We can do a lot more with a custom recovery so this tutorial will walk you through the entire process to show you how to install TWRP on the OnePlus 6.
Since its inception, installing the core developer community modifications have been the same on all OnePlus smartphones. Whether this is installing a custom recovery onto your recovery partition, installing a custom kernel to the boot partition, or anything like that. However, Google changed how some of these things are structured with the introduction of Android 7.0 Nougat and the original Pixel smartphones. This began the transition from a regular partition system to what is known as the A/B partition scheme.
Google added this to Android because it allows for seamless system updates. This feature allows you to download an install a new update to your smartphone in the background and continue using your device. Once done, you can choose to reboot at any time and during this boot cycle you will complete the overall system update. A change that went along with this transition is the removal of the regular recovery partition as it is now included as part of the boot image.
So, to install TWRP as the custom recovery on the OnePlus 6 we need to follow a different set of instructions than we did on all of the other OnePlus smartphones.
In order to complete the tutorial below, you're going to need some things set up ahead of time. Please follow the how to install ADB and Fastboot tools guide if you haven't done so already. Then you will need to follow the how to enable Developer Mode guide, as well as the tutorial that shows you how to enable USB Debugging Mode.
You will then need to open a command prompt within the within the same folder as your ADB and Fastboot tools and execute the "adb devices" command (without quotes) to start the ADB service. Then connect the device to the PC with a USB cable and you should see the prompt to grant USB Debugging Mode access from the PC the phone is connected to.
Once granted, you can then test this by running the command "adb devices" again (without quotes) in a command prompt or PowerShell to make sure the computer recognizes the device.
How to Install TWRP on the OnePlus 6 Tutorial
- Unlock the bootloader of the OnePlus 6
- Download the TWRP IMG file for the OnePlus 6
- Rename this file to twrp.img
- Move or copy this file to the same folder as your ADB and Fastboot tools
- Then download the TWRP ZIP file for the OnePlus 6
- Move or copy this TWRP ZIP file to the OnePlus 6
- Power off the smartphone
- Then boot the OnePlus 6 into Fastboot Mode
- Connect the smartphone to the PC with a USB cable
- Launch a Command Prompt/PowerShell in the same folder as your ADB and Fastboot tools
- Type the following command. . .
- fastboot boot twrp.img
- . . .then press the Enter button on the keyboard
- Wait for the OnePlus 6 to reboot and temporarily boot your into TWRP
- Tap the Keep Read Only option here
- Then tap the Install button at the top left of the menu
- Browse to and tap on the TWRP ZIP file
- Swipe the white arrows to the right to begin the installation
- Wait for it to patch both boot images with TWRP
- Then tap the Reboot System button when it appears
As I mentioned, this is the same process that we’ve been using with the Pixel and Pixel 2 phones because they’re using the new A/B partition scheme. This isn’t a requirement from Google so many OEMs have opted to not go down this route but I’m happy to see OnePlus jump on board here. The overall process is similar to most Android and older OnePlus devices however, it’s just that we are adding in a few more steps to the middle here. It’s these additional steps that actually installs TWRP and keeps it there after a reboot.
So a lot of this is setup that you may have done before you even purchased the OnePlus 6. This includes making sure you have the proper USB drivers and then installing ADB and Fastboot tools onto the PC you’re currently using. You will also need to make sure you have unlocked the bootloader of the OnePlus 6 since we cannot install TWRP on the device if it has a locked bootloader. With that done we can go ahead download two files that we need in relation to this process.
This includes the TWRP IMG file and the TWRP ZIP file and the link to both of these files is included in the step by step tutorial above. We need to rename the TWRP IMG file to something like twrp.img (so that this guide is easily usable no matter which version of TWRP is available) and then we need to move or copy the TWRP ZIP file from the PC and onto the internal storage of your OnePlus 6. When you’re ready, go ahead and boot the OnePlus 6 into Fastboot Mode and then connect it to the PC with a USB cable.
Now we need to open up the Command Prompt or Windows PowerShell and execute the fastboot boot command. This is actually only temporarily booting the OnePlus 6 into TWRP and if that’s all you want to do then you can stop following this guide. If you want to fully install TWRP though, you want to wait until you get to the TWRP main menu and then tap the Install button at the top right. From here you need to browse to and tap on the TWRP ZIP file that we downloaded and moved to the phone and then swipe the white arrows to the right to begin the installation.
This process should only take a few seconds and you’ll see an error pop up if something goes wrong. Assuming everything went smoothly though (just like it does in the video I embedded above), then you can tap on the Reboot System button when it appears and then wait until the OnePlus 6 boots back into OxygenOS.
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