How to Root Your HTC Sensation

by: Chit AgustinAugust 23, 2011
27 42 75

The HTC Sensation is a multimedia smartphone that’s undeniably one of the hottest Android devices out there. For some enthusiasts and ‘superusers,’ the HTC Sensation isn’t that “sensational” until they have rooted it.

Now, if you want to become a ‘superuser,’ follow this quick and easy guide to permanently root your HTC Sensation.

Disclaimer: ROOTING THE HTC SENSATION WILL VOID YOUR WARRANTY. Android Authority disclaims all liability for any harm that may befall your device, including, but not limited to, bricked phones, voided manufacturer warranties, exploding batteries, etc.

Required Files

Download the following files and save them to your computer:

Gaining S-OFF Using Revolutionary: S-OFF & Recovery Tool

Revolutionary: S-OFF & Recovery Tool is your best friend when it comes to unlocking the bootloader (S-OFF) and recovery of your device. Once installed on your phone, it will allow you to root it easily, explore various ROMs, and freely install custom kernels. Follow the steps below to enable S-OFF on your HTC Sensation.

  1. You may need to temporarily deactivate your antivirus and/or firewall software, as some security programs (e.g., Norton Antivirus) flag the Revolutionary: S-OFF & Recovery Tool as malware, even if it actually isn’t.
  2. Take note of your device’s serial number. Pull out your phone’s battery and take a look at the label inside the battery compartment. Your handset’s serial number should be printed there, usually beside the label “S/N”.
  3. Find out the HBOOT version on your handset. With your phone turned off, press the Volume Down and Power buttons simultaneously for a few seconds. The device will boot to a white screen showing device information, including the HBOOT version. Take note of the HBOOT version number and reboot your phone after doing so.
  4. Go to the Revolutionary: S-OFF & Recovery Tool website and download the appropriate package for your platform (i.e., Linux or Windows). As soon as the package starts downloading, you will be redirected to a “Beta Key” form. Fill in the form with your device’s serial number and HBOOT version number. Press the “Generate Key” button to get your beta key. Take note of this beta key. You will be needing it when you run the Revolutionary tool.
  5. By this time, the package file for the Revolutionary tool should have finished downloading. Extract the files into one folder on your computer’s hard drive.
  6. Enable “USB Debugging” from the Settings » Applications » Development screen on your handset.
  7. Connect the HTC Sensation to your computer via USB cable. When asked for a connection type, choose “HTC Sync” and just ignore warning messages saying your phone could not find HTC Sync.
  8. Launch the Revolutionary tool (revolutionary.exe). A command prompt window will open and will ask you for the beta key.
  9. Type or copy-and-paste the beta key for Revolutionary into the command prompt window. The beta key is case-sensitive. Press Enter to allow the tool to proceed.
  10. Wait a little bit for Revolutionary to enable S-OFF and unlock the rewritable NAND on your handset.

After the process is complete, you will also have ClockworkMod Recovery installed on your phone. However, in some instances, the recovery image does not get installed. If this is the case, manually install ClockworkMod Recovery as described in the next section. Otherwise, skip to the next section on rooting your HTC Sensation permanently.

Installing ClockworkMod Recovery 4 on Your HTC Sensation

Before you can permanently root your HTC Sensation, you need first to install ClockworkMod Recovery 4 on it. Usually, ClockworkMod Recovery also gets installed after you have successfully activated S-OFF on your device. But in some cases, it doesn’t.

ClockworkMod Recovery is a custom recovery for Android devices that enables you to execute several advanced recovery, restoration, installation, and maintenance operations that you can’t do using the stock recovery. It also allows you to flash unsigned files based on .zip packages and flash custom ROMs very easily.

