Debrand your Xperia arc [Tutorial]

by XB on 16th April 2011

in Firmware, Tips & Tricks, Xperia arc

Debrand your Xperia arcHave you bought a Sony Ericsson Xperia arc via your carrier recently? Are you annoyed with the amount of bloatware installed? Some operators have gimped the functionality too, like Orange UK who has disabled the wireless hotspot feature. If this is you, then fret no more as we have a full guide on how to get your Xperia arc debranded.

Debranding enables you to get the latest updates quicker and hopefully speeds up the handset too. The instructions below will debrand your Xperia arc handset to the global generic firmware. Xperia Blog absolves itself from any responsibility should something go wrong. Please proceed with caution and at your own risk.

Tutorial on debranding your Xperia arc

1) Switch on the debugging option on your Xperia arc. Go to Menu –> Settings –> Applications –> Development –> Tick ‘USB debugging’

Also tick ‘Unknown sources’ under Menu –> Settings –> Applications

2) Download the latest version of FlashTool from xda-developers.

3) Extract the downloaded FlashTool file to a folder of your choice. Press ‘Parcourir’ to choose the folder then press ‘Extraire’ to extract the files.

Debrand your Xperia arc

4) Download the Xperia arc firmware from here (170MB). This is version 3.0.A.2.181 of the global firmware for LT15i handsets.

5) Unzip the firmware to reveal the ‘FTF’ file. Place this file in the Flashtool/firmwares folder.

6) Open the ‘X10FlashTool’ application in the FlashTool folder. Click ‘Flash’.

Debrand your Xperia arc

7) You should now see the firmware selected as shown below. Click ‘OK’.

Debrand your Xperia arc

8 ) You will then see the screen below.

Debrand your Xperia arc

9) Turn your phone off. Whilst holding the back button on your handset, connect your phone via USB.

Debrand your Xperia arc

Debrand your Xperia arc

10) Follow the on-screen instructions to flash your phone to generic firmware. Once complete, your Xperia arc should now be unbranded.

  • Danyasd78

    please post mirror for firmware

  • Will debranding via a method like this make a previously non-unlockable bootloader unlockable?

  • Anonymous

    Afraid not – this will only affect the actual firmware on the device.

  • Dominic

    does this give us more internal memory and faster UI?

  • Dominic

    also is there any disadvantage or instability?

  • CowBoyBebop

    Can confirm from a Orange Xperia Arc… not only do i see the UI faster but my battery power last alot longer compared to previous “bloat-ware” Orange Xperia Arc.


  • Ganan Jored

    Done on my Arc (with SFR as operator), worked perfectly !!
    I confirm the phone has a faster and smoother UI

  • Asad

    Im glad this doesn’t relate to my arc. I purposely bought a generic one this time but nice to know its already available. Carrier branding, I bloddy hate it.

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  • Yinandyang

    How do I know if my phone is or isn’t one of those branded types? I got mine from a local carrier brand, but it doesn’t look like it has stuffs by them in it. Is there a way to check?

  • Al8157

    Is this possible on the Xperia Play?

  • Fat Cha Siu

    I followed your guide, and ended up getting my Arc bricked. You should have told us that we needed XRecovery to go along with the flash sequence. Luckily, I was able to unbrick it.

  • Fatbobbybob

    can you tell me how you got the blue light on. I hold down the menu key (bottom right that has four horizontal lines) but it just goes to charge mode. I tried the bottom left and it goes green so I must be nearly there.

  • Sillysanj

    Hey Fatbobbybob,

    I too had the same issue but what I did is remove the battery for 30 seconds (could be less) and pop in the battery, plug in the usb and then press the back button (left and not right where mnu button is) should see the lovely blue light of delight :P

    Hope this helps.

  • Mpsaro

    Tried this on my arc with ‘3’ branding multiple times and am not having any luck. Can someone please repost with in-depth detail as to how they achieved debranding?

  • Im_apc

    How do I make an ftf file if I have another fw in tar or img format?

  • bonZi

     Guide works like a charm. Successfully debranded a 3 branded Xperia Arc in the UK. It takes a while to first load after the flash, which could be stressful, but once it is on, it runs like a charm… Not much of a difference in speed, less annoying apps on the phone, slightly more memory, and the ability to update OTA even when not with 3…. Good job guys!

  • J0nny

     Hey, I have an orange arc tooou help me?. when I try to connect it wont install the s1 boot loader driver? can y

  • J0nny

     Hey, I have an orange arc too, when I try to connect it wont install the s1 boot loader driver? can you help me?

  • Fatbobbybob

     Do what CowBoyBebop says and it should work.  I installed the official SEUS sony erricson update software to get the drivers. Let me know if this works

  •  Hi Mate try to use FlastTool instead as in the 2.9.1 it will give the S1 Boot loader error but when I used it worked like a charm

  • Alessocci

    Hi, I debrand my Xperia ARC with Flashtool and go done.
    But the phone is still sim lock. Why?


  • DunkelSE4m

    Thanks a lot

    but the file size is 271MB, so can you please edit it in your topic

  • Binhdam

    hi, I bricked mine. Can you show me how to debrick it? tks

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  • Benlockett01

    I have a 3 branded UK handset, would love to debrand it using this tool but can someone please clarify for me whether this will also unlock the sim? That is the main reason for me debranding.

  • Jaykayhk

    Will this also work with the Neo?

  • djyoyo

    will you be able to get updates using seus after debreand?

  • Le Jordan

    Hi, i managed to debrand my arc but i cant seem to send or receive calls, though full signal is shown. Any ideas?? Cheers for your help

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  • Benlockett01

    Well the guide worked perfectly, I got a sim unlock code from Three which cost £15 and then used this tool to debrand the phone of all the bloatware with no issues, works like a charm. Oh yeah and to those who asked, yes you can update with SEUS afterwards.

  • Lee2k182

    works perfect, easy to do also :)

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  • Jairmorett

    i just cant conect mi xperia arc in flashing mode. why!! i press back bottom then i connect it to my pc then just turn on the light in green it is suppouse to be blue.. anyone can help me?

  • Brsszn87

    my phone is not powering up.. i guess mine is bricked too.. how did you unbrick it?

  • Bassam

    i just debranded my xperia arc orange swiss, it woked perfect the i have made latest uptate, u just have to follow
    the instructions corect.
    thank u for the post  

  • Hi all! There is much better way to debrand Xperia arc. offers FREE flashing. It will automatically download latest firmware for you. They have all firmwares and really no need to pay anything like before. M.W.

  • Al

    Hi There, i did exactly as shown but almost at the end of the process it said “error” and then “unplug and turn your device on” so i did. nowit turns and shows the SE flash screen and then 2 seconds later it shows a “yellow traingle with a mobile sign under it” and then the phone turns off. my phone is xperia arc lt15a. please help.

  • wk

    My Xperia Arc is a LT15a model, will this guide work with my phone?


  • Esebastian

    Do I have to debrand my unit to version 3.0.A.2.181 first before upgrading to 4.0.1.A.0.283? Or I can go directly upgrade to 4.0.1.A.0.283???

  • Stranger

    I almost bricked my phone using this guide. I did everything as described, but the flash process always aborted, after which I could not even turn on the phone (stuck in flash mode – green LED). I tried many different combinations of the flashtool and the formware versions. Finally as I was about to give up, I decided to try one last time and randomly took out the sim card and the sd card before flashing using this method: and with tears on my eyes I watched the flash process complete just like in the video there. My arc was purchased in Oct 2011 with the LT15i hardware and was branded by orange. Hope this helps another soul out there tearing their hair out with a bricked piece of expensive electronics in their hands!

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