In this post, we will see how to use ADB sideload for TWRP, and also flash or zip files in Stock Recovery. It can also be used to install official OTA updates via stock recovery. Despite all these benefits, there is still some confusion around this feature. But this guide is an honest attempt to clear all the doubts.

ADB Sideload

ADB Sideload is a feature in Android devices that allows you to install or flash ZIP files directly on your device using a single ADB command. The usage scenario depends on the user. Enthusiasts mainly use this feature to flash mods and tweaks included in ZIP packages. The regular user, on the other hand, uses this feature to install OTA updates manually.

Regardless of which domain you belong to, however, one thing remains the same – you can only install ZIP files through it. For users using this feature via TWRP, there is one more thing to note. The sideload feature is not used to transfer files from your PC to your device. Rather, it installs the ZIP file directly on your device.

ADB Sideload TWRP

If you just want to transfer files, you should look for other TWRP options like Mount, MTP, and others instead. The same goes for stock recovery. The OTA update file will install directly on your device without being transferred first.

We will now take a look at the steps to use ADB Sideload and install ZIP files in Stock and TWRP Recovery.

Stock Recovery using ADB Sideload

The main use of ADB Sideload in Stock Recovery is to install OTA or firmware updates. In this context, there are two different options: Apply Update from ADB and Apply Update from SD card. So what is the difference between these two options? Well, with the Apply Update from ADB option, you can install the ZIP file via ADB commands.

On the other hand, with the Apply Update from SD card option, you install the ZIP file directly from your device. In this guide, we will focus on the first option. So, without further ado, let’s start.

ADB Sideload TWRP Recovery

While using Sideload in TWRP is also limited to flashing ZIP files, in this case, it takes a broader approach. Unlike using stock recovery, where ZIP was treated as a firmware update file, a ZIP file can be used in a variety of scenarios. For example, it could be a Magisk module or even a custom ROM. However, the steps in the instructions remain the same. So let us take a look at the steps to use the ADB sideload feature in TWRP recovery.

  • Installing the Android Debug Bridge on your PC
    • First, download the Android SDK Platform Tools, the official ABD and fastboot binaries provided by Google.
    • Download it and unzip it to any location on your PC, to get the platform-tools folder. This folder will be used to flash ZIP via adb sideload and TWRP
  • Bootloader unlocking
    • Unlock the bootloader, keeping in mind that this will erase all data on your device and may also void your warranty.
    • So if that’s okay, check out my guide on how to unlock the bootloader of any Android device.
  • Install the TWRP Recovery
    • There are two different ways to do this: You can either install TWRP temporarily or permanently.

Android TWRP Recovery Booting

  • Connect your device to the PC using a USB cable.
  • Enable USB debugging.
  • Go to the platform-tools folder, type “cmd” in the address bar and press Enter, to launch command prompt.
  • Now, type in “adb reboot recovery” in the cmd window.
  • This will boot into TWRP recovery.
  • Thereafter, now proceed to the next step to flash the required ZIP file via adb sideload and TWRP.

Rooting your smartphone

This step is optional and depends on the type of ZIP files you want to flash via ADB sideload and TWRP. If it is a custom ROM, you do not need to root your device.

On the other hand, if you want to flash a Magisk module or similar mods, rooting is a must. For that, you can read our instructions below:

  • Transfer the required file ZIP to the platform-tools folder on your PC.
  • Type “cmd” in the address bar of this folder to open the command prompt.
  • Now, go to Advanced on the TWRP start screen and select ADB Sideload.
  • Then right swipe the Swipe to Start Sideload button at the bottom.
  • Thereafter, go to the commad prompt window and type in “adb sideload [filename of the required file ZIP with .zip extension]
  • Once the flashing is complete, you can reboot the device using the Reboot > System option in TWRP at OS.
  • That’s it, you are great to go as the work is complete.
ADB Sideload TWRP


In this post, we have seen how to use ADB sideload for TWRP, and also flash or zip files in Stock Recovery. This guide is an honest attempt to clear all the doubts and also make you understand all the steps required to do so. If any doubts still persist, then you can post it in the comments section. Hope you had a good, valuable and enjoyable reading experience. Until next time, see-ya! Goodbye !!:)~

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