Got my phone back from repairs, but there's no internet!

Just got my phone back from repairs. They’ve exchanged the motherboard and updated softwear. The current operating system version is Fairphone Open 21.08.0-rel.0. There is an update available Fairphone Open 19.11.2. Should I update to that? (I would’ve thought 21 is newer than 19…).
When I open the phone there’s only calculator, calender, camera, clock, contacts, email, F-droid (WTF is that?), Files, FM radio, gallery, messaging, music, phone, search, settings, sound recorder and updater.
How do I get to internet? I need to get my connections to the phone. When I click on Search it has a google sign, but it can’t do the search. How do I make my phone usable?

No that’s not normal. 21 is indeed the newest.

F-Droid is the appstore from which you will get many FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) apps. From there you can download a browser to have internet, in Fairphone Open the browser was removed in the latest upgrade. I advise Fennec F-Droid.

You’ll also need to be connected to wifi or mobile data for this, you’ll find it in the settings under Network and Internet.

Just to be sure: were you running your phone with all google apps before or without?


You probably need to check your APN settings to access mobile Internet. If none or the wrong settings are configured, just adjust them to match those according to your mobile provider. If you cannot access the Internet from another device to research the right APN settings, request help at support of your mobile provider by calling them…


Did you have Fairphone Open before sending the phone in for repairs?


Thanks! I chose that Fennec F-droid as I use Firefox on my computer as well so it was easy. Now I can start looking for the ways to get all the apps back…

I think I used all Google apps.


Thanks, I’ll check into that as well. I found something called VPN. What’s that compared to APN?

I had 19.11.2. before, but I can’t remember if it said Open or not, Didn’t react to that.

This sounds like you did not use the Open OS which is an Android version with Google components removed for privacy reasons, and that sending you a phone with the Open OS was a mistake by the repair centre.


OK, then I need to contact the support I guess. I never liked google anyway because they know everything you do, including listening to your conversations even tho the phone isn’t on…

Then you don’t have to contact support. Just for clarification: The FP2 usually came with Fairphone OS (FPOS) which is an Android operating system with a typical set of Google apps. Fairphone Open OS (FPOOS) is an Android operating system without these Google apps. Unless you bought your phone second hand you had FPOS installed for sure if you didn’t change anything consciously.
Now the repair center obviously installed FPOOS. If you are fine without Google then by accident they installed you the correct OS and there’s no need to get back to support. If you miss the Google apps and want to go back to FPOS you can either contact support again or install FPOS on your own.


This link is better I think: Going Back — FAIRPHONE open source documentation :slight_smile:


VPN is the abbreviation for Virtual Private Network, which is something completely different. The easiest thing to do would be to google the APN settings of your provider, some of them even did a tutorial on how to configure the settings. Another way to find out is calling your provider and get assistance from there…

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Turns out I really need Google. When I try to download the apps I need (there’s some app’s that are totally necessary in this country these days, like ID, bank, travel cards and stuff like that) as when I try to download them from Google Store it says they’re already downloaded, but they don’t show up on the phone.

I tried this, got to step 2: 2. Scroll down the list and select Other Devices. If you see an item named simply Android, preceded by an escalation dot, please keep following the step.

There is no Android in the other devices…

Skip this step, this is confusing and not really mandatory… Did you notice Alex post reg switch from Open to normal OS?

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Trying this, but guess I’m not wise enough…

Manual installation (using fastboot)

“1. Download the “manual switcher to Fairphone OS” from the download section of this site.”

Do I download this on the computer or on the phone?

“2. Extract the manual switcher to Fairphone OS by running unzip”

How do I do this?

“3. Boot your phone into fastboot mode (hold the Volume Down button while you power on the phone).”

When I do this it only takes a screen capture.

“4. Connect the phone to a computer using a USB cable.”

My phone says USB debugging commected
Tap to turn off USB debugging.

When I tap on it I get a message “Please enable developer options first.”

I don’t get it.

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  1. Computer
  2. As you would extract every other zip if no tool is installed you can use 7-zip
  3. First you have to turn off the phone
  4. In the settings, tap on the build number multiple times under about the phone. Than open developer option (settings-system-more) and enable Android/USB debugging…however if turned on that’s good
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But I seem to have trouble with the fastboot mode. It either gets stuck with the text
powered by
and nothing happens
or it starts the phone in regular way.

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Fastboot means that while holding Vol-down plus power, the phone “starts” vibrates 2-3 times and then stuck with fairphone logo on the screen and LED blinking blue, so seems you were in fastboot mode

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Looks like it, but nothing happens. I’ve been waiting for like 15 minutes now, the cmd.exe says Validating files… and nothing happens…