How to Root the Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet

Sony’s water-resistant, eight core, super thin latest tablet – the Sony Xperia Z4 – is no slouch. In test’s by CNET and others, it performs pretty spectacularly, running through anything you throw at it was ease. In that same CNET review, the writer also mentions how customizable it is thanks to being on the latest version of Android and Sony’s own customizable UI they’ve added to it.

And while, I’m sure it’s great and all, I’m also sure I’m not the only one that would rather just have stock Android lollipop on it to really take advantage of those monster specs (without Sony’s apps and features bogging it down). I’ll save the customizing to third-party launchers, apps, etc. that I choose myself but to each’s own.

If you are one of the people out there that would like to see what vanilla Android could do on this monster spec’d tablet, then let’s discuss rooting for a second.

Rooting is the act of gaining administrative rights on a device or, in other words, getting access to be able to change anything we want about the device (including system files like the OS or UI). Rooting the Sony Xperia Z4 isn’t even hard thanks to Sony’s own lax attitude on rooting in general. You can simply request a code to unlock the bootloader of the device from Sony themselves and then once we have that unlocked we can then flash any other firmware we want onto it (the bootloader is the part of the system responsible for flashing the system of a phone essentially and so once it’s unlocked we can use it to flash our own software).

I. Before You Begin

1. This could void the warranty of your device. We won’t be held responsible for anything that happens from doing this tutorial so please proceed at your own risk.

2. You need a Windows based PC to do this procedure.

3. This should erase all the data stored on your device. So, please backup anything that you feel is important before going ahead.

4. You should have ADB USB drivers installed on your Windows PC.

5. This should only work for the SGP712 and SGP771 variants of the device.

How to Root the Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet

Unroot Z4 Tablet

To root the device, you’ll first unlock the bootloader and then flash a custom kernel. It’ll inject required files into your device to achieve root. Here’s how.

II. Downloading Required Files

1. Download Fastboot and save it to your desktop.

Fastboot

2. Download AndroPlus Kernel and save it to your desktop.

AndroPlus Kernel (download the one that is for your specific variant)

III. Unlocking the Bootloader on the Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet

1. Head over to the Sony Bootloader Unlock website and follow the instructions for getting an unlock code for your device.

2. When you receive the unlock code via email, copy it to your clipboard.

3. Extract files from Fastboot over to your desktop by right-clicking on it and selecting Extract here.

4. Turn off your device.

5. Hold down Volume UP on your device and plug it in to your PC using a USB cable.

6. Your device should now be in fastboot mode.

7. Launch a Command Prompt Window on your desktop by holding down Shift and right-clicking anywhere on the screen and selecting Open command window here.

8. Type in the following command into the Command Prompt Window and hit Enter. Make sure to replace KEY with the actual unlock key that you received from Sony via email.

fastboot oem unlock KEY

9. Wait for it to unlock the bootloader on your device.

10. When it’s done unlocking the bootloader, reboot your device using the following command:

fastboot reboot

11. Your device should reboot.

Now that your bootloader is unlocked, here’s how to flash a custom kernel to gain root access on the device:

IV. Rooting the Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet

1. Extract boot.img from AndroPlus Kernel over to your desktop by right-clicking on it and selecting Extract here.

2. Turn off your device.

3. Hold down Volume UP and plug in your device to your PC using a USB cable.

4. Your device should now be in fastboot mode.

5. Launch a Command Prompt Window on your desktop by holding down Shift and right-clicking anywhere on the screen and selecting Open command window here.

6. Type in the following command into the Command Prompt Window and press Enter:

fastboot flash boot boot.img

7. Wait for it to flash boot image on your device.

8. When it’s done flashing boot image, reboot your device by issuing the following command:

fastboot reboot

9. Your device should reboot.

Once it does, you’ll be all set and should see the Superuser icon in your app drawer indicating you have root access.

Let me know if this worked for you in the comments below!

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  • Marcos Hojberg

    Is there any chance to root without unlock de bootloader and without changing the kernel? It’ll be awesome! Thanks

    • Hi Marcos,

      Well, that’s the only root method we have for the Xperia Z4 tablet for now. New root methods may come in the future, but if you wish to root your device right away, above is the way.

      Thanks!

      • Abhishek

        Thanks for this guide. Followed all the steps and after step IV.9 it just boots back to normal OS without su icon. Maybe the firmware is not sticking around after a reboot? Need another step maybe? I remember there was another step in some devices to prevent the custom firmware to not get erased.

        • Hi Abhishek,

          After Step-IV.9, your device should reboot normally and you won’t see the SuperSU icon right on your screen. SuperSU is an app that you should be able to see in your app drawer. So, when your device reboots, just open the app drawer and see if SuperSU exists there.

          Also, download the Root Checker app from the Google Play store and see if it says you have root access.

          Let us know.

          Thanks!

