Unlock Bootloader, Install TWRP, and Root Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1

Unlock Bootloader, Install TWRP Recovery, and Root Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1

In this article, we will show you how to unlock bootloader on Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1. An unlocked bootloader will help you further install TWRP recovery and root Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 (ZB601KL). This guide supports both Android Pie and Oreo.

The current budget smartphone market is flooded with phones from several manufacturers including Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi, Motorola, Samsung, and more. Now, there’s one more manufacturer that has been added to the list, whom we have rarely seen focusing on its budget segment. We are talking about the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1, that was served through rumors until it was finally announced last month. The phone packs in decent hardware, along with the trending fullscreen display and latest software.

If you’ve already got your hands on the phone and happen to be a fan of custom ROMs/mods, then we have got you covered. The instructions below will allow you to easily unlock bootloader on Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1. An unlocked bootloader will open the gateways to customize the device beyond the limitations set by the manufacturer. Which means you can then further install TWRP recovery and root Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 using Magisk.

Unlock Bootloader, Install TWRP Recovery, and Root Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1

Table of Contents

How to Unlock Bootloader, Install TWRP, and Root Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1

Asus is not an Android OEM that has received due attention in the smartphone market. But with the new phone, the manufacturer finally seems to be digging in the right direction. The Zenfone Max Pro M1 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 chipset, the same that you would have seen on the Redmi Note 5 Pro. Even the 5.99-inches FullView display ought to be similar, along with the screen-to-body ratio. It is also backed with a high-capacity 5000 mAh powerhouse.

One major aspect where the new Asus phone outranks the competition is the support for the latest Android version out-of-the-box. Yes! The Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 comes with Android 8.1 Oreo. Even if you think that the software is a big plus, it still would be limited to what the manufacturer chooses to deliver. But if you really want to get past that and enhance the software experience by rooting the phone or install a custom ROM on it altogether.

The process to root Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 is pretty straightforward. You’d have to start by unlocking the phone’s bootloader, followed by installing a custom recovery (TWRP). Once all that is done, you can root the phone by flashing Magisk. If it still sounds confusing at first, the steps below will cover the complete procedure in detail. Our sincere thanks to XDA recognized contributor Sudeep Duhoon for providing a script that would help you unlock the bootloader with ease and also to KrasCGQ for building and providing the latest TWRP 3.3.1-0.

Requirements

  • We strongly recommend that you take a full backup of your personal data, including the internal storage. The phone will be wiped off completely, so be prepared for it. You can also follow our Android backup guide for the same.
  • Charge the Asus phone to a sufficient battery level to avoid any sudden shutdowns during the process.
  • Install the latest version of WinRAR on your PC. You will need it to successfully extract the provided ‘unlock.rar’ file provided below.

Please make sure to fulfill all the requirements before you follow the steps below.

Unlock Bootloader on Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1

  1. Download the unlock script and drivers: unlock.rar
  2. Extract the file on the PC using an archive tool such as WinRAR or 7Zip.
  3. There should be two different folders – (1) ASUS_Android_USB_drivers_for_Windows and (2) unlock.
  4. Open the first one and install the USB drivers on the PC.
  5. Once installed, power off the phone completely.
  6. Hold the Volume Up and Power button simultaneously to enter Fastboot Mode.
  7. Connect the phone to the PC using the USB cable.
  8. Go to the ‘unlock’ folder and double-click on the ‘unlock.cmd’ file to unlock bootloader on Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1.
    How to Unlock Bootloader on Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1

Now that the bootloader has been unlocked, the next step is to flash TWRP recovery on Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1.

Install TWRP Recovery on Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1

Before you head over to the steps below, note that you should always download the latest version of the TWRP recovery image available in order for it to properly decrypt the /data partition.

  1. Download the TWRP recovery image file: twrp-3.3.1-0-X00T-android9_2019-11.img (Check the latest TWRP recovery image)
  2. Copy the downloaded file to the ‘unlock’ folder extracted earlier.
  3. Hold the SHIFT key and right-click on an empty space inside the folder.
  4. Select ‘Open PowerShell window here’.
    Install TWRP Recovery on Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 - Open PowerShell window here
  5. Power off the phone completely.
  6. Hold the Volume Up and Power button simultaneously to enter Fastboot Mode.
  7. Connect the phone to the PC using the USB cable.
  8. Enter the following command to install TWRP recovery on Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1:
    fastboot flash recovery twrp-3.3.1-0-X00T-android9_2019-11.img
  9. Once flashed, boot into TWRP recovery mode.
  10. To do so, enter the following command while holding the Volume Down key:
    fastboot reboot

So, you have successfully installed and booted into TWRP. The next and final step is to root Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 using Magisk.

Root Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1

In order to root, TWRP must be able to decrypt the /data partition first. If you’re using the latest TWRP on Pie, it should be able to decrypt the partition. In that case, you wouldn’t need to format /data partition or flash the decrypt.zip file. You can simply flash Magisk installer zip to root the phone.

