How to Root Moto Z2 Play and Install TWRP

Root Moto Z2 Play

Follow the easiest method to root Moto Z2 Play to enjoy root apps and customize your phone to your needs. This tutorial will also cover installing TWRP on Moto Z2 Play.

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The Z2 Play is a successor to last year’s Moto Z Play and brings some upgrades both in terms of hardware and software. Taking the prior in consideration, the Z2 Play has a Snapdragon 626 Octa-core processor clocked at 2.2 GHz, a 12 MP dual-LED camera with f/1.7, USB 3.1 support and much more. While the updated model is not much different from the original, it is worth buying because it features Moto mods and Nougat 7.1.1 out of the box. It also expected to be upgraded to Android 8.0 Oreo soon.

Root Moto Z2 Play
Unlock Bootloader, Install TWRP, Root Moto Z2 Play

While the phone has a decent hardware config, it is further possible to give a nice kick to its performance and battery life by rooting. Once you Root Moto Z2 Play, you will be able to have full control over the system and you can customize it internally without any limitations. There’s a fair discussion on the internet; whether rooting your Android is really worth it or not?

Being a consistent root user for years now, I could say that it is definitely worth. Rooting allows you to achieve almost anything and enjoy features and apps from different OEMs on your device. It lets you freely modify your device’s software without any limitations from the manufacturer. Kernel tweaking apps, custom themes, etc are part of the rooting privilege. So, if you are all set and ready to root Moto Z2 Play, go ahead and do it right now!

In the procedure below, we will be first installing TWRP recovery on the device. Which will enable us to install mods, ROMs, kernels, and flash the root package to root Moto Z2 Play.

Also read: How to Enable iPhone-like Face ID Feature on Android

Table of Contents

How to Unlock Bootloader, Install TWRP and Root Moto Z2 Play

We have divided this article into individual parts for you to better understand the whole procedure. We understand that rooting for the first time could be confusing, frustrating, and very time-consuming. But if you’re following the guide below, then that wouldn’t be the case at all.

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Step 1: Prerequisites

  • Take a backup of your device. This also includes the internal storage. In case anything goes unplanned, you will have all you need to restore your device back.
  • Charge your Z2 Play to at least 60-70% charging level to avoid any hiccups during the process.
  • Enable USB debugging, set up ADB and initiate ADB access between the PC and device: Tutorial

Step 2: Unlock Bootloader on Moto Z2 Play

In order to root and install TWRP on Moto Z2 Play, you will require to first unlock your bootloader. Luckily, you can do it pretty easily by following our tutorial. Unlocking the bootloader will enable you to execute fastboot commands which will be required to flash the TWRP custom recovery.

How to Unlock Bootloader on Moto Smartphones

Step 3: Install TWRP Recovery

TWRP is currently available for Moto Z2 Play unofficially via XDA member – Santhosh M. We are grateful to him for working this out for the users.

  1. Download the TWRP recovery image for Moto Z2 Play: twrp-3.2.1-0-albus.img
  2. Copy the downloaded file to C:\adb (Prerequisites: Pointer #3) where the fastboot binaries are present.
  3. Connect your device to the PC usin the USB cable. Make sure that USB debugging is enabled.
  4. Open the command prompt window and enter the command below to reboot your Moto Z2 Play into fastboot mode:
    adb reboot bootloader

    Moto G Bootloader Mode

  5. As soon as your phone boots into fastboot mode, enter the command to flash TWRP on Moto Z2 Play:
    fastboot flash recovery twrp_3.2.1-0_albus.img
  6. It shouldn’t take more than a few seconds to complete. Once it is, reboot the device:
    fastboot reboot

That’s it! You have just successfully installed TWRP on Moto Z2 Play. Now comes the turn to Root Moto Z2 Play using Magisk.

Also read: How to Enable Mac-like Touch Bar on Android Devices

Step 4: Root Moto Z2 Play using Magisk

The fourth and the final step is to root the phone using Magisk flashable ZIP. Magisk not only provides root solution and a dedicated root management interface, but also allows you to install modules that could help customize your device in a few taps.

