This is going to be a long one so before we begin please find somewhere comfortable to sit or stand and grab yourself a drink. We assume you’re here because you own a Xiaomi Redmi Note 8, you want to root it and are competent enough to do that and you also understand the potential dangers of rooting your device and consequently absolve us from any blame in case of damage to your device as a result of using this information.
In this exclusive guide, we’ll walk through the process of rooting a Redmi Note 8 and installing TWRP recovery, the information should apply to any Android smartphone but here we will be discussing the Note 8, before we delve into the actual rooting, let’s list the five key steps necessary to rooting your note 8 and installing TWRP recovery, we’ll explore each in detail below.
- Charge Your Device
- Back-up Your Device
- Unlock The Bootloader
- Install TWRP Recovery
- Root Your Redmi Note 8
The above steps must be completed in order to root your device successfully so please take heed if you want the process to go smoothly and without incident. We’ll cover each as we proceed.
Charge Your Device
Do not attempt rooting or recovery with a phone battery close to empty or anything under 60%. This is absolutely important because you have no control over the power grid and anything could happen. If any of the steps above is interrupted because of a power failure or low battery, you risk damaging your phone and sometimes that can be irrecoverable, also, you may not be able to charge your phone while doing recovery or rooting because both processes use the USB port which in most phones also serves as the charging port. So charge first.
Back-up Your Device
So you want to ensure that you transfer your precious files to an external device such as an SD card or online storage, this could be anything from images, videos, documents, videos, app data, songs and sometimes even SMS messages. We’ll be looking at how to back-up your data to the cloud, specifically Google if you have a Gmail account. The process is straight forward, here are the steps.
Back-up data to Google.
1. Get your Redmi Note 8 and go to Settings >> Accounts & sync.
2. Select Your Google account, and check “Auto-sync data”.
3. Tap on the Gmail Address used to sign onto the phone.
4. Select all options so that all your phone data gets synced to the cloud, information synced can include contacts, photos, app data, calendar events, Chrome tabs, Google Fit data etc.
5. Go to Settings > Backup & Reset. Select Back up my data.
And that’s it. Your data will be uploaded to the cloud. Next time you sign into some other Android smartphone with the same Gmail account, all your settings will be downloaded and saved on the new phone. Very Convenient.
Ordinarily, Android phones with an active Gmail account will do this automatically and regularly if auto-sync is enabled and you can even set the frequency of the auto back-ups so it’s likely that your data is already saved in the cloud if this option is enabled, but just do a manual back-up to be sure. You don’t want to leave anything to chance.
Auto-sync can be enabled by going to settings >> User Account and Tap on the Gmail Account >> Account Sync option and enable all the options there. Below is a screenshot showing the same.
Back-up data to your computer.
You can also transfer and save all your phone’s media files onto your PC or a Mac. All you need is a USB cable and a computer running either Windows, Linux or a Mac. What you need to do to start transferring files is connect your smartphone phone to the computer via USB cable and if all goes well (ideally you have the requisite drivers installed but some OS will identify and load them automatically).
If it all works as expected then you should see your phone on your computer desktop as shown below. This is on Windows OS.
Open (MI 4W), in our case that’s the phone folder as seen on the screenshot above, select all the files you need and transfer to a folder on your computer. Image files are stored in the DCIM folder and Songs in Music Folder by default. Here’s a screenshot of the filing system in Windows:
NB: It’s possible to back-up apps, contacts & SMS, Call logs, Bookmarks & Calendars to the SD card, even Google Drive, Gmail or Windows PC but that would require an app called Super Backup & Restore, you can download it from the Google PlayStore.
Unlock The Bootloader
To unlock the bootloader of your Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 you’ll need the following:
- Internet-connected computer, ideally with Windows OS
- Mi Unlock Tool
- Mi Account. You can register one here if you don’t already have.
Once the bootloader is unlocked, you’ll then need to install TWRP custom Recovery on your Redmi Note 8 & root it. The good news is that since all tools are developed and backed by Xiaomi, you will not have to worry about voiding your warranty, still proceed with caution and in case you’re wondering why a manufacturer would lock the device bootloader in the first place, well, seems the main reason is to beat counterfeiters who prey on popular brands.
In the case of Xiaomi and many other popular brands, we’ve heard of cases where fans of those brands purchase devices from unofficial sources, unknown to them the devices often come with tampered ROM and bloatware pre-installed and other unauthorized software.
