How to Root Asus Zenfone 2 (ZE550ML & ZE551ML)

Asus Zenfone 2 is a pretty interesting device, firstly because it targets much wider price points than probably any other smartphone in the market and secondly it packs much varied (but still great) specifications which make each variant a good buy at the price that it targets. Anyways, if you own one of the Zenfone 2 variants (ZE550ML or ZE551ML) and want to gain root access, this post provides detailed instructions for that. So, let’s get started.

Rooting the Asus Zenfone 2 (ZE550ML & ZE551ML)

There are two methods to root the Asus Zenfone 2. Please follow the instructions step by step so to eliminate any chances of phone getting bricked. And even though the rooting process will not affect your user data, you should still backup any important data if something wrong happens. Also, if you want to take OTA updates seamlessly, DO NOT alter (add/remove) any system apps.

Method #1 – Using Temporary CWM

You should follow this method to root the Zenfone 2 device because firstly it is easy, secondly it requires minimal downloading. You can also install OTA updates on your device if you follow this method to root your Zenfone 2 device (after un-rooting). CWM is only temporarily loaded and your stock recovery is not replaced.

  1. Download and Install the USB Drivers.
  2. Download THIS zip file containing temporary CWM package and extract the contents to an accessible location.
  3. Turn on USB Debugging and then connect your phone to the PC.
    USB Debugging can be accessed by going to Settings> About> Software Information> Tap Build number 7 times. Then go 2 steps back and choose Developer options> USB Debugging.
  4. Copy SuperSUxxx.zip (xxx is the SuperSU version) to the root of your SD card.
  5. Run cai_dat_CWM.bat. In the command window, type ACCEPT (in capitals) and hit Enter.
  6. Type T4 and hit enter again. Your phone should restart infastboot mode, take the commands and then load the temporary CWM. It will take about a minute for this to complete.

    fastboot comands working

    Fastboot Commands being Paased

  7. When the phone boots CWM Recovery, you can disconnect the device from the PC. Then select Install Zip by using Volume Keys to highlight and Power Key to select.
  8. Select choose zip from external sdcard and then select the SuperSUxxx.zip file copied to the SD card in step 4. Select Yes – Install SuperSuxxx.zip to start flashing. It will take a few moments for theSuperSU to be installed, so be patient.

    Installing SuperSU Zenfone 2

    Installing SuperSU

  9. When done, reboot your phone and that’s it. Verify the root by installing any root checker app from the Play Store.
Before installing a OTA update, Unroot the phone by going to SuperSU> Settings> Full Unroot. Or else the update will fail. Also, if system apps are altered, please flash stock ROM before installing OTA.

Method #2 – Flashing the Pre-Rooted ROM

If for some reason the previous method fails or you just want an alternative way, you can download and flash the pre-rooted firmware. Disadvantages here are that first of all you need to download the full fimware (about 1GB in size) and secondly, OTA updates cannot be installed if you update the SuperSU binaries.

If you root using this method and update the SuperSU binaries or alter the system apps, please flash the full stock firmware via ADB instead of taking the OTA update. OTA update can put the phone into bootloop.
  1. Download and Install the USB Drivers.
  2. Download and Install ADB (if not already installed).
  3. Download the pre-rooted firmware files (about 1GB). Please choose the files for your device as mentioned below. If the latest firmware is not available, wait a few days as the files are regularly updated. Also choose the correct localized version (WW/CN/JP etc). Flashing an incorrect version might brick your phone.
    ZE551ML – Z00A
    ZE550ML – Z008
  4. Download and extract the Flash Tools zip file to an accessible location.
  5. With WinRAR/WinZIP installed, open the firmware folder double-click the Z00x_WW_x.x.x.x_system_w_root.zip file and extract it. The smaller files will be combined and the complete system.img will be available.
  6. Move system.img, boot.img, droidboot.img and recovery.img to the folder where you extracted Flash Tools.zip in step 4.

    flash tools zenfone 2 folder

    Flash Tools Folder

  7. Turn off your Zenfone 2, press and hold the Volume Up & Power Key together till it vibrates.
  8. When the phone gets into fastboot mode, connect it to the PC.
  9. Open the Flash Tools folder. Right click while holding down the shift key and choose Open command window here.
  10. Pass the following commands in the command window one by one after the previous is finished. The last command will take a few minutes to complete so do wait till finished shows up before disconnecting the phone.
    fastboot flash fastboot droidboot.img
    fastboot flash recovery recovery.img
    fastboot flash boot boot.img
    fastboot flash system system.img

    Flashing Zenfone 2

    Flashing Zenfone 2

  11. Reboot when done and you’ll have a rooted Zenfone 2.

If you’re new to rooting, you might get confused with the procedure.Β  If you come across any such confusion, do not make any guesses with a certain step unless you know what you’re doing. If you don’t understand something, please leave a comment below and we’ll try assisting you with that.