Magisk Systemless Interface

  1. Download the Magisk flashable zip: Magisk-15.3.zip
  2. Transfer the file to the internal storage of the device.
  3. Connect your device to the PC again.
  4. Open the command prompt and use the command to reboot your Moto Z2 Play into recovery mode.
    adb reboot recovery
  5. As soon as your device gets into TWRP, tap on the “Install” button.
    Install Magisk using TWRP to root Moto Z2 Play
    Install Magisk using TWRP to root Moto Z2 Play
  6. Browse the storage and select the “Magisk-14.0.zip” file. Swipe the button on the bottom of the screen to flash Magisk and root Moto Z2 Play.
  7. Finally, press the “Reboot system” button on the screen.

There you have it! You have been successful to install TWRP and Root Moto Z2 Play pretty easily, right? You can now go ahead and optimize your device’s performance and battery life using apps and tweaks that require root permissions.

Check out more on root:

If you have any problems during this tutorial, just leave us a comment and we will give our best to help you.

Comments

  1. Hi Dhananjay,
    In the furure, Z2 Play will have Android P. So will my rooted phone can get that update?
    Thanks

    1. Hi, to be straight – No, you won’t be able to install the update normally.

      BUT, there are ways to install OTAs on a rooted phone. I can cover an article for that if you want?

  2. Hi man, I just updated my phone to the latest Android 8.0.0 April 2018 Retail reléase, however, I would like to know first if it Will work without bricking my phone… the model is from AT&T Mexico (XT1710-06).

    I appreciate a lot you time and effort I’ve seen on this post, It’s been almost a year since I started to look for root for this phone and nobody knows anything.

    1. Hi Andres. I am sorry, but according to Motorola unlock page, the carrier-branded models such as yours do not offer an unlockable bootloader. Which means you will not be able to root it.

    2. Dhananjay, hi,
      I’ve managed to unlock the bootloader, so my question still stands. Will it work?

      Thanks

    3. Theoretically, yes. But since I have had no experience with carrier-branded variants, I am not sure.

      But also theoretically, if you were able to unlock the bootloader, the rest of the process should do just fine. And anyhow, if anything goes wrong, make sure that you have fastboot image (stock firmware) of the current firmware installed on your device.

      Some beforehand advice: If you flash an older firmware at any point, make sure to skip the bootloader.img and partition GPT out of the flashing queue.

    4. Doesn’t work at all. After I installed the latest versión of Magisk (16.0), the phone doesn’t even boot. It gets stuck on the main screen where it says “Your device has been unlocked and can’t be trusted.”

    5. Please give a try to Magisk 18.0 instead. If you’re using v16.0, chances are that it will fail with Oreo.

  3. I’m unable to flash TWRP every time i reboot to recovery it says no command and then when i press up and power button it’s not TWRP but the motorola stock recovery

    1. Hi Alexander, this means that the custom recovery (TWRP) was not flashed correctly. What does it show in the PowerShell/CMD window when you enter the fastboot flash command?

  4. Will this root procedure work for Android 8.0/8.1? I can’t find anything regarding Oreo root (not even on XDA), so I’m assuming Nougat, updated rooting tools will work straightforwardly for Oreo as well. Since there is already an Xposed Framework (even as a Magisk module) for Nougat, I think I’m pretty much on the right path… Am I?

    1. Hi Richard, it’s good that you consulted even before taking a step further. I have seen that the success rate for SuperSU is low, as compared to Magisk, on Oreo. SuperSU works for some devices, but not for some others at the same time.

      As for Magisk, I have rooted all three of my devices on Oreo using it. So I can vouch for that. You can simply flash latest Magisk v16.3 ZIP using TWRP.

  5. I’m trying to flash the recovery but it says ‘Image not signed or corrupt’. Please help. Due to this i’m not able to install recovery on my phone.

