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 with 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 is 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 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.

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. On your computer, go to the folder where you have installed the ADB and Fastboot installed.
  2. 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’.
  3. Reboot your Android device into Recovery Mode. If you are not sure about the button combinations to reboot into Recovery Mode, you can use the below app: 
    Quick Reboot [ROOT]
    Quick Reboot [ROOT]
    Developer: Awiserk
    Price: Free
  4. Once you are in recovery > Select an option which says something similar to ‘adb sideload’.
  5. Next, connect your device to your PC via USB Cable.
  6. 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
  7. Once you have executed the above command, you will see a progress bar on your Command Window or PowerShell Window (whichever you are using).
  8. Once the sideload completes, simply reboot your device.

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’.
  4. Reboot your Android device into Recovery Mode. The key combination to reboot an Android device to recovery mode, varies from device to device. (Google?)
  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.

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.

Need help? Drop a comment below!

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