Debrand your Xperia S [Tutorial]

by XB on 26th March 2012

in Featured Content, Firmware, Tips & Tricks, Xperia S

If you recently bought your Sony Xperia S via a mobile operator there is a good chance that it will carry some bloat compared to the sim-free variants. The disadvantage of carrier customised firmware isn’t just bloat though, there is also every likelihood that updates will take longer to hit your handset. Mobile operators need to take the time to customise firmware which could mean that new firmware could take days or even weeks longer to appear on your handset.

Luckily for you, we’ve published an easy guide for you to debrand your firmware. The process is no different to flashing older Xperia handsets, however we thought it was worth posting as there are a lot of new Xperia owners following the Xperia S launch. The instructions below will debrand your Xperia S handset to UK 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 S

Note: This tutorial does not require you to root your handset, it does not require you to unlock your bootloader and you will not lose your user data.

1) Install drivers for the Xperia S
The very first step is to make sure that your PC has all of the necessary drivers installed for the Sony Xperia S. The best way to do this is to install PC Companion or Sony Ericsson Update Service (SEUS). Make sure you connect the Xperia S to the PC before starting the process to download the necessary USB and ADB drivers.

Debrand your Xperia S

2) Find your customization number [Optional]
The customization number of the handset identifies which region/carrier customised firmware your handset is running. It is best to start by noting what your existing firmware customisation number is, so that you can make sure it has changed once you complete the tutorial.

Do this by opening the dialler and press the following characters: *#*#7378423#*#*
Access Service Menu > Software info > Customization Version.

In this example we are debranding an O2 UK handset which has the customization number 1257-9042_R7E.

Debrand your Xperia S

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

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

4) Install Flashtool
Download and install the latest version of Flashtool on your PC. [Mirror for North American users]

5) Download the generic Xperia S firmware
Download the generic Xperia S firmware from here (312MB). This is version 6.0.A.3.67 of the UK firmware for LT26i handsets. This tutorial will work with a FTF file from any region, so if you have a different FTF file feel free to use it instead of the UK one for this step.

A note of warning: Some browsers like Opera will rename the extension of this FTF file as a zip file when trying to download it. Make sure that the downloaded file has a .ftf extension rather than .zip.

6) Place firmware in correct location on your PC
Place the FTF file in the C:\Flashtool\firmwares folder.

7) Launch Flashtool
Open the Flashtool application on your PC. Click on the lightning bolt symbol.

Debrand your Xperia S

Select Flashmode and click OK

Debrand your Xperia S

8 ) Select firmware
Select the correct firmware in the left column (LT26, 6.0.A.3.67, 1257-3921). If you uncheck the “wipe userdata” box in Flashtool before flashing, you will not lose any data. Click ‘OK’.

Debrand your Xperia S

9) Connect phone to PC
Turn your phone off. Press and hold the volume down key while plugging the USB cable into your Xperia S.

Ignore the instructions from the pop-up window as these are for a different Xperia phone.

Debrand your Xperia S

10) Flashing process will start
The flashing process should now start and you should see something similar to the picture below.

Debrand your Xperia S

Once you see the “Flashing finished” message in Flashtool, remove your handset from the PC and wait until the phone reboots (this may take some time so don’t panic).

Debrand your Xperia S

11) Your phone should now be debranded!
Congratulations, your Sony Xperia S should now be debranded! You can check the customisation number as per step 2 to confirm this. In this case the UK generic firmware has the 1257-3921_R5E customisation number.

Debrand your Xperia S

Thanks to xda-developers.

[To join minus, the free file sharing platform, you can use our referral link here. It will provide both us and you with 1GB of extra storage. This will help us to have ample storage to provide relevant download links to our readers.]

  • TheLoyalist


  • Faalhaas

    Glad mine is sim-free :D

  • A better idea would be to download Generic NL from here instead of the UK firmware: 

    It’s a lot cleaner than the UK ROM, and you can remove almost all bloatware applications. It doesn’t contain any bloat at all actually, once you’ve removed McAfee and stuff.

  • Mrpaulparker

    Does this work on the experia arc

  • ahomad hosin

    will this unlock the phone as well or it will still be locked?

