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
- This will erase your phone.
- 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.
- On the phone, go to Settings > About and tap repeatedly on Build Number until it tells you you are a developer.
- Tap Back and tap on the new Developer Options that has appeared.
- Turn on USB Debugging and OEM Unlocking.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- In the command window type the following with hitting enter at the end of the line:
adb reboot bootloader
- After that type the following with hitting enter at the end of the line:
fastboot oem unlock
- 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).
- 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.
- Tap back and go into Developer Options.
- Re-enable USB debugging and plug the phone into the computer if it isn’t already.
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).
- 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”.
- 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
- Unplug the phone and hold down Volume Down and then Power until it selects recovery.
- In recovery, select Backup and perform a backup of your phone before we continue.
- After that, select Install and select the supersu.zip file we pushed to the device in step 2 and swipe to install it.
- Once it’s done, tap Reboot System.
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.
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