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[Guide] ZTE Axon 7: Bootloader Unlock, Install TWRP and Root

ZTE Axon 7 A2017G is one of the best Flagship smartphone in the market which is backed up by a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor. The Quad HD resolution of this phone makes the display sharper with a decent 3250 mAH battery which gives a good SOT (Screen on Time) result. However this article is not to make a review of this phone. What we are going to do is Unlocking the Bootloader, Install TWRP Custom Recovery and Flash SuperSU to gain root access.

ZTE Axon 7

Why do we need to Unlock the Bootloader?

Well, if you are not a Tech Savvy person and don't know what you are doing here, we strongly recommend you not to mess up with this guide. Let me explain a bit here. Unlocking Bootloader will let you to Install Custom Recovery (TWRP) on your phone which further allow us to Flash any Custom ROM, MODs, Kernels, SuperSU to gain root access and much more. If you are interested in using custom ROM, different Mods and Kernels, then this is the right place for you. Now please read the tutorial below if you want to Unlock the Bootloader of your ZTE Axon 7 A2017G, Install TWRP custom recovery and Flash SuperSU zip to gain Root access.

ZTE Axon 7 have a fully optimized, certified and tested version of Android, and unlocking the bootloader may change the firmware. So, it is important that you take time to read and that you keep the following in mind before unlocking the bootloader to customize your device.
  • Once your phone is unlocked, it will no longer be covered by ZTE warranty (if Bricked).
  • When unlocking the bootloader, the DRM protection of your phone will become untrusted.
  • Once unlocked, it cannot be undone. 
  • ZTE or Droidphoria.com will not be responsible for the damages caused by any custom software being flashed to your phone.
Remember: Always backup your important data that you might need after you install a new custom ROM, an official software update or anything else. Make a backup for just in case. You never know when anything might go wrong.

Also See: [Collection] Download Galaxy S8 Apps for all Android Devices - APK Files

NOTE: Make sure your Android device is charged up to 80-85% battery level. Why? Because, if your phone goes off suddenly while installing a custom ROM, flashing an official firmware update or installing mods, etc. — your phone might get bricked or go dead permanently. No one wants that, right?

Also See: Update ZTE Axon 7 to Android 7.1.1 LineageOS 14.1 Custom Firmware

All set and ready? Good. Now, let’s proceed with the tutorial below and Unlock the Bootloader of your ZTE Axon 7 A2017G.

How to Unlock ZTE Axon 7 Bootloader and Install TWRP :

We have put together a step-by-step guide on how to Unlock Axon 7 Bootloader and install TWRP recovery. Please read the tutorial carefully. We request you to read the full tutorial once before actually performing in your device.

To Remember :
  • This unlocking bootloader tutorial is only for ZTE Axon 7 A2017G. Please don’t try this on any other variants of ZTE.
  • This tutorial has been performed on Windows, but anyone familiar with Fastboot on Mac or Linux can perform this as well.
  • Make sure you backup all your data in your phone before proceeding as it will erase all data.
  • You may void your warranty by unlocking the bootloader.

Prerequisites

  • If you have Antivirus installed in your computer, disable it temporary in order to allow the Axon7Tool to work properly.
  • Download Minimal Fastboot and ADB tools to your computer and Extract it on ADB folder.
  • Download Axon7Tool to your computer and Copy/Move it to the same ADB folder.
  • Download TWRP image file to your computer and again move it to ADB folder. 
  • Make a copy of  TWRP (recovery.img) and rename it to recovery.bin in the same ADB folder.
  • Now open Setting of your phone and go to about phone. Tap on "Buid Number" 7 times to enable "Developers Option".
  • Go to "Developers Options" and tick "Allow OEM unlock" and "Android Debugging".

How to Install TWRP Recovery in ZTE Axon 7:

Step 1: Connect your Axon 7 to Computer using USB Cable which is provided out of the box with the phone.

Step 2: Open the ADB folder and Hold Shift + Right Click to open Command Prompt.

Step 3: Type  the Following Code and Hit Enter:
adb devices
Device will be listed by its code name.

