When you decide to make unofficial modifications to an Android mobile, one of the first processes that appear on your way is that of Custom Recovery. If you want to root the mobile, you will generally need to have a recovery mode installed first. It is also the recommended way to install Magisk.
If a few years ago ClockWorkMod’s CWM was the most popular recovery mode, TWRP has taken the lead from it and is the only one that continues to be updated today. If you have come across any of these words and are not quite sure what is what, here we will try to clarify what is TWRP and how is it installed.
What is Recovery Mode
Of the special modes that Android phones have, the truth is that Recovery Mode has one of the most intuitive names. As its name suggests, its role is recover the mobile in case there is any problem. To achieve this, it has a series of tools that can help bring back to life a mobile that has stopped working due to a problem.
The Recovery Mode of a mobile of each mobile may be different, because it is after all an internal tool of the mobile manufacturer to solve problems, but there are common options that are in most of them: clear cache, delete data partition (The same as restoring the factory mobile) or installing updates from ADB or an SD card.
The Recovey Mode comes in all Android phones and is used to diagnose and fix errors
To enter the recovery mode, generally you must start with the mobile off and turn it on while pressing several buttons at the same time, the most common combination being Volume down + Power on. In some cases the necessary combination involves all three buttons, that is, Volume Down + Volume Up + Power.
If you can’t find the right combination, you can always achieve the same using ADB. It is not the fastest method, as it requires some previous configuration, but after connecting the mobile to the PC you only need to send the
comando adb reboot recovery to restart it in recovery mode.
What is a Custom Recovery
The utility of the official mobile recovery mode is limited, as it is intended only to solve problems, and that is where the custom modes, also called Custom Recovery, come in.
A Custom Recovery is a modified recovery mode with more features
Basically, they are recovery modes created by third parties and hypervitamin, so they include many additional features.
Recovery Mode, or recovery, is housed in a partition other than the system partition and starts before the system starts.
It is therefore an ideal way to make modifications to the system, such as flashing ROMs or modifying system apps (for example, installing Google applications on a mobile that does not include them).
There are basically two custom recovery modes, although it depends on the developer community if your mobile is compatible with one, the other or neither. These are CWM o ClockWorkMod and TWRP or Team Win Recovery Project.
CWM was the first custom recovery mode, created by developer Koush, the developer of other popular apps such as AllCast, Vysor or Inkwire. Is about a recovery mode visually similar to the classic Android, with text menus that you scroll through using the mobile volume buttons.
CWM adds additional functions to the recovery mode, the most important being the possibility of flash ZIP files, the base of infinity of modifications of the system for years, including the installation of a ROM in the mobile. Another interesting utility of CWM is the possibility of making and restoring complete backups, commonly called NANDroid backups.
CWM not updated for years, and its own developer commented on Reddit that he “stopped making recoveries and apps that need root years ago.” It is, therefore, a useful recovery mode on old mobiles.
If CWM was Recovery Mode on steroids, TWRP is hypervitamin CWM. TWRP is Team Win’s custom recovery mode project and offers the same as CWM offered but better, with more options and a touch interface more modern.
With TWRP you can also flash ZIP files with ROM, make and restore backup copies, as well as delete other partitions, but add advanced functions such as the possibility of connect to external storage drives via OTG, browse mobile storage to delete specific files or use ADB with Root permissions.
TWRP is still active today, being an open-source project currently maintained by approximately four people. Being open source, it is relatively common for the user community to carry versions compatible with many devices, including relatively modern ones.
How to install Custom Recovery as TWRP
Installing a custom recovery on Android is not something trivial and the process can vary from one mobile to another, although there are mainly two ways to achieve it: or with root or flashing it directly.
On a rooted mobile, you can generally use applications to install Custom Recovery mode easily. Both recovery modes have an official application to help you install them with root: CWM has ROM Manager and TWRP has Official TWRP App.
Official TWRP App
On a mobile without root, the process is not that simple and may vary from one model to another. For example, in Samsung mobiles you will generally have to flash it with the help of Odin, while in other terminals you will need to use ADB to flash the recovery mode in the corresponding partition. Keep in mind that this is a delicate process and you must follow a series of specific steps and use the exact version for your mobile.
You can check the list of officially TWRP compliant devices on its official website, although unofficial versions created by third parties are not included. The best way to know if there is TWRP for your mobile – and the process to install it – is to search the XDA forums for your device.