To install ClockworkMod Recovery 4 on your HTC Sensation, follow these steps:

  1. Download ClockworkMod Recovery from the link provided above.
  2. Copy the PG58IMG file to the root of your SD card (i.e., the main folder of your SD card).
  3. Turn off the phone and reboot into the bootloader/HBOOT screen. To do that, disable the fast boot option first in Settings > Applications > Fast boot, then press and hold the Volume Down and Power buttons at the same time.
  4. Once in bootloader mode, the phone will automatically detect the new file and will ask you if you wish to start the update. Press the Volume Up button to accept.
  5. Once the file is flashed, simply reboot your phone.
  6. As soon as the device has rebooted, delete the file from the SD card or rename it to something else, otherwise each time you attempt to go into bootloader, the phone will prompt you to install that file.

You should now have ClockworkMod Recovery 4 on your HTC Sensation. Now, you’re ready to permanently root your HTC Sensation.

Rooting HTC Sensation Permanently

  1. Turn off your device and reboot into ClockworkMod Recovery. (Disable the fast boot option first in settings then press and hold Volume down button while pressing Power at the same time. You will be in the bootloader mode where you can select Recovery to enter ClockworkMod Recovery.)
  2. While in Recovery, create a Nandroid backup by navigating to Backup & Restore > backup.
  3. If you have created a backup already, select “Install zip from sdcard” option, then select “Choose zip from sdcard”.
  4. Select from the list. Then choose “Yes – install” to install it.
  5. Once installation is complete, reboot your handset.

You have now fully rooted your HTC Sensation. Your next possible step is to install a custom ROM and get rid of the stock ROM. There are various ROMs from many developers – one of the popular and trusted ones is no other than the CyanogenMod 7. Go ahead and take your HTC Sensation for a spin. You are now in full control of it.

  • Johntmorton

    I run Revolutionary on my computer and a DOS window pops-up then closes immediately??

    • AndroidPIMP

      You have to right click it and edit the settings to run as an administrator, and to set it for WInXp compatability. That should make it work :)

      • LEoDroid

        Ive set the compatibility mode to Windows XP (Service Pack 2) and revolution dos screen still closes immediately? Can you help?

        • Unknown Iraqi

          LEoDroid, just uninstall HTC sync and any other HTC related drivers…..only install the drivers mentioned in this page.

          • LEoDroid

            It worked! Cheers
            Now when i install the PG58IMG file to the root of my SD card and go to the bootloader/Hboot screen it says it catfind the file.

          • Marcomarsi

            i press volume down and power and never get into hboot!!!!!! did work until i tryed the revolutionary key which came up invalid, now i cant get into hboot!!!!!

  • Hamersticks

    AAAARRRRRGGGGG what is happening that the Revolutionary window wont stay open on my computer?

    • example

      Run it as administrator, or try opening it from cmd and see what it says.

    • IZanarkand

      you have to get rid of htc sync from your cpu. uninstall HTC Sync from your programs in your control panel on your computer and your good to go.

  • Noojish

    How long does it take for the Revolutionary to find my device ? I’ve been waiting for ages now.

    • example

      It should take it less than a few seconds. If it doesn’t work, either you’re not running it as administrator, you don’t have the drivers installed, you don’t have usb debugging enabled with htc sync or something is very wrong with your device.

      • boe

        which drivers u r talking about, i run as admin and have debugged mode on but still cant find the device

        • Eric Tungol

          It’s the HTC fastboot drivers which you can download from this link

          What I did is to saved it to my desktop. Right click on it and select “run as admin”. If that is not available just click “open”.

    • Ressletr

      ensure you have htc sync installed properly and when connecting it you choose htc sync

  • Mjskaw1

    I`ve done it all step by step and I still can`t delete any aplications. I`m trying to do it with root explorer but when I`m in the system file i can`t mount r/w. Is there anything more tat I have to do ? cheers

  • Drmikeleebulk

    Can I ask what ROMs people are using?

    • Jay

      Android Revolution HD 3.6.1

      I tried cyanogenmod 7..but it’s not for me..It’s just..I can’t leave HTC Sense..

  • DG

    The does not install. I have everything else installed, S-OFF, Clockwork Mod Recovery v. but every time I try to install the, the installation gets aborted. Any ideas?