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298 Responses to How to Root Asus Zenfone 2 (ZE550ML & ZE551ML)

  1. ashu June 28, 2016 at 9:37 am #

    I m not able to get .IMG files plzz help me with that .thnxx

    • Narender Singh June 28, 2016 at 1:16 pm #

      Why don’t you follow the first method instead?

  2. Allan Collins July 2, 2016 at 12:50 am #

    Hi,
    Someone else has asked the same question as I’m going to, so I hope you don’t mind me repeating it.
    Basically when you say use the root of the SD card (for copying the zip) do U mean internal or external storage ?
    Also is there no need to unlock the Bootloader?
    And daft question, does the method you show still work, I’m up to date on all Asus updates.

    Your tutorial is one of the clearest iv’e found online, I’ve rooted devices before but for some reason the Zenfone 2 looks and sound more daunting!

    • Narender Singh July 2, 2016 at 1:12 am #

      I’m happy to hear that you find it the clearest πŸ™‚ The method should work since the core is still the same, even if updated. Use the method 1, not 2.
      I meant the external SD card there, but you can place it on either. Both storages should be accessible while choosing the zip.
      Yes there is no need to unlock the bootloader here. Good luck!

      • AXEL BLAZEE July 10, 2016 at 12:08 pm #

        I TRIED METHOD ONE AND WHEN I TYPE β€œT4” COME OF THEM ARE β€œFAILED” AND SOME ARE β€œOKAY” AND MY PHONE STUCKS ON FASTBOOT MODE AND ASUS LOGO, IT DOESNT OPEN CWM RECOVERY MODE, HELP ME PLEASE, ALL DRIVERS AND EVERYTHING IS INSTALLED, BOOTLOADER IS UNBLOCKED, HELP ME PLS

  3. AXEL BLAZEE July 10, 2016 at 12:04 pm #

    I TRIED METHOD ONE AND WHEN I TYPE “T4” COME OF THEM ARE “FAILED” AND SOME ARE “OKAY” AND MY PHONE STUCKS ON FASTBOOT MODE AND ASUS LOGO, IT DOESNT OPEN CWM RECOVERY MODE, HELP ME PLEASE, ALL DRIVERS AND EVERYTHING IS INSTALLED, BOOTLOADER IS UNBLOCKED, HELP ME PLS

  4. Dhruv Verma July 21, 2016 at 2:59 pm #

    Will this wipe the internal storage ?
    And if I make a 3rd party app as system app using lucky patcher, can I still unroot and claim warranty ?

    • Narender Singh July 21, 2016 at 6:54 pm #

      It should only rewrite your system partition so I believe internal storage will be preserved. Don’t forget to backup in any case though.
      Warranty will be available when you unroot unless you have an unlocked bootloader as well πŸ™‚

  5. Dhruv July 22, 2016 at 8:25 pm #

    My Pc is not discovering my device…
    What do I do now…

  6. Sam Rodman July 26, 2016 at 11:57 pm #

    When I get to step 6 in method 1 this is what happens:

    ***********************************************************************
    FASTBOOT TETHERED RECOVERY LAUNCHER 05-16-2015-PTR
    ***********************************************************************
    REBOOT
    =======================================================================

    DEVICE STATUS: ADB-ONLINE

    DEVICE INFORMATION: adb server

    =======================================================================

    adb server is out of date. killing…
    ADB server didn’t ACK
    * failed to start daemon *
    error: unknown host service

    and then nothing happens. Do you know what’s going on?

    • Narender Singh July 27, 2016 at 12:22 am #

      Guess you need to update the ADB version installed on your system.

  7. SgtDeathAdder July 27, 2016 at 12:09 pm #

    Tried both methods but I’m getting an

    Remote permission FAILED error

    please help!

  8. SATYA August 1, 2016 at 1:51 pm #

    NOT WORK. ROOT CHEAKER SAYS. DEVICE NOT ROOT

  9. A01 August 2, 2016 at 1:30 am #

    Hi,
    I followed the second method with adb (because in recovery mode I don’t have the saying “install zip from sd card”), I rebooted the phone at the end of the procedure but when i use Root Checker to see if I have the root access it says “Sorry! Root access is not properly installed on this device”…what should I do?

