How to Enable Camera2 API on Redmi 5 Plus Without Root

This article shows you exactly the steps on how to easily enable Android Camera2 API needed for Google Camera (Gcam) app and any other camera apps with advanced manual settings. The common way on how to get it done is by flashing TWRP custom recovery and gaining root access either using Magisk or SuperSU. Fortunately, there is a workaround to enable Camera2 API and install Google cam without rooting and without flashing TWRP. Hence, you can maintain MIUI OTA update mechanism.

This workaround has been proven to work flawlessly on Redmi 5 Plus or Redmi Note 5 (India) with codename Vince running MIUI 9.5.4.0 Global Stable ROM. This trick requires custom recovery either TWRP or RWRP only for booting (without being installed).

Requirements

  1. A Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus device.
  2. Unlocked bootloader.
  3. ADB Driver Installer.
  4. Red Wolf Recovery (RWRP) for Vince.
  5. A Windows-based computer.
  6. A USB data cable.

Word of caution! Please proceed with care. Do not attempt to follow the guide before you have fully understood. Please read the whole article thoroughly. We hold no responsibility for any damage that might happen to your device.

It is also strongly recommended to create a full backup of your data. Follow our previous guide on how to back up full data from Redmi 5 Plus without root.

The Trick

Step 1 – Unlock your phone bootloader officially. Simply read our detailed guide for Redmi 5 Plus here.

Step 2 – Disable Windows Driver Signature Enforcement on your computer. The full tutorial is available here.

Step 3 – Install the Minimal Fastboot and ADB Driver on your computer. Despite you might install it anywhere, we really recommend you to install it on following location: C:\adb.

Step 4 – Extract the RWRP package. You should get a file called “RedWolf-Vince-3.2-026.img“.

Step 5 – Now copy that file to the adb folder (C:\adb).

Step 6 – Next, rename the file from “RedWolf-Vince-3.2-026” to “rwrp“. Note: Commonly Windows does not display the file extension (.img).

Step 7 – Still at the adb folder, launch the command prompt window from that location. Simply hold down the Shift button on the keyboard and right-click on any blank area in Windows Explorer (inside the adb folder). Then choose Open PowerShell/Command Prompt Window option.

Step 8 – Enable USB Debugging option on your phone.

Settings >> Additional Settings >> Developer Options >> USB Debugging >> toggle ON.

Step 9 – Connect your phone to your computer using its USB cable. Choose the connection type as MTP / Storage (not the Charging only mode).

Step 10 – Now issue the following command correspondingly (type the command and hit Enter):

adb devices
adb reboot bootloader
fastboot devices
fastboot boot rwrp.img
adb shell
setprop persist.camera.HAL3.enabled 1
setprop persist.camera.eis.enable 1
exit
adb reboot bootloader
fastboot reboot

Sample screenshot:

p.s: Simply follow the above-written command lines. The screenshot is a little bit different since in the first attempt we used the official TWRP image but it ended up with a password need to be provided.

Step 11 – You can now disconnect your phone from your computer. Next, open up Play Store and search for either Camera2 Probe app or Manual Camera Compatibility Test app. Install it.

Congratulation! You have enabled Android Camera2 API without losing the ability to receive MIUI OTA Update since you do not flash any custom recovery.

Alternatively, you can also truly flash the Red Wolf Recovery and maintain OTA update status. However, it requires additional steps and each time you want to install the downloaded update, you will have to boot into RWRP.

This guide is meant for those who don’t want to root their device.

Looking for a working version of Google Camera mod for Redmi 5 Plus? Download the apk file here.

UPDATE

To preserve the Camera2 API enabled, please use OTA to update your phone to latest MIUI based on Android 8.1 Oreo (started since MIUI 9.6.5.0). We have tested on our phone and the Camera2 API is still enabled after MIUI 9.6.5.0 update. Do not use Fastboot method.

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  • http://ocalderon.com/blog Oscar Calderon

    I don’t understand something. You don’t use TWRP but you use RWRP which is almost the same thing. Is RWRP installed in the device or not?

    • Fariez NA

      Hi, thanks for your comment.

      You can use either TWRP or RWRP. However, you will use it only for booting. You don’t need to flash TWRP/RWRP if you don’t feel it necessary. In the example at the article above, I use it only for booting (the command is “boot”, not “flash”). Hence, the RWRP is not installed in my device.

  • http://ocalderon.com/blog Oscar Calderon

    Thank you my friend. At first it didn’t work for me – maybe i did something too fast, i noticed that RWRP loads in phone showing the UI in the screen – Second time i tried, i left it load in the screen, and after then executed the setprop commands. Rebooted without issues, and it worked!! Kudos to you

    • Fariez NA

      Any time!! Great knowing it works for you too.

  • جهاد

    does it work on the redmi note 5 global version ( redmi note 5 pro indian versoin)

    • Fariez NA

      Not tested yet, but it should also work. Just make sure you use the corresponding compatible build of RWRP / TWRP image file.

  • Sumit

    Does it work with miui 10 ?

    • Sumit

      it works with miui 9.5 but
      its not working with miui 10 , please check it ,

      • Fariez NA

        Hi,.. thanks for your information. We haven’t tested it yet on MIUI 10. We still wait for its global stable rom.

  • sehatala

    for mi note 3 (not redmi) with MIUI 8, is it working?

    and do I have to use different kind of Mod Google Camera for mi note 3 (not redmi)?

    • Fariez NA

      Honestly, I am not quite sure but it should also work the same way as long as you use the appropriate version of custom recovery.

