You can follow these step by step instructions to install TWRP as the custom recovery on the Moto G4 and the Moto G4 Plus.
If you’ve been following along with the device tutorials here at Android Explained, you already know how much I love a custom recovery on my smartphone or tablet. I wish Google include these features in the stock recovery for Android, but at least we have the ability to install a custom recovery that we like the most. TWRP is the most popular custom recovery these days and they have continued to support almost all of the new devices that have come out lately.
So today I’m going to walk you through the basics and detail how to install TWRP as the custom recovery on the Moto G4 and the Moto G4 Plus. I personally own the Moto G4 Plus, but the process is identical for the regular Moto G4. The TWRP image file is the same, and the steps needed in order to install a custom recovery on the Moto G4 is the same as well. The only requirement here is that you must have the bootloader unlocked.
So, if you haven’t done so already, be sure to follow the guide on how to unlock the Moto G4 bootloader and then come back here after you’ve done that.
Moto G4 Install TWRP
- Enable Developer Mode
- Enable USB Debugging Mode
- Install ADB and Fastboot on the PC
- Double click the ADB & Fastboot shortcut that was created
- Type in the following command. . .
- adb devices
- . . .and press Enter on the keyboard
- Connect the Moto G4 to the PC with a USB cable
- Allow USB Debugging access from the PC
- Unplug the USB cable from the Moto G4
- Boot the Moto G4 into Fastboot Mode
- Plus the USB cable back into the Moto G4
- Download TWRP for the Moto G4
- Rename the downloaded file to “twrp.img” (without the quotation marks)
- Copy/Move the TWRP image file to the Minimal ADB & Fastboot directory
- Type the following into the command prompt. . .
- fastboot flash recovery twrp.img
- . . .and press Enter on the keyboard
- Wait until TWRP has been written to the Moto G4
- Press the Volume Down button a couple of times to highlight the ‘Recovery’ option
- Press the Power button to select this option
- Wait until the Moto G4 boots into Recovery Mode
- Swipe the white arrows to the right to fully install TWRP
- Tap the Reboot button at the bottom right
- Then tap on the System button at the top left to reboot back into Android
Similarly to yesterday’s tutorial, this one can look overwhelming at first, but it’s just broken down into easy to follow instructions If at any time you get confused along the way, be sure to watch through the embedded video above as I walk you through the entire process while I install TWRP on my Moto G4 Plus. If you haven’t done so already, you will need to get the prerequisites out of the way first.
So be sure to have Minimal ADB & Fastboot installed, enable things like Developer Mode and USB Debugging mode, start the ADB service with the command listed in step 6 of the guide above. You’ll also need to allow USB Debugging access by connecting the USB cable to the Moto G4 or Moto G4 Plus right after starting the ADB service. In the video I also unplugged the USB cable after this step so I could boot into Fastboot Mode without there being any issues.
When you have the Moto G4 or Moto G4 Plus in Fastboot Mode, you can plug the USB cable back into the phone. Then you’ll need to download the TWRP image file from the TWRP website, rename it to twrp.img (so it’s easier to type in the command prompt) and then move or copy it into the same directory that you have the ADB & Fastboot tools installed to. For me, this is “C:\Program Files (x86)\Minimal ADB and Fastboot”, but you may have installed it somewhere else (or might not be using Minimal ADB & Fastboot tools at all).
With all of that done, we can then turn our attention back to the command prompt. You’ll need to execute the fastboot flash recovery twrp.img command, and it should only take a second or two to completely the installation. I always recommend checking to see if everything went smoothly by pressing the Volume Down button on the Moot G4 a couple of times. Once the Recovery option is highlighted, go ahead and press the Power button to reboot over into Recovery Mode.
If everything went smoothly, you should see the TWRP splash screen before being shown the TWRP installation page. From here, you can choose whether or not you want to fully install TWRP or not. I like TWRP to be my default recovery for smartphones and tablets, so I swipe the white arrows to the right to fully install it. However, if you only want to use TWRP this one time and want to use the stock recovery after, then tap the Read Only button on the left side of the screen.
Just know that you will not be able to accept OTA updates if you fully install TWRP, or make any modifications to the /system partition while you are in TWRP (by fully installing SuperSU for example).