How To: Sideload Flashable ZIPs on Android with TWRP

Sideload Flashable ZIPs on Android with TWRP

If you're one who likes to tinker with Android, TWRP is the first thing you should install. It replaces your phone's stock recovery mode interface and adds over a dozen advanced features to your device—most notably, the ability to flash ZIPs that can modify practically every aspect of your operating system. It's certainly one of the most powerful tools available for Android, and there's simply nothing capable of replacing it.

One of the more useful features in TWRP is the ability to sideload ZIP files, meaning you are able to send files from your computer directly to TWRP and immediately install them. This feature especially comes in handy when you've messed up something on your phone and are stuck in a bootloop. For future reference, or for immediate help, we'll briefly go over the steps to this process below.

Prerequisites

Step 1: Prepare Your Phone & Computer

Boot your phone into TWRP, then plug it into your computer with a USB data cable. From there, open a Command Prompt (Windows) or Terminal (Mac and Linux) window, and type in adb start-server to start the ADB server on your computer. For an in-depth guide on this part, don't miss our full ADB installation tutorial at the following link.

Next, tap the Advanced tab from TWRP's main menu on your phone. From there, tap on ADB Sideload, then swipe the slider to start the ADB connection.

Step 2: Sideload the ZIP

Type adb sideload into Command Prompt or Terminal, then hit your spacebar once to add a single space. From there, locate the ZIP file you wish to sideload, then click and drag the file into the Command Prompt or Terminal window, which will populate the file's location and name into the field. From there, just hit enter to begin the sideloading process. In our example, it would look like this:

adb sideload "C:\lockscreen-db_removed-signed.zip"

Take a look at your device, and you'll see the ZIP do its work. In this case, it has completely removed the lock screen from my device. Depending on the ZIP you're flashing, the feedback message will vary. However, you will see a Reboot System button in TWRP when the ZIP has been successfully flashed.

Now that you've mastered the art to sideloading ZIPs in TWRP, don't forget to browse around and take a look at some of the ZIPs we found interesting. There's ViPER4Android, iPhone Emojis, the Xposed Framework, custom kernels such as ElementalX, and so much more! If you have a favorite tweak or mod, be sure to share it with us and your fellow readers. There's no limit to modifying Android, which is what makes it so unique.

Cover photo and screenshots by Kevin M./Gadget Hacks

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