How to Root the OnePlus 3 (Video)

The OnePlus 3 is an amazing phone. Slick metal design, 6GB of RAM (not a typo and more than a PC in my house has), and a clean version of Android that just flies. Best of all? All of this is only $399 factory unlocked from OnePlus’ site.

Now, even though it’s a great phone, there is always room for improvement. One such way to improve an Android phone is to root it. If you root the OnePlus 3, you’ll get access to root-only apps in the Play Store, be able to flash a custom recovery and even flash custom ROMs (think new versions of Android with custom skins, performance tweaks, etc.).

Thanks to OnePlus’ own lax attitude towards rooting (this is a company that used to use Cyanogen, master of rooting, on their devices), it’s pretty easy to do and easy to undo as well. Here’s how to root the OnePlus 3.

I. Before You Begin

  1. This will erase your phone.
  2. I’m using Windows for this tutorial but you can use Mac by downloading the Mac ADB setup and following the steps for command prompt in terminal instead (with the ./ in front of each command).

II. Setup ADB and the OnePlus Drivers

First up we need to setup ADB and the drivers so our computer can talk to our phone.

  1. On the phone, go to Settings > About and tap repeatedly on Build Number until it tells you you are a developer.
    You Are a Developer 1
  2. Tap Back and tap on the new Developer Options that has appeared.
    Developer Options
  3. Turn on USB Debugging and OEM Unlocking.
    USB Debugging
  4. Plug the phone into your computer via USB and let the drivers install, then head to my How to Setup ADB tutorial, finish it (takes 5 mins), and return here.
    Setup ADB

III. Unlock the Bootloader

Now that our computer and OnePlus 3 can speak to each other, let’s give them something to talk about. We’re going to first unlock the bootloader of the phone, which OnePlus actually lets us do officially, by typing in a fastboot command.

  1. Open the c:/adb folder (which should be there if you did my ADB tutorial above), hold Shift on the keyboard, right-click any blank space in that folder and select Open Command Window Here.
    Open Command Window Here
  2. In the command window type the following with hitting enter at the end of the line:
    adb reboot bootloader
    ADB Reboot Bootloader
  3. After that type the following with hitting enter at the end of the line:
    fastboot oem unlock
    Fastboot OEM Unlock
  4. Follow the steps on the device to say Yes and unlock the bootloader using the volume keys to navigate and power to select (this will erase your phone, unlock the bootloader and restart it).
    Unlock Bootloader
  5. Once it reboots, set it up like normal again and go back into Settings > About and tap repeatedly on Build Number until it says you are a developer again.
    You Are a Developer 2
  6. Tap back and go into Developer Options.
    Developer Options
  7. Re-enable USB debugging and plug the phone into the computer if it isn’t already.
    USB Debugging

IV. Root the OnePlus 3 (& Flash a Custom Recovery)

Now that the bootloader is unlocked, we can flash that custom recovery I mentioned that will allow us to gain root access (and later flash custom ROMs).

  1. Download the custom recovery and SuperSU file (which we’ll use in the next step) and save them both to the adb folder that we used earlier so they are in the same place as the program “adb” and “fastboot”.
    Download Recovery and SuperSU
  2. Type the following into command prompt with hitting enter at the end of each line:
    adb push supersu.zip /sdcard/supersu.zip
    adb reboot bootloader
    fastboot flash recovery recovery.img
    Flash Recovery
  3. Unplug the phone and hold down Volume Down and then Power until it selects recovery.
    Select Recovery
  4. In recovery, select Backup and perform a backup of your phone before we continue.
    Backup
  5. After that, select Install and select the supersu.zip file we pushed to the device in step 2 and swipe to install it.
    Select SuperSU
  6. Once it’s done, tap Reboot System.
    Reboot System Now

There you go, rooted, custom recovery and ready to flash custom ROMs. If you are thinking about flashing any ROMs, you might want to check out my popular ROM repository here on the site for a searchable, constantly updated list of ROMs for the OnePlus 3.

Let me know how this went in the comments below and I’ll be happy to try and help whenever I can.

Please share this if you found it useful!

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41 thoughts on “How to Root the OnePlus 3 (Video)”

    1. Thanks for the video, it’s good to have such a simple explanation of a simple process for people who are intimidated by doing these sorts of things to their phones. Acts as a nice refresher to us intermediate guys too. =]

  1. Im trying to do this on a mac, with a oneplus 3. i followed your steps 10 times and everything works right up until stage 4 the actual rooting and flash recovery part. Terminal repeatedly says there is no such file or directory. Hugely frustrating, why is this happening?

      1. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/94d436c32d3b06c98e7a973e7534daea5c25e29ad7fa0d367376865a6bb5aeb8.png

        Massive thank you for getting back to me ­čÖé

        so after successfully unlocking the bootloader, I attempted the root steps and it seems like Terminal is no longer speaking to my Oneplus 3, The List of devices attached info appeared when i unlocked the BL but disappeared on the next phase. I’ve tried following all steps again from scratch and it keeps happening.

        1. Where it says list of devices attached and is blank, that means it cannot see your phone and the drivers are not installed. Is your phone in bootloader mode during that screen shot or is it just turned on on the normal home screen?

          1. Ive tried it in both modes a few times and for some reason it just wont read the device anymore after that initial one time. I can’t figure out where the problem is or where I went wrong because the bootloader is definitely unlocked

          2. Regardless, it still means the device drivers are still wrong. Check online for OnePlus’s drivers, uninstall the ones you currently have and reinstall the new ones you find and see if that helps. If all else fails, try a different USB cable, different port, then finally a PC or different computer. Sorry there isn’t much else I can do to help from here, good luck!

  2. Hi, I used your instructions to root my oneplus 3 a week ago and it helped me immensely. I then changed the system font to suit my needs. But eventually, I wanted to go back to the original system settings and hence used one of SuperSU’s options related to unrooting the phone completely. It may have worked, but the system font hasn’t gone back to the original stock font. Please guide me with that if you can.

    Thanks!

      1. I tried following your video as mentioned in the comment. Downloaded the 1.2G file and placed it in the adb folder and then hit adb reboot recovery after pushing the file into the sd card. However, as I followed the ‘wipe’ step in the video, this error message was displayed and it wiped off the file that was to be installed as well. The image of what the error message looks like as it wipes is shown here:

        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6b2ef10a207ee892b6790ddca3a08f0c8c1aad8aff08b5d45a69bef6f7e41415.jpg

        Look forward to your guidance.

          1. Hi, I have posted a comment on the unroot video page and explained as to which step am I stuck in. You can now find a clearer query on that page. Thanks.

      1. Finally I figure it out.
        As my bootloader was already unlocked, I just followed IV steps and my phone is rooted again without losing any data…
        So HAPPY now…

  3. Every time is Reboot my rooted OP3 it Shows me a Massage about if I won’t See this Massage I should do fastboot oem Lock. What should I do?

    1. It’s normal. Just ignore it. It’s just warning so you know your bootloader is unlocked, which you did on purpose when you rooted it. If you no longer want root them go ahead and unroot it and relock the bootloader and it’ll go away.

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