How to install TWRP Recovery on Wear OS watches via Fastboot

Although small in size, Wear OS watches feature a full Android OS of their own, and have bootloader and recovery modes as well just like your Android phones and tablets does.

Wear OS watches come with an unlockable bootloader and you can even install TWRP recovery on a Wear watch. But finding a TWRP recovery image for your Wear watch model might be a bit of a challenge since there’s not much of official support for building TWRP for Wear watches.

With TWRP recovery on your Wear watch, you can take full nandroid (TWRP) backup of the watch and flash custom kernels to enhance the performance of the watch.

How to flash TWRP Recovery on Wear OS watch

  1. Download a TWRP recovery .img file compatible with your Wear Watch model and save it inside a separate folder on your PC.
    └ To find TWRP recovery for your watch check the official directory or do a Google search.
  2. Unlock Bootloader on your Wear OS watch.
  3. Enable Developer options & ADB debugging on Watch: 
    1. Go to Settings on your Watch.
    2. Scroll down and select About.
    3. Tap 7 times on Build number to enable Developer options.
    4. Swipe left to go back to the Settings screen, select Developer options (below About).
    5. Tap on ADB debugging, you’ll get a confirmation to enable ADB debugging, tap on right tick.
    6. (If your Watch is connected to PC) You’ll get prompt on Watch asking for your permission to Allow Debugging, scroll down and select Always allow from this computer option.
  4. Setup ADB and Fastboot on your PC.
  5. Open a command window inside the folder where you saved the TWRP recovery .img file on your PC. To do this, Shift + Right-click on any empty white space inside the folder and select Open command window here from the context menu.
  6. Now issue the following commands to boot your Watch into bootloader mode (make sure your Wear Watch is connected to PC):
    adb reboot bootloader
  7. Once in bootloader mode, issue the following command to install/flash the TWRP recovery image on your Wear OS watch:
  8. fastboot flash recovery twrp.img

    └ Here modify twrp.img with the name of your TWRP recovery .img file, OR change your TWRP recovery filename to twrp.img and use the command above.

  9. Once TWRP is successfully flashed on your device, issue the following command to reboot your watch into the system:
    fastboot reboot

That’s all. You can now take full nandroid backups or flash custom zips via TWRP recovery on your Wear OS watch.

How to Boot into TWRP Recovery on Wear OS Watch

  1. Enable ADB debugging on your Wear watch (refer to Step 3 above).
  2. Setup ADB and Fastboot on your PC.
  3. Connect watch to the PC via USB cable/dock.
  4. Open a command window on PC and issue the following command:
    adb reboot recovery

    └ This will boot your device into TWRP recovery (if installed) or else it’ll boot into the stock Android recovery.

Happy Androiding!

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Shivam is our resident designer and web developer who also enjoys writing. He loves to meditate, drive on the freeways and hunt for snipers during his Call Of Duty playtime. Email: shivam@theandroidsoul.com