          • olebot

            Hi Mahesh,
            I tried to unlock bootloader on my SGP771, following steps using fastboot on my pc, and i have result: FAILED, remote: command not allowed. what can i do?

          • Hi olebot,

            Can you please use the following command to see if your PC recognizes your device?

            “fastboot devices”

  • Heynner Adrián Troyo Quesada

    i tried all boot.img files for my sgp712 and it didn’t work

    • Hey Heynner,

      Did you first unlock the bootloader before flashing a custom kernel? Did the kernel get flashed successfully?

      AndroPlus works just fine to root the aforementioned device.

      Let us know if you had any issues during the procedure that might have caused the kernel to not flash successfully on your device.

      Thanks!

  • Ruslan

    Hello, i’m flashing a custom kernel (v10) to my Sony Z4 tablet with firmware 28.0.A.8.260, but not to see the Superuser icon in your app drawer. Why?

  • Joe

    Same problem here!!!
    Successfully unlocked and flashed image. No supersu icon. Aftes installing superSU from google error message: “there is no SU binary installed and SuperUs cannot it. this is a problem
    if you just upgraded to Android 5.0 you need to manually re-root – consult the relevant forums for your device!”

  • Joe

    problem solved !!! you must after first reboot start TWRM, acess to system, Install SuperSU zip via “Install”. (used ver 2.46)
    Reboot. Rooting is done!

  • Thanks for reporting back Joe! Glad it worked out!

  • Gematria

    After unlocking the bootloader I tried several times to flash and the root the tablet still unrooted with the v10 andro kernel

    • Gematria

      I precise that the kernel is installed and I test with root checker

  • Christos

    I have the same issue, after unlocking the bootloader and flashing the AndroPlus Kernel successfully, I can not reboot into recovery mode in order to install superSU. How do we enter recovery mode? Thank you in advance!

    • Hi Christos,

      You don’t need to reboot into recovery to flash SuperSU as the AndroPlus Kernel gets all of that done for you. When you flash the kernel, it automatically injects the required files to your phone and roots it.

      Hope that helps!

  • Christos

    Hi Mahesh,

    I followed the exact procedure but neither the superSU appears in apps nor the root checker sees a rooted device.

    Thank you for your help!

    • Hi,

      If that doesn’t work for you, an alternative solution would be to flash a custom recovery after unlocking the bootloader on the device. To get a recovery, download one from the AndroPlus Kernel link (it should be TWRP), flash it on your phone using the “fastboot flash recovery recoveryname.img” command, reboot into the recovery mode and flash the following SuperSU .zip and your device will be rooted.

      SuperSU – https://download.chainfire.eu/696/SuperSU/

      Let us know if that works for you!

      • Gematria

        It works with this

      • Gematria

        There is just one problem. I tried root checker and apparently there is no root user account on the device even if the root is installed

      • Christos Christofis

        Yes! It works like a charm! Thank you for your help!

      • Yonatan Alexander

        I managed to flash TWRP (checked in ROM Manager), But I can’t get into recovery to install SuperSU.
        I tried first to flash boot.img, fastboot showed it worked, but I got no root.

        • Hi Yonatan,

          What’s the reason you can’t get into recovery mode? Are you using the correct method to get into the recovery?

          Let us know. Thanks!

          • Yonatan Alexander

            I tried shutting down, and using the power with volume up buttons, as said in the sony website.
            Nothing happens, it stays shut. Is there another method?

  • Rob Damiani

    just says “waiting for device” when I try to root

  • kkc1918

    At Point 8 Type in the following command into the Command Prompt Window and hit Enter. Make sure to replace KEY with the actual unlock key that you received from Sony via email.

    There is just a message in the command prompt window: “waiting for device”

    What can I do.. please help 🙁

    • Waiting for device means your PC didn’t recognize your device. Please make sure you’ve installed the latest ADB and Sony USB drivers on your PC before doing the tutorial.

      Also, run the “fastboot devices” command before that point-8 command and see if your device shows up in the list.

      Thanks.

  • kkc1918

    OMG… After I did point 6 . Type in the following command into the Command Prompt Window and press Enter:

    fastboot flash boot boot.img

    my tablet does not start anymore..please help… what happened???

    C:UsersGmer07Desktop>fastboot flash boot boot.img
    target didn’t report max-download-size
    sending ‘boot’ (17056 KB)…
    OKAY [ 0.390s]
    writing ‘boot’…
    OKAY [ 0.167s]
    finished. total time: 0.562s

    • Are you sure you downloaded the custom kernel for your specific variant of the device? Flashing the kernel of another variant bricks the device and I think that’s what has happened with you.

      You may want to flash back the stock ROM on your device and then re-do this procedure but this time using the kernel that’s for YOUR OWN device.

      Hope that helps!

      • kkc1918

        How and where I can find the special custom kernel?

        • All the download links are given in the Downloads section in the procedure so please check that. Thanks.

  • mody

    I am an Arab I want to doing a video to explain the method and Thanks