How to Sideload ROMs and Mods Using ADB Sideload

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Android is a powerful platform where a major chunk of the Smartphone development is being carried on. The Android SDK is the kit that is used to develop a bridge between the Android device and the PC to carry on the development. The Android Software Development Kit comes with a variety of tool, of which ADB is the most powerful. Most probably every Android user might have used or heard about ADB at least once in his journey with Android.

ADB is a versatile command line tool that acts as a bridge between the Android device and the PC allowing data to be transferred. ADB is a very powerful tool which can repair your bricked device and install the necessary apps and mods when you need. However, you cannot use the ADB interface unless you open the gates of your device, which is the USB Debugging found in the Developers options of Android settings. The USB debugging open the port between your device and the ADB interface.

The Android Jellybean OS brought new revisions to the ADB and added a new mode called the Sideload mode which can be used to incorporate with the recoveries as well. The ADB sideload is used to install Zip files using the ADB command line, so you can install ROMs and Mods using the ADB. Most of you might find it useless as you can install ROMs from the device itself, however the Sideload mode is a life saver when it comes to a device with internal memory only and there is no ROM in the device to repair a bricked device.

So when your device is bricked and there is no provision to load a ROM to the internal storage of your device, then ADB sideload is the only possible option. Today we will see how to install any Flashable Zip using the ADB Sideload method.

PREPARE YOUR DEVICE

  • Charge your device above 60% battery level to avoid shutdowns during the process.
  • Install proper device drivers on your PC and check if the device is detected. You can find the drivers for your device from our driver downloads page → Click Here
  • Enable USB Debugging on your phone from Settings> Developer options. If you do not find Developer option under device settings, read the instructions given here.
  • Either setup ADB and Fastboot on your computer, or download the Minimal Fastboot/ADB tool and unzip it: mfastboot-v2.zip

Install Flashable Zip Files using ADB Sideload

  1. Download and extract the ADB files on your PC.
  2. Open a command prompt in the ADB folder by right clicking on mouse in the empty space of the folder while holding the Shift key.
  3. Connect your device to your computer using an USB cable and reboot your device into recovery mode. You can do this from the Reboot Manager app:
    Reboot Manager (*ROOT*)
    Ju Tools Free
    Download
  4. In the recovery mode, enter the ADB Sideload menu which will be different for different custom recoveries.
    • For TWRP, you can find it in the Advanced → ADB Sideload
    • For CWM, you can find it in the Install → Install Zip from Sideload
  5. Copy the Zip file you want to install on your device to the ADB folder.
  6. Start the ADB sideload in your recovery. Now enter the following command in the command prompt.
    adb sideload <filename.Zip>

    For instance:

    adb sideload sample.zip
  7. You will see a progress bar in the command prompt indicating that the Zip file is being copied to the device. Once the file is transferred, the Zip is automatically installed on your device.
    side-load-cmd
  8. You can reboot your device once the Zip file is installed on your device.

That’s it, you can install any flashable Zip file using the ADB sideload mode in case of emergencies.

Leave your feedback in the comments section below.

  • Padre Diego

    that saved me. thanks!

  • Thanks!

  • AnMan

    Just open the cmd and type: adb flash revovery (your revovery).img

  • saketh reddy

    I bricked my device sy xperia E3 dualon and no recoverymode in my phone and it can only be be detected in fastbootmode i have custom rom and twrp recovery how can i install them

  • Rowan Morkner

    hey i bricked my phone, managed booted into twrp custom recovery. i followed the steps here to install a rom but got the error message “error: protocol fault (no status)” can anyone help? could i download the rom to an sd card, put it in my phone and boot it from twrp?

  • JERRY

    You have to put the zip file in sd card and put it into your phone and then browse for the specified file.

  • JERRY

    Try installing the drivers of your phone into your pc.

  • Pritesh Shejwal

    bricked my device, then unbricked it, now im able to boot into stock recovery mode, but unable to unlock bootloader again, adb commands wont work, as usb debugging also probably got off, whilst bricking of the device.

    Iam able to boot into fastboot and stock recovery, my question is, how do i put a zip into my phone to get it back to life.?

  • Denisa Paho (Pogradec Painter)

    Thank you,very useful tutorial

  • agung imannuel

    How about without custom recovery?

  • Carlos

    Thank you. My old s2 can return to life

  • Xavier Lim

    I think he meant OTA zip file

  • What is “otc”?

  • Richard Amanda Green

    i got a galaxy s5 SM-S903VL i got everything ready but sideloading the otc file

  • Manaseh Mokanya

    after the file has been sent to my device, i saw an error message on my device screen Installation aborted; my phone is China Galaxy A9 2016 with android version 5.1.1, so i don’t know the possible problem and solutions, please help

  • mohit

    same here plz sir tell us to solve this bug

  • If you flash, your internal storage may be wiped.

  • Adv Bayu Prastowo

    Dont wipe anything?…
    If u dont do that, i think will be bad…
    Bad English…

  • abhi

    doesnt work on s6 edge plus . error : device not found

  • Kamal Yusuf

    THANK YOU!!! YOU SAVE MY LIFE !!!

  • Justinasap

    when the file is finish it say installation aborted

  • Máhārzãñ ROzeet

    i did everything….all the files r sent..but it doesnt show receiving notification on scren of my phone,…n aFTER the completion of sendung my phone shows error…wat should i do?