    • Shed

      I had the same, so i powered down, pulled out the battery, waited a minute then put it back in, booted back to clockworkmodrecovery and tried install from zip again and it worked :)

    • Guest

      I had to do this to get past the “install aborted” error:
      Enter Recovery mode.
      Select Install zip from sdcard.
      Use Toggle signature verification to disabled.
      Then Choose the .zip from sdcard.

      • Maxhoi

        This is the cause. It works for me and thank you a heap.

        • Frank

          can’t install the su…zip – keep getting the aborted error

          on a Sensation XE. Have tried the verification to disabled with no luck. Help?

          • Frank

            ok very weird… so to get around it i toggled verifcation to Enabled, ran the zip which failed. Toggled back to Disabled, WALLA!

            Thanks everyone.. easy steps to follow!

          • Cheddah

            From the XDA website…
            1. First Try the above method of repeating it 3 times to achieve root. some users are getting installation aborted. but on third attempt rooted successfully

            2. Failing that: Download AND
            3. Place both of them on the root (main folder) of your sd card and flash using Step 3 from post 1. it is likely it may repeat the error above. INSTALLATION ABORTED or SUCCESSFULL
            4. Flash now using step 3 in post 1. YOU SHOULD BE NOW ROOTED!

  • Nathan Villafria

    same goes for me, i followed the steps procedure w/ no success. kept on saying..waiting for device..

    • Eric Tungol

      I had the installed to the microSD even before i started the process.

  • Eric Tungol

    This works great. I followed the steps with minor deviations for my HTC sensation with HBOOT 1.18.0000.


    it keeps saying invalid Beta Key. Help pls.

    • Robska

      disable fast boot on your phone

    • Re4g3d

      Beta key is case sensitive.

  • lfxg

    Does anyone know how to root the new HTC Status?

  • Kambest

    I’ve followed your instructions and I’m up to the part where I install SU- file from H Boot. This process fails. It looks like the SU file might be corrupt.

    When I run ROOTCHECKER on my HTC ‘superuser has terminated with error’.

    I can’t seem to get this to work now. How can i fix this?


    • Jay

      is your device ok now? if not..please reply..i’d be happy to help

      • Jquirk90

        i’m having the same issue it aborted the installation in hboot i tried twice seccond time seemed to work! then i flash a rom and it seems like i lost root rootchecker even says root improperly configured, where did i lose it? and now all my recoveries say md5 sum mismatch? WTF happened?? with any help!?

        • Umm

          if you havent found out yet, it can take up to three tries for it to not fail and abort. Took me 2 times on my other phone, 3 on my replacement. On to my 4th crap refurb Sensation

          • Sushant_gurung

            please help. im trying to install the superuser zip file but it just keeps saying error and installation aborted. helpppppppp

          • Jcvince92

            yea im having the same problem, did u work it out yet?

  • Tmoneytinman

    i keep getting the invalid key, i have disabled fastboot. turned off my windows firewall. Dont know what else to do. I know its case sensitive. i have even re downloaded the revolutionary.exe and regenerated the key and got the same one. dont know what else to do. pls help

    • sonybru

      Do a copy and paste..don’t use control v…just click on the dos window and choose to edit and paste

  • Jay

    “HTC fastboot drivers. Download the drivers and install them on your computer.”

    I don’t get this..what drivers? Sorry for the noobish question..

    • Jay

      Don’t worry..I got it already..been flashing some roms on my far, Android Revolution HD 3.6.1 is the best for turned my HTC Sensation into a powerful HTC Sensation XE

      • Linus

        Hi Jay,
        How did u do it? I’m stuck at teh S-off.
        Meaning when i open the revolution tools nothing appear so i cant key in the beta key to get S-OFF.
        Pls help if u know the step.


        • Zenamez

          Tried running the program as Administrator?

        • Maltonge

          uninstall htcsync and it will work

      • Dave

        This worked a dream, thanks for putting the 3.6.1 idea into my head, i now have an amazing phone :)

    • Amon
  • Preben

    I just updated my phone to the latest software (Android 2.3.4) yesterday… Does this procedure still work??