  • Atik Khan

    Fariez bro will these trick work in other phone like asus max m1 other than miui?

    • Fariez NA

      Hi Khan, thanks for your comment. Honestly, I am not quite sure but it should also work the same way as long as you use the appropriate version of custom recovery.

      You may try and please share us your experience

  • Jose

    Hi:
    First of all, thanks for this post.
    I did everything as you explained and it worked really fine on my Redmi 5 Plus, I had and still have miui 9.6.2.0 version when I did it. But now a new version of miui has been realesed 9.6.4.0. My question, If I upgrade my phone will I loose cam2api and Google cam installed? Will my phone get bricked? This is my first Xiaomi phone and i so noob. Hope you can answer me
    Thanks in advance

    • Jose

      Well, I reply myself. Last night my phone updated to its own to Miui 9.6.4.0 and Gcam still remains and nothing bad happened. I dont know if it will be the same with Miui 10
      Thanks anyway

      • Fariez NA

        It is safe to use with MIUI 9.6.4.0. We’ll see it on MIUI 10 once the Stable version released.

  • Adrian Sołtysik

    Hello if in future I will update MIUI will camera2 API still be enabled? Or if they release MIUI 10 I would like to know thanks Fariez

    • Fariez NA

      Well, I cannot assure that. AFAIK, Xiaomi have enabled Camera2 API by default on any MIUI version running on high-end devices (Mi Mix 2S, Mi 8). The case of Redmi 5 Plus will be different though, but who knows.. let’s see once MIUI 10 released. 🙂

      –edit–
      Sorry, I understand your question wrong. If you have enabled Camera2 API, it will still be enabled on future release. However, since MIUI 10 is a major upgrade, the case could be different. But let’s wait..

  • Rada Florin-Daniel

    Does doing this trick, void the warranty? If it does, could this changes be reversed so that if someone needs to take the phone into warranty, it will be accepted?

    • Fariez NA

      yes it can be reversed.

  • al78rus

    Hello Fariez.
    Will it be possible to relock bootloader after patching the phone and installing Google Camera using this method? No chance to get a bootloop or a brick?

    • Fariez NA

      I am not quite sure about relocking bootloader.

  • Songi

    Hello Fariez,
    so the red wolf recovery is not installed in the sense that it is used only when the phone is connected to the PC and all official updates will arrive (I have the global version of redmi 5 plus)? So when I’ll plug off the phone pc the fastboot mode will be the stock one?
    Also by re-locking the bootloader all features will work? I had read an article in which they said that the fingerprint reader was disabled when bootloader was unlocked, will I get all features back?

    • Fariez NA

      – Yes, the phone will have its stock recovery.
      – I am not quite sure about relocking bootloader. You tell me 😉
      – No, fingerprint will not disabled by unlocking bootloader. It still works as usual.

  • Kaan Berkay Kayı

    Thank you so much it worked without any problems. Only problem i got was, when i write adb devices it shows my device but when i write fastboot device it wasn’t showing my device. to solve it; i went to device manager, and when my phone entered fastboot menu “unknown device” appeared in the device manager. i choose to update it with right click and just choose adb interface. that solved it. That probably happened because i installed this adb drivers for another android phone 2-3 years ago

    • Fariez NA

      thanks for the tips. It will be helpful for other users since there are many have installed usb driver for various phones in the past.

    • Jose Anthony

      Thank you so much for sharing this! I’ve been stuck on this same issue for 10 hours! Thank you thank you thank you! ^o^

  • Kaan Berkay Kayı

    Also this method won’t void your warranty because you are not flashing any custom firmware

    • Fariez NA

      yes indeed

  • BerbagiCeritaHidup

    not working on Redmi 5 Plus MIUI 9.6.5.0 Android 8.1 Oreo

    • alexispedron

      Same for me, i had it on MIUI 9.6.4.0, but I update to 9.6.5.0 Android 8.1 Oreo and not work, any solution?

      • Fariez NA

        It should work on MIUI 9.6.5.0 Android 8.1 Oreo if you updated it through OTA (not fastboot). It works and I tested it personally on my phone.

        • alexispedron

          yes, i updated by OTA, maked a hard reset and try again step by step but still not working for me, don’t know why. thanks for you reply

          • Fariez NA

            It could be for that hard reset. I think, the method might not work on Android 8.1 Oreo but as long as you have enabled it earlier (when the device was running Nougat-based MIUI), the Camera2API will still be enabled once updated to Oreo.

          • Kaan Berkay Kayı

            it also didn’t work for redmi note 5 pro android 8 :/

          • Fariez NA

            Thanks for your feedback. Mind to add some more information? Did you use TWRP or RWRP? What exact MIUI version did you use? Thanks

          • Kaan Berkay Kayı

            i don’t know it’s miui version i helped someone about this i don’t have redmi note 5 pro. he used rwrp

  • Ramen Sayami

    does it work with redmi 5(rosy) ? still on android nougat.. thanks

    • Fariez NA

      We haven’t tested it yet but it shall work. Try it and give us feed back. 😉

  • nofearisk

    for miui 10, you can try this way, its work for note 5 pro

    http://c.mi.com/thread-1614226-1-0.html

  • Yawish Jamil

    Does this work for miui 10 with Android Oreo 8.1 in Redmi note 5 (India)?

  • Ahmed Medhat

    it did not work for me IDK y.
    i’m using MIUI 10.0.4.0 and android 8.1

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