Step 4: Again, type the following code and Hit Enter:
adb reboot edl
Your device will reboot into EDL mode. If it appears off then don’t worry. That is the nature of EDL mode

Now, check whether your device is listed as QUSB_BULK or not. On your Computer, navigate to Control Panel > Device Manager. If your device is not listed, then check the Troubleshooting guide given below.

Step 5: Type the following code and Hit Enter:
axon7tool -r gpt boot recovery
Your Device will reboot.

Step 6: After Device get Booted up, type the following code and Hit Enter:
adb reboot edl
Now check following files in ADB:
  • gtp
  • recovery
  • boot
Wait for it to be executed and then your device should reboot. After the device reboots, switch off your phone again.

Step 7: Now to get in the TWRP Recovery Mode. Switch ON the phone while pressing and holding Volume Down + Power buttons together.

  • If the TWRP recovery asks for a password then, simply click on cancel.
  • If asked to modify system settings then swipe to agree.
That’s it! Your ZTE Axon 7 A2017G should now have TWRP Custom Recovery installed!

Troubleshooting Guide:

  • If your computer doesn’t recognize your device as QUSB_BULK then download Zadig and replace the drivers with WinUSB ones.
  • If axon7tool.exe doesn’t recognize your device even after connecting the device as QUSB_BULK then try killing adb.exe via task manager before trying again.

How to Unlock Axon 7 Bootloader:

Step 1: Download minimal fastboot and adb tools and extract it to your computer.

Step 2: Create a folder with name "ADB" and move the extracted files there.

Step 3: Download aboot.img file and paste it to the ADB folder. 

Step 4: Download TWRP Unlock Bootloader zip file to your computer and extract it. Copy the fastboot_unlock.img file to ADB folder.

Step 5: Now navigate the ADB folder and open Command Prompt (Hold Shift + Right Click in Windows OS).

Step 6: Type the following command and Hit Enter: (Do this for all of the commands listed below.)
adb push aboot.img /sdcard/
adb push fastboot_unlock.img /sdcard/
adb shell dd if=/dev/block/bootdevice/by-name/fbop of=/sdcard/fbop_lock.img
adb shell dd if=/dev/block/bootdevice/by-name/aboot of=/sdcard/aboot_lock.img
adb pull /sdcard/fbop_lock.img
adb pull /sdcard/aboot_lock.img
adb shell dd if=/sdcard/fastboot_unlock.img of=/dev/block/bootdevice/by-name/fbop
adb shell dd if=/sdcard/aboot.img of=/dev/block/bootdevice/by-name/aboot
adb reboot bootloader
The Device will boot into Bootloader.

Again, Type the following command and Hit Enter:
fastboot oem unlock
That's it! Your Axon 7 should now have Unlocked Bootloader. Switch Off and restart the phone and proceed the tutorial below. 

How to Root ZTE Axon 7 A2017G:

Download the SuperSU 2.79.zip file and copy/paste the zip file to your phone memory. Make sure the files are in the phone memory root (not in any folder).

Step 1: Switch Off your phone and Enter the Recovery Mode in order to Flash SuperSU zip to gain root access. (Switch ON the phone while pressing and holding Volume Down + Power buttons together.)

Step 2: Once you are in TWRP Recovery, perform a full data wipe by tapping on the ‘Wipe’ button. Then swipe on the “Swipe to Factory Reset” option at the bottom.

Step 3: Now go back to the main menu and then tap on the ‘Install’ button. From the list, choose the SuperSU ZIP file that you copied to your phone memory.

Step 4: Confirm installation on the next screen by swiping on the “Swipe to Confirm Flash” option. The installation procedure should start now.

Step 5: Tap on the “Wipe cache/dalvik” button if you get into any boot loops or other issues.

Step 6: You can now reboot your phone by selecting the “Reboot System” button.

Your Axon 7 will boot now and it might take about 5 minutes to boot on your first time after rooting. So, please wait.

That’s it! Your ZTE Axon 7 A2017G should now have SuperSU Root access. Verify with any Root Checker App.

Any problem? Do let us know by commenting below! If you find the above tutorial useful and they were helpful to you, please consider giving us a +1 or LIKE on Facebook to thank us.