    • Hulahula2004

      Yes it dos, i’ve done it on my vodafone supplied Sensation

  • randerzz

    The link for clockworkmod doesn’t work

  • Taz

    My DOS box says “Zerging Root… this might take a minute or so..”

    It’s been like that for 20 mins, how long is it supposed to take?

    • vegta101

      Yeah I have been having the same irritating issue with ny Xe. I am starting to lose my sanity now….. Someone please reply and fast!

  • LukeNuke11

    hey…i cant get my hboot version with your step…i tried press down volume and power on simultinosly like you tell me to do but nothing happened..please help

    • Jay

      first you must do the following..

      go to settings > power > UNCHECK “Fast boot”

      once you’ve unchecked Fast Boot, switch off your mobile

      while it’s off, press the Power Button and the Volume Down Button..

      • Frank


  • Bigapplevip

    this is by far one of the best explanations on how to unroot the Sensation and installing the Soff.


  • Itzmacbytch

    how can i unroot my sensation ?

    • Zenamez

      Just flash a stock RUU which removes root and S-off making your phone just as if it rolled out of the factory.

  • Moutela

    Is this valid for the Sensation XE as well?

  • Nightjar

    If you have HTC Sync installed, the DOS box just appears and disappears. It’s telling you that HTC Sync needs to be uninstalled.

  • Marcel

    i have copy the beta key to the dos window and its stil invalid beta key.!!!!!!!

    • Alexusseglio

      Me too have you found a fix?

      Anyone can help?

      tks guys

  • Sigurd Rokenes

    I have copyed the ClockworkMod Recovery to the main folder of my SD card, but when I start the bootloader it says “Cant find image file”
    What to do?

    • Sigurd Rokenes

      working now :) turned out I hadn’t finished S-off :p it got stuck on “waiting for fastboot”
      when I did it on another computer it worked ^^
      Thanks so much for the guide!

  • Mario Seijo

    your instructions worked! (originally on HBOOT 1.18.0000) thank you. TIP: run everything as admin

  • Johnthomasengland

    The clockworkmod link doesn’t work! Any help on this issue?

  • Johnthomasengland

    Really could use some help….

    I’ve followed this guide, and succesfully achieved “S-Off”, and unlocked my Sensation. The phone does recognize all the other SIM cards I have tried, however, I don’t have any 3g connection with the other SIM cards I have tried. Phone seems to work fine, just no mobile network.

    Original provider – Orange (UK)
    Other SIMs tried – T-mobile, and O2

    I would gladly give the details of the phone if it would help.

    Anybody help?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Hector

      Same here, no data connection. Anyone else has this problem? How can we fix it?

  • V Olsen Martin

    Great guide! Had to find the ClockworkMod 4 somewhere else, but Google solved that for me. Very good instructions. I’m now superuser. Thank you!

  • Kyleresq

    Is the su…signed file supposed to be on my computer or my SD card of my phone?



  • Alltaire47


  • Luis

    What’s the “root of my sd card” ?

    • John Shane

      The root of your sd card is the upper level of the card. So when you plug your phone into your computer and tell it to run in USB mode, then open My Computer and open the phone’s drive you will be in the sd card root.

  • Losmialowski

    You can find ClockworkMod Recovery 4 here

  • Nikolaev

    does this proses work for HTS Sensation XE ?
    also after doing this will i be able to connect to AT&T 3G network?
    implying that i will install some program to allow 850 band connection?

    • Zenamez

      The XE is basically the sensation with a different coat of paint and more power under the hood. Exactly the same process as the Sensation in terms of rooting/flashing roms etc. You’ll still be able to connect to you network if you’ve followed this guide. Not sure about changing the band connection though.

  • Chronicles

    installation aborted status 0 ….what does it mean…its appear when i flash su using cwm… help me

  • Jeffrey

    Cant open the HTC Drivers + the revolutionary.exe file … any help? I’m using windows vista (also tried “run as administrator”

    • Dave

      its because you have your anti-virus/firewall/spyware running. turn them off

  • IrfanS

    I cant seem to get past the S-Off portion as the CMD window only says “waiting for device”… might this be because im using the XE?

