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How to Flash a ROM to Your Android Phone?

May 28, 2015 15:30 pm / Posted by Amy to Android Phone Topics
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If you have rooted your Android phone, ROMs allow you to apply customized overlays on top of the user interface. This can result in everything from new desktop widgets to improved performance so that you can have a better experience on using your Android device. And if you want to get more interesting features on your device, you can flash a new custom ROM onto your Android smart phone.

What does a ROM mean?

ROM, known as Read-only memory, is a type of storage medium used in computers and other electronic devices (mostly mobile phones). Data stored in ROM can only be modified slowly, with difficulty, or not at all, so it is mainly used to distribute firmware (software that is very closely tied to specific hardware and unlikely to need frequent updates).

Being an open-source platform, Android operating system has a strength that if you're not content with the current OS, you can install a modified version of Android on your device. A new ROM can bring you the latest version of Android. Moreover, you can have some newest awesome features if you flash a new ROM to your Android phone.

Step One: Unlock Your Bootloader & Flash a Custom Recovery

Unlocking bootloader and flash a custom recovery does not equal to rooting your Android phone, however, this process usually goes hand-in-hand with rooting. So here we recommend rooting your phone during step one, since it'll make the backup process in step two easier and save you some hassle along the way.

Since each Android phone is different from others, we can't show you the steps to unlock your bootloader and flash a custom recovery in details. But you can search the instructions on Google and check (usually TWRP or ClockworkMod) to learn how to flash it.

NOTE: Unlocking your bootloader will most likely wipe your device, and without root access, you won't be able to back up your Android smart phone. We suggest that you root your Android phone first and continue to follow the steps below.

Step Two: Back Up the Data on Your Android Device

After you got a custom recovery on your Android phone, the first thing you should do is back it up. You can make a Nandroid backup, which is basically a image of your current system. Thus, if something goes wrong, you can restore your Android phone to exactly the way it was.

1. Reboot your phone and enter recovery mode. Each phone differs from others, but usually involves some permutation of pressing the power and volume buttons at the same time.

2. Head to the "Backup" or "Nandroid" section of the recovery mode. The default settings should be okay. If given the option, give your backup a name, confirm your backup and let it run. And then wait for the backup to finish.

If you just unlocked your bootloader and wiped your phone, you can skip this step. But any time you flash a ROM in the future, in case you want to back up your apps first, with a backup, you can easily restore those apps and data after flashing, we recommend using Titanium Backup.

Step Three: Download and Flash the ROM You Like

First, you need to select the ROM you like. When you find a ROM you want to try, download and save it to your SD card. It will come in the form of a ZIP file. You can either download it directly from your phone or download it on your computer and transfer it to your phone. Then follow the steps below to flash the ROM:

1. Reboot your phone into Recovery mode, just like we did back when we made our Nandroid backup.

2. Head to the "Install" or "Install ZIP from SD Card" section of the recovery.

3. Navigate to the ZIP file you downloaded and select it to flash it.

4. Wait for the process to complete which will take a few minutes.

You may also need to wipe