On most Android devices, you do need to install a custom recovery before you can root the device. The root procedure works like this: you first flash a recovery, reboot into the recovery, and then flash SuperSU package to gain root on the device. That is the case with the Sony Xperia M4 Aqua.

If you’ve got this shiny device from Sony, you might want to install a custom recovery on it so that you can then use that recovery to gain root access on the phone. If that’s what you wish to do, here’s how:

Sony Xperia M4 Aqua

The Files You Need

  1. The bootloader on your phone must be unlocked before you can do this tutorial. You can follow the bootloader unlock guide on the XDA Forums to unlock the bootloader on your phone. When you are done, come back here and continue.
  2. You need to have a Windows running computer in order to do this tutorial.
  3. Ensure that Universal ADB drivers are installed on your computer. If they are not, your computer will not be able to recognize your phone.
  4. Download Fastboot to your computer. It will help you issue commands to your phone.
  5. Download TWRP Recovery to your computer. It is the actual recovery that will be flashed on your phone.

Installing a Custom Recovery on the Sony Xperia M4 Aqua

  1. Right-click on Fastboot and select Extract here to extract the files from the archive over to your computer.
  2. On your phone, go to Menu->Settings and then tap on About phone. Tap on Build number for 7-8 times and it will say you are a developer. Go back to settings.
  3. In the settings menu, tap on Developer options. Turn on the option for USB debugging.
  4. Connect your phone to your computer using a USB cable.
  5. Open a Command Prompt Window in the folder where you have extracted the Fastboot files. To do so, open the folder, hold down Shift on your keyboard and right-click anywhere on the screen and select Open command window here.
  6. When the command prompt window launches, type in the following command into it and press Enter:
    adb reboot bootloader
  7. Your phone should reboot into bootloader mode. Bootloader mode is the mode where you can flash custom files on your phone.
  8. Type in the following command into the Command Prompt Window and press Enter:
    fastboot flash recovery recovery.img
  9. The above command flashes the custom recovery on your phone.
  10. Wait for it to flash a recovery on your phone. It should only take a minute or two to install the recovery on your phone.
  11. When it’s done flashing the recovery, reboot your phone by typing in the following command and pressing Enter:
    fastboot reboot
  12. Your phone should reboot.
  13. You are done!

A custom recovery was successfully installed on your Sony Xperia M4 Aqua and you can reboot into the same using an app like Quick Boot. Alternatively, you can boot the Sony Xperia M4 Aqua into the custom recovery mode by using the hardware keys.

Now that you have a custom recovery, you can root your phone using our how to root the Sony Xperia M4 Aqua tutorial. Root is real fun, believe me!