  • XperiaBlog

    No, this does not remove sim lock – it only puts you on generic firmware.

  • XperiaBlog

    The process is the same – you’ll just need relevant Xperia arc FTF firmware. Check xda-developers Xperia arc development section for this.

  • XperiaBlog

    Thanks for sharing – good to know it has less bloat. 

  • Does this work with the SO-02D ? (Xperia S/NX from Docomo)

  • ahomad hosin

    not a problem. with my current version, I can’t unlock the bootloader, will this change with the debrandong? i.e. will it be possible to unlock the bootloader after the debranding?

  • BatesOut

    Can somebody point me to a valid download link for 4.0.2.A.0.42 UK firmware for the Xperia Ray, I used Wotan to flash it with a generic 1 but I can’t find anywhere to download a copy for future use incase Wotan start charging … Thanks guys.

  • Martin Wasley

    Why is the file so much larger then?

  • It contains slightly more apps, but all the extra apps it contains CAN be removed unlike the UK firmware.

  • Asad Mulla

     Same here. Sim free White.

  • XperiaBlog
  • XperiaBlog


  • XperiaBlog

    We don’t see why not – but maybe someone else can confirm?

  • BatesOut

    Thanks so much for the reply :), I will try that  now !

  • Gene87

    I downloaded flashtool and I put the TFT file in firmwares but Flashtool doesn’t show the firmware! Also my device isn’t recognized?! Need some help please

  • Gene87

    I was using the NL generic software by the way…

  • Gene87

    Nevermind I fixed it, the file I downloaded was corrupted -_- I downloaded the TFT file again and it worked just fine. 

  • ahomad hosin

    you might need to install the drivers (by installing PCC)

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  • Magicshirt

    Attempted this but got a message saying “ERROR – Cannot identify your device”. Also Flashtool can’t see the firmware.

  • Magicshirt

    Seem to have had the same problem as Gene87… it is working now :-)

  • lch

    Doea the uk firmware contain Asian input?
    Where to get generic Singapore firmware?

  • good 

  • jayjay

    Thank you very much for this, does anyone know if this can be done on a WinXP pc or does it have to be a later version of Windows?  Or even a Mac?


  • Dio Merda

    dio scafista!!!!

  • ahomad hosin

    unfortunately, debranding my phone didn’t allow it to become boatloader unlockable. you should have said you don’t know. thanks anyway. my phone is better with all the crap removed

  • XperiaBlog

    Sorry we misunderstood your question. If a phone is sim locked or has its bootloader locked this guide will not change that. The guide will simply put you on generic firmware and nothing else.

  • jayjay

    Just done it on a Win XP laptop, so yes you can, just restart your pc to install adb driver before using flashroot

  • jayjay

    Mine still says no to unlocking the bootloader – 02 uk phone

  • Anthony Allen


    My Xperia S was purchased in China. The reason for wanting to rebrand is that I am actually British. This Chinese firmware has no Google apps. installed and when they are installed, they do not run. I do not even have access to the Google Play store. 

    If I follow the process below, will this process give me the apps. I need? I know that Google Play works on HTC phones in China so that is not a concern.


  • im in the UK flashtool doesnt even download when i go to that link :(

  • tried this and now my phone won’t turn on thanks :D

  • BillyUK

    Hi does anyone know how to rebrand xperia s to the original firmware? I only noticed the yellow tint at the bottom and top right corner of the display after debranding the phnoe. Need to take it back to 02 UK to see what they can do about it.

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  • Charmedisme

    hi how long would it take to reboot mines been about 25 mins now 

  • bombay

    will the work for the arc?

  • Pingback: Sony rilis upgrade Android ICS untuk Xperia Arc S, Neo V dan Ray | Indonesian Geeks Portal()

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  • Scarbao

    Hi guys, recently bought my xperia s from movistar, spain, i’d like to leave an advice for all thoose that are trying to debrand and get some “error” messages, just go to flashtools/drivers, install your phone´s drivers, and dont forget to install flashtool’s drivers too ^^

      Working perfectly now, ty guys for this 

  • Julio Spinoza

    Can I do this if my phone is .62 firmware??
    I just bought my Xperia S in Mexico, is .62 firmware branded Telcel (piece of sh*t), is LT26i, will I be able to get 3G if I debrand to this firmware? Is it possible to jump .62 to .67 with this tutorial? Thanks

  • Teo

    When I connect my xperia U, flashtool recognized a device in flash tool mode but after one minute it disconnect the device without flashing. Why?

