Galaxy S III

How to Restore the IMEI or EFS folder in Galaxy S3 – Details

Galaxy S3 Green LogoJust in case if you have installed the custom ROM firmware and noticed that there are issues with the serial number or the IMEI or for say the network is not getting latched despite inserting the right sim card, then we will help you in fixing the same. It is very important to make sure that your phone has proper IMEI and not the generic IMEI number which ends with 00… as network operators check the IMEI before the network gets latched in the device. Most of the times IMEI or the EFS folder gets corrupted when the instructions are not followed properly. Most importantly the right procedure to restore the IMEI is very important as there are 100s of tools which claim to restore the IMEI but fail to do so.

While the method which we will be checking out is not the one which will work for 100% time, this has worked for us.

Note: As of now the below mentioned tutorial should only be applied to the devices with the model number as Samsung Galaxy S3 but as in when this procedure of backing up the IMEI comes to other devices, we will cover the same here.

Quick Pre Requisites:

  • All the data in your device should be backed up with the help of below mentioned steps manually and not with the Samsung Galaxy SIII as it may not help you restore the data.

SMS – Use “SMS Backup & Restore app”,
Contacts – Sync with the Gmail application,
Call Log – Call Log and Restore
Images, Songs, Videos, Files – Copy to internal / External SD Card,
APN and MMS Settings – Note down from the path “Applications > Settings > Wireless and Network > Mobile Networks > Access Point Names

  • Before proceeding, you need to make sure that your device is rooted. To check on whether the device is rooted or not, you need to check the same with the help of Root Checker app. Make sure that the ADB is installed in your computer

Let’s proceed to the next step where we have summed up the instructions which will help you restore the IMEI.

Procedure to Restore the IMEI or EFS folder in Galaxy S3:

  • Download the Root Explorer from here to your computer. Once downloaded, you need to to open the same to locate the EFS folder.
  • In the EFS Folder, delete the file “nv_data.bin”, “nv_data.bin.md5″.
  • Go to the EFS Folder which you have backed up in your device’s SD Card, copy the “IMEI” folder to the EFS Folder in your phone and copy the “.nv_data” file in the EFS Folder at the root of the phone using the root explorer.
  • Now, make another copy of “.nv_data” file in the EFS folder of your phone, so by now you will have the two copies of “.nv_data” in the EFS Folder
  • Now, rename one of the”.nv_data.bin” to “nv_data.bin” and another one to the “nv_data.bin.bak”
  • Up next in your PC, open the command prompt at the ADB tool path  or run the terminal in your phone to enter the below mentioned commands.

adb shell ( use this command of you use ADB, if you’re using terminal, skip this line )


chown 1001:radio /efs/nv_data.bin

  • Finally reset the phone and there you go, the original IMEI has been restored which you can check by dialing *#06#.

Congratulations, you have now successfully recovered your IMEI in your Samsung Galaxy S III. Do let us know in the comments section just in case if you face any issues as we will try our level best to address the same



  1. Stephen Alan Price

    November 19, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    Did everything but when I hit enter after typing chown 1001:radio etc it says “usage:chown [option][:group][file2]” Any ideas?

  2. Egizas

    November 19, 2014 at 12:56 am

    In my phone (gt-i9300, 4.1.2) there is no “.nv_data”…

  3. Ahmad

    May 10, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    I have the same issue with My Samsung Galaxy S Advance, i went to service center they said it board would be replaced.

    Now its lying idle, i don’t want to spend5-6k on this old phone to get the board replaced. Can you please tell me how i can get IEMI no back on my Samsung Galaxy S Advance.

  4. clouds73

    May 8, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    Something I don’t understand here.
    You are saying \Go to the EFS Folder which you have backed up in your device’s SD Card\,
    well, I didn’t back up anything! I downloaded an original rom from sammobile and installed it and ever since I have this problem NOT REGISTERED ON NETWORK.
    I tried everything possible, re-installed the rom, chose a different one, nothing helped at all.
    I can see the files you want me to delete in the efs folder and if I delete it, where can I get it again? or am i suppose to back it up first?
    thank you

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