How To: Root Your OnePlus 5 & Install TWRP Recovery

Root Your OnePlus 5 & Install TWRP Recovery

The OnePlus 5 had been in the hands of the public for a meager twenty hours before developers on XDA released a custom recovery image to be used in conjunction with SuperSU to root the device. The installation process is simple enough, but it can be somewhat confusing if you're new to rooting Android.

If you're an old soul, you'll be happy to learn that there's nothing new or different when it comes to rooting the OnePlus 5. Just unlock your bootloader, flash the TWRP image and then sideload the latest SuperSU ZIP. But if that sounds like I'm talking in another language, don't worry, you're probably not alone. If you need help with any of those steps, keep on reading as I'll be going over them in greater detail below.


Step 1: Enable 'OEM Unlocking' & Reboot to Bootloader Mode

Before you can begin modifying the OnePlus 5 in any way, you'll have to unlock the bootloader — otherwise, you'll be completely locked out of the system partition. But before you can unlock the bootloader, you'll need to enable a single option in your phone's Settings menu.

Head to the "Developer options" menu near the bottom of Settings, then enable the "OEM unlocking" option. After you've done that, it's time to boot the phone into bootloader mode.

To do so, power the device completely off. Then turn your phone back on by holding the power and volume up buttons for about ten seconds until the bootloader menu appears. Release the volume and power buttons when it does, and leave the phone on this menu.

Step 2: Unlock Your Bootloader

When your phone is in bootloader mode, connect it to your computer with the USB data cable, then open up a Command Prompt or Terminal window. You'll need to change directories to the platform-tools folder inside of your ADB and Fastboot installation directory. This can be done using the command "cd <folder location>" where <folder location> is the complete directory path.

For Windows users, this directory can usually be found at "C:\Program Files (x86)\Android\android-sdk\platform-tools" (without the quotations, of course). For Mac and Linux users, this location varies depending on where you extracted your ADB folder when you installed the utility, so search your hard drive for the platform-tools folder if you've forgotten.

After the command prompt or terminal window is in the right directory, type in the following command:

fastboot flashing unlock

— fastboot flashing unlock
Image via

Hit enter after typing in the command, and you'll see a confirmation appear on your phone. Use the volume keys to select "Yes," then hit the power key to confirm. This command will unlock your phone's bootloader, which will also wipe all of your data. Your device will display a screen stating that your data is being wiped and will then reboot to the operating system when complete.

At this point, you'll need to set up your device again and re-enable Developer options and USB Debugging before continuing to Step 3, so be sure to do that.

Step 3: Download & Flash the Latest Version of TWRP

After you've re-enabled USB Debugging, continue by downloading the latest version of TWRP for the OnePlus 5 from the link below.

After downloading the latest image for your phone, turn your phone off and boot into bootloader mode once again.

Next type the following command into the Command Prompt or Terminal window, then add a single space to the end, but don't hit enter just yet.

fastboot flash recovery

Image via

After that, open the folder on your computer where TWRP was downloaded, then click and drag the IMG file into the Command Prompt or Terminal window. This will populate the file name and full location for you. Once the entire download path is visible, hit enter and wait for the flashing to complete.

Step 4: Reboot to TWRP & Root with SuperSU

This step is perhaps the most important, so be sure to do it very carefully. In order to correctly root your phone after TWRP has been flashed, you have to reboot directly into TWRP from bootloader mode and flash the latest SuperSU ZIP.

To begin, download SuperSU from the link below, and make sure to save it to your computer:

While your computer downloads the SuperSU ZIP, use the volume rockers to select "Recovery mode" on your phone and confirm by pressing the power button. This will boot your phone into recovery mode, which is now TWRP. When TWRP boots up, you'll see a screen asking you to enable system modifications. Swipe the bar on the bottom to allow it.

In command prompt or terminal, type in the following command, then add a single space to the end of it, but don't hit enter just yet:

adb sideload

Click and drag the SuperSU ZIP into command prompt or terminal just like you did with the TWRP IMG to populate the download path location, but don't hit enter just yet.

Image via

From TWRP's main screen on your phone, tap on "Advanced," and then "ADB Sideload." Swipe the bar to begin the sideloading process, then hit enter on your computer to send the SuperSU ZIP to your phone.

You'll see a message that says "Done !" on your phone when SuperSU has finished installing — this is when you can tap on "Reboot System" to reboot into Android with root access.

Step 5: Verify Root

When the reboot has successfully completed, you'll see that SuperSU is now installed along with all of the stock applications that came with your phone. If you open this app and it doesn't say "SU binary not installed," then your device has been successfully rooted.

Now that you're rooted, what's the first root application you're going to install? Share it with us in the comment section below. And if this is your first time rooting an Android phone, we do have a roundup of our favorite root applications at the following link.

Cover image and screenshots by Kevin M./Gadget Hacks


Great instructions. Worked perfectly. I did it all through Linux Mint.
With these slight annotations:

  1. You don't need to install the entire Google SDK. Google has made only the tools available. See this article
  2. In step 2 and after, if you are running Linux -- all for fastboot or adb must be run with root -- use "sudo."
  3. "fastboot flashing unlock" didn't work --- "fastboot oem unlock" did.
  4. the warning at the start of step 4 is correct -- but I screwed up anyway, hit the wrong button on my new phone, and booted into the OS, not into TWRP --- I feared I was dead. But no -- I just returned to recovery mode and everything ran fine after that
  5. In step 4, TWRP wanted adb 1.032, but the version of adb that I had was 1.031. I had to hunt around to find the update -- and then figure out where to put it. I finally copied it over both the copy in the directory I was using, and also over the copy of adb in /usr/bin.

Thanks -- everything sweetly rooted and running fine.


Soooo much better than the one I tried yesterday. CLear instructions, nothing fancy. Simple and easy.
My first app will be SB Game Hacker >:)

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