and mods that can really mold your smartphone into something that fits you perfectly. Most of these changes are not built into the core Android OS and sometimes they need root access in order to make changes to the code. Anytime we make changes like this, and you do not create a Nandroid backup(like I always recommend that you do), then we risk the chance of things going wrong if the mod doesn’t work out well. Let’s face is, Android is a complex system and even one change, that might work for some people, might not work well for every single person out there.
These bugs and glitches can happen even if a person doesn’t root their Galaxy S6 and even if they don’t apply any customization mods to it. Sometimes an OTA update just doesn’t download right, sometimes an OTA update just doesn’t play well with our 3rd party applications and sometimes an OTA update just doesn’t play well with the collection of basic settings that we have set on our phones. You hear it all the time within the Android community where someone applies an OTA update and then their phone performs poorly or then their battery drains faster than before. There are even instances where apps no longer work, Bluetooth devices no longer connect or they can’t connect to a WiFi network anymore.
These are all glitches that can happen with the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 Edge(as well as all Android devices) because Android is such a deep and complex system. There are systems written on top of systems written on top of systems for Android and it’s kind of like a card house. If one single thing goes wrong then the whole thing can come tumbling down. Except in the case of Android, it’s not the whole OS crumbling down but instead it is glitches like battery drain or laggy performance. So one way that users can resolve these issues is by reverting back to stock Android. This is basically like a big reset button that allows you to start back from scratch and this is very important if you need to replace your Galaxy S6 or send it in to be repaired.
So let’s take a look at the steps we need to do in order to revert the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 Edge back to stock.
Galaxy S6 Revert to Stock
- Download, Extract and Install the Samsung USB Drivers(then reboot your PC)
- Download and Extract Odin
- Download the Version of Android You Want for Your Galaxy S6
- Extract the .tar.md5 File From the Galaxy S6 Firmware You Downloaded
- Enable Developer Mode on the Galaxy S6
- Enable USB Debugging on the Galaxy S6
- Power Down the Galaxy S6
- Boot the Galaxy S6 into Recovery Mode
- Perform a Factory Reset on the Galaxy S6
- Boot the Galaxy S6 into Download Mode
- Connect the Galaxy S6 to the PC with a Micro USB Cable
- Right-Click on the Odin.exe File
- Left-Click the ‘Run as Administrator’ Option
- Click on the AP(or PDA) Button in Odin(on the right)
- Browse to and Select the .tar.md5 File You Extracted From the Galaxy S6 Firmware
- Click the Options Tab(on the left)
- Make sure the Re-Partition Option is NOT Checked
- When Ready, Click on the Start Button(at the bottom)
Note – If you run into a bootloop when you complete this tutorial then you might want to try clearing the cache partition. If this happens to you(and please leave a comment telling me if it does or doesn’t) then hopefully the cache partition will resolve it as well. However, some have said that they needed to perform a factory reset on the Galaxy S6 in order to clear the bootloop. Both have reportedly worked so one of them should definitely help you out if you come across the issue.
So the first thing we need to do is to download and install the Samsung USB drivers onto your computer. Once they have been installed, go ahead and reboot the PC and then download and extract Odin onto your computer(I suggest your Desktop). Then you’ll want to head over to the SamMobile firmware page and download the version of the firmware that you want to reset to. If you want it to be as if you pulled it out of the box then download the 5.0.2 firmware but if you want to revert to 5.1 then you should download that version.
I have to recommend that you download the firmware that is made for your specific device. Meaning, you’ll need to find the model number of your Galaxy S6 or Galaxy S6 Edge and then put that into SamMobile’s firmware search page. You might end up seeing multiple countries or carriers for your model number so please download the one that matches your device the most. For instance, if you see multiple languages or multiple carriers for your version of the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge then download the one that matches where you bought your phone. Failing to follow this can result in your smartphone not booting up and you’ll have to repeat this whole process over.
When the firmware has been downloaded, go ahead and extract the tar.md5 file from it because that is what we’re going to need to plug into Odin. Next up, enable Developer Mode on the Galaxy S6 so that you can enable USB Debugging from within the Developer Options menu. Then you can power down the Galaxy S6/S6 Edge and boot up into Recovery Mode. It is recommended that you perform a factory reset before reverting to stock because it helps clean any unwanted files from the device. If you want to backup your data with the Samsung Kies PC program then do this before you factory reset.
Once the device has been factory reset then go ahead and boot the S6 or S6 Edge into Download Mode so that Odin will recognize it. Once in Download Mode, connect the Galaxy S6 to the PC with a Micro USB cable and then launch Odin as an Administrator like I mentioned in the guide. Then click on the AP(which is sometimes labeled as PDA) button within Odin and browse to and select the tar.md5 file that we extracted from the firmware download. Look at the options on the left and make sure that the re-partition option is NOT selected. It shouldn’t be by default but it’s something that you always want to confirm.
Once all of that is done, go ahead and click on the Start button at the bottom of Odin and then wait patiently while Odin does it’s thing. You should see your Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge reboot at least once during the process and then you should see it boot back up into the Android OS where it asks you to activate your device(just like it does when you pulled the phone out of the box) and set up Android.
If this tutorial helped you in any way, please consider donating via PayPal, Patreon, Cryptocurrency, or GoFundMe. If you can't afford to donate then sharing this on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, XDA, forums, etc. will also help a lot. I would also appreciate suggestions for Android tips and tutorials that you would like to see in the future.