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How to Install TWRP Recovery on Xiaomi Mi A3

In this guide, we will show you the steps to install TWRP Recovery on your Xiaomi Mi A3 device. Most devices from this OEM runs MIUI as its underlying OS which is regarded by many as among the most customizable OS skin. But this is where the issue lies for some. There are many out there who just wishes for a near about stock experience (bereft of any in-device ads or bloatware). But at the same time, they don’t wish to part ways with this smartphone manufacturer. The reason for that is the fact that it offers among the best value for your money.

So to cater to the need of this niche segment of users, Xiaomi came up with its Android One series of devices. In practice, it means that the devices would have a clean stock Android OS experience and guaranteed faster OS upgrades. While the first part stood true, unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the second half.  Well, even the official OTA updates released by Xiaomi ending up bricking the Mi A3! Such has been the fiasco that the company decided to put an end to this series for good. So the third iteration of this series is the last one to make its way.

But in spite of all the strings attached, it is still quite a decent offering from Xiaomi. And it has continued this tradition over to custom development as well. There are a plethora of mods and tweaks available that you could try out onto your device. One among them is the option to replace the device’s stock recovery with a custom one. And in this guide, we will show you how to do just that. So without further ado, let’s begin with the steps to install TWRP Recovery on your Xiaomi Mi A3 device.

Installing TWRP Recovery on Xiaomi Mi A3

install twrp recovery xiaomi mi a3

We are listing the detailed instructions in separate sections for ease of understanding. Proceed ahead in the exact same sequence as mentioned. Droidwin and its members wouldn’t be held responsible in case of a thermonuclear war, your alarm doesn’t wake you up, or if anything happens to your device and data by performing the below steps.

STEP 1: Unlock Bootloader on Mi A3

First and foremost, you will have to unlock the bootloader on your Mi A3 device. For that, you may refer to our guide on How To Unlock Bootloader on Xiaomi Mi A3. However, if you don’t wish to refer to that guide, then here are the shorter instructions. Do keep in mind that the below steps will wipe off all the data from your device and will make the device’s warranty null and void.

  1. Download and install Android SDK Platform Tools on your PC.
  2. Then enable USB Debugging and OEM Unlocking on Mi A3.
  3. After this, connect your device to the PC via USB cable.
  4. Head over to the platform-tools folder, type in CMD in the address bar, and hit Enter. This will launch the Command Prompt.
    command prompt
  5. Type in the below command in the CMD window to boot your Mi A3 to Fastboot Mode
    adb reboot bootloader

    fastboot mode xiaomi device
    Fastboot Mode in Xiaomi
  6. Finally, execute the below two commands, one at a time, to unlock the bootloader
    fastboot flashing unlock
    fastboot flashing unlock_critical
  7. You may now reboot your device to the OS via the below command:
    fastboot reboot
  8. With this, the bootloader on your device is now unlocked. Let’s move over to the next step to install TWRP Recovery on your Xiaomi Mi A3 device.

STEP 2: Change Current Active Slot

You will now have to check your current active slot and then change it to the inactive slot. We have covered a comprehensive guide on this same topic, it is highly recommended you check it out: How to Check and Change Current Active Slot on Android. The shorter instruction follows below:

  1. Connect your device to PC via USB cable
  2. Open Command Prompt inside the platform-tools folder
  3. Now type in the following command to check the current active slot:
    fastboot getvar current-slot

    check current active slot mi a3

  4. If the (bootloader) current-slot: section shows that you are currently booted to Slot A, then you will have to change it to B using the below command:
    fastboot set_active b


  5. On the other hand, if your Active slot was B, then change it to A as follows:
    fastboot set_active a
  6. Once that is done, again reboot your device to Fastboot Mode via the following command:
    fastboot reboot-bootloader
  7. Now grab hold of the TWRP Recovery file for your Mi A3 which will then be installed onto your device.

STEP 3: Download TWRP Recovery for Mi A3

Download the unofficial TWRP Recovery for your Xiaomi Mi A3 device. We will like to thank XDA Recognized Developer mauronofrio for the recovery files.



STEP 4: Flash TWRP to Boot Partition of Mi A3

You will now have to flash the TWRP IMG file to its boot partition. For that, transfer the downloaded recovery file to the platform-tools folder on your PC.

  1. Then rename it to twrp, hence the complete name will be twrp.img.
  2. Also, make sure that the device booted to Fastboot Mode and connected to the PC via USB cable
  3. Likewise, you should have opened the CMD window inside the platform-tools folder.
  4. If that’s all well and good, then type in the below command in the CMD window to flash the TWRP IMG file to the boot partition:
    fastboot flash boot twrp.img
  5. Once the recovery has been flashed, you will have to directly boot to it. For that, press and hold the Volume Up key and then enter the below command
    fastboot reboot
  6. Now follow the below steps to install the TWRP Recovery onto your Xiaomi Mi A3 device.

STEP 5: Install TWRP ZIP on Mi A3

As of now, your device is booted to TWRP, it’s time to permanently install it. But before that, verify if TWRP is able to read the files present in the Internal Storage. If it can, then the decryption is successful and you could directly start off from the third point of this section (transferring TWRP ZIP). However, if it cannot read phone memory (showing 0MB Internal Storage or files are showing a random string of characters), then you will have to decrypt the storage, which could be done as follows:

Note: If you don’t wish to wipe the data, then the alternate method is to transfer the TWRP file to your USB OTG or Pendrive and then flash the TWRP ZIP file from there. 

  1. Head over to the Wipe section of TWRP and select Format Data.
  2. Then type in YES in the space provided to start the wipe process.
  3. When that is done, transfer the TWRP ZIP file to your device.
  4. Now go to Install, select the TWRP ZIP file, and perform a right swipe to install it.
  5. TWRP will now automatically be flashed to both the partitions (by running the boot image patcher on both the slots).

Now that the TWRP Recovery is installed on your Xiaomi Mi A3, there is just one task left to do: booting to the ‘actual’ current slot. Follow along.

STEP 6: Boot Mi A3 to Original Active Slot

So here is what is happening, TWRP has been flashed to both the slots, but the OS is still installed on one slot- which is the original active slot. However, in STEP 2, we have changed the actual active slot to the inactive one (in my case I had switched from A to B) and then did the rest of the work. So to boot to the OS we will have to switch to the slot which has the system.img file installed aka the OS imstalled. Here’s how it could be done:

change slot twrp mi a3

  1. If your actual slot was A and then you had changed it to B, then you will have to change it back to A (this applies in my case).
  2. On the other hand, if your active slot was B and you had changed it to A, then you will have to change it back to B.
  3. To do either of these tasks, head over to the Reboot section of TWRP and select the slot to which you need to boot it (in my case, I will select A, as this was my original slot and this is the slot I need to boot my device).
  4. Once you have selected the Slot, tap on Recovery. It will reboot the device to TWRP and the slots will finally be changed (my device will now be on Slot A).
  5. Finally, head over to Reboot and select System. Your device will now be booted to the OS.

That’s it. With this, we conclude the guide on how to install TWRP Recovery onto Xiaomi Mi A3. If you have any queries concerning the aforementioned steps, do let us know in the comments. We will get back to you with a solution at the earliest. Furthermore, there is another method to carry out this task, and that only requires TWRP IMG file.

For that, you will first have to boot it to TWRP via its IMG file and then flash this TWRP IMG file to the Ramdisk partition. However, the above method mentioned above worked perfectly for many users. Likewise, I haven’t written about the second method here in this guide as it might have made it more complicated. With that said, if this method does give out any error or causes any issue, then do let me know in the comments section, I will cover a separate guide using the second method as well.