How To Install CyanogenMod On Your Android Device

Danny Stieben 05-03-2012

install cyanogenmod androidA lot of people can agree that the Android operating system is pretty awesome. Not only is it great to use, but it’s also free as in open source, so that it can be modified by anyone. This is why custom ROMs, like CyanogenMod, can exist. But how the heck can you install those ROMs onto your device? This requires a couple of steps, so read carefully!


What Is a ROM?

install cyanogenmod android

Before we begin, what is a ROM anyways? It’s simply the system that your device runs on. If you haven’t done anything to it yet, then you’re running your device’s stock ROM. CyanogenMod, for example, is known as a custom ROM, as it’s Android with lots of neat tweaks that can only be applied with the entire code sitting in front of you. Changing ROMs requires “flashing” them, which can be seen as writing the ROM to your device’s memory.

Check For Support

ROMs need to be made for each specific Android device model, as they all contain different hardware, and must be customized for them. CyanogenMod offers support for plenty of popular devices, but some are still left out because there are so many different Android devices in the market and not all are equally popular or physically capable. So if you’re interested, it’s best to check out their list of devices to see if your device is supported or not.

Generic Instructions

Since each device has a different set of specific instructions, I’ll be generalizing the process from this point onward. If your device is supported by CyanogenMod, you’ll find more specific instructions on what to do on their wiki.

Root Your Device

The first step is to somehow root your device. When you root a device, you are using some sort of workaround to gain administrative powers on your device. Consumer devices only allow the user to have regular user permissions that are unable to touch system files. However, with root/administrative permissions, you can quite literally do whatever you want on your device, even brick it.


There are multiple ways of doing this, such as exploiting a security hole to give root access (or downgrading to then use the security exploit), flashing a new kernel or recovery onto your phone, or using an application called SuperOneClick. Please note that these are not all the different ways for you to root your device, but rather some examples of what is commonly done to root a device. You will probably need to follow a specific path to root your specific device.

Replace The Recovery

install cyanogenmod android rom

Unless the first step automatically includes this, you’ll need to replace your recovery next. The recovery is a little program that you can boot into before the operating system loads so that you can execute recovery-type actions. If this reminds you of Windows’ recovery actions, you’re thinking in the right direction. This step also depends on your device, but usually you’ll end up having ClockworkRecovery installed.

Download All Necessary Files

The next step is to download the necessary files that you’ll need. This will be the appropriate ROM for your device, the gapps package, and other possible packages such as updated radio drivers. This package includes the Google goodies we all love. It’s separate because of some restrictions on the Google apps themselves, but installing them separately is no issue.


Flash All Packages

Finally, you’ll need to boot into your recovery (how do to that depends on the device), and use it to erase your device and then flash .zip files to it. This is the part where you’re actually doing the installation, so it’s very important to follow all instructions. Make sure that you also install everything in the correct order, as not following the suggested order may brick your device. Once all packages have been installed, reboot the device, wait a couple of minutes, and you should now be in CyanogenMod.


install cyanogenmod android

I feel that it’s very worthwhile to install CyanogenMod because of the great tweaks that come with it. Additionally, some phones, like the original G1, get much longer support than from the carriers themselves. For example, T-Mobile updated the G1 until Android 1.6, then stopped. With CyanogenMod, I got to go all the way to Android 2.2 before support was finally dropped (and with good reason). If you need any more help with the process, YouTube may be your best resource as you get to see what you need to do.

Have you flashed CyanogenMod on your device? How do you like it? Do you have other ROMs that are noteworthy? Let us know in the comments!


Related topics: Android Rooting, Custom Android Rom.

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  1. dcs
    January 2, 2018 at 1:07 am

    Links don't work

  2. Chump
    September 30, 2016 at 2:41 pm


  3. samia aziz riskalla
    September 8, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    I had wiped old data but hadnot other roms and iwant to have new rom

  4. seenu
    August 18, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    can you get the cyanogen rom for my intex aqua life 2

  5. kumar
    November 30, 2015 at 5:29 am

    i want a custom rom and recovery for vox kick k7 android version 4.4.2. please help

  6. dan
    March 1, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    Does this article apply to Android Tablets (my Galaxy Tab 4) as well?

  7. som
    February 14, 2015 at 3:22 am

    can i install cynogenmod for my phone intex aqua style pro

  8. barry
    January 1, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    Pls I need help. When I power on my andriod tab. It juts showing Cyanogenmod I?????n????? a cicular form. Pls what can I do to make it work well. Thans

  9. jay
    December 29, 2014 at 11:02 am

    i have rooted my gionee ctrl v2 and want to install a cutom rom in it but i dont know which rom is supported by my phone. please tell me which rom should i download.
    thanks in advance....

  10. jay
    December 29, 2014 at 11:02 am

    i have rooted my gionee ctrl v2 and want to install a cutom rom in it but i dont know which rom is supported by my phone. please tell me which rom should i download.
    thanks in advance....

