How to Flash the TWRP Recovery to Android Device

An Android device consists of several pieces of software, including the bootloader, radio, recovery and system. The recovery is a runtime environment separated from Android that can perform various system-related tasks. It contains tools to help repair installations as well as official updates. There are two kinds of recovery, one is stock recovery, the other is custom recovery.

The stock recovery on Android device can delete all user and cache content ( for factory reset purposes ), allow external tools to run functions on Andorid device and perform system updates. The stock recovery is a limited system. A custom recovery is a third-party recovery environment. Compared to stock recovery, the custom recovery has more addtional features. It is modified to allow update packages that have not been digitally signed by official sources. Custom recoveries has the ability to create and restore device backups.

The popular custom recovery -- Team Win Recovery Project ( TWRP ), is a touch-based recovery. TWRP offers ROM installation and backup features but the stock recovery doesn't.

What you should do before Flashing the TWRP

  • Unlock the bootloader of Android device. Only you have unlocked the bootloader of the device, flashing the TWRP recovery is available. Most bootloaders are locked, as well as encrypted to make sure users stick to the Android OS version manufactured by the developers.
  • Download a compatible version of TWRP. Make sure that the version of TWRP is applicable to your Android in case of any device specific quirks. Do a little reach on the TWRP website.
  • Install Android Debug Bridge ( ADB ). If you have unlocked the bootloader, you may already have them. If not, you had better download one.
  • Backup. Although flashing the TWRP will not wipe up the data, but backup is always important when you do something with the system.

Flashing the TWRP Recovery Step by Step

Step 1: Enable USB Debugging

Different Android versions have different ways. Take Android 5.0 Lollipop as example. Other Android version please refer to How to Enable USB Debugging Mode on Android

  1. Click Menu button to enter into App drawer.
  2. Go to "Settings".
  3. Scroll down to the bottom and tap "About phone" or "About tablet".
  4. Scroll down to the bottom of the "About phone" and locate the "Build Number" field.
  5. Click Menu button to enter into APP Drawer.
  6. Tap the Build number field seven times to enable Developer Options. Tap a few times and you'll see a countdown that reads "You are now 3 steps away from being a developer."
  7. When you are done, you'll see the message "You are now a developer!".
  8. Tap the Back button and you'll see the Developer options menu under System on your Settings screen.
  9. Go to Settings>Developer Options>USB Debugging. Tap the USB Debugging checkbox.

USB Debugging should only be enabled when you need it. Leaving it enabled all the time is kind of a security risk for that this mode grants you high-level access to your device.

Step 2: Download TWRP for your Android Device

Head to  TWRP official website and go to the Devices page for searching the version of your device. Go to the "download links" section on that page and download the TWRP image. Copy the TWRP image to the folder in which you have installed the ADB and rename it to twrp.img.

Step 3: Boot into Andorid Bootloader.

Every phone is a bit different to another when booted into bootloader. But most of modern devices boot into bootloader by turning off the device, then hold the "Power" and "Volume Down" buttons for 10 seconds before releasing. If this method doesn't work well on your device, you had better refer to the Google instructions.

Step 4: Flash TWRP to Your Android Device.

  1. Connect your device to the PC with a USB cable once in bootloader mode. The device should indicate that the device is connected.
  2. Open the folder of twrp.img by using the mouse on the PC. "Shift+Right Click" on an empty area and choose "Open a Command Prompt Here".
  3. Run the command: fastboot devices. The command returns a serial number, indiccating that it can recognize your device. If it doesn't, check which step you have done with mistakes.
  4. Flash the TWRP once the device is recognized by fastboot. And run the command: fastboot flash recovery twrp.img.
  5. Results of flashing. If all goes well, you will see a success message in Command Prompt window.

Step 5: Boot into TWRP Recovery.

  • Use the volume down button to scroll to the "Recovery" option in your bootloader after unpluging from the PC and select it.
  • If TWRP requires a password, then enter the password or PIN you use to unlock the bootloader. It also ask if you'd like to use in "Read Only" mode. Read Only mode means it will just stay on your device until you reboot it.
  • After entering the main screen, you can use it to creat "Nandroid" backups, restore previous backups, or flash custom ROMs. Once you have made your first backups, you are free to explore TWRP, flash a new ROM and so on.

Note:If the TWRP ask if you would like to root your device, choose "DO Not Install". Tt is better to root your device with KingoRoot, the professional one-click root apk for Android device, rather than having TWRP do it for you. Remember, backup before you do anything else in TWRP, lest you mess up your device in the process.