How to Root OnePlus 3 Easily and Install Custom Recovery

Ashish Mundhra

I have always preferred rooted Android devices over unrooted ones because of the limitless customization features that come with it. However, lately with so many features like app backup, theming, icon support and other stuff coming to Android without root access, I have not rooted most of the devices used in the recent past. But, with the OnePlus 3, it became quite necessary to unlock the bootloader and root the device.

Root OnePlus 3

The reason was to fix the poor RAM management which killed most of the apps and games running in the background even with the in-built 6 GB of RAM. Developers on XDA forum mentioned that it was done in order to make the device battery-friendly but I was not quite convinced with that statement. Well, thanks to developers at XDA, things can be fixed, but that would require system level access on the OnePlus 3 and therefore rooting is necessary.

So today I will share a step-by-step guide on how you can unlock the bootloader and get the device rooted.

Note: Rooting the OnePlus 3 does not void the warranty of the device, but still I would advise you to go through the FAQs on their support page to get a detailed idea about rooting advantages and disadvantages.

The Prerequisites

Before beginning the rooting steps, here are some important points you need to take care of.

1. As we will be unlocking the bootloader of the device, all the apps, and data the OnePlus 3 currently holds will be erased and your phone will be reset as a factory device, so make sure you backup all the data you have on the device. You can use Helium Backup ADB to backup apps along with their data without root access.

2. Once that’s done, enable the Developers Options on the phone and enable USB debugging so that you can interact with the device using the ADB command line. While you are here, also turn on the option that says OEM unlocking. You will be asked for your device lock pattern or PIN while doing so.

OnePlus 3 Developer Mode (3)  OnePlus 3 Developer Mode (2)

3. Enable advanced reboot option from the developers option as well which will give you the option to reboot directly into recovery mode.

4. Download ADB and Fastboot drivers  from this XDA page and install in on your computer. Also, download and install the OnePlus 3 drivers once the ADB and Fastboot drivers are installed.

Once all of these points are taken care of, let’s begin the rooting process.

Part 1: Unlocking The Boot Loader

Step 1: Press the power button on the OnePlus 3 to bring up the power menu and here, select Reboot—> Bootloader and wait for the device to boot into Bootloader mode.

unlocking bootloader (1)

Step 2: Download SuperSU and TWRP Recovery for OnePlus 3 and save it to a folder on the desktop. Now, connect the OnePlus 3 to the computer using the USB-C cable. Having done that, open the same folder where you downloaded both the files, hold down the Shift key and right-click on the mouse to select Open Command Prompt here.

Step 3: In the command prompt, type in Fastboot Devices and press Enter. You will get a random device name once the command is executed. If you don’t see it, there is some problem with the Fastboot drivers or the OnePlus 3 Drivers installation.

fastboot devices

Step 4: If the phone has been recognized by the command above, type in the command Fastboot OEM Unlock and you will get the prompt to unlock the device on the OnePlus 3. Use the volume button to select and continue with Yes. Please note that this step will wipe everything on the phone.

unlocking bootloader (2)

That will unlock your bootloader. Let’s now continue and see how to install SuperSU and gain root access.

Part 2: Installing TWRP Recovery to Root The OnePlus 3

Step 5: You will now have to set up the device once again and again turn on all the settings we did in the developers option in the prerequisites.

Step 6: Transfer the SuperSU file to the OnePlus 3 internal memory and reboot the device again in Bootloader mode.

Step 7: Once the device is in Bootloader mode again, type in the command fast boot flash recovery recovery.img and press enter. Once the recovery is flashed, plug out your device from the computer and use the volume button to boot into recovery mode. Now all that is left is root.

Note: Take a Nandroid Backup of your device so that you have a copy of the Unrooted firmware just in case you need it.

Step 8: In the recovery mode, select Install then browse to the location where you copied the SuperSU zip file and install it.

That’s all folks, you just need to reboot the device now and enjoy the root access on your OnePlus 3. You can now go ahead and install custom ROMs on your OnePlus 3 that you find on XDA. Just read all the points the developer states and keep taking backups.

Stay Tuned for More

So now that we have seen how you can root the OnePlus phone, next we will see how you can remove the restriction imposed by OnePlus 3 developers on the 6 GB RAM and use it fully for better multi-tasking. We will also be covering some amazing tips and tricks of the all new OnePlus 3 to help you get the most from your device.

ALSO SEE: 5 Cool Customization Features on the OnePlus 2 Oxygen OS

Also See
#custom ROM#oneplus 3

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Ashish Mundhra

Written By

Ashish Mundhra

Ashish is a staff writer and video editor at Guiding Tech. He loves all things tech and has a soft corner for Android. Apart from contributing articles here, he also takes care of our YouTube Channel.