Unhappy users will then bash those brands, and some even switch brands completely, so when they investigated and uncovered cases of tampered ROM and bloatware, they decided to lock all devices henceforth, that preserves the integrity of the bootloader and other critical software functionality but then to appease their hobbyist fans, they decide to make it possible to root the devices only through approved means like the one we’re looking at.
Another reason, of course, is to deter theft of phones by linking the unlocking process to an account, therefore, it’s harder for a thief to flash if they don’t have access to a linked Mi account.
NB: The unlocking process will wipe your device clean, so ensure you’ve backed up your important data.
Preparatory Steps Before Unlocking
1. First, enable the OEM Unlocking option on your phone. Here’s how.
- Go to Phone Settings
- About phone
- Tap the MIUI Version option several times until developer option is enabled.
- Go to Additional Settings – Developer options.
- Developer options, Allow OEM Unlocking, Logon MI Unlock option.
- Enable Find Device option on your phone. To do this go inside Mi Account > Mi cloud on your phone and select the Find Device, turn it ON.
- Check that your phone is online on MI Cloud. Log into the Mi Account, select Find Device.
- It should detect your phone, and look like the screen below, and please confirm that the details of your phone and location are correct on the screen.
- All the steps are completed, you can now unlock your phone.
Unlock Your Redmi Note 8
- Download the MI Unlock Tool and save it to your desktop.
- Boot your phone into fastboot mode. Here’s how.
- To do this turn off your phone.
- Hold and Press Volume Down + Power for few seconds, and
- Your phone will boot into fastboot mode.
- Once in fastboot mode, connect the phone to the PC via USB cable.
- Run the Mi Unlock Tool and Login with your Mobile ID to start the unlock process.
- The unlocking process will complete in about 10 seconds with the following message.
Install TWRP Recovery & Root
Here we’re finally. This is the last step to rooting your device. Ensure to complete it carefully, following each step one-by-one on your computer and your Redmi Note 8. So by now, I’m assuming your device is backed up, boot unclocked and good to go.
You’ll need the following things to Install TWRP and Root
- Battery fully charged or at least at 60% charge.
- USB data cable to connect your phone with computer ideally running Windows OS to execute fastboot commands.
- Android Platform Tools and ADB Fastboot Drivers.
- Magisk Root package (zip). Download the latest version.
- Redmi Note 8 with an unlocked bootloader.
Get TWRP Recovery for Redmi Note 8
- Download TWRP Recovery For Redmi Note 8
- Unzip the folder on your Windows desktop.
- You’ll need this file to flash the TWRP on your phone.
Install TWRP Recovery and Root
1. Save the TWRP file on your Android Platform Tools. Ensure you have the ADB Fastboot Drivers installed on your computer.
2. Turn off your phone and Hold volume down + power on at the same time to boot your Redmi Note 8 into fastboot mode.
3. In fastboot mode. Connect your phone to the computer with a USB cable.
4. Open the command prompt window in the Platform ADB folder by Pressing Shift Button and Select Open Command Window Here.
5. Key in the following command and hit enter on the keyboard:
fastboot flash recovery recovery.img
6. TWRP will be installed on your Xiaomi Redmi Note 8.
7. Boot the phone into TWRP recovery by pressing Power + Volume Up buttons.
7. And that’s it! Custom TWRP recovery is installed on your phone. Proceed below to root your device.
NB: Decryption Error Fix
This issue has been reported on some phone models where the internal storage isn’t writable, neither recognizable. The issue can be easily fixed even though you run the risk of all phone data being erased. Follow steps below to fix the decryption error.
1. Tap on the Wipe button of your TWRP Recovery screen.
2. Select “Format Data” then key in “Yes” to confirm.
Step 5: Root Your Redmi Note 8
1. Download Magisk Root.zip file to your computer.
2. Connect your phone to the computer then save the Magisk Zip file to your phone.
3. Boot phone into TWRP mode by pressing the Power and Volume Up buttons together.
4. Tap on the “Install” button in TWRP mode and select Magisk zip file.
5. Do “Swipe to confirm flash” action.
6. The Magisk zip file will flash your Redmi Note 8.
7. Select “Reboot” then “System“.
8. Your Redmi Note 8 is rooted.
NB: You might notice a new app with the name Magisk Manager on your phone. Magisk Manager and another named SuperSU will help you grant or deny root permissions whenever needed.
It’s been a long journey but finally, we’re done. Do not hesitate to share this guide if you find it useful in your rooting endeavor.