However, if you’re running Android Oreo, you must follow all the steps below, format the /data partition in TWRP, then flash the ‘decrypt.zip’ and Magisk zip files for root.

  1. In TWRP, go to ‘Wipe’ > ‘Format Data’.
  2. Enter ‘Yes’ in the provided field to format the data partition and decrypt the storage.
    Root Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 - TWRP Format Data
  3. Next, go to the ‘Mount’ menu and tap on the ‘Enable MTP’ button.
  4. Connect the phone to the PC.
  5. Download the ‘decrypt.zip‘ and ‘Magisk-v20.1.zip‘ files.
  6. Copy both the files to the internal storage.
  7. Once copied, disconnect the phone and go back to the main TWRP screen.
  8. Tap on the ‘Install’ button and select the ‘decrypt.zip’ file.
    Root Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 using Magisk - 1
  9. Then press the ‘Add more Zips’ button and select the ‘Magisk-v19.3.zip’ file.
  10. Finally, swipe the button on the screen to root Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 using Magisk.
    Flash Magisk 19.3 to Root Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1

The flashing process would take a few seconds. Once it is complete, press the ‘Reboot System’ button. The phone should instantly boot into the rooted OS. You can then install mods like ViPER4Android and Dolby Atmos. You can also use Magisk Modules to inject additional features into the device. There are a lot of things that you could do with a rooted phone. Also, keep a check on XDA forums for latest ROMs and mods for the device.

So, this was our guide on how to unlock bootloader, install TWRP recovery and root Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1. If you have any questions regarding the procedure, then let us know via the comments.

TWRP Source: XDA

Comments

  1. Thanks for the answer 🙂
    Is the unofficial method working? is it compatible with Android Oreo? I saw, in another blog, that there are some errors that appear when using this method.for example: the display of an error when turning on the phone (it works normally, but displays an error message when calling). Maybe what I saw is a different method than the one described here 🙂
    My asus is:
    Model: ASUS ZENFONE MAX PRO M1 (ASUS_X00TDB)
    RAM: 3GB
    INTERNAL DISK / SYSTEM: 32GB
    SILVER COLOR

    1. It should, technically. The method isn’t Android version-specific. So far, I haven’t seen any readers report that.

      The fact that the bootloader can be relocked, just makes the unofficial method easier to test. If you do test it out, do share your findings.

  2. My asus Zenfone Max Pro (M1) uses the Android Oreo version, and I don’t want to upgrade to Android Pie. The downlaod page of the official bootloader unlock tool informs you that the version of the app is compatible with android Pie. Do you happen to have the previous version of the official app? (which was compatible with Android Oreo). Asus has withdrawn this version from the site, unfortunately. I just need to unlock the bootloader to use Gcam.
    Thanks 🙂

    1. I couldn’t find the Unlock Tool specific for the Oreo version either. Have you tried using the one that’s meant for Android Pie? It might just work.

      On the other hand, I would personally suggest using the unofficial method as described above. Unlocking the bootloader through this method will not break the warranty and you can possibly relock again in the future, should you want.

  3. thank you so much sir…this is my first root and rooting is my dream…really thank you very much

    1. Ventakesh, good to know. Would you mind answering a few questions I have?

      1) Were you able to unlock the bootloader of your phone using the included script?
      2) Which build of TWRP did you use?

  4. Hello, I got into fastboot mode, but then I’m trying to use unlock.cmd, only this shows on screen and nothing progresses.

    ————————
    Begin fastboot flashall
    ————————
    Earse Data: Yes
    Support All device

    Can’t unlock bootloader if I’m stuck here 🙁

    1. Seems like the unofficial method is not working anymore.

      So, I would suggest trying the official method. Just download the official unlock tool for the Zenfone Max Pro M1 from this link. Then install the APK and launch the unlock app. Simply follow the on-screen instructions to unlock the bootloader.

  5. Everything worked as it should and successfully rooted my phone but camera force closing.
    I cleared Dalvik cache and cache but no avail. Camera still not working. I tried other camera apps also doesn’t work. Please tell me the solution.

  6. Have installed pixel experience plus ROM with twrp recovery. Will installing magisk wipe internal data (like unlocking the bootloader does)? Meaning that do I need to wipe anything like dalvik/cache provided in twrp? Already installed decrypt.zip

    1. Hi SS. No, flashing Magisk will not wipe anything on your phone. And there’s no need to wipe dalvik/cache after flash that either.

      However, do take a backup always. When manually dealing with your phone’s software, it’s a good practice.

  7. Hey sir after installing twrp my phone wifi or hotspot or calling not working how it’s solve ???? Please tell

    1. Hi Zayan. Please let me know which software build number is installed on your phone? Is it the December 2019 security update?

    2. Hi Reynando. Please let me know the build number currently installed on your Max Pro M1. Go to Settings > About phone to find this.

