TWRP Recovery – Explored and Explained!

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Most of us here are very well aware of what TWRP is, especially people who flash ROMs every now and then. Today, we’re here to explore this simple yet very unique recovery and explain in detail the functionality of all of its features. We shall also help you on how to flash a Custom ROM/Kernel/Mod using TWRP. To get on with that, we first need to let you know, what TWRP is.

What is TWRP?

TeamWin Recovery Project or in short; TWRP, initiated in 2011, is an Android Custom Recovery with full touch UI. This Recovery brought in and created a new trend of Touch-based recoveries. It adds customization support and  enormous other amazing features to the AOSP recovery code which makes it one of the best Android Custom Recoveries available till date. The GUI on other hand is fully XML based, so you can modify each and every aspect of this recovery according to your desires, provided that you have appropriate knowledge of XML and Android.

Why choose TWRP over others?

As mention earlier TWRP was the first to bring in the concept of touch-based UI on recoveries, which in turn defines its uniqueness. Since the early days, this recovery has evolved more than any other recoveries available, bringing in huge changes in the code and UI. If you choose TWRP, you’re assured to be updated regularly with more and more features accompanied by stability.

Now, this is when we begin to explore this marvelous recovery. Starting off from the main menu of the recovery.

Must Read:

Things to Do Before and After Installing a Custom ROM

Exploring the Main Menu

As soon as you boot your Android into the latest build of TWRP, the following menu will serve you, known as the main menu.

Screenshot_2013_05_07_01.46

 

The main menu consists of 8 tabs (Install, Wipe, Backup, Restore, Mount, Settings, Advanced & Reboot), each having its own sub-tabs and functions. Let us now begin with the first tab on the screen.

Install

The Install tab is simple and make its role in flashing files (ROMs/Kernels/Mods). Another thing that is unique here, is that you can add a queue of files and the same will be flashed in the respective order.

Install

Now, lets get to know how simply this works.

  1. Press on the “Install” tab.
  2. Browse and choose the file that you desire to flash.
  3. Press on Add more zips if you desire to flash another zip(s).
  4. Swipe the round button present on the bottom of the screen to initiate the flashing process.

Wipe

This tab serves the function of wiping the partitions on your device. Wipe-able partitions include System, Data, Cache, Dalvik Cache, Internal Storage and USB-OTG (if any). Wiping the partitions is necessary as a pre-flashing process and is different for Installing ROMs/Kernels/Mods and updating them. So, before you set yourself for opening this menu, make sure to know what you’re doing.

Advise: Backup your storage as sometimes when you’re in haste, you might mistakenly wipe it and lose all the data on your storage.

Wipe

Here, I’m gonna mention some basic wiping steps for Installing ROMs/Kernels. Note that these are universal for every ROM and Kernel, until and unless the developer himself states some specific steps.

Wiping before Installing a Custom ROM:

  1. Press on “Wipe” tab.
  2. Press on “Advanced Wipe”.
  3. Select the partitions: Dalvik Cache, System, Data & Cache.
  4. Swipe the round button present on the bottom of the screen to initiate the wiping process.

Wiping before Installing a Custom Kernel:

  1. Press on “Wipe” tab.
  2. Press on “Advanced Wipe”.
  3. Select the partitions: Dalvik Cache & Cache.
  4. Swipe the round button present on the bottom of the screen to initiate the wiping process

Backup

The Backup tab holds a very important and useful function. Situations might arise when you accidentally Install a wrong (corrupted/damaged) or may be un-desirable ROM/Kernel/Mod. Post these situations, we find ourselves stuck. So, the Backup option gives us an helping hand to come out. This option is also well known as Nandroid Backup, but is now certainly referred to as a common term; Backup.

TWRP offers some unique privileges in the Backup option too. A user can simply select the partitions that he/she might want to backup viz Boot (Kernel & Ram-disk), Recovery (Present Recovery), System (Firmware files), Data (User Apps and Information) & Cache (Dalvik Cache and Cache).

Backup

To Backup your current ROM, simply follow these steps:

  1. Press on “Backup” tab.
  2. Select the partitions you want to backup (Usually, ROM backup includes System, Data, Cache & Boot).
  3. Swipe the round button present on the bottom of the screen to initiate the backup process.

