How to Install the TWRP Custom Recovery on the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

Pixel 2 Install TWRP

If you want to install any modification on the Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL then first you will need to follow this guide and install TWRP as your custom recovery.

Almost all of the popular mods for Android are downloaded as a ZIP file and then flashed in a custom recovery. I recently showed you how to boot the Pixel 2 into Recovery Mode and while the stock version can do a lot, a custom recovery offers more features. Over the next week or two I’ll be discussing some of the more basic TWRP features for two new Pixel phones from Google, but before we can do that it needs to be installed on the device.

This process works by first temporarily booting into TWRP and then flashing a ZIP file on the device. Other devices can usually get by with simply installing TWRP directly onto the recovery partition but things are a bit more complicated on the Pixel 2 phones. This is partly due to the dual partition system that Android has available to it. Not all OEMs right now use this system and that is why things are a bit different for the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL.

Before you can install TWRP (or even just temporarily boot into it), you will first need to follow the guide on how to unlock the bootloader of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.

In order to complete the tutorial below, you're going to need some things setup ahead of time. Please follow the how to install ADB and Fastboot tools guide if you haven't done so already. You're also going to need to start the ADB service by executing the "adb devices" command (no quotes) in the Command Prompt. Lastly, you'll need to follow the how to enable Developer Mode guide, as well as the how to enable USB Debugging Mode guide, and make sure to grant USB Debugging access from the PC to your device.

 

Pixel 2 Install TWRP

  1. Download the latest IMG and ZIP for TWRP (Pixel 2Pixel 2 XL)
  2. Rename the IMG file to twrp.img
  3. Rename the ZIP file to twrp.zip
  4. Move or copy the twrp ZIP file to the internal storage of the Pixel 2
  5. Move or copy the twrp IMG file to the same folder as your ADB and Fastboot tools
  6. Boot the Pixel 2 into Fastboot Mode
  7. Connect the Pixel 2 to the PC with a USB cable
  8. Launch a Command Prompt in the same folder as your ADB and Fastboot tools
  9. Type the following into the Command Prompt. . .
  10. fastboot boot twrp.img
  11. . . and then press Enter on the keyboard
  12. Wait for TWRP to temporarily boot on the Pixel 2
  13. Tap the Install button when you get to the TWRP main menu
  14. Browse to and tap on the twrp ZIP file
  15. Swipe the white arrows to the right to confirm the installation
  16. Wait for TWRP to be installed on slot A and B of the Pixel 2
  17. Tap the Reboot System button when it appears

This step by step tutorial is a detailed explanation of a topic I covered on my Pixel 2 Tips and Tricks article. I recommend you read through that if you're curious about learning the ins and outs of the Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL.


 


Explanation

This guide combines a number of different things to get TWRP completely installed on the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL. I do want to point out that as of writing this, TWRP for the two new Pixel 2 phones is currently in beta. Most features should work but there could be some things that do not. For example, beta 1 of the Pixel 2 XL didn’t support the touch interface of TWRP and even with beta 2 some people are experiencing issues with Android 8.1 Oreo.

So to start off, we first need to download the two files from the TWRP website. To make things easier, we’ll then be renaming both of these files to just “twrp” (so it will be twrp.img and twrp.zip). We’ll then need to move or copy the twrp.zip file onto the Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL into any directory you’d like. We will then need to move or copy the twrp.img file to the same folder you have the ADB and Fastboot tools located in on your computer.

Pixel 2 Install TWRP Command

This command will temporarily boot TWRP on the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.

Now we just need to boot the Pixel 2 into Fastboot Mode and then we can connect it to the PC with a USB cable. We’ll then need to launch a Command Prompt (or PowerShell) from the same directory we have our ADB and Fastboot tools in. From here, we just need to execute the fastboot boot twrp.img command and we should see the Pixel 2 reboot into TWRP. What this is doing is temporarily booting TWRP so if you are doing something like a systemless root you will not want to do a full install and flash the twrp.zip file.

If you’re like me though and you want to completely install TWRP then you will want to swipe the keep modification prompt when you first boot into TWRP. From here, you’ll also want to tap the Install button at the TWRP main menu and then browse to where you put the twrp.zip file. Tap the file when you find it, swipe the white arrows to the right to confirm the installation and then wait for it to be installed on both slot A as well as slot B.

With TWRP fully installed, you can then tap the Reboot System button to reboot the Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL back into Android. If TWRP is fully installed, anytime you boot into Recovery Mode you actually be booting into TWRP as it has replaced your stock recovery image.

If this tutorial helped you in any way, please consider donating at Patreon or PayPal. If you can't afford to donate then sharing this on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. will also help a lot.

 

About the author

Doug

I’m working to create an organized and easy to follow central repository of Android tips, tutorials, guides and everything you need to know. With a focus on device specific tutorials now, my goal is to branch out and do more universal tips and tricks that will work on all Android devices.