The Motorola Photon Q is easy to root and you should read the instructions that I have listed in this post in order to learn how to do it. This is a guide for advanced Android users which means that you shouldn't attempt to use the rooting tools in case you're a novice. If you're having problems completing the install, then you should post a detailed comment at the end of this article and we will try to help you.

Rooting your device will offer you multiple customization opportunities  such as installing Custom ROMs, mods, kernels, aftermarket APKs and multiple other files and tools that will improve the overall Android experience for your Motorola Photon Q. The tools for rooting your device have been released by 'shabbypenguin', an XDA member and developer. Installing the ClockworkMod Recovery will allow you to flash customization files, wipe data, partition, back up data and restore, etc.

Using this guide is easy and you will first have to root the device and then you will have to install the CWM Recovery mode also. In order to make sure that you complete the root and the installation then you will first need to take a look over the guidelines below:

  • use the tutorial only with the Motorola Photon Q 4G LTE model number XT897. Do not attempt to use this guide with any other smartphone as it won't work and you might brick it.
  • The smartphone should be on an unlocked bootloader. If yours doesn't meet these requirements, then you should use the Motorola web site and learn how to unlock its bootloader. Link here. Make sure that you complete that guide first, as otherwise you can't use any files listed in this post. That guide should be easy to complete. NOTE: That will void the warranty of your device.
  • Enable the USB debugging option from your Photon Q Android Developer options menu.
  • Your computer should have the Android SDK installed on it. You will need the 'fastboot' folder, which is where you will place the Custom Recovery img file.
  • Make sure that you backup all your data before moving to the tutorial guide. You can also move the data files on your device's internal SDcard.
  • Disable all antivirus applications that are currently running on your PC so that no program will interfere with the rooting process.
  • It is a guide for advanced Android users and you shouldn't blame us in case something goes wrong and you brick the phone or you lose any important files in the process.
  • Use the comments section to ask for more help in case you cannot complete the tutorial.
  • Also, your phone's battery should be charged so that its power level will show at least 50%. It will prevent the device from powering off during the root.
  • After you root the phone, you will also have to flash the CWM Recovery file so that you'll get a custom recovery image. It can be used afterwards to flash new custom ROMs and other custom tools that should improve your Android experience.
  • Read the entire post and don't skip any of the steps listed below.

Now that you know all of the above, you can get to the next part of this post.

How to root Motorola Photon Q 4G LTE XT897:

  1. Download the SuperSU zip from HERE. Place the file on your computer and don't unzip.
  2. Download the CWM Recovery img file from HERE. Move this file to 'fastboot' folder.
  3. Connect your smartphone to your computer.
  4. Now, copy the SuperSU zip and place it on your device's internal SDcard. Disconnect the device from PC when the files are copied.
  5. Power off the Photon Q.
  6. Boot it into Bootloader mode by pressing Volume Down, Volume Up and Power buttons.
  7. Select 'AP fastboot' option.
  8. Connect your device to your PC using the USB cable once again.
  9. Go to Android SDK platform tools folder and launch the command prompt window there.
  10. You need to enter the following command lines in the Command Prompt:
    > fastboot devices - this will show the serial number of your device. If it is the correct one, get to the next step.
  11. Install the CWM Recovery file using the command below:
    fastboot flash recovery cwmrecovery.img - this will push the custom recovery to your device.
  12. Now, after the install is complete you will need to power off the device and boot again in Bootloader Mode.
  13. This time you have to select 'Recovery' option. The CWM Recovery mode should launch now on your device.
  14. Select 'install zip from sdcard' and then 'choose zip from sdcard'. Find the 'SuperSU' zip and confirm its installation.
  15. After the SuperSU root zip has been installed, return to the main ClockworkMod Recovery menu.
  16. Select 'reboot system now'.
  17. When the phone completes the reboot, you will have to open the App drawer. Check for the 'SuperSU' app icon which will confirm that your device has been successfully rooted.

These were all the steps that you had to take. Hopefully you've managed to root your smartphone and install CWM Recovery mode.

NOTE: if the root doesn't apply at your first attempt, then you will need to re-read the guidelines and then repeat the entire tutorial guide. You will eventually manage to flash the CWM Recovery img file and then install the SuperSU app.

In case you cannot complete the installation, then you should ask for more help in comments. Make sure to leave a detailed comment so that we will manage to come up with the best solution for all your problems.

Joshua Bane · 5 years ago

I have the XT897s. Will this work for this model? I cant seem to find anything on the S model? Thanks for any help.

Saber Mage · 5 years ago

The CWM and SuperSU links are no longer good. Please update?

Jeremy Hilton-Zombie · 5 years ago

I have done everything on here repeatedly for four hours. I even read all of the comments. I get to step #11 and install the flash cwm. I just can't get into Recovery Mode. I get the Motorola warning screen before I can select Recovery. After that, it's the Robot on his back with the red logo. I have even tried to start the phone normally and open Cwm. It won't let me flash..missins SU. I have been thorough and patient. I'm stuck. I'm not a total NOOB. I've flashed and ROm phnes blindfolded.
I even did what DISCIPLER posted
Any ideas? is there a way to get into cwm recovery with script?What can I do after step 11?????

Please help me!!

Derek · 5 years ago

Worked after a few tries, thanks! maybe elaborate a bit on the fastboot part though

discipler · 6 years ago

I posted the following over on XDA after finally getting root. You directions were helpful but a little confusing as I explain below. Perhaps you can correct the instructions above to make a bit clearer. Thank you.

#2 says to download CWM and place it in the 'fastboot' folder. Well when I downloaded fastboot, it had it's own folder on C drive and it had a subfolder called fastboot. So I put the CWM image there. But then....

#9,10 says to go to the SDK/platform tools folder and open a command prompt from there. Then in the command prompt, type, "fastboot devices". This works because there's a 'fastboot' app in that folder. So far, so good because it reads the devices serial number and I'm cooking.... But then...

#11 says to now type 'fastboot flash recovery cwmrecovery.img'. But it doesn't work, it fails. Why? Because earlier it told me to put the CWM image in the 'fastboot' folder - which isn't the platform-tools folder.

The answer was now that I had the device unlocked and fastboot was recognizing the device, I opened a new command prompt in my 'fastboot' folder and then typed: 'fastboot flash recovery cwmrecovery.img'

Bammo! CWM recovery opened. I flashed SuperSU from the phone's external card and then rebooted. Root Checker app confirmed that now I have root. Thanks everyone for helping.

discipler · 6 years ago

#7 says to Select ‘AP fastboot’ option.... But when I scroll down to it, before I can do much of anything the screen goes to the warning message from Motorola saying the Bootload is Unlocked leaving is open to critical blah blah blah.... Why is it doing this? Thanks.

Jim Ryan · 5 years ago

I get the same issue but later on when it's time to select "recovery". I can scroll down to "recovery" and press the power button (also tried the camera button) but then it just boots up normally, ignoring my selection.
This is my second Photon Q 4G LTE that I'm rooting and I had the same problem the first time. That time simply disconnecting the USB cable did the trick, but it's not working now. I can still boot into fastboot but not into recovery.
I just checked and I remember how I did it. It turns out your cwmrecovery is getting overwritten on boot. You need to use this exploit tool to prevent that:

john · 6 years ago

this dosent work you idiot

Comment Patrol · 5 years ago

Dude, it obviously works, look at the other comments.

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