Apart from backing up, you can also Set Backup Name (set a specific name for your backup), Enable compression and Skip md5 generation during backup.

Restore

The Restore option in simple words, restores the Backup. A backup made with the Backup tab is to be restored from this tab. This option also allows you to delete a previous backup and even enable md5 verification.

Restore

Restoring a backup is quite easy:

  1. Press on “Restore” tab.
  2. Press on the backup you want to restore.
  3. Swipe the round button present on the bottom of the screen to initiate the restore process

Mount

It certainly is essential to mount partitions while flashing some specific files. Mount-able partitions includes: System, Data, Cache, Internal Memory, SD-card and USB-OTG (if any).

Mount

To mount a partition:

  1. Press on “Mount” tab.
  2. Select the partitions to mount.

Settings

This tab holds all the settings related to the recovery subsystem.

Settings

The following come under this tab:

  1. zip file signature verification (Enable flashing only if the zip file is signed properly).
  2. Use rm -rf  instead of formatting (Option enables manual rm -rf command to wipe instead of automatic formatting)
  3. Skip md5 generation during backup (disables the generation of md5 sum during backup process)
  4. Enable md5 verification of backup files (enables restore of backup, only if md5 sum verifies)
  5. Use military time (Use the time format followed by Military/Army)
  6. Simulate actions for theme testing (enables modification of actions during theme testing)
  7. Time Zone (Set time zone according to your country)
  8. Screen (Enable/disable/set screen timeout)
  9. Restore defaults (Restores all the settings to their default value)

Advanced

It provides all the advance functions of the TWRP recovery.

Advanced

Advanced functions include:

  1. Copy Log to SD (Transfers the error log generated to the SD card)
  2. Fix permissions (Fixes the permissions of the System files to fix errors)
  3. File Manager (In-built recovery file manager to manage files on Internal and External memory)
  4. Terminal Command (In-built terminal emulator to execute commands)
  5. Reload Theme (Reloads the theme from TWRP/theme, necessary when applying a new theme)
  6. ADB sideload (Initiates sideload over ADB to flash zips)

Reboot

This menu lists ways to reboot the device to various locations. You can reboot your device into the following modes just with a simple gesture. You can perform the following actions within the Reboot menu:

  • System (Boot your device normally into the OS)
  • Power Off (Powers down your device completely)
  • Recovery (Reboots into the recovery mode)
  • Bootloader (Reboots the device into bootloader/fastboot mode)

Reboot

To reboot:

  1. Press on “Reboot” tab.
  2. Press on the desire button where you’re willing to boot.
  3. Swipe the round button present on the bottom of the screen to initiate the rebooting process.

That’s all about TWRP, that every user needs to know and understand. Every function that this recovery offers is unique, which in turn  makes itself the one-of-the-kind in its line. Are you having trouble while Installing this recovery on your device? Or you’re curious to enquire about something? Feel free to comment and let me know.

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  • Pale Hominid

    Assuming your device is rooted, download and install Flashify from the Play Store, download the correct version of TWRP for your device (get the .img file), now open Flashify and choose Flash/Recovery/Choose file. Select the “.img” file you downloaded, and flash it.

    This will install TWRP as your recovery replacing anything els you may already have.
    Done.

  • mart

    Hi now I cannot even get to the TWRP option, I do not know if it is also wiped off my android. I do have it on my SD card but it will not load in CWM. Really frustrated, I tried everything and still cannot get past the flashing SAMSUNG logo.
    Please someone help!!

  • Asu Keer

    For me, it’s TWRP hands down. Cleaner interface, more complete set of features (file manager and command terminal), and it works better. CWM latest update seem to be more glitchy on my device.

  • mart

    Hi Rakesh, Last night I tried to install a new ROM (paranoidandroid pn_n7100-5.1-20151113) using TWRP v2.5.0.1 I guess I followed all the steps correctly until my device – galaxy note 2 GT-N7100 got stuck after rebooting. The phone is still stuck on the SAMSUNG logo and does not load my apps at all it goes as far as showing the logo flashing as usual. When I reboot Note 2 shows device model and logo and never loads apps on screen. In TWRP it says root permissions appear to be lost & fix SuperUser permissions and when I swipe to fix that the device reboots to model >logo and stays stuck thereon forever..
    Your help would be much appreciated
    Martin
    Martin

  • Unfortunately, no!