  6. (Prerequisites: Pointer #3) what does this mean ? Where should I put the .img please help .. already unlocked the bootloader don’t want to end it half way

    1. Hi Allan, where did you install the Android SDK tools (ADB, Fastboot, etc) on your PC? Let me know the exact location of the folder.

      Or, have you already added the SDK tools to the PATH variable?

  7. I’ve been trying to get my moto z2 play rooted for almost a month.

    I installed android-tools on my linux pc, and the adb connection does work with my phone.

    Following your instructions gives the following error:

    fastboot flash recovery twrp_3.1.1-0_albus.img
    (bootloader) has-slot:recovery: not found
    target reported max download size of 536870912 bytes
    sending ‘recovery’ (13400 KB)…
    OKAY [ 0.442s]
    writing ‘recovery’…
    (bootloader) Image recovery failed validation
    (bootloader) Preflash validation failed
    FAILED (remote failure)
    finished. total time: 0.454s

    I don’t know what’s wrong. Help would be appreciates.

    Mel

    1. Are you sure you used the latest SDK tools? Where did you grab them from?

    2. I downloaded them using apt-get install android-tools. It installed 287 tools…everything except the kitchen sink. ?

      Mel

    3. I just went out to Google Development website and downloaded platform-tools-latest-linux.zip which is supposed
      to have adb, and fastboot etc. I will install later.

      Mel

    4. Didn’t go !

      fastboot flash recovery twrp_3.1.1-0_albus.img
      (bootloader) slot-count: not found
      (bootloader) slot-suffixes: not found
      (bootloader) slot-suffixes: not found
      (bootloader) has-slot:recovery: not found
      target reported max download size of 536870912 bytes
      sending ‘recovery’ (13400 KB)…
      OKAY [ 0.571s]
      writing ‘recovery’…
      (bootloader) Image recovery failed validation
      (bootloader) Preflash validation failed
      FAILED (remote failure)
      finished. total time: 0.584s
      [email protected]:/home/mel/Android/platform-tools# fastboot reboot
      (bootloader) slot-count: not found
      (bootloader) slot-suffixes: not found
      (bootloader) slot-suffixes: not found
      rebooting…

      finished. total time: 0.296s

      Then I did:

      adb reboot recovery
      error: no devices/emulators found.

      Question: Should these commands be done in my linux terminal, or a terminal on the smartphone ?

      This whole thing is driving me N-U-T-S !!!

    5. Don’t worry, it gets easier once you get a hold of it. Before you go ahead, not that the new TWRP version doesn’t support data decryption, which means you wouldn’t be able to access your internal storage/SD card in TWRP.

      So, in order to flash .zips like those of root, you will need to sideload them. But we will get to that later. Our foremost focus right now is getting TWRP up and running on your phone. So just follow up the process below.

      Here’s a little brief up:
      1) Boot phone into bootloader mode (It should look like this- https://goo.gl/Z6PK7q)
      2) Connect your phone to the PC now.
      3) Download the TWRP recovery image (I have updated the link above, so download again)
      4) Move the .img file to the folder where ADB/Fastboot binaries are present.
      5) Open the Terminal on your PC and ‘cd’ to this folder.
      6) Then use the following command to install the recovery: ./fastboot flash recovery twrp-3.2.1-0-albus.img

      Then directly boot into TWRP.

    6. Still No Luck:

      /Android/platform-tools# ./fastboot flash recovery twrp-3.2.1-0-albus.img
      (bootloader) slot-count: not found
      (bootloader) slot-suffixes: not found
      (bootloader) slot-suffixes: not found
      (bootloader) has-slot:recovery: not found
      target reported max download size of 536870912 bytes
      sending ‘recovery’ (17694 KB)…
      OKAY [ 0.809s]
      writing ‘recovery’…
      (bootloader) Image recovery failed validation
      (bootloader) Preflash validation failed
      FAILED (remote failure)
      finished. total time: 0.822s

  8. I am getting message ‘ Image not signed or corrupt’ , while flashing the above mentioned image.
    Please help..!!

    1. The error is normal. Boot into recovery mode just after flashing the image and you shall see TWRP. If there are any further issues, kindly let me know.