  11. thetnaingswe
    July 22, 2012 at 2:25 am

    My phone was dead in start screen with the pic of android and a opened box after using rom manager to install cyanogen mod but there was one thing I had missed that I didn't install clockworkmod.Plz everybody,answer my request how can I install firmware to my ph.Hard reset doesn't work in my ph.My ph is lg optimus one.Thanks a lot to you all.

  12. Konrad Krzewinski
    July 13, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    I would also recommend looking into Smoki (doubly so for 6.35 radio HTC Magic 32As) as it is stable and solid. I'm actually a bit of a novice at rooting, but apparently everyone gives this rom a thumbs up without a second thought.

    Not sure if it covers other devices (Well, Magic 32B and the alternate radio version it does) but it is still worth checking out.

  13. saraahmad
    March 20, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    for more information on how to install cyanogenmod in android mobile, you can go through the below link and here you will get the all details step by step. i hope this will help you to solve your issue.

  14. Alavhar
    March 7, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Cyanogenmod is great, but MIUI rom takes it to a higher level... I got much better performance and battery life using MIUI rom compared to cyanogenmod (tested on samsung galaxy s and samsung galaxy s 2), altough both are better than stock roms.... 

    • Danny Stieben
      March 9, 2012 at 10:16 pm

      Oh is that so? I'll have to look then! Thanks!

  15. android underground
    March 6, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    A well designed custom recovery (like clockworkmod) lets you make nandroid backups of your current rom.

  16. dsoonshi
    March 6, 2012 at 1:24 am

    How do you back up a stock rom?

    • Danny Stieben
      March 9, 2012 at 10:15 pm

      Usually you can do this with Titanium Backup or via the recovery (called a nandroid backup).

  17. android underground
    March 5, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    This guide omits two very important steps:

    1) After rooting, back up everything with Titanium or MyBackup. Better yet, back up everything with both apps.

    2) After installing a custom recovery and BEFORE wiping or flashing anything, back up your stock ROM.

    • Danny Stieben
      March 9, 2012 at 10:14 pm

      Ah yes, backups are important too. Although I've never had much success backing up the stock ROM...

  18. Liranbarel
    March 5, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    Thanks for the clear explanation!

  19. Tim Turner
    March 5, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    Too confusing for me, but I'd love to try it maybe it would help me unlock my phone from landscape mode and enable it to connect to a PC, which no other fix except upgrading to another phone has cured.

    • Achraf52
      March 6, 2012 at 10:10 pm

      Hi, it looks like you need some help and personally I do not think you'll fix it that way and you may brick your device if you do it wrong, could you let me know please more information about your problem .

    • Danny Stieben
      March 9, 2012 at 10:13 pm

      I admit it's a bit intimidating, especially with all the warnings about bricking your phone posted everywhere. In this case YouTube may be your best bet, because you can see exactly how someone else did it without bricking their phone.

  20. Indronil Mondal
    March 5, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    arent there any such things for nokia c7 

    • Achraf52
      March 6, 2012 at 10:09 pm

      No, only Android is open and able to do such things .

      • Indronil Mondal
        March 8, 2012 at 7:54 am

        may be you are wrong and you like nothing except android
        well search for "custom rom for c7" in google you will get the answer.... :D

        • Achraf52
          March 8, 2012 at 9:00 pm

          Just weren't aware of this, but thanks for learning me such thing, it is great you were able to help yourself and yes I like Android so much and glad to know there is another company who don't censor their devices .

    • Danny Stieben
      March 9, 2012 at 10:11 pm

      It's possible, although definitely not supported and should only be done by those who know what's going on. I know the Nokia N900 has had numerous operating systems ported to it...

      • kingpin
        March 29, 2012 at 4:48 pm

        Any chance of getting the Fully working Nitdroid for N900 using the cyanogenMod ROM?

        whats the problem with N900 why doesn't it support the Android?

  21. syedzain00
    March 5, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    really worth to read all info,thanks a lot .I already bookmarked this great website: Very enlightening stuff.

    Microsoft project 2010

  22. sanshr
    March 5, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    cool stuff! could have been better if you ad more screenshots..!

    • Danny Stieben
      March 9, 2012 at 10:10 pm

      The builds mostly look identical to the vanilla Android, so except for some certain areas there's nothing especially exciting. It comes more in the control and performance.

  23. GeekLad
    March 5, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    If you need some help installing a new recovery, I put together a tutorial on how to install ClockworkMod Touch for free.  It's nice having a touch recovery, because your finger won't go numb pressing the volume up/down keys to navigate the recovery menus.  It makes the process of installing new ROMs & managing backups a lot faster and easier.

    If you don't want the touch version, you can download and install ROM Manager for Android, which will install the regular version of ClockworkMod recovery.

    • Danny Stieben
      March 9, 2012 at 10:09 pm

      Wow, I didn't know there was a recovery with touch capabilities! Thanks for the share!