Every device that runs on a version of the Android operating system comes with a stock recovery partition. You can boot your device into the recovery partition, which is known as recovery mode when you do, and then flash signed zip files or follow the steps to complete a factory reset.

Both flashing signed zip and taking factory resets can help get you out of trouble if there are some issues with your current version of Android, hence why it is known as recovery mode. Apart from those two features though the recovery partition that comes stock is pretty useless.

The Android operating system is based on open source software which allows for developers to change the code and create new ROM. These are called custom ROMs. You can’t flash a custom ROM from the stock recovery partition since it only allows for the signed zip files. Thus one of the features you get with the custom recovery image that developers have created is the chance to flash unsigned zip files which can include the custom ROM files.

If custom ROMs aren’t you’re thing then you still might be interested in getting root access. While some people prefer to use the one-click rooting tools when available, you can always flash a tool like SuperSU from the custom recovery images and get root access that way as well.

Details We Should Know

  • The custom recovery images available in this guide are only to be installed on the Huawei P9 smartphone. Most devices have a custom recovery image developed specifically for it, and you shouldn’t install one that is intended for another device unless advised it is okay by a professional.
  • You can follow this guide on any of the major three computer operating systems: Windows, Mac, and Linux. You just need to download the right platform-tools file from the Android SDK package when you’re on the Android website, which is walked through during the guide below.

Files We Need

How to Install TWRP Recovery on Huawei P9 Smartphones

1. Make sure you’ve installed the universal ADB driver on the computer. That will make it possible for you to use adb commands as well as the Huawei P9 smartphone. If you can’t get the Huawei P9 smartphone connected to the computer, then you can also download the Huawei USB drivers instead so the computer has both the ADB drivers and Huawei drivers installed . . . you then can’t go wrong.

2. You need to have the platform-tools part of the Android SDK on your computer. From the download link scroll down until you get to the command line tools section and then download the package that is made for your operating system.

3. Once you have the SDK Manager on your computer, check the box only for the platform-tools, so you end up with the adb and fastboot binaries installed on the computer. (You could also install the drivers from there as well if you wanted.)

4. Pick up the Huawei P9 smartphone and navigate to the Settings > About and tap your finger over the build number at least seven times so that the Developer Options menu becomes unlocked. Then go back to the Settings, enter the Developer Options menu and then enable the USB debugging mode.

5. Connect the Huawei P9 smartphone to the computer by using the USB cable that it comes with.

6. Now on the computer open the Command Prompt and type the adb reboot bootloader command and hit “Enter” on your keyboard to get the Huawei P9 smartphone into the bootloader mode and ready for the flashing.

7. Make sure you have copied the TWRP image file to the same folder as the adb and fastboot binaries. Also when you’re there, change the name of the TWRP to “twrp.img” by right-clicking the mouse pointer on it and selecting the “rename” option from the menu.

8. From the command line type the fastboot flash recovery twrp.img command and hit “Enter” on your keyboard to flash the custom recovery.

9. Lastly type the fastboot reboot command and as soon as the Huawei P9 smartphone reboots, hold down the key combination to boot directly into the recovery mode. (If you don’t sometimes the stock recovery will wipe over the custom recovery you just installed.)

The custom recovery image for the Huawei P9 smartphone is now installed, and you are ready to boot into recovery mode and start flashing the custom ROM or rooting zip files.

If you feel like using the stock recovery again because you no longer want to use any of the features a custom recovery offers, then you can achieve that a couple of ways. The most common of ways is just to get the flashing tool that you use to flash firmware/stock ROMs and flash one of the Huawei stock ROMs that is made for your device. That stock ROM contains the recovery image inside which will then automatically get flashed at the same time as the ROM. Or if you didn’t want to do any flashing other than the recovery, you could unpack the ROM zip file on the computer, find the recovery image that is inside and then flash it using the adb commands.