    2. when booting to recovery mode , i am getting a window with message ‘No Command’

    3. That is the stock recovery. Kindly try flashing TWRP again. Also, have you unlocked the bootloader of your phone?

    4. I already tried flashing the TWRP again & yes I have unlocked my boot loader aswell.

    5. 1) What command did you exactly use? Have you also tried redownloading the recovery image?
      2) Have you executed the command while your phone is connected to the PC in Fastboot mode?

    6. I m using command ‘fastboot flash recovery recovery.img’ (as I have renamed my file to recovery)
      & Yes I have downloaded it many times & tried flashing it many times , but again & again I am getting the same message ‘image not signed or corrupt’.
      Also tried to go to recovery after this message but then getting a black screen with message ‘No Command

      & Yes ,I am executing these commands while my phone is connected to pc

    7. Tried again , & yes i am able to go to TWRP recovery ,when i am going back to recovery mode just after flashing (i.e after getting message ‘image not signed or corrupt ) . There in TWRP it’s asking for password to decrypt , after canceling that password option it was taking me to TWRP but there i am unable to found my downloaded ‘magisk file’ . so unable to install magisk as well.

      But once i am rebooting my phone again in recovery mode , then again it’s taking me to stock recovery displaying a message ‘no command’

    8. Hi Sagar, I have updated the TWRP image file to the latest version. Kindly try this one and let me know the outcome.

    9. Hi Sagar, I think I know what it is. When you flash TWRP, you’re not able to write it to the partition. That’s probably due to encryption. I am not sure though. So just follow the steps in the order.

      1) Flash TWRP -> “image not signed or corrupt”
      2) Instantly boot into recovery mode (TWRP)
      3) [Important] Enter your lockscreen PIN/Password. You will need to do this in order to decrypt the partition so that you can have access to the Magisk zip on the internal storage.
      4) Once the decryption is complete, you will be freely able to install Magisk.

      On the other hand, I also have an idea, where you can simply disable forced-encryption on your device. Let me know which one you would want to go ahead with.

    10. I already tried entering my password but it didn’t work.
      So i think it’s better to go for another method.

    11. Unfortunately, that wouldn’t help. While posting my previous comment, I researched through the XDA community and found that TWRP on Moto Z2 Play doesn’t support decryption.

      Now you can choose one of the two methods below:
      1) Completely decrypt your device and remove forced encryption – Will allow you to access storage and the files you want to flash.
      2) Stay encrypted – You won’t be able to access storage and you will need to ADB sideload the files you want to flash.

      Let me know how you want to proceed.

    12. Simple then. But make sure to backup everything, since all your data will be wiped including the internal storage.

      1) Flash the new TWRP 3.2.1-0 linked above.
      2) Boot into TWRP and swipe to allow modifications when prompted.
      3) Go to Wipe -> Format Data and enter ‘Yes’ in the provided field.
      4) Go to Reboot -> Recovery and bypass any messages/warnings. (Note: Don’t reboot into the OS yet, or you will again encrypt your phone).
      5) Once back in TWRP, go to Mount and press ‘Enable MTP’.
      6) Then connect your phone to the PC.
      7) Download no-verity (https://build.nethunter.com/android-tools/no-verity-opt-encrypt/no-verity-opt-encrypt-6.0.zip) and Magisk zip file.
      8) Copy both to the internal storage (Yes, it will be accessible now).
      9) Disconnect the phone and flash the files.

      Hope this helps.

    13. Hi Dhananjay,

      Only data file i need to clear or some other files as well like Dalvik Cache ,internal or other.
      I am asking this because once i already tried by just clearing data files but that time i didn’t performed step 5 as mentioned above ,i simply booted to my os & as you said ,again my phone got encrypted.

      so do you think that clearing data files will work, or do we need to clear some other files as well.

