How to Root Sony Xperia XA

The Sony Xperia XA is a mid-range Android phone that, until recently, has been a bit difficult to root without some overtly complicated technical process. Thankfully some newer methods have been discovered which make the rooting process much easier for this device.

The primary concern with rooting Sony Xperia devices is the amount of DRM-content that is tied to the bootloader. Upon rooting a Sony Xperia, you will typically lose access to Sony DRM content such as X-Reality, camera optimization, and Sony audio effects. In this guide I will try to address some ways of restoring the DRM content after root.


For Unlocking / Rooting on Marshmallow Firmware

First step we need to do is check whether or not your Xperia XA has a locked bootloader. It depends on region and carrier, so hope that you have one of the models that allow bootloader unlocking. We can check this through the dialer, so in your phone dialer enter: *#*#7378423#*#*

A menu will be launched, so enter Service Info > Configuration > and look for “Bootloader Unlock Allowed: Yes”. If it says ‘No’, then the rest of this guide is completely useless for you, sorry to say, as it will be impossible to root the device.

If your Xperia XA allows bootloader unlocking, we’re good to continue. So download the required tools above, and install the XA ADB and Fastboot drivers. Also copy the TWRP and SuperSU files to your device’s SD card.

Now we need to get an official bootloader unlock code from Sony. It can be done through the official Sony bootloader unlock request page.

When you have obtained the unlock code, go ahead and connect your Sony Xperia XA to your computer via USB, and enable USB Debugging in the Developer Options. If you haven’t enabled Developer Mode, simply go to Settings > About > tap “Build Number” 7 times until Developer Mode is confirmed. You should also enable “OEM Unlocking” in the Dev options.

Now you want to launch an ADB terminal. You can do this by holding Shift + right-clicking inside the ADB main folder, and choosing “Open a command window here”. In the ADB terminal, type:

Adb devices

This should display your Xperia XA’s serial number if ADB properly recognizes the connection. If not, see “How to Install ADB on Windows” to check if you installed ADB correctly. If your device was properly recognized, continue by typing into the terminal:

Adb fastboot reboot

This should launch your Sony XA into fastboot mode. Now you can type into the terminal:

Fastboot –I 0x0fce oem unlock xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Replace the X’s with the code you received from Sony, and your bootloader should now be unlocked.

Alternatively, you can connect your device to your PC and launch the Flashtool, and input the unlock code in the appropriate box, and then click to flash it. I just think ADB is a safer method but it’s up to you which one you do.

Now we’re ready to install TWRP and root with SuperSU. So in the ADB terminal, type:

fastboot flash boot boot.img
fastboot flash recovery recovery.img

When it’s done, go ahead and disconnect your Xperia XA from your computer. Now hold Volume Down + Power to launch into TWRP Recovery. In the future, you use Volume Up + Power if your device is turned off, but Volume Down + Power if you’re going from Fastboot mode to Recovery mode.

If TWRP prompts you for a password, just press Cancel, and then “Swipe to allow” modifications to the system.

Now in TWRP menu, go to Install > Select Storage > Micro SDCard. Press the SuperSU .zip file, and swipe to flash it.

When it’s done flashing, you can go ahead and reboot your phone. Initial booting time after rooting your device can be anywhere between 5 – 15 minutes, so just leave your device alone until it fully boots into the Android system.

For Unlocking / Rooting on Nougat Firmware

This is a bit trickier because you will need the boot files from a Marshmallow firmware, along with all of the required tools for the Nougat method. You can find Marshmallow firmware on the Xperia blog.

So here, the very first thing you should do is install the Xperia ADB drivers and Flashtool with Xperifirm.

Now power off your phone and connect it to your PC via USB, and launch Flashtool. In the content column, you should only see “boot_delivery.xml”. Go ahead and flash it.

Now reboot into Fastboot mode with Volume Down + power. Copy the downloaded boot and recovery to “C:\Flashtool\x10flasher_lib” and rename them to boot.img and recovery.img,

Now launch an ADB terminal and type:

fastboot flash boot boot.img
fastboot flash recovery recovery.img

Now you can follow the rest of the steps from the Marshmallow guide above.

Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

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How to Root Sony Xperia XA

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