Does flashing a custom recovery requires rooting the device, or just unlocking the boot-loader is enough? On my Nexus 7, I was able to flash custom recovery (CWM) without rooting. Is the same applicable on other android devices too?

  • Welcome to the Android Enthusiasts! Two interesting questions – but which one to answer? Q&A sites like this work best if you only ask one question per post (each page being a 1:n relation: 1 question with n answers). This makes it easier to follow, and to search for the answer to a given question. Might I suggest you edit above post, and move your second question to a separate post? Besides, for that 2nd question: it's quite unusual to flash apps via recovery (with a few exceptions); plus if it's rather a development question, it should better be asked at Stack Overflow.
    – Izzy
    Nov 10, 2013 at 0:29
  • Thanks Izzy. Edited the post as you suggested. My second question was not about flashing the apps, but to replace the stock recovery with my piece of code (say "hello world") rather than CWM. Adb has the option of flashing a custom recovery image, but I was wondering about how to make one in the first place.
    – user45874
    Nov 10, 2013 at 19:21
  • Yes, fastboot has as well. But as said before, adjusting your code goes beyond the scope of this site. You might wish to check the Android section at StackOverflow.
    – Izzy
    Nov 11, 2013 at 0:37
  • Did post the question there, yesterday itself. Just wanted to clear my point. Thanks.
    – user45874
    Nov 12, 2013 at 1:15

2 Answers 2


No, it doesn't require root. Although we talk about rooting the device, all you're actually doing is getting root access within the Android OS. Flashing a new ROM or recovery happens before Android is running - it's a lower-level part of the firmware - so you can do it regardless of how Android is set up or what permissions you have within Android.

  • Another thing, a lot of custom ROMs come 'pre-rooted' so if you choose the right ROM the rooting process is completed during the installation of the ROM. Obviously only applicable if you are considering installing a custom ROM. May 26, 2014 at 10:04

You need to unlock the bootloader to flash a custom recovery. Search over at XDA to see how and to choose the best custom recovery for your device. Some popular ones are TWRP and CWM.

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