    14. One more thing ,after performing step.5 , can i boot to my system/phone os.

    15. Hi again. Kindly contact me on my FB account, so that I can help you quickly with this stuff. The link is at the bottom of the author box, just above the comments.

    16. In that case, here’s a list of the simplest steps you can follow.

      1) Flash TWRP and boot into it.
      2) Go to WIPE -> FORMAT DATA and input YES in the field. (Formatting the complete /userdata partition decrpyts the device. But it will encrypt again if you boot into the OS).
      3) Go to REBOOT -> RECOVERY
      4) Once your phone boots back into TWRP, go to MOUNT and ENABLE MTP.
      5) Connect the phone to the PC and transfer the no-verity (https://build.nethunter.com/android-tools/no-verity-opt-encrypt/no-verity-opt-encrypt-6.0.zip) and Magisk 15.3 zip file to the internal storage.
      6) Disconnect the device and go to INSTALL.

      Flash the no-verity file and then Magisk. Once flashed, reboot your device. Let me know how this goes.

    17. It’s done……
      Thanks …thanks a lotttttttttt…….!!!!

      I really appreciate all your support…..!!!!!!!

      Thanks again….

    18. I am happy you’re sorted now! Let me know if you need further help.

    19. stucked again & need your help…!!

      I Factory resets my phone , & after that my phone’s OS was gone.
      unable to get out of TWRP now.

      i am trying to sideload my stock os that i have downloaded but it’s not working too.

      Now no idea what to do.

    20. I have tried to flash the ROM via sideload but it didn’t worked for me.
      Then i installed ROM by using the fastboot ,phone powered up in this case.

      But some apps are giving error like ‘ ____app stopped working’ & it’s very frequent.

    21. fastboot.exe flash partition gpt.bin
      fastboot.exe flash bootloader bootloader.img
      fastboot.exe flash boot boot.img
      fastboot.exe flash recovery recovery.img
      fastboot.exe flash system system.img_sparsechunk.0
      fastboot.exe flash system system.img_sparsechunk.1
      fastboot.exe flash system system.img_sparsechunk.2
      fastboot.exe flash system system.img_sparsechunk.3
      fastboot.exe flash system system.img_sparsechunk.4
      fastboot.exe flash system system.img_sparsechunk.5
      fastboot.exe flash system system.img_sparsechunk.6
      fastboot.exe flash system system.img_sparsechunk.7
      fastboot.exe flash system system.img_sparsechunk.8
      fastboot.exe flash modem NON-HLOS.bin
      fastboot.exe erase modemst1
      fastboot.exe erase modemst2
      fastboot.exe flash fsg fsg.mbn
      fastboot.exe erase cache
      fastboot.exe erase userdata
      fastboot.exe erase customize
      fastboot.exe erase clogo

    22. Hello Dhananjay, i was following your tutorial and got the same problem, can’t start my phone because don’t have any OS anymore, tried same thing above from sagar, but couldn’t made it. Can you help me, i don’t know how to proceed.

    23. Hi Jhonny. I will recommend that you start fresh by installing the stock firmware first. Please let me know your phone’s exact model number and the current firmware (build number) that was installed on it.

    24. Ok Man, thanks for the answer.
      The model number is XT1710-10, the build number would it be the baseband? If it is, is this: M8953P_41.50.07.63R ALBUS_INDIADSDS_CUST
      If is not that, i don’t know, the only informations i can get is on the screen of fastboot mode or recovery mode.
      Also, i don’t know if it’s normal on that case, but my Internal Storage on twrp is showing 0MB.
      Thanks Man!

    25. Hey man, i already solved the problem.
      I was using some wrong command lines on the cmd.
      I found one good and my phone is back. Thankss

    26. Glad you were able to solve the problem by yourself. So, were you able to successfully install the stock firmware and boot?

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