So far we have talked about booting your OnePlus One into Fastboot Mode and unlocking the Bootloader. Today I’m going to show you exactly how you can install a custom recovery on your OnePlus One so that you can make backups and install custom kernels and custom ROMs.

Custom recoveries are very important for Android enthusiasts and they give us a way to create backups and restore from those backups in case something goes terribly wrong with our modifications and customizations. It’s very hard nowadays to hard-brick a smartphone or tablet and getting a custom recovery onto our device makes it that much harder.

Sadly, the stock recoveries only give us the option to perform a factory reset. With a custom recovery, we can expand the functionality and gain a lot of additional features.

The custom recovery that I’m going to show you how to install is called TWRP and it stands for Team Win Recovery Project. The team of developers behind TWRP have taken the stock recovery and added in a ton of features that us Android enthusiasts need. These developers have even gone as far as to add theming functionality too, giving more power to the hands of the community. TWRP has a fully touch driven user interface so you no longer have to navigate through menus with the volume and power buttons.

Before we can start this tutorial, you will need to have followed the how to install ADB and Fastboot guide, then you will need to know how to boot the OnePlus One into Fastboot Mode and you will also need to know how to unlock the bootloader of the OnePlus One. Please read through each and every one of those because if you don’t have something setup from those tutorials then you could run into issues with installing a custom recovery.

OnePlus One Custom Recovery

  1. Unlock the OnePlus One Bootloader
  2. Enable USB Debugging Mode
  3. Open the Settings, Tap on Developer Options
  4. Disable the “Update Recovery with System Updates” Option
  5. Power Down the OnePlus One
  6. Boot Your OnePlus One Into Fastboot Mode
  7. Download the Latest Version of TWRP for the OnePlus One
  8. Rename this File to the Following. . .
  9. recovery.img
  10. . . .then Move it into the Folder with ADB.exe and Fastboot.exe
  11. Launch the Command Prompt for ADB and Fastboot
  12. Type the Command. . .
  13. fastboot flash recovery recovery.img
  14. . . .and Press Enter
  15. Once it is Complete, Type the Command. . .
  16. fastboot reboot
  17. . . .to Reboot Back into Android


As I said before this tutorial, you need to go through the previous tutorials to make sure everything is set up properly. This means that you need to have ADB and Fastboot installed, you need to have the proper USB drivers installed and you need to have the bootloader unlocked. Missing anything from those previous tutorials can cause some issues or errors during this tutorial. If you come across one of these problems then use the comments section below to ask and I will do my best to help out if I can.

Once the bootloader for the OnePlus One is unlocked, you will then need to enable USB debugging on your device. If you are unable to locate this option then you most likely don’t have Developer Mode enabled. If you need help with this, I have written a tutorial on how to enable Developer Mode that should help guide you. Once the USB debugging option is enabled, now we can start issuing fastboot commands to your OnePlus One. First though, we need to disable the setting that allows Cyanogen to update the stock recovery(just like it says in the tutorial above).

Now that you have all the requirements ready, you can now boot back up into Fastboot Mode. Once we get here, you can go ahead and download the latest TWRP recovery image from the official TWRP website(linked in the tutorial above). We want to rename this to recovery.img so that it is easier to issue the fastboot.exe command. Once it has been downloaded and renamed, you need to copy/move it to the same directory that you have ADB and Fastboot installed. Once the TWRP recovery image has been move, you can then flash it to your OnePlus One by executing the command “fastboot flash recovery recovery.img”. This command tells fastboot to flash the recovery.img file into the recovery partition.

Once we have your OnePlus One with a custom recovery installed, you can then reboot your device with the command included above and then you are done. To boot up into your TWRP custom recovery in the future, you can download a Google Play Store application called Flashify(requires root access to use) or you can follow the manual guide below.

Boot into TWRP

  1. Power Down Your OnePlus One
  2. Press and Hold the Power Button and the Volume Down Button at the Same Time
  3. Let Go of These Buttons When You See TWRP

As always, use the comments section below or send me an email if you run into any issues or have any questions about this tutorial for the OnePlus One.


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