How to System-less Root Mi A1 on Android 8 without TWRP

The Mi A1 is the first Xiaomi’s Android One device. Moreover, it is the first device of Xiaomi cheap variants that features Dual Camera. The phone’s specifications are pretty similar with Mi 5X. The only difference is only the mobile operating system planted on it. While the Mi 5X runs MIUI 9, the Mi A1 runs stock Android One ROM. This fact is preferred for some users but it might not be the same for most of Mi Fans.

Nevertheless, if you posses the Mi 1A on hands, this tutorial will help you to system-less root the phone running Android 8.0 Oreo. The best part, it employs no TWRP custom recovery within the process. We always try to present the steps comprehensively so anyone can simply understand it and hence follow it. However, if any parts of this guide is difficult to understand, please leave a message at the comment section below this article.

Please read this article thoroughly to get clear and better understanding on how each step should be done. Proceed only if you have fully understood.

Moreover, rooting your device may give you many advantages including the full control over your very own phone. However, rooting an Android device may void your phone warranty. Therefore, please proceed only if you aware with the situation.

Do not never forget to create full backup of all necessary data and files especially Contacts, Messages, Photos, Videos, Apps, and so on. This tutorial will not erase your data but creating a backup is always a good practice before you do any modification on your phone. It is recommended for just in-case scenario.

What is this article all about?

This article will answer your following questions:

  • How to root Mi A1?
  • How can I root Mi A1 without sacrificing my banking app, Android Pay feature, or Netflix?
  • How to install Magisk Systemless Root app?
  • How to systemless root an Android device with Magisk?
  • How to hide the root status on an Android phone?


Some preliminary steps and some necessary requirements that must be fulfilled before you proceed are:

  1. Make sure the phone’s bootloader has been unlocked. Follow our previous guide on how to unlock Mi A1 bootloader step by step if you haven’t do so yet.
  2. Download and install one of these software: Minimal Fastboot and ADB Files or Universal Android ADB Drivers for Xiaomi device. Basically you will need the ADB drivers to be installed on your computer. Installing Mi Flash tool is the easiest one to get this job done since the tool contains all necessary drivers. Moreover, it is advised to firstly disable Windows Driver Signature Enforcement before installing ADB driver.
  3. You will need a Windows-based PC/laptop. It is recommended to use the 64-bit version.
  4. You will also need a USB data cable to connect your phone to computer. You can use the one comes with your device or use any other. Just make sure the cable can transfer data and not just a charging cable.
  5. Check your Android version and ensure it is Android 8.0.
  6. Download Magisk Manager app v5.5.5 – (APK).
  7. Make sure your phone battery is not under 60%.

Caution! This guide is for Mi A1 on Android 8.0 ROM. Do not attempt to try these steps on Android 7.1 Nougat or older. You may download Android 8.0 Fastboot ROM for Mi A1 here and follow this guide to install it.

Steps to Root

Follow steps below to root your device.:

Step 1 – Install Minimal ADB& Fastboot Files on your computer. It is better to install it drive C:\ and you should have a new folder at this location: C:\adb. Make sure you have firstly disable Windows driver signature enforcement before installing the adb driver.

Step 2 – Now enable USB Debugging feature which is available at Developer Options. Since this tutorial requires you to have the bootlooader unlocked, therefore we assume you have already done this. Otherwise, if in by chance you have disabled it, please enable it again.

Go to Settings >> About phone >> tap Build number several times >> You are now a developer

and then,..

Go to Developer options >> USB Debugging >> Enable

Step 3 – Transfer the Magisk Manager .apk file into your phone. Alternatively, you can simply download the .apk file directly from your phone’s browser.

Step 4 – Next, launch up Explorer app (or use ES File Explorer) on your phone and locate the downloaded .apk file.

Step 5 – Double-tap the Magisk Manager .apk file to install it.

Step 6 – A popup balloon will appear to confirm a third-party app installation. This was available as “Allow installation from unknown sources” in previous version of Android (Nougat or older). However, this settings is now set to “1” since Android 8.0 Oreo. Now, choose “Settings” and then “OK“. Now back again to the file explorer, tap the .apk file again, and then install it.

Step 7 – At this point you should already have Magisk Manager app installed. Next, launch up the app by tapping on its icon in homescreen.

Step 8 – Now tap the “Install” button, choose Install, then tap the “Patch Boot Image File“. This step will create a patched boot image file of current ROM.

Step 9 – The process should take place within a minute, and once done, copy that boot image file (having .img extension) into your computer. Put the file inside the ADB folder (C:\adb). Doing this is easy. Simply connect your phone to your computer using its USB cable and located the file in your phone’s storage.

Step 10 – Assuming your phone is still connected with your computer, make sure it is connected as MTP mode. Now open up Windows Explorer and go to the ADB folder.

Step 11 – Hold down the Shift button in your keyboard and right-click in that folder. Choose “Open command window from here” or “Open PowerShell window here“.

Step 12 – Next, issue following command (type it and press Enter) to check whether your device is connected and recognized properly by your computer:

adb devices

This will return a list of attached device. Make sure it list your device code. You may need to either check your USB port or reinstall the driver if it returns nothing.

Step 13 – Issue this command to reboot Mi A1 into Fastboot mode:

adb reboot bootloader

Step 14 – Issue this command to check whether your device which is already in Fastboot mode is still recognized:

fastboot devices

Step 15 – Now issue the command below to check which partition is active in your phone. It should tell you whether partition “a” or partition “b“.

fastboot getvar current-slot

Step 16 – Execute this command but firstly replace the current active partition (a/b) and the patched boot image file name accordingly.

fastboot flash boot_a patched_boot.img

A sample command above is used if the current active partition is partition a, while this one is for b:

fastboot flash boot_b patched_boot.img

Step 17 – Wait a few seconds for the process to take place. Once done, simply reboot your phone into normal mode using this command:

fastboot reboot

Step 18 -Now wait for your phone to reboot normally. This should be ready in few minutes. Once done, you have to reinstall Magisk Manager app again (use the .apk file). Follow previous steps.

Step 19 – That’s it. The second installation of Magisk Manager app will retain the patched boot image that has the root permission.

Step 20 – Lastly, download and install the Root Checker app to make sure you have the root access over your phone now. Congratulation, your phone is now rooted.

This article modifies the idea shared by Feds64. Do not forget to say thanks to him and to topjohnwu, the developer of awesome Magisk manager app.

One more thing, the best part of Magisk is its ability to hide your root status from any specific apps. Hence, you can avoid root detection required by many banking apps or games. Enjoy..

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