  • nesoor

    I rooted my phone 1 or 2 months ago now there is an update but i can’t install it i get a little android doll with a triangle what now?

  • suicidal_banana

    Works great, for anybody having issues these are the two mayor problems (i see below anyway)
    – Waiting for device; you didnt succesfully install the fastboot drivers, get these;
    – Dont forget to install the file!!

  • Teneur

    will this hack work for the HTC Sensation XE?

    • Zenamez

      It will work for all Sensation types.

  • Androidmobile91

    I’m having issues getting on my phone can anyone help?

  • Android Fanboy


  • Dan1luck

    it says wating for device wen opend comand prompt screen ??? please help

    • Rasmus

      Install the fastboot drivers. Or alternatively install HTC sync and uninstall it again.

  • Abcd

    why doesnt this guy mention that you have to copy onto your phones sd card …. very stupid

    • Ajay George

      Thanks for the information!

    • K Corry

      I copy this file to my card, but it said there was an error with my load… please help

  • Abcd

    and the file is corrupt because i cannot install it somebody got a fix for this?

  • Keef

    Help please….when i backed up it said No sd-ext and skipped the back up part so then when i tried step 4 there wasn’t a file there so does not root :-/

    Can some one tell me where i am going wrong please?

  • Sahs16

    i cant seem to get past the part where u insert the beta key because it keeps saying “waiting for device…” PLEASE HELP

    • noseknows

      install htc sync

    • Maltonge

      install htc sync then uninstall it this will allow for the drivers to be installed on your pc

    • Jack Liw

      I faced the same problem also, install the fastboot driver will solve it!

    • Youdonwannone

      download the fastboot drivers. then actually install them on your pc. then disconnect phone and reconnect after installation.

  • Martín Montanaro

    …then press and hold the Volume Down and Power buttons at the same time… I did that after after turning my phone into s-off, but nothing happened anymore, now I can´t enter the bootloader mode. What can I do? Should I reset my phone?

  • Dan Kenyon 86

    this didnt work for me i tried it a few times

  • DSMBandido

    I followed the steps and got an error message, but I got the super user icon. It is possible to have not rooted and get SU?

  • Pwdmng

    The revolutionary exe will close immediately after it opens. HELP!

    • Rasmus

      You need to uninstall HTC Sync. But not the drivers.

    • Danzo7

      just close HTC Sync from the task manager. Needs to be entirely not running in any way. No need to uninstall it.

  • Al

    thank you for your help

  • Needs66

    hi chin gotta ask your permission to repost this on my new website please??? i found this guide to be very useful and hats off to you .

  • Daan

    I’m getting an invalid Beta-key? Twice already? What’s that all about?

    • Alexusseglio

      Me too, pls anyone can help? tks guys…

  • Helmi

    Hi, need some help here. I have runned revolutionary.exe. It manage to detect my phone, an promt me to enter the bete key. After i have entered the beta key, it prompts a msg “beta key accepted” and it informs “Zerging root …this might take a minute..” But i have waited for an hour and no progress.

    Anyone can help me with this?

  • JRSmith

    Hello everyone, I hope this post finds you in good health and spirit. I am attempting to root my phone, but I have no idea if it has worked, is working (processing), what-have-you. I followed the instructions, but there was no sign of any step being completed.

  • toutall

    i cant find the ClockworkMod Recovery 4 files. anyone know where i can get them?

  • SoupDoggyDog

    Hi Guys, I was thinking about replacing my Rooted S-off Desire with a stock Sensation & going the same, but my question is ‘does S-OFF mean it’s unlovked to any carrier?
    Thanks in advance :-)

    • SoupDoggyDog


  • Lasse Arnesen (Norway)

    Im trying to root my HTC sensation XE. I’ve managed to get S-OFF, but CWM wont work. It doesn’t show that update thingy when i go to root mode. Anyone know what i can do?
    Is there a special place for the IMG? I have it in the root folder.

    • Moiz Bohra

      I just faced the same problem- did you manage to solve it?

  • Lasse Arnesen (Norway)

    boot meny, i not root mode!

