How to Flash Sony Xperia XZ1

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Flashing a smartphone involves installing a new firmware or operating system onto the device. This process can help resolve various issues, such as software bugs, performance problems, and even unbricking a device that won’t start. For the Sony Xperia XZ1, flashing can be an effective way to customize the device, update to the latest software, or recover from serious software errors. This comprehensive guide will provide detailed instructions on how to flash the Sony Xperia XZ1, covering the preparation steps, the flashing process itself, troubleshooting common issues, and best practices to follow after flashing.

Understanding Flashing

Before diving into the flashing process, it is important to understand what flashing is and the different types of firmware you might encounter.

What is Flashing?

Flashing is the process of installing or updating the firmware on a device. Firmware is the low-level software that controls the hardware and provides the interface for higher-level operating systems to interact with the device. When you flash a new firmware, you are essentially reinstalling or updating the software that runs your device.

Types of Firmware

  1. Stock Firmware: This is the official firmware provided by the device manufacturer. It is designed to work perfectly with your device’s hardware.
  2. Custom Firmware: This is a modified version of the firmware created by third-party developers. Custom firmware often includes additional features, performance improvements, and customization options not found in stock firmware.
  3. Kernel: The kernel is the core part of the operating system that manages the device’s hardware. Flashing a custom kernel can offer performance tweaks and additional features.

Why Flash Your Device?

There are several reasons you might want to flash your Sony Xperia XZ1:

  • Restore to Factory Settings: If your device is experiencing software issues, flashing the stock firmware can restore it to its original state.
  • Update Software: Flashing can be used to update your device to the latest version of the operating system if OTA updates are not available.
  • Install Custom Firmware: To access additional features, performance enhancements, or a different user interface.
  • Unbrick Your Device: If your device is not booting correctly or stuck in a boot loop, flashing can restore it to working condition.

Preparing to Flash Your Xperia XZ1

Before flashing your Sony Xperia XZ1, it’s crucial to prepare your device and ensure you have all the necessary tools and backups.

Backup Your Data

Flashing will erase all data on your device, so it’s important to back up your important data first. You can back up your data using the following methods:

Using Google Backup

  1. Open Settings: Go to the Settings app on your device.
  2. Select System: Scroll down and tap on System.
  3. Backup: Tap on Backup.
  4. Turn On Backup: Ensure that the Backup to Google Drive toggle is turned on. This will back up your app data, call history, contacts, settings, and SMS messages to your Google account.

Using Xperia Companion

  1. Download and Install Xperia Companion: Download Xperia Companion from the Sony Mobile website and install it on your computer.
  2. Connect Your Device: Use a USB cable to connect your Xperia XZ1 to your computer.
  3. Open Xperia Companion: Launch the Xperia Companion software on your computer.
  4. Backup: Select Backup and follow the on-screen instructions to back up your data.

Charge Your Device

Ensure that your device has at least 50% battery life before starting the flashing process. A low battery can cause the process to fail or be interrupted, potentially leading to a bricked device.

Enable Developer Options and USB Debugging

To flash your device, you need to enable Developer Options and USB Debugging.

  1. Open Settings: Go to the Settings app on your device.
  2. About Phone: Scroll down and tap on About phone.
  3. Build Number: Find the Build number and tap it seven times to enable Developer Options.
  4. Developer Options: Go back to the main Settings menu and tap on System, then Developer options.
  5. USB Debugging: Scroll down and enable USB Debugging.

Download Necessary Tools and Files

To flash your Sony Xperia XZ1, you will need the following tools and files:

  1. Sony Xperia Flash Tool: This is the official tool for flashing Sony devices. You can download it from the Flashtool website.
  2. Firmware File: Download the firmware file for your Xperia XZ1. You can find official firmware files on various forums, such as XDA Developers.
  3. Drivers: Install the necessary USB drivers for your device. These can usually be found on the Sony Mobile website.

Flashing the Sony Xperia XZ1

Once you have prepared your device and gathered the necessary tools, you can proceed with the flashing process. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Install Xperia Flash Tool

  1. Download Flashtool: Download the latest version of Flashtool from the Flashtool website.
  2. Install Flashtool: Run the installer and follow the on-screen instructions to install Flashtool on your computer.

