With Android devices, there are two main recovery modes. The first one that all people should get to know in case of an emergency is the stock recovery mode. We call this the stock recovery because it comes stock standard with the device when you buy it. There are limited features from a stock recovery mode. Basically, you press a button combination to enter it and when inside you can choose to take a factory reset to recover the device. Often the master reset is the last thing to try though. There are some other things you can try like clearing the cache from in the same mode.

A custom recovery is a bit different. They come with many more features and are generally used by expert Android users only. Inside the custom recovery, people can flash zip files. These files are how people install custom ROMs with root access. It’s impossible to load a new ROM without uploading the zip file. Furthermore, you can take NANDroid backups which is a feature every good custom recovery possesses. With NANDroid backups, you don’t need to download any apps from Google Play. You just press the backup feature from within the custom recovery mode and it will take a complete snapshot of your current ROM.

Google Nexus 4

Therefore, if it’s the custom version you wish to enter, you’ll need to gain root access on your Google Nexus 4 before doing that. It would be convenient to from a link here, but also difficult with the amount of patched the Google Developers patch with software updates. You’ll need to work out which rooting guide for the nexus 4 works at the time of you reading this. The one we are working with today won’t necessarily be a great guide to follow six months from now. With that being said, installing a custom recovery shouldn’t change at all.  You can learn how to install ClockworkMod recovery on the Google Nexus 4 and how to install TWRP Recovery on the Google Nexus 4.

Entering the stock recovery:

  1. Completely power off the Nexus 4 smartphone.
  2. Hold the Power along with Volume Down and Home buttons at the same time.
  3. You will be directed to the Fastboot main screen. At this point, press the Volume Up button.
  4. The said method is identical to a Samsung device up until this point, but things are about to change.
  5. Press the Power button and it will boot into the desired recovery mode. You will soon see the Android logo laying down about to recover as your boot screen.

Entering the custom recovery:

  1. Turn on your Nexus 4 device and navigate to the Google Play Store.
  2. Log in to your Google account so you can download apps from Google Play.
  3. Type “ROM manager” in the search field.
  4. Tap the app with the same name and choose to download the app to your app drawer.
  5. Now just open the app after it finishes downloading and you’re done. Follow the on-screen instructions to finish.