  • droid_killer

    Thanks man..
    Is there any way to screen record the recovery process?

  • droid_killer

    How did you took screenshots during RECOVRY?

  • IMran ALi

    i’ll be very thankfull

  • IMran ALi

    please tell me how i can use twrp in nokia xl

  • John Donaghy

    Firstly, thanks for replying, even if you can’t help it’s appreciated. Honestly I’m not quite sure what ROM I’m using. How do I find out?

  • Looks like you have mistakenly wiped some system files. Which ROM are you using?

  • John Donaghy

    Last night I was on my phone, on the main that says “Team Win Recovery Project v2.7.0.2” on the top, and then the 8 boxes saying “Install, Wipe, Backup, Restore, Mount, Settings, Advanced and Reboot”. (If it helps the lock screen on this screen is a TWRP padlock which is unlocked, and a “swipe to unlock” bar on the bottom”). I clicked on Reboot, and then System (expecting there to be another “are you sure option” at that point but there wasn’t). My phone turned off then on again, and now the vast majority of the apps (including Chrome, Google Play, the clock/alarm app, YouTube, games etc.) have all gone, and the remaining ones largely do not work, with a message that says “Unfortunately, ***app name*** has stopped working” appearing. How can I recover all the files I’ve just lost!? How can I get everything back? Please, please, please help. My phone is a HTC One M8.

  • Rickster

    My Lg g2 has a deadzone in the path of the swipe to wipe. Is there a different way I can wipe it?

  • There might be some issue with the specific version of TWRP you’re using. Install a different version and it would work fine.

  • Mohammed Fahad

    Hey there, im using a note 3 sm n9005. I have an issue regarding backup and restore,as it says in the article above before flashing any rom it is required to wipe cache/dalvik/data/ and SYSTEM, known as fail proof method. When ever i flash a rom using this method, the back up i create before flashing the rom (which is really necessary) doesn’t show in the restore tab even though i can access the backup in my file manager. This happens only when i wipe the SYSTEM partition. I tried flashing it without wiping the system partition the normal (factory reset) way, well in this case the back up i created is shown in the restore tab. Does this happen because of wiping the SYSTEM partition? and is this a universal problem??

  • Prudhvi Maddula

    I haven’t found the pit file for lollipop bob6 firmware as I flashed rom with a zip .and when I did flash in rom via twrp it showed md5 is skkipped

  • Flash the firmware with a PIT. It should be fixed.

  • Prudhvi Maddula

    Im using a note 3 n9005 uk version Whenever I flash a rom or custom kernel everything changes but not baseband ..I’m getting md5 skipped in twrp ..and my Baseband not changing even I flashed a rom of upgraded
    And my data plans are getting so slow even I’m having 3g signal..??

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  • JovinGeorge

    what does this mount function do exactly and how is it helpful?

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  • lee lennox

    That’s great thank you!

  • While switching between different ROMs, it is not recommended to restore apps that has been backed up some other ROM. If you do so, you’ll face various issues. Better install them manually. Backup apps using App Backup and Restore app, it will make thing easier while restoring: http://www.droidviews.com/backup-apps-contacts-logs-messages-and-settings-without-rooting-your-android-phone/

  • lee lennox

    If I was just to back up my user data then change ROM could I restore the data using twrp to restore all my apps to the new ROM or would I need to install each app manually. Eg going from Samsung s4 standard 4.2.2 to Google 4.3 and keeping all data??? Thanks in advance

  • Nothing as such my friend. Just reflash the recovery or change it and use CWM

  • All this stuff is kinda new to me. From searching the web, I think i messed everything up by going back and forth between 4.1.1 and 4.2.x roms. The zero folder is messing everything up. I got back to stock and deleted the zero folder. Crossing my fingers whether it works.

  • Just re-flash the recovery again 🙂

  • I screwed up TWRP recovery with a bad ROM and now the recovery can’t read my zip files, except when only “system” is mounted. So now I can only install the backup. It isn’t terminal, but how do I fix it?