ADB Sideload: How to Use it to Sideload TWRP, OTA Updates, & ROMs

In this article, we will tell you how you can use ADB Sideload to sideload TWRP, sideload ROM zip file, etc. Learn how you can easily use ADB Sideload with ADB Sideload commands.

If you are an Android enthusiast who likes to root your device, install a custom recovery such as TWRP, or flash custom ROMs on your Android device, then you would have definitely heard of the term ‘adb sideload‘. Pretty much any guide you find on the internet that involves complex stuff such as the ones mentioned earlier will have these terms used everywhere. And if you are new to the Android rooting universe, it could all get confusing.

In this guide, we will tell you what exactly is adb sideload and how to use it to sideload TWRP, ROM Zip files, and Mods.

In this guide, you will learn
  1. How to ADB Sideload TWRP Recovery?
  2. How to ADB Sideload OTA Update Zip Files?
  3. How to ADB Sideload Custom ROM Zip Files?
  4. How to ADB Sideload Mods?

What is ADB Sideload?

ADB sideload was a new feature which was added to the stock Android recovery (AOSP Recovery) in Android Jelly Bean. ADB sideload is a different variant of the ADB mode which you can use to push and install a zip file on your Android device, using one command from your computer. You would even see this option in your stock Android recovery if you try to update your device with the latest OTA Zip file. While this particular ADB Sideload option is not very useful for normal users, it’s a blessing for the advanced users and ROM Developers.

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Simply put, with ADB Sideload option, you can simply PUSH any compatible .zip file to your Android device from a computer and install the same on to your device.

How To Use ADB Sideload?

With ADB Sideload, you can achieve a variety of solutions. Some of them are flashing custom ROM Zip files and Mods. Most of the manufacturers even have an option to sideload the OTA Update zip file via Stock Android recovery too. Follow the below guide to ADB Sideload zip files.

Getting Started

  1. Make sure you have a decent amount of battery left on your device to survive the process.
  2. Make sure you have the latest USB Drivers installed on your computer.
  3. Make sure you have enabled USB Debugging on your Android device.
  4. Make sure you have installed the latest ADB and Fastboot Platform Tools on your computer.

How to Sideload Zip file using ADB Sideload?

  1. Make sure you have the latest ADB and Fastboot files installed on your device.
  2. On your computer, go to the folder where you have installed the ADB and Fastboot installed.
  3. Open a command window from inside this folder. To do this: Press and Hold Shift Key + Right Click on the empty space inside the folder > Select ‘Open command window here‘ or ‘Open power shell window here’.ADB-Sideload-Zip-File-Open-Command-Prompt
  4. Reboot your Android device into Recovery Mode:
    1. Enable Developer Options: Go to Settings > About Phone > Tap on ‘Build number‘ for 5 or 6 times until you see a message ‘You are now a developer‘.
    2. Go back to Settings > Developer options > Tap on Enable USB Debugging. Tap ‘OK‘.
    3. After enabling USB Debugging, connect your Android device to a PC using USB Cable.
    4. Now, execute the below command in the command prompt:
      adb devices
    5. If this is the first time connecting your device to PC, you might get a prompt on your phone which asks ‘Allow USB Debugging?’. Tap on the checkbox which says ‘Always allow from this computer‘ and tap OK.
    6. Now execute the below command in the command prompt/power shell window to reboot your device into bootloader mode:
      adb reboot recovery
  5. Once you are in recovery > Select an option which says something similar to ‘adb sideload’.
  6. Next, connect your device to your PC via USB Cable.
  7. On your computer, in the command window/PowerShell window, execute the below command:
    adb sideload <filename.Zip>

    For exmaple, if you want to sideload a zip file which is named as ‘Custom-Mod.zip’, you can use the following command:

    adb sideload Custom-Mod.zip
  8. Once you have executed the above command, you will see a progress bar on your Command Window or PowerShell Window (whichever you are using).
  9. Once the sideload completes, simply reboot your device.
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How to ADB Sideload using TWRP Recovery?

  1. Download the necessary OTA Zip file to your computer.
  2. On your computer, go to the folder where you have installed the ADB and Fastboot installed.
  3. Open a command window from inside this folder. To do this: Press and Hold Shift Key + Right Click on the empty space inside the folder > Select ‘Open command window here‘ or ‘Open power shell window here’.
  4. Reboot your device into TWRP Recovery.
  5. Once you are in TWRP Recovery, go to Advanced > ADB Sideload.
  6. Next, connect your device to your PC via USB Cable.
  7. On your computer, in the command window/PowerShell window, run the below command:
    adb sideload <filename.Zip>
  8. Once you have executed the above command, you will see a progress bar on your Command Window or PowerShell Window.
  9. Once the sideload completes, simply reboot your device.

How to ADB Sideload Zip OTA Zip Files?

  1. Download the necessary OTA Zip file to your computer.
  2. On your computer, go to the folder where you have installed the ADB and Fastboot installed.
  3. Open a command window from inside this folder. To do this: Press and Hold Shift Key + Right Click on the empty space inside the folder > Select ‘Open command window here‘ or ‘Open power shell window here’.Install-OTA-Update-ADB-Sideload-Open-Command-Window
  4. Reboot your Android device into Recovery Mode:
    1. Enable Developer Options: Go to Settings > About Phone > Tap on ‘Build number‘ for 5 or 6 times until you see a message ‘You are now a developer‘.
    2. Go back to Settings > Developer options > Tap on Enable USB Debugging. Tap ‘OK‘.
    3. After enabling USB Debugging, connect your Android device to a PC using USB Cable.
    4. Now, execute the below command in the command prompt:
      adb devices
    5. If this is the first time connecting your device to PC, you might get a prompt on your phone which asks ‘Allow USB Debugging?’. Tap on the checkbox which says ‘Always allow from this computer‘ and tap OK.
    6. Now execute the below command in the command prompt/power shell window to reboot your device into bootloader mode:
      adb reboot recovery
  5. Once you are in recovery > Select an option which says something similar to ‘adb sideload’ or ‘apply update from adb’.
  6. Next, connect your device to your PC via USB Cable.
  7. On your computer, in the command window/PowerShell window, execute the below command:
    adb sideload <OTA-filename.Zip>
  8. Once you have executed the above command, you will see a progress bar on your Command Window or PowerShell Window (whichever you are using).
  9. Once the sideload completes, simply reboot your device.
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ADB Sideload Guide

As illustrated in the detailed manner above, ADB Sideload is a very simple option yet very powerful. It comes in handy if you want to flash huge zip files on to your Android device without having to copy them to your device first.

3 thoughts on “ADB Sideload: How to Use it to Sideload TWRP, OTA Updates, & ROMs”

  1. Very clear guide, thank you for this. I got the tools installed on Ubuntu, working fine. But I cannot place the image that I want to sideload into the folder where ADB is installed, due to admin permissions. Changing the permissions to that particular folder can seriously mess up my system. Is it necessary to sideload the img file from this location?

    Reply
  2. As I m enter to twrp sideload but , I’m not able to type | that word to show pm list packages.
    Can u help me out to solve it

    Reply

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