The ZTE Axon Elite smartphone now has a working rooting method and a custom recovery available to install on the device. As you probably know, a custom recovery is what you need before you can start thinking about installing any custom ROMs. The Axon series is a new smartphone series that we can tell is going to be popular, so you should find ROMs for these devices some time in the future. Moreover, regardless of your ROM situation, you should always swap your recovery for the sake of getting to use the NANDroid backup feature and finally take a backup of your data easily for once.

The root access on the Axon will grant you access to the root file system so you can install any apps you want to install. That includes the usual hot apps like the Greenify app which checks which apps are using most of your power so you can make your device more efficient.


These are the steps to root the ZTE Axon Elite smartphone and install a custom recovery. The custom recovery we are installing is the TWRP recovery — similar to ClockworkMod recovery but with the physical buttons to use on your display instead of navigating with the Volume keys and confirming commands with the Power button.

Files You Need

  1. Read the step-by-step guide for your Axon first, so you know where to download the files.
  2. Download the ADB Root app for your device.
  3. Download and install ADB on your computer. We have the how-to guides for installing ADB on Windows, ADB on Mac and ADB on Linux to have you covered.
  4. Download the TWRP recovery image.
  5. Download the SuperSU by Chainfire.
  6. You are voiding the warranty by following this guide to rooting the ZTE Axon Elite. You can unroot by removing the SuperSU or flashing a stock ROM on the Axon and the warranty will start working again. That’s important since this device is so new.

Rooting and installing a custom recovery on the ZTE Axon Elite smartphone

  1. Download and install the ADB Root app and enable the root on the APK file.
  2. Set up ADB on your computer if you do not have it already.
  3. Download the TWRP recovery and SuperSU directly to the computer and transfer the files over to the internal storage SD card.
  4. Apply this following command in the ADB: dd if=/sdcard/recovery.img of=/dev/block/bootdevice/by-name/recovery
    – you can use the screenshot below for guidance.
  5. Type the last command: adb reboot recovery
  6. Your Axon Elite handset should now boot in the TWRP recovery. Tap on the Install option from the menu and browse the SD card for the SuperSU by Chainfire.
  7. Swipe and confirm you want to install the SuperSU from the bottom of the Axon’s display.

In conclusion, that is all you need to install a custom recovery image and then become the root user of the ZTE Axon Elite smartphone. Note that in this case, you have used the custom recovery image to get root access, but once we have both root access and a custom recovery the reasons for wanting them are very different.

Rooting Android is about what tweaks you can make use of on your Android operating system and installing a custom recovery is useful for people who want to install custom ROMs or custom kernels. You don’t typically need a rooted device to start installing custom ROMs. A custom ROM can be installed as long as you have a custom recovery.

Rooting means having full control over what apps can be installed and what apps can be uninstalled. There are heaps of root apps out there available from Google Play and other places online for taking full backups, changing the DNS server, remove bloatware, gain lower level hardware access, mount USB sticks, automate Android and add new features, stream to Apple AirPlay and loads more.

The thing with root apps is that you need to know the names of them before they can be installed. There is no page available from the Google Play Store that shows you the latest or trending root apps. You just need to use the search bar and enter the names yourself or rely on coming across them in your everyday browsing. Those of you who don’t want to wait that long can find out what many of the best root apps for Android are by reading our article that is dedicated to that topic.

Source: XDA member Acer73