About half a year ago I switched from an iPhone to an Android smartphone: the OnePlus One. In the beginning it was splendid and super fast and everything. But recently it has become flaky. I suspect the apps ‘Swiftkey’ and ‘Atooma’ have something to do with it. Swiftkey seemed to drain the battery really fast (5hrs of battery life max – charging requyired 3 or more times a day), and when I started testing Atooma instead of Tasker (for automation), a lot of programs started crashing, including the essential ‘Messages’ and ‘Dialer’ applications. Even after uninstalling a bunch of other applications, I still couldn’t pick up phone calls half of the time. And I got the error message ‘Unfortunately, Google Play Services has stopped‘ once every 10 to 30 minutes. So I decided, I need to reinstall Android on my phone!

A reinstall of iOS on an iPhone is simple: plug it into a Mac/PC, wait for iTunes to start up, click on your iPhone device, select ‘Restore’ in the Summary Panel. Restoring an Android phone to factory settings is quite the opposite. Let me show you what worked for me (on a Windows PC):

  • install Java SE Development Kit 8 (jdk-8u45-windows-x64.exe – 184MB)
  • C:>java.exe -version
    java version "1.8.0_45"
    Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.8.0_45-b15)
    Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 25.45-b02, mixed mode)
  • Install Android SDK Tools (the adb and fastboot tools you will need later, will be in a subfolder platform-tools. In my case: %USERPROFILE%AppDataLocalAndroidandroid-sdkplatform-tools)
  • install Universal ADB driver for Windows
  • download the latest twrp bacon version (bacon = Android for OnePlus – in my case: twrp-2.8.6.1-bacon.img), save it as twrp.img in the same platform-tools folder as above)
  • enable Developer mode and USB Debugging: tap 7 times on build number, go back and enable Android Debugging (over USB).
  • conect your OnePlus over UWB to your PC, you will get a pop-up saying ‘Do You trust this PC for debugging?’ – say yes
  • test adb connection: open a CMD window, cd to the folder that contains your adb.exe tool and type
    C:>adb devices -l
    List of devices attached
    e1e5e51 device product:bacon model:A0001 device:A0001
  • reboot your phone in fastboot mode: adb reboot bootloader
  • now unlock your phone: fastboot oem unlock
  • install the twrp image you saved earlier: fastboot flash recovery twrp.img
  • reboot the phone: fastboot reboot
  • voila!

—– EDIT

Well apparently I missed the fast reset instructions:

If you’re having trouble with your OnePlus One that may be related to software, try performing a full factory reset.

  1. Back up all your important files and information, as the process may erase all data.
  2. Shut down the phone, and turn it back on while holding the Volume Down button until you feel it vibrate.
  3. Once in Simple Recovery, select “wipe cache partition” and swipe to the right or press the power button to select it. Continue once you get the “Cache wipe complete” message.
  4. Select “wipe data / factory reset” and confirm to fully reinitialize your ROM.
  5. Optional: select “wipe media” to clear all directories that may contain your photos, messages, music and other personal files.