fastboot commands not working

Fastboot Commands not working: How to Fix

In this guide, we will show you various methods to fix the issue of Fastboot Commands not working on your PC. As and when you decide to leave the stock ecosystem and turn your attention towards custom development, your interaction with the Fastboot Mode will increase exponentially. While the ADB Commands are used mostly for generic tasks such as sideloading updates or gaining adb shell access to uninstall bloatware from your device, the Fastboot Commands take all this a notch higher.

From unlocking the device’s bootloader to flashing stock firmware, from flashing a custom ROM to installing a custom recovery like TWRP, you will be crossing paths with this mode quite frequently in this domain. However, you might also face an issue or two while working in this domain. Among them, it’s the Fastboot Commands not working issue that seems to be bugging the users the most.

The <waiting for device> message in the CMD window, various permission issues, and a plethora of Failed error messages, well, working in this ecosystem does have a few challenges. But on the good side, you could easily rectify most of these issues. And in this guide, we will help you with just that. Given here are various methods to fix the issue of Fastboot Commands not working on your PC. Follow along.

How to Fix Fastboot Commands not working

fastboot commands not working

Do note that there’s no universal fix as such. You will have to try out each of the below-mentioned workarounds and see which one works best in your favor. So with that in mind, let’s get started. Droidwin and its members wouldn’t be held responsible in case of a thermonuclear war, your alarm doesn’t wake you up, or if anything happens to your device and data by performing the below steps.

FIX 1: Install Android Bootloader Interface Drivers

First and foremost, you will have to install the Fastboot Drivers (technically known as Android Bootloader Interface Drivers) on your PC. This is needed so that your PC is able to identify the connected device in Fastboot Mode.

Fastboot Commands not working

Without these drivers, while you might still be able to run the ADB commands, you wouldn’t be able to execute any of the Fastboot Commands. So download and install these drivers right away and then check if it fixes the Fastboot Commands not working issue.

FIX 2: Try USB Tweaks

Next up, it is recommended that you use the USB 2.0 Port and not the 3.0/3.1 Port as they are known to cause a few conflicts with Fastboot Mode. Along the same lines, you should also consider using the official USB cables that came with your device.

Fastboot Commands not working

If that is not possible, then you may use the USB cable that came shipped with any other device, but don’t use standalone USB cables. This is because those cables are mostly designed for charging and File Transfer purposes and don’t work in custom development.

FIX 3: Install Android SDK Platform Tools

Likewise, you should also have the Android SDK Platform Tools installed on your PC. These are the official ADB and Fastboot binary packages provided by Google. So download the Android SDK Platform Tools and extract it to any convenient location on your PC. This will give you the platform-tools folder, which should always be your working directory. Talking about which…

install adb platform tools windows

FIX 4: Use CMD inside Platform-Tools

You should always use Command Prompt to execute Fastboot Command, as opposed to PowerShell or Windows Terminal. This is because, in some instances, you might have to append an addition period and slash before a command in Powershell, which only complicates the matter further. So it’s better to stick with Command Prompt itself. Moreover, make a habit to launch CMD inside the platform-tools folder and execute your commands there only.


For that, head over to the platform-tools folder, type in CMD in its address bar, and hit Enter. This will launch the Command Prompt with the platform tools as the working directory. Another approach that you could take is to open CMD from the Start Menu and then use the cd command to change the directory to the platform-tools folder, but that is an unnecessary length process. So keep these points in mind and then check if it fixes the Fastboot Commands not working issue.

FIX 5: Verify File Name and Location

Another minor yet important detail that you need to keep a note of is the file’s name and location. In this regard, make sure that the file that you are about to flash is placed inside the platform-tool folder only. Likewise, also verify that you have entered the correct name (as well as its extension) in the CMD window.

FIX 6: Verify the Flash Command [For TWRP]

  1. One of the major talking points of the A/B partition scheme was the removal of the recovery partition. So, you will not be able to directly flash the recovery via the below command:
    fastboot flash recovery twrp.img

    Fastboot Commands not working

  2. Instead, you will first have to temporary boot the recovery via the boot partition using the command given below:
    fastboot boot twrp.img
  3. After that, you may permanently install it by flashing TWRP ZIP (if available) or using the TWRP IMG file (Install Recovery Ramdisk, or via the new dedicated option present under the Advanced menu, etc).
    Fastboot Commands not working
  4. You may also refer to our guides to get more help on this topic:

FIX 7: Flash to Both A/B Slots

  1. Continuing the A/B partition scheme, another reason why users might face the Fastboot Commands not working issue is that they might be flashing the file to a single slot instead of both the slots.
  2. In most devices, you don’t even need to partition as the device will automatically send the file to the desired slot. For example, if you wish to flash the boot.img file, then for some users, just the below generic command will be sufficient
    fastboot flash boot boot.img
  3. However, in other instances, you might have to explicitly mention the active/inactive partitions to which the file needs to be flashed. So in such cases. the above command will transform to:
    fastboot flash boot_a boot.img
    fastboot flash boot_b boot.img
  4. Or, you may also merge both the partitions commands into a single one and use the below command:
    fastboot flash --slot=all boot boot.img

FIX 8: Flash in FastbootD Mode

  1. Nowadays, you need to flash some files in the FastbootD Mode, as opposed to Fastboot Mode. So what are those files?
    Fastboot Commands not working
  2. Well, these files are mostly the partition files from the stock firmware (such as the radio.img for Pixel devices).
  3. So from the Fastboot Mode, you could boot your device to the FastbootD Mode using any of these two commands:
    fastboot reboot fastboot
    fastboot reboot-bootloader

    Fastboot Commands not working

  4. Once your device is booted to FastbootD, go ahead and flash the desired file, the underlying issue should be resolved.

With this, we round off the guide on how to fix the issue of Fastboot commands not working. We have listed eight different methods for the same. Do let us know in the comments which method spelled out success for you. Likewise, all your queries are welcomed in the comments section below.

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