How to Root the OnePlus One Smartphone
We’ve already unboxed the OnePlus One and as a follow up, we’re going to walk you through how to root the OnePlus One step-by-step.
Without question, the most difficult part of rooting a OnePlus One smartphone is actually getting your hands on one. After that first required step is taken care of, the rest of the rooting process is actually fairly easy and should take only a few minutes to compete.
Before we go any further, I’d like to stress how important it is to carefully read and follow all of these instructions. If you’re completely new to rooting Android devices, it might be a good idea to go through each of the steps below a couple of times before doing anything. That way if there is any parts that you don’t understand, you can ask for help before beginning the process.
With that out of the way, let’s continue…
- A OnePlus One smartphone with a Micro USB cable
- A PC with ADB installed
- The latest Version of TWRP recovery
- The latest version of SuperSU
Step 1: Prepare the OnePlus One Smartphone
Before any of this will work, you’ll need to have developer mode and USB debugging enabled on your OnePlus One smartphone. No worries though this part is easy. Simply go into the main settings menu on your One and tap on the “About phone” option at the bottom of the list. In the newly opened window, scroll until you see “Build number” and tap on it several times until the pop informs you that you’re now a developer. Now hit back, and you’ll see a newly added developer options menu. Tap on it and then check the empty box that is next to the Android Debugging option.
Step 2: Download & Install ADB
It can be a bit confusing for some users to learn how to get ADB properly installed and setup on a PC the traditional way. Thankfully, developers have come up with root toolkits that can make the process much easier. For this tutorial, we will be using the Nexus Toolkit by Wugfresh. The OnePlus One isn’t a Nexus device, but that’s alright because we will only be using the Nexus Toolkit for its included ADB files.
Once that has finished installing, open up a Windows Explorer window and navigate to the newly created data folder inside of the Nexus Toolkit install directory. The path should be either “C:\Program Files\WugFresh Development\data” or “C:\Program Files (x86)\WugFresh Development\data” depending on your particular system. Leave this window open, we’ll be going back to it later.
Once Windows Explorer is inside the data folder, hold down the shift key and right click on a blank spot within the Windows Explorer window. This will open up a list of different options, including the one that we’re looking for, which is Open a command window here. Left click on that option and a command prompt window will automatically launch with the correct path. It should look like the screen shot below.
Now whip out a Micro USB cable and connect the OnePlus One to your PC. Allow any drivers that pop up to finish installing and grant your PC access from the phone’s screen if it ask. Go back to the command prompt window that you opened earlier. We are going to first enter a command to ensure that ADB and the One are communicating with each other properly.
In command prompt, type adb devices and press enter. Daemon will start running and after a few seconds, you should see what appears to be the serial number of a device shown.
Compare your command prompt window with the Screen shot above. If you see something similar (only the numbers should change), than that means ADB has found your device and you are ready to move on to the next step. If you don’t see a device listed, than that probably means that you have a driver issue. Leave a comment if you need help with OnePlus One drivers.
Step 3: Use ADB to Unlock the Bootloader
Now that ADB has been installed and it can find the OnePlus One, we are ready to go ahead and use it to unlock the One’s bootloader. Warning, this step will completely wipe all of your personal data from the phone. So make sure to create a back up of anything important before proceeding.
In the command prompt window, type fastboot oem unlock and press enter. Your phone will reboot, which might take a few moments to complete the first time. Once it does, navigate back to the Settings menu and re-enable developer mode and USB debugging. You’ll also need to uncheck the box for the Update CM Recovery option.
Before moving on to the next step, download the SuperSU Zip file and transfer it to the One’s internal storage. Just place it somewhere easy to find.
Step 4: Use ADB to Flash TWRP Custom Recovery
Now that the bootloader on your One has been unlocked, we can use ADB to flash a custom recovery. Currently, the best custom recovery for the OnePlus One is Team Win Recovery Project, or TWRP. TWRP has a ton of features that make it incredibly useful to have on your device even after you’ve gained root. For that reason, I recommend flashing it to the device permanently rather than simply booting into it temporarily.
At the time of writing, the downloaded file name was openrecovery-twrp-188.8.131.52-bacon.img. To make things easier, I recommend renaming the file to something shorter and easier to remember. I went with “bacon” because that is the code name of the OnePlus One and I always do it that way. Off-topic, but that’s a pretty awesome code name for a Android device isn’t it?
You don’t have to rename the file if you don’t want to, but shortening it does make things easier when you go to type in the next command prompt. Whether you rename it or not, this file will need to be moved over to the data folder of the Nexus Toolkit install directory. Just go back to your already opened Windows Explorer window and drag and drop it over.
Go back to the open command prompt window and reboot the phone back into boot loader mode by typing in adb reboot bootloader and pressing enter again. Now type in fastboot flash recovery bacon.img and press enter. Keep in mind, the command prompt you need to enter will be different if you didn’t rename the file to bacon. So put in that file name instead. Team Win Recovery will be installed to your One smartphone in a few seconds. Again, compare your command prompt window with what you see above to ensure everything went smoothly.
Once all of that is finished, you’ll need to get into your newly flashed recovery. You can do this multiple ways, but since we’re already having fun with command prompts we might as well stick with that.
Type adb reboot and press enter. Wait for the phone to finish rebooting into the OS and then enter the command adb reboot recovery and the phone will reboot again but into TWRP recovery this time.
Step 5: Use TWRP to Install SuperSU
From the main menu of TWRP, tap the Install button. In the newly opened screen, navigate to and select the SuperSU file that we downloaded and saved to the phone earlier. Once selected, swipe to the side and TWRP will install SuperSU. After a few seconds, SuperSu will finish installing and you’ll see the option to reboot the system.
The first initial boot up after SuperSu has been installed might take a bit longer than normal because Android will need to configure a few things. Just be patient and let it do its thing. Once you’re able to get back into the OS, open the app drawer and click on the newly added SuperSu icon. There you’ll want to uncheck the option: Respect CM Root Settings. To ensure that everything worked and that your One is now rooted, you can head to the Google Play store and download a root checking app such as Root Checker.
That’s all there is to it. You can now begin enjoying all of the benefits that come with having root on your OnePlus One smartphone. Remember, we’re here to help so please feel free to ask any questions that you might have in the comment section below.