Step 2: Install Drivers

  1. Download Drivers: Download the necessary USB drivers for your Xperia XZ1 from the Sony Mobile website.
  2. Install Drivers: Run the driver installer and follow the on-screen instructions to install the drivers on your computer.

Step 3: Download Firmware

  1. Find Firmware: Download the appropriate firmware file for your Xperia XZ1. Ensure that the firmware version matches your device’s model and region.
  2. Extract Firmware: Extract the downloaded firmware file to a folder on your computer.

Step 4: Prepare Flashtool

  1. Launch Flashtool: Open Flashtool on your computer.
  2. Flash Mode: Click on the lightning bolt icon and select Flashmode.
  3. Select Firmware: In the pop-up window, navigate to the folder where you extracted the firmware file and select it.
  4. Prepare for Flashing: Ensure that all options are checked, including Wipe User Data, Wipe Cache, and Wipe APPS_LOG. Click Flash to prepare for the flashing process.

Step 5: Flash the Firmware

  1. Connect Device: Power off your Xperia XZ1. While holding the Volume Down button, connect your device to your computer using a USB cable.
  2. Begin Flashing: Flashtool will detect your device and begin the flashing process. This may take several minutes.
  3. Complete Flashing: Once the flashing process is complete, Flashtool will display a success message. Disconnect your device and power it on.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

While flashing your Xperia XZ1, you may encounter some issues. Here are common problems and their solutions:

Device Not Recognized

If your device is not recognized by Flashtool:

  1. Check Drivers: Ensure that you have installed the correct USB drivers for your device.
  2. Try Different USB Port/Cable: Use a different USB port or cable to connect your device.
  3. Reinstall Drivers: Uninstall and reinstall the USB drivers.

Flashing Fails

If the flashing process fails:

  1. Retry Flashing: Close Flashtool, restart your computer, and try the flashing process again.
  2. Check Firmware File: Ensure that you are using the correct firmware file for your device.
  3. Use Different Version of Flashtool: Sometimes, using a different version of Flashtool can resolve issues.

Device Stuck in Boot Loop

If your device is stuck in a boot loop after flashing:

  1. Enter Recovery Mode: Try entering recovery mode and performing a factory reset. Power off your device, then press and hold the Volume Up button and the Power button simultaneously to enter recovery mode.
  2. Reflash Firmware: Reflash the firmware using Flashtool.

Best Practices After Flashing

After successfully flashing your Sony Xperia XZ1, follow these best practices to ensure your device runs smoothly:

Verify Firmware Installation

Check the firmware version to ensure the flash was successful. Go to Settings > System > About phone and check the Android version and build number.

Reinstall Essential Apps

Reinstall your essential apps from the Google Play Store. Avoid installing all apps at once, as this can help identify if a specific app is causing issues.

Monitor Performance

Keep an eye on your device’s performance after the flash. If you notice any issues, they might be related to specific apps or settings. Address these promptly to prevent further problems.

Regular Backups

Continue to regularly back up your data to avoid data loss in the future. Use Google Backup or Xperia Companion to create regular backups of your important data.

Stay Informed

Keep an eye on updates and news related to your device. Join forums and communities, such as the XDA Developers forum, to stay informed about new updates, features, and potential issues.


Flashing your Sony Xperia XZ1 can be a transformative process, giving your device a new lease on life, improving performance, or allowing you to explore custom firmware options. By following the detailed steps and guidelines provided in this comprehensive guide, you can successfully flash your Xperia XZ1 and overcome various software-related challenges.

Remember, preparation is key. Always back up your data, ensure you have the correct tools and firmware, and follow the process meticulously to avoid common pitfalls. Whether you are flashing to restore your device, update its software, or explore new features with custom firmware, this guide equips you with the knowledge and confidence to carry out the process successfully.

If you encounter any issues, don’t hesitate to seek help from online resources, forums, or professional services. With patience and careful attention to detail, you can master the process of flashing your Sony Xperia XZ1 and enjoy a refreshed and fully functional device.

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