Manually install Fairphone OS for the Fairphone 2


Your Fairphone ships standard with an Android operating system (OS). 

The recommended way to update your Fairphone 2 to the latest software is through the built-in Fairphone Updater app.

If you encounter issues when you try to update automatically, you can install the latest operating system version by hand. This article guides you with instructions on how to manually update.



You must:

  • back up your data first before you start with any update. If you do not, you can lose your personal files like photos, music, etc. 

  • remove all SIM cards and SD cards before you proceed. When you have completed the procedure, you can insert them all again. 


Manually update

We foresee two possible scenarios in which you might need to manually install a Fairphone OS on your device:

1. The update through the Fairphone updater app fails

2. Your new display stays black

 The procedure is the same in both situations. However, if your new display stays black you will not have visual feedback of what is happening in your Fairphone 2 during the process. That is why we designed very detailed instructions to better help you following the necessary steps. Be aware of the green coloured text for any exception that might apply in this scenario.


Before you begin:

  • The needed files are packed in a ZIP archive together with easy-to-use flashing scripts
  • The user data will not be erased. If you want or need to do so, please refer to the article how to return to factory settings
  • Prerequisite(s) for Microsoft Windows systems:
    • Windows 7 and later
    • Your computer needs to have a working internet connection
  • Prerequisite(s) for Apple Mac OS X systems:
    • MacOS X 10.10 and later
  • Prerequisite(s) for GNU/Linux systems:
    • A recent GNU/Linux distribution
    • You need to install the fastboot tool, usually available through your package manager
      Installing via the package manager and rebooting the system should grant you access to the device, keeping you from having to run the script as root.



  • Access to a computer
  • A micro-USB cable
  • Your Fairphone 2


Important notice

The Android 7 upgrade cannot be installed on encrypted devices with secure start-up enabled. Please disable secure start-up first: go to security settings and re-enter your current screen lock, but leave secure start-up disabled. You should undo this after installing the update.


  1. Download the ZIP archive below to your computer:

    FP2 - Binary images of Fairphone OS 19.11.2 (~816MB)
    md5sum: e1601288869f99143b664ea98f825760

    If you experience problems with downloading the update file properly, try a different Internet browser (e.g. Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox).

  2. Extract the archive content on your computer. If the device is connected to a charger or a computer, unplug the USB cable and then power off the device (if in doubt, remove the battery, wait five seconds and then place it back)
  3. Boot the Fairphone 2 into the bootloader (also called fastboot mode) by pressing and holding the volume down button first and then pressing and holding power button as well until the Fairphone logo appears (up to five seconds), then release them.
  4. if your display stays black, hold the buttons until your Fairphone 2 vibrates, wait a couple of seconds and then release them
      1. while in the bootloader, the device will not display anything besides the regular Fairphone logo and the written "Powered by Android".
        NOTE:  if you are running one of the latest versions of Android 7, once the phone reaches the bootloader the notification LED will become blue.
  5. Connect the Fairphone 2 to your computer with a USB data cable
  6. On your computer, execute the update script.
    1. On Windows, execute (double click on) the script flash-for-windows.bat
    2. If a window with a security message shows up, select More info, and then Run anyway
      These screenshots were taken on a machine running Windows 10. The warning might appear differently in earlier versions of Windows
    3. On MacOS X, right click on the file flash-for-mac.command, then select Open
      1. If a window with a security message shows up, select Open again
        This screenshot was taken on a machine running Mac OS 10.11.6. The warning might appear differently in other versions of Mac OS X
    4. On GNU/Linux, open a terminal emulator, navigate to the archive content directory and execute the script with the command sudo sh (you will be required to insert your account password)

  7. The script should now be running. A black prompt shows with the text "Validate files". Wait until a list shows and is completed: then a text "Validation completed" shows. If everything goes smoothly, the process will be over in a couple of minutes and you will be asked to press Enter to reboot the device. Do so and proceed to step 8.

    However, if you see a warning message stating "WARNING: No Fairphone 2 found in fastboot mode" (see image below), proceed as follows:


        I) Please perform steps 3 and 4 again
       II) Once your Fairphone 2 boots into the bootloader, go to the script, type "y" and press the enter key after the question "Do you want to look for a Fairphone 2 again?" (see image below):

      III) If the script starts running, wait until completion and then press Enter to reboot the device. Proceed then to step 8.
      IV) If you still see the same warning ("WARNING: No Fairphone 2 found in fastboot mode"), please close the script and repeat the procedure from step 2.

  8. You can now safely unplug the Fairphone 2 from your computer (your new display should now work perfectly!)
  9. The first boot will take a few minutes to initialize the system.

If you are dealing with a black screen or a bootloop, consult this support article

If you’re unable to complete the process described above, please contact our support team.