How To Flash A Custom ROM On Android

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Note: You need to have super user/root permissions on your phone in order to be able to do this. We are not responsible for anything that can go wrong with your phone.

One of the best parts about having your Android phone rooted is having the ability to install just about any compatible custom ROM you want. In other words, you can be the one who decides how your phone looks and acts instead of being stuck with the manufacturer’s stock ROM. In this how-to article, we’ll teach you how to flash a custom ROM to your Android phone:

  1. Download your custom ROM of choice, and then put it on your phone’s internal storage or SD card.
  2. Download ROM Manager (free) from the Android Market.
  3. Open ROM Manager, and hit “Flash ClockworkMod Recovery.” Confirm your (exact) phone model.
  4. Boot into recovery. You can do this through ROM Manger (there is an option) or turn your phone off and then back on by pressing and holding Power + Volume Down or Power + Volume Down and Volume Up (depends on your phone).
  5. Once you’re in recovery, you can navigate by using the volume rocker (for up and down) and the power button (to make a selection).
  6. We recommend you do the 3 wipes to avoid any problems down the road. Warning – this step will erase everything on your phone (except for what’s on the SD card):
    1. Highlight and select “wipe data/factory reset.”
    2. Highlight and select “wipe cache partition.”
    3. Under advanced, highlight and select “wipe dalvik cache.”
  7. Go back to the main recovery options, and select “install zip from sdcard.”
  8. Find the ROM you downloaded in step 1 and select it.
  9. After it is done installing, go back and hit “reboot system now.”
  10. Let the phone do its thing. Give it 10-15 minutes after it looks like it’s done loading everything up.

It is important that you leave the phone alone for 10-15 minutes after it looks like it’s done loading. This is because often times it is still loading things up in the background and using the phone may cause issues down the line (think force closes everywhere). After about 10 minutes or so though, you should be up and running your fresh new ROM!

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About Author

David Rahimi is the editor-in-chief at PhoneBuff.com. Ever since he got his first smartphone, he has been obsessed with mobile technology and all that it has to offer. Other interests include business, investing, and neuroscience.