    • Narender Singh August 2, 2016 at 10:19 am #

      Was it successfully completed, I kinda doubt it. What Zenfone 2 variant did you try that on? You should go with the 1st method πŸ™‚

  10. neil August 12, 2016 at 4:07 pm #

    I tried the 1st one after accept.. and t4 my phone goes into black screen showing normal boot on top, then few lines of data below ending into continue fastboot…. and on my pc it shows wait for the device… 10 minutes waiting for next info it might show but nothing follows..

  11. nepun August 13, 2016 at 6:26 pm #

    Firstly how would I backup my data. Stock rom

    • Narender Singh August 14, 2016 at 1:02 am #

      Asus includes a backup utility to backup most parts of it. Then copy the other important data from storage to SD card.

  12. MEL August 26, 2016 at 10:39 am #

    Hi i have all the USB drivers installed. but im still stucked coz my pc is not detecting my phone. It should show on the cmd like yours “Device Status: FASTBOOT-ONLINE” so on and so forth. but all it shows are red error things. TIA

  13. Casper September 3, 2016 at 10:06 pm #

    Hey there! Does method 1 still work with the Android M update?

    • Narender Singh September 3, 2016 at 10:12 pm #

      It should, but will not vouch for it. Try at your own risk please.

      • kas September 6, 2016 at 2:04 am #

        I tried method1 with my zenfone2 Marshmallow, but failed.
        >writing ‘/tmp/recovery.zip’ (3477 KB)…
        >FAILED (remote: not allowed to f lash this partition)
        recovery.launcher has the same result. And fastboot oem stop_partitioning does not start cwm recovery.
        What should I do???

  14. Hardik Patel September 7, 2016 at 6:54 pm #

    Hello guys…..i have ASUS ZENFONE 2 ZE551ML….and its running on mrshmellow…will “method 1” work for marshmellow….or you need lollipop version???

  15. Kentz September 9, 2016 at 2:50 pm #

    Hi admin, thank you for the step by step guide. I did Method 1 and got my Zenfone 2 (ZE550ML) rooted on first try. Thank you.

  16. zep September 18, 2016 at 7:14 pm #

    Hi,i have zenfone 2 ze551ml running marshmallow NOT ROOTED ant NOT UNLOCKED .i see there is a new file with new img Files.How to proceed the rooting procedure??
    Thx

  17. Mehdi September 19, 2016 at 3:35 pm #

    Hello,
    Thank you for this kind tutoriel, but in MEGA cloud, I don’t find a file named …_w_root.zip.
    For information, my version is Z00A_WW_4.21.40.134.
    Have a nice day.

  18. zep September 19, 2016 at 8:36 pm #

    Hi ,
    how to install files present in Z00A_WW_4.21.40.134.zip for Zenfone 2 ZE551ML running marshmallow(NOT ROOTED & NOT UNLOCKED)?
    thx

    • Narender Singh September 20, 2016 at 9:08 am #

      Please don’t try this on Marshmallow as the files are from Lollipop.

      • zep September 20, 2016 at 3:46 pm #

        OK. how to root having marshmallow?
        thx

        • Narender Singh September 20, 2016 at 11:08 pm #

          I am unsure. The update was never received on my Zenfone 2 and I couldn’t find time to do a manual update. Please search elsewhere πŸ™‚

          • zep September 22, 2016 at 3:14 pm #

            ok. if i downgrad to Lollipop how can install files present in Z00A_WW_4.21.40.134.zip??
            Thx

            • Surya September 26, 2016 at 2:04 pm #

              you go to asus official web and download the Lollipop Downgrade ROM ‘WW” version and flash through ADB method. You should success and backed to Lollipop version. Now you can do Unlock boot loader, root and what ever you want with Lollipop version. This method tested with ZE551ML only and I dont know about other models of Asus. One more thing root and unlock methods are still not came for this model with marshmallow. Wait and see.

  19. Varrden October 2, 2016 at 4:32 am #

    Hello i used the first method and i did exactly what you write in the steps everything went fine its nicely written, but when i checked the root after rebooting with help of app from googl play it says the device is not preperly rooted any ideas, please ? πŸ™‚ I am new to rooting so maybe you would know more πŸ™‚

    • Varrden October 2, 2016 at 4:34 am #

      well, i’m sorry for english i can’t see on keyboard, it’s too dark here πŸ˜€

      • Narender Singh October 2, 2016 at 8:44 am #

        No issues. Please confirm that your device is one of the ZE551ML/ZE550ML variants and that you successfully flashed SuperSU without any errors.

