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.
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.
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.
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.
Now, lets get to know how simply this works.
- Press on the “Install” tab.
- Browse and choose the file that you desire to flash.
- Press on Add more zips if you desire to flash another zip(s).
- Swipe the round button present on the bottom of the screen to initiate the flashing process.
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.
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:
- Press on “Wipe” tab.
- Press on “Advanced Wipe”.
- Select the partitions: Dalvik Cache, System, Data & Cache.
- Swipe the round button present on the bottom of the screen to initiate the wiping process.
Wiping before Installing a Custom Kernel:
- Press on “Wipe” tab.
- Press on “Advanced Wipe”.
- Select the partitions: Dalvik Cache & Cache.
- Swipe the round button present on the bottom of the screen to initiate the wiping process
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).
To Backup your current ROM, simply follow these steps:
- Press on “Backup” tab.
- Select the partitions you want to backup (Usually, ROM backup includes System, Data, Cache & Boot).
- 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.
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.
Restoring a backup is quite easy:
- Press on “Restore” tab.
- Press on the backup you want to restore.
- Swipe the round button present on the bottom of the screen to initiate the restore process
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).
To mount a partition:
- Press on “Mount” tab.
- Select the partitions to mount.
This tab holds all the settings related to the recovery subsystem.
The following come under this tab:
- zip file signature verification (Enable flashing only if the zip file is signed properly).
- Use rm -rf instead of formatting (Option enables manual rm -rf command to wipe instead of automatic formatting)
- Skip md5 generation during backup (disables the generation of md5 sum during backup process)
- Enable md5 verification of backup files (enables restore of backup, only if md5 sum verifies)
- Use military time (Use the time format followed by Military/Army)
- Simulate actions for theme testing (enables modification of actions during theme testing)
- Time Zone (Set time zone according to your country)
- Screen (Enable/disable/set screen timeout)
- Restore defaults (Restores all the settings to their default value)
It provides all the advance functions of the TWRP recovery.
Advanced functions include:
- Copy Log to SD (Transfers the error log generated to the SD card)
- Fix permissions (Fixes the permissions of the System files to fix errors)
- File Manager (In-built recovery file manager to manage files on Internal and External memory)
- Terminal Command (In-built terminal emulator to execute commands)
- Reload Theme (Reloads the theme from TWRP/theme, necessary when applying a new theme)
- ADB sideload (Initiates sideload over ADB to flash zips)
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)
- Press on “Reboot” tab.
- Press on the desire button where you’re willing to boot.
- 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.