  • Jason Bothell

    Try Odin.

  • Jason Bothell

    XD

  • Jason Bothell

    Your zip is not official. If you want to flash a custom rom/zip, you will need to have a custom recovery.

  • Jason Bothell

    Errr. That is a problem with your rom or zip. Contact your developers.

  • Sandeep Thandra

    Hi, I tried installing an update through adb and the installation fails with the “footer is wrong and signature validation error” msg. Any help?

  • Cloud

    Thanks for the replly! I tried it! Doesn’t work! Still the same problem! 🙁

  • Remove the previously installed ADB on your PC and try to install the latest version. Then try to sideload the package again

    https://www.androidfilehost.com/?fid=24521665358595410

  • Cloud

    I have a zenfone 5,am trying to reinstall stock recovery after soft brick. The problem I’m having after
    adb sideload file.zip

    is

    Total xfer 0.00x

    And the installation is stops, the recovery menu on my phone shows up again. I’m really stuck. Please Help!!

  • victor

    you just need to download higher version
    go and search for adb sideload 1.0.32 download
    and that should do it

  • Fox

    GOTCHA!Thanks!

  • Fox

    it says error:more than one device and emulator.

  • Ðiego Ferraz

    Thank you very much! This saved my tablet

  • Jordan

    can i still do this if USB Debugging
    is off?

  • Carlo Gruspe

    how can I enable the signature verification through recovery? is there any command to enable this? cant enable to software side only recovery and downloader boots up

  • Tarun Shadija

    It works Thank you soo much..!!!!!

  • Unclesam McGrave

    ok there’s a cool advice for you, seriously we have the same problem. First step remove battry, second plug charger usb in cp ; dont connect to pc!, third grip hold on usb wire, forth swing the wire then loose grip, fifth look for oven or fire, and place the battery there!1!. LOL life is funny. that’s all ty.

  • Todd

    Crappy instructions by another crappy self labeled online advisor

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  • No. For flashing custom things, you need a custom recovery.

  • Jey

    Does this process work, if you are on Stock recovery?

  • Master Mind

    signature verification failed & installation aborted

  • Zorn

    I had the same issue. Open device manager and install the ADB drivers after you go into adb sideload mode in TWRP.

  • Download this: http://www.mediafire.com/download/6b3aw3dq8omefyw/mfastboot-v2.zip

    Extract the zip, open the folder, place the mouse pointer at an empty space inside the folder and then press Shift+right-click with mouse. Then select “Open command window here” and enter the command.

  • hotstuff69

    On the command prompt, it says that abd is not recognized as an internal or external command. I right clicked on the folder that had the rom and selected open a command window here

  • Might be a TWRP issue.

  • mt_xing

    My device stops showing up in adb devices the second it try to put it into sideload mode. It shows up when at the recovery screen; just not sideload. Nexus 6 5.1 TWRP. Ideas?

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  • You don’t want to know

    I cant figure any this out been up all night trying someone just needs to make a simple program does it all for you .

  • Looks like the update.zip file your downloaded is corrupt. Re-download it and try again.

  • Shawn Donnelly

    I am pasting what I am posting to a few instructional guides on adb sideload in case anyone stumbles across this post and is having the same issue that I encountered earlier today. Hope this helps 😉

    I was just attempting to sideload a ROM via recovery and repeatedly kept getting the error ‘cannot read …’

    This is what the command looked like in my command window:

    c:Place Where You Saved ADB Drivers AND Zip You Would Like To Flashadb sideload BlissPop-v2.2-e970-UNOFFICIAL–20150313

    Finally after a few attempts I figured why don’t I just change the name of the zip file to ‘Blisspop.zip’ and it worked like a charm. I’ve been through several forums and tut’s on how to sideload via adb and have yet to see any warnings about syntax inside the command window when attempting to use adb. This is probably because the people who are writing these instructions are so familiar with the procedure and perhaps even working inside a command terminal window that they forget that when a beginner is trying to follow instructions for a tutorial that incorporates a command terminal, syntax is not just important, it’s mandatory. Hope this helps anyone else who stumbles across this thread. I think I am going to copy and paste this to one or two more.

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  • lujotu

    MAYBE IF YOU SCREAM LOUDER

  • Okay, I can help you via Team Viewer. But, that would cost both of us a bit of time. You can follow this guide to restore your Nexus 4 to stock: http://www.droidviews.com/nexus-4-android-5-0-lollipop-factory-image-available-now/

    Follow the above guide to every bit and you will be able to revive your N4.

  • jennyc

    hi there. so while DEVELOPER MODE is ON and my phone is currently unlocked without an operating system, im pretty sure USB Debugging is off, and I cannot get into the phone as there is no operating system. im stuck between Reboot Recovery (what ive been using) and Reboot to Bootloader. When I go into Recovery, it says i can install a zip from a sideload. but my computer wont recognize the device is attached to it. I have a Nexus 4, with no OS and debugging turned off : ( help!

  • DANYAL

    I HAVE SKY A810K
    WHEN IT IS IN RECOVERY MODE IT CANNOT CONNECT TO PC VIA USB CABLE HOW CAN I CONNECT IN RECOVERY MODE FOR INSTALLING NEW ROM???

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