        • Varrden October 2, 2016 at 2:10 pm #

          Hi I have ZE551ML and SuperSU was no problem i found it in external sd and i installed it without any problems or errors maybe the last reboot could occure some problems it rebooted on its own after the installing SuperSU after minute or two when i forgot on my phone ? πŸ™‚

          • Narender Singh October 2, 2016 at 3:54 pm #

            Rebooted itself? Maybe that’s the issue. It should ask you whether you want to reboot or do additional tasks :/

  20. nageeb October 12, 2016 at 12:46 am #

    Two asus2 ZE551ML 6.0.1 hanging on the white screen sits minute Atefa and back of the screen and the white Thanita Hecda three almost died and then Atefa and Makedr prejudice put a bot or Recovery

    • Narender Singh October 12, 2016 at 9:20 am #

      Couldn’t understand you mate. Did you use a translator or what?

  21. Siddhant October 16, 2016 at 10:55 am #

    Is rooting necessary for installing a custom rom like Cyanogen?

    • Narender Singh October 16, 2016 at 3:28 pm #

      No rooting won’t be. But you probably need to unlock your bootloader first.

  22. zep October 19, 2016 at 7:50 pm #

    hello , is there any way to root Zenfone 2 ZE551ML running Marshmallow ??
    thx

  23. Eduardo Cupertino October 30, 2016 at 4:34 pm #

    Help-me! Hello everyone, Method 1 does not work. Now I do not know if it’s because I tried WITHOUT SDCARD or went wrong for my smartphone is a little different: Asus Pegasus 2 Plus CPU Snapdragon 615 (Qualcomm MSM8939) without CPU INTEL. I even installed SDCARD and did factory reset but Method 1 does not fully wheel (only ran until the end of the first time with several error msg warning that can not partition). Then the last step after the T4 command is hours waiting for the phone and it remains locked with the ASUS logo. The notification of Windows 10 shows android connected. I look for the specific USB driver for Snapdragon / windows or try the method 2? I’m afraid. Help-me!

    • Narender Singh October 30, 2016 at 11:02 pm #

      Eduardo, these files are model specific and will only work on the Zenfone 2. You should not try these on a different model or you risk bricking your phone.
      Please look elsewhere for a guide which specifically applies to your phone model.

      • Eduardo Cupertino October 31, 2016 at 9:48 pm #

        It s true! My model don’t exist method to gain root access. Model is X550. Is sex. Thanks

  24. jogi November 4, 2016 at 9:58 pm #

    everything goes well…that cmd process also goes well…what after that…should i do anything to get me phone into cmw recovery?? or it will load itself?

    • Narender Singh November 4, 2016 at 11:42 pm #

      It should be loaded by itself actually.

      • Jogi November 4, 2016 at 11:46 pm #

        ITs not loading by itself..i waited 10 mins..is it because i have android 6?

        • Narender Singh November 5, 2016 at 12:04 am #

          Right. Marshmallow isn’t supported by this. Please look elsewhere for a tutorial around Marshmallow πŸ™‚

  25. Jogi November 5, 2016 at 12:14 am #

    Thanks for your quick responses narendra modi ??i like ur name tho ??

    • Narender Singh November 5, 2016 at 12:28 pm #

      Hahaha! Woops. Thanks bhai πŸ™‚

  26. Ravee November 5, 2016 at 12:39 pm #

    Hi I have digitizer failed ZE550ml in stock condition.. Can I unlock the bootloader and install twrp and flash CM ROM? Should I flash the pre rooted firmware from your link to unlock bootloader the unofficial way as mentioned on xda?

    • Ravee November 5, 2016 at 12:45 pm #

      What I mean is,”Is a pre rooted ROM necessary to unlock bootloader? “

      • Narender Singh November 5, 2016 at 4:49 pm #

        If I’m guessing it tight, the digitizer on your phone is not working. In that case, I’m unsure how would you even run those commands or use TWRP since there is at least some level of touch usage required to reach out to the various functions. The most basic one being enabling USB debugging without which you probably cannot run the bootloader unlock commands.
        And yes, you need to have it rooted before you start following the unofficial method for bootloader unlock. This is because you need ADB with SU (superuser) privileges. You can also just flash an older version of the stock ROM and then root it using the 1st method in this article.

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