  • Hi there. I followed you tutorial (as I have previously done with my x10i, but I’m getting errors when I try to flash the LT26. It says drivers need to be installed for the connected device, which I can find in the drivers section of flashtool. I have installed the drivers! Can you help at all please? Thank you!

  • Nicholas

    Will this void my warranty?

  • BLikens1619

    Can we get some flashing for the Xperia Ion now?

  • Nikelberry

    hey im currently on the firmware  6.0.A.3.75
    would i be able to use the firmware file that you have posted in the tutorial and would it downgrade my phone?

    because i want to get rid of the Orange UK firmware that is flashed on it to a generic one, which i can also update to ICS.


  • Nikelberry

     never mind did it anyway!!
    the waiting bit took aprox 3 min….! thanks people!!
    works a treat!

  • Wijnand

    this is bullshit

  • Horbhe

    Hi, If i do debranding, does it stay with sim-free?

  • Gee Bee

    Used this to flash and unbrand T-Mobile UK Xperia S and worked a treat. Thanks really happy

  • Lilolly76

    Hi ppl, does anyone know how to rebrand Xperia s? I’m on orange and I have the yellow tint on my screen I want to send it back to orange, thanks in advance

  • John (Orange csr)

    Just wanna say worked a treat orange branded no more thank fuck lol and I work for Orange they seriously mess up their handsets big time I lost out on instagram for one but as soon as reflashed bang tidy its back awesome cheers guys

  • John (Orange csr)

    click on the link under it namely Hotfile works a treat the top lnk dont work but your find hotfile does

  • John (Orange csr)

    I had the yellow tint but when did this I got the upgrade to ICS bang tidy no problemos

  • John (Orange csr)

    you just aint got a clue mate if u did u find this worked awesomely

  • John (Orange csr)

    Yes it will but wheres theres a will theres a way and you be able to find the branded version somewhere

  • fzero17

    thankk youu mate it workedd !

  • marco cabral


    Mine got stuck at Processing amss_fs_2.sin when i was trying to flash my xperia ion

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  • jojo

    will this process open the sim-lock on the set?

  • Zeerak

    My phone is continuesly restarting hence I can’t check the USB debugging. Would the flash work without that?

  • taj

    these links don’t work anymore at least fore me. please fix it

  • is the procedure same for debranding xperia U

    and can u please provide links for generic firmware for xperia U for india region and the nececessary ftf files please

    i jst recently bought a tim branded xperia U
    and i definately need to de brand it
    plz help me
    and thnx in advance

  • Jagir Hussain


    My Sony Xperia S(LT26i) is Sim Locked & Bootloader Locked…

    Rooting Status: Bootloader unlock allowed: No
    Sim Lock: [x] Network 0

    How to Unlock My Phone……?

  • vince

    it works with So-02D, use latest flashtool

  • You cant unlock bootloader. You can unlock sim (afaik).

  • vickyboy786

    How can i lock my sim? please help me because i have the same problem.

  • Why would you want to lock your sim?
    If you want to unlock it then we need more info. Is it locked because of the PIN entered too many times badly?

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  • Luis

    I have a Xperia S bought on ebay and it’s carrier is orange (uk)… it’s also hardlocked… but i’m in portugal and i use TMN… Do you think that if i install the tft from tmn rom i could use it with that network?

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  • cheerboy

    i have the same issue,pin entered too many times badly and it gor hardlocked.Is there any way to sim unlock my phone?It is a z1

  • Deschamps

    i also hve a xperia arc s whith Sim Lock: [x] Network 0
    can this tutorial unlock it? thank

  • Tyrone Blair

    What does debranding mean? Can I unlock my Xperia Z C6606 from T-Mobile?

  • Syrs Knight

    Hi, Love the links listed above, maybe its time to update your site some :) anyways, I would like to get the tools listed above to flash my Xperiia Z if the thread it ever updated..Thank you

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