How to restore Galaxy S3 to stock firmware with all modifications undetected

If you are planning to replace, return, sell, or repair your Galaxy S III, then you should restore your device to official stock firmware/ROM, so that others don’t know if you’ve made modifications to your device. If your current Galaxy S3 on stock rooted ROM and think that just by doing a factory reset will restore the device to a stock ?, you’re wrong, even a factory reset doesn’t remove root access.


It could be more complicated if your device’s bootloader is unlocked and you perform flash custom ROMs/kernels frequently, as you may know several Samsung phones has the ‘flash counter’ feature that serves to keep track of how many times you are doing flash custom ROMs via Odin.

restore galaxy s3 stock firmware

Here are some steps you can take to restore your Galaxy S3 (I9300, SCH-I535, SPH-L710, SGH-I747, SGH-T999) to stock firmware:

  • Do a factory/hard reset, this can be done to restore your device to its original state before you install apps from the Play Store and change settings on the phone, but you may need to backup all apps and data using MyBackup app if you don’t want manually install it later. It can be done by going to Settings > Storage > Factory Data reset and then reset everything, if you have installed a custom recovery (CWM) you can do so by choosing the ‘Wipe data/factory reset’.
  • A required tool to able to return to stock is Odin3.
  • Download

  • We also need a stock firmware for Galaxy S3 all variants Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, US Cellular, Bell, Rogers, etc.
  • Download

  • Checking Galaxy S3 flash counter, to begin this you need to go into the ‘download mode’ by pressing and holding three buttons, ‘volume down + home + power’ for a few seconds, then Warning!! message will show up and then press volume up button to continue.
  • galaxy s3 download mode

  • You should entering Download mode/Odin mode and look at the Custom Binary Download, if ‘No’ it’s not necessary to reset flash counter, but if ‘Yes’ you are advised to do so.
  • triangle away

  • To alter the flash counter to 0/No you need to install TriangleAway app from Chainfire, you can download it free here, but if you want to support the developer you can purchase via Google Play.


  • Now it’s time to flash latest official stock firmware, enter into download mode again, and then connect your device into PC thru USB.
  • galaxy s 3flash to stock odin

  • Open ODIN, on File [Download] menu, hit PDA button then find stock firmware file that you’ve downloaded in Step.2. On option, keep Auto reboot and F. Reset Time checked.
  • Now it’s time to hit “Start” button to begin flash process.


Filled Under:Tips and Tricks
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13 Responses

  1. franklin
    January 14, 2013 at 11:06 AMReply

    so i tried rooting my Samsung galaxy s3 sph-l710 and while i was in the process of doing it this pop up on my screen: “Firmware upgrade encounter an issue. please select recovery mode in kies & try again” i tried turning it off and on but its the same thing on the screen i try connecting it back to my computer but nothing works. there are logos on the screen it shows a graphic of a phone and a computer screen and between it shows a yellow triangle that has the exclamation mark in the middle. Do you have any suggestions on how i can fix it?

    • Jason Top Dude
      February 10, 2013 at 9:55 PMReply

      Download you original rom from here and try again

  2. ryan
    January 23, 2013 at 6:51 AMReply

    I dint even root my phone, didnt even attemt and every time I go and see if there is an update it says this device has been modified , I dont get it, will this fix it?

    • Degitalman
      December 22, 2013 at 5:16 AMReply

      Yes it will.

  3. Steven Snell
    February 6, 2013 at 6:53 PMReply

    i constantly rooted and unrooted flashing and playing with my cpu voltage and i pretty much choked my phone down to the best, but i actually made it 10 times worse i let my curiousity ruin mmy 300 dollar phone so don’t root your phone unless you completely know what ur doing because ur curiousity of certain things will get the best of u. But anyway thanks for the nice tut, it really saved my ass, cuz i needed a new sim anyway, and i was really worried but when you use triangle away away and factory reset back to stock it fixes everything, and btw is it ok that i’m using odin 3.04 cuz u can just nand reset all, i love android.

  4. bedforde1
    April 27, 2013 at 4:51 PMReply

    You need to clear the rom counter before the reflash. I am trying to recover the brick!

  5. Spenser
    May 2, 2013 at 11:04 PMReply

    My phone is not working properly and will not boot to where it is fully on. I can get into download mode and into recovery mode, but the phone wont stay on long enough for me to download or use triangleaway. Is there a way I can reset the flash counter to 0 without using triangleaway or fully booting my phone? i.e. Is there a way I can reset it using odin or flashing something?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated

  6. muhafir
    May 12, 2013 at 10:43 AMReply

    need help! i reflashed my phone with the right stock rom but im stuck in the boot menu it keeps restarting itself constantly!

    • Author

      May 12, 2013 at 3:46 PMReply

      Try to uncheck all options and only check “Auto reboot” on Odin before flashing.

  7. mohammed
    May 14, 2013 at 12:07 PMReply

    i have a problem that
    i downloaded the triangle away in my Samsung s3 GT-i9300
    when i am trying to open it shows to me that
    SuperUser access is needed, but could not be acquired. Are you rooted and did you give permission?

    any body can help me for this issue?

    • Author

      May 14, 2013 at 5:38 PMReply

      Might be you need to update su binary and busybox before running Triangle Away.

  8. carlos concepcion
    July 9, 2014 at 10:40 AMReply

    What if you already unrooted but running 4.3. The custom flag is still on and the unlocked padlock showing at bootup. How do you fix this so you can reflash?

  9. cameron
    May 13, 2015 at 10:01 AMReply

    So I recently tried to flash twrp using flashify and got a warning due to verizon locking bootloaders and I was unable to access my phone. My friend used A technique similar to this but somehow, with no odin installed or anything custom was able to flash my stock rom only using the volume, home, and power buttons. Does anybody know exactly what combinations of buttons were pressed to do this? I would like to know in case I need it again 🙂

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