Flash TWRP & Install LineageOS on Moto Z

The Moto Z, launched on September 2016, got off too a rocky start considering the controversial decisions Motorola took on the device’s design. Mods were a new way of customizing and enhancing the functionality of the Moto Z, but they also came at a steep price. Motorola also skipped on the headphone jack and opted for a single USB Type-C port instead. Putting these aside, the Moto Z is a beast of a device, powered by the Snapdragon 820 along with 4GB of RAM. Although Motorola has pushed out Android Nougat for the Moto Z, it still leaves many of us asking for more options to customize our device, and this is possible through LineageOS.


  • A Windows PC
  • ADB & Fastboot
  • USB Cable (double check for faults)
  • At least 60% battery remaining on your device

Unlocking the bootloader

Note: This will wipe all data on your device. Make sure you backup important files as necessary before proceeding.

  1. Enable Developer Options on your device. This can be enabled by going to Settings, About Phone and tapping the Build number about 5 times. This should enable the Developer Options on the Settings menu.
  2. In Developer Options, turn on Enable OEM Unlock and USB Debugging.
  3. We now need to visit Motorola’s site to obtain the unlock code. Login with your Google Account and follow the instructions provided. You should receive the unlock code in your email address, save this code somewhere safe.
  4. Open up ADB & Fastboot and enter “fastboot devices” to confirm the connection. Now, enter “fastboot oem unlock [unlock code here]”. Your device should now be unlocked.

Flashing TWRP

If you’re not in fastboot mode, press and hold the Power Volume Down buttons simultaneously to enter fastboot mode. We need to download the TWRP files for our respective devices from the links below:

  • Official TWRP for Motorola Moto Z: Download

Download the TWRP file, rename it to “twrp.img” (no quotes) and place in the folder where you have setup ADB & Fastboot.

Once the file is in the folder, we can go back to Minimal ADB and type in the command:

fastboot flash recovery twrp.img

This will replace the stock recovery with TWRP. Once the flash completes successfully, reboot the device into recovery to verify the installation. To reboot to recovery, simply enter “fastboot reboot recovery” in adb when in the fastboot menu.

Installing LineageOS

Download the LineageOS zip package and copy it to your device’s internal storage. Boot to recovery by using the adb method above. In the TWRP menu, select Wipe, then Factory Reset. Then, select Install and choose the LineageOS zip package. This will prompt you to “Swipe to Flash”. Once the installation has finished you can Reboot to System. Note that the first boot might take a while.

Optional: You can also choose to flash GApps to obtain Google Services after flashing LineageOS. You can follow the tutorial to flash GApps.

Rooting LineageOS

Due to security concerns, LineageOS comes without root access by default. This is because an increasing number of Android users are using Custom ROMs like LineageOS as daily drivers and just want a stable, reliable ROM to fall back on. The root addon can be installed very easily. Simply download the addon zip and flash it via TWRP, it’s that simple.

Once the zip has been flashed, boot to system and turn on root access under Developer Options. To verify root access, you can download Root Checker by joeykrim and tap “verify root”. If all goes well, you should be prompted to “grant” Superuser access and should see a message confirming the same.

Known Issues

  • Moto Mods do no work as of now.
  • Snap (Camera): Preview freezes after taking a picture. Using an alternative from Play Store (ex: Google Camera) should work fine.