    1. Hi Luke. When you launch the unlock.cmd file, make sure that your Zenfone Max Pro M1 is connected to the PC in fastboot mode.

      One more thing, while the phone is connected in Fastboot mode, make sure to check Control Panel > Device Manager to confirm that it is properly being detected.

  8. I am able to install up to twrp in my asuz zenfone max pro m1. however i am not able to see the GUI as show here.why? pls help me

    1. Hi Mehul. Is your PC using an AMD processor? If yes, then try using Intel.

      If you’re already using an Intel-based PC, I suggest you try executing the unlock script while your phone is connected to the PC’s USB 2.0 port. USB 3.0/3.1 ports are also known to cause issues when working with fastboot.

    1. Hi Fahri. I have updated the links now. Please download the TWRP image corresponding to the security update installed on your phone.

  9. Even after flashing twrp, my phone does not boot into twrp mode. my phone is on android 9 and I used the latest version available now (twrp-3.3.1-0-X00T-20190526)

    please help

  10. Sir, I have unlocked my bootloader successfully. Can I flash the TWRP from the stock recovery? I don’t have a PC

    1. Hi Shanu. I am sorry, but no, you cannot flash TWRP via stock recovery. A PC is required to perform this procedure.

  11. Hi brother, I’m very very confusing in this rooting the device. As I’m using Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1. Past one month I’m trying to root it but in this files I’m confused alot.. I’m kindly requesting you pls guid me the step by step or send me the screen shot for the same.. what kind of files have to install and when I have to do fastboot. This kind of steps I needed brother.. pls help me in this rooting my Device Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1…

    1. Hi. All the steps you will need to perform are listed above. If you still are confused and new to the whole rooting scene, then you can simply connect with us on Facebook. I will try and guide you personally if that will be more helpful.

  12. hi, can this guide work with Asus Zenfone Max Plus? this phone should have the same hardware but only with 3gb/32gb. thanks

    1. Hi Saurav. Please use the latest version of WinRAR to extract it. For some reason, it fails to extract with any other archive tool like 7Zip, etc.

  13. Hi,
    thanks for the tutorial. I have a problem though – the drivers probably aren’t compatibile with my pc (win 8.1 64x). What should I do?

    1. (I’ve eventually tried to install every driver there was, the only one that worked was MTP driver from Win XP/Vista folder. When I try to install those from XP/Vista/7/8/8.1, it says that there’s no compatibile driver there, and that I should check if the drivers are compatibile with 64x system.)

    2. Hi Lopata. Could you please link me to the USB driver which worked in your case? I would like to update the post with the link so that other users can be benefitted as well.

    1. Hi Aakash. No, it seems like Pie on the Max Pro M1 brings its own share of problems with things like TWRP and encryption.

      Now that you have mentioned, I will be updating this post with the latest files today. So, you will have to wait until the end of the day.

    1. Hi Ujwal. Can you please share a screenshot of the exact error and at which point during the instructions does it appear?

    2. Hi,
      Mera phone fastboot me nahi usb cable connect karte fastboot se bahar nikal jata please help me.

    3. Hi Sunil, once your phone enters Fastboot Mode, release the Volume Up and Power keys. Only after that connect the phone to the PC using the USB cable.

  14. sir, i manualy updated my asus zenfone max pro m1 then i installed twrp 3.2.3 its show successfull y done but its not installed and my phone is unlocked because of that i m not able to use some apps like google contacts,paytm nd phonepay, so kindly tell me how to install twrp properly so i can instal custom rom.. pls pls plss tell

    1. Hi Kamal, when you flash TWRP using fastboot, does it show any error in PowerShell/CMD window?

  15. Hey sir I have flashed successfully twrp on my Asus Zenfone max Pro m1 but it is not booting into twrp after twrp finished it shows only blank screen I am unable to solve this problem please help me

  16. Hey,

    I have rooted and didnt use decrypt.zip. I am on Pixel Rom .. what should I do if I need enrypt my phone(its reboot whenever I tried from system settings option)

    Thanks,
    Ram

    1. Hi Ram. I am not exactly sure if Pixel Experience ROM automatically disables ForceEncrypt. So, I suggest you simply reflash the ROM and boot the phone into the OS. Then check in the Settings if the phone is encrypted.

  17. hello. i need a bit of help. my phone does not move past the stock recovery despite having flashed TWRP already.

    1. Can we use stock Android after using and do we get the rooted benefits and updates if we use stock android.

    2. Rooting with Magisk is wonderful, especially on stock Android, as you can easily get OTA updates using nifty tricks.

    3. Hi Saurabh. If you need to take OTA updates, you will first need to disable any modifications you have done to the system, like Magisk Modules. Once everything is clean, simply restore the stock boot image and recovery to take the OTA.

      I personally like to root devices by patching the boot image instead of using TWRP, which is the best when it comes to taking OTAs.

    1. Hi, Andrie. Is your phone branded to a carrier? If no, then yes this method shall work for you as well.

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