  • Tmcools

    Is there a way to root sensation with a mac?

    • Ucfdonkeypunchr

      Did you find an answer to this?

    • Elmer M.

      As far as I know, the Revolutionary tool works on both Linux and Windows. Not sure if there’s a version for Mac. Try installing Mono ( on your Mac and see if the tool runs under it.

  • Anders Espedalen

    Rooted a couple of weeks ago and it’s working great!
    But today I got a notification about updating to Android 4.0. Doesn’t work :(
    It reboots and tries to start some kind of configuration, but immediately stops in an “error”.
    (a yellow warning triangle with a little droid figure next to it)

    The handset stayed in this state overnight. Had to pull the battery.
    Luckily no changes were made. So i’m back where I started.

  • Alexusseglio

    I have interred several times the Beta key but with no success…any alternative or recommendation?


  • Sciobanu10

    he said invalid key….. what i need to do ??

    • Elmer M.

      Try copy-pasting the beta key instead of manually typing it. The beta key is case-sensitive, and it’s easy for one’s eyes to mistake a “1” for an “I”.

  • Malchelle1

    why wont the revolutionary.exe run on my windows 7; help?

    • Elmer M.

      Have you tried running the tool as Administrator?

  • zEE.

    i need help here, my htc sensation z710e came all the way from taiwan. it has hboot version pyramid- 1.18.0000 . when i open revolutionary.exe it asks me to enter the beta key. As i enter it , the message says invalid beta key. i am quite sure i havent typed in the incorrect key. does anyone have any idea why this is happening? is it because it has some different version as it came from Taiwan?
    help would be really appreciated, thanks.

  • Youdonwannone

    in the walkthrough it never tells you to put the … into your sd card…..

  • Youdonwannone

    another thing, it only says to download the drivers, not to install them on the computer

  • Heine1982

    My Sensation has got HBOOT 1.27.0000. It’s not on the list??? What do i do..?

    • Kid18

      Hi Heine1982, im facing the same issue..Would like to know if you have found a workaround. Thank you for helping

    • Bohra Moiz

      use to officially unlock your phone’s bootloader.

  • Justinplatten

    i am lost please help i s off my sensation xe but dont get root checker coming up and i can access apps in the superuser. i need help pls help on how to get this working

  • jay4444

    i have a sensation xe and cannot find root checher after s-off my phone and dont know what to do and also cant use superuser at all. pls help im lost

  • Mcse

    HTC Sensation won’t start up

    Hi There :)
    So, try to “jump start” the phone.
    1. Take out the phone cover.
    2. Take out the battery, optionally Sim Card and Flash Card.
    3. Plug your wall charger from the wall into the phone WITHOUT the battery in and cover.
    4. Pop the battery back in and wait until the indicator light is orange.
    5. Wait for about 5-10 minutes until your battery charged at least 2-3%
    6. Pop the battery back in and close the cover. Optionally Sim Card and Flash Card.
    7. Try to turn it on. This should start the phone.
    8. So, once you started your phone. Plug your wall charger back into the phone.
    9. Wait for until your battery became fully charged.

  • Kid18

    Hi im using a HTC Sensation but the HBOOT is 1.27.0000 and when I read the “Revolutionary: S-OFF & Recovery Tool” read me file it doesnt show that this version of HBOOT is support. Is there any work around for this, please advice. Thank you so much

  • guest

    I did all of this, but clockwork mod says “error in sd/ (status 0)
    Installation failed

    after all this work I really don’t want it to go to waste haha please help

  • Maoyni07

    could you please help me?
    i followed each step….
    i was trying to be smart by copying both the file and a firmware update file…
    i have successfully rooted my device but its just stuck on the htc logo and turn on and off over and over again…

    am wondering what should i do with it, tried to restore from CMR but to no avail..

  • Rashad Al-Islam

    Need help! I cant find beta key for my HTC sensation z720e. HBoot ver 1.27.0000

  • Anonymous

    just search on google htc sensation and download 1 of them

  • Hamid al-aSak

    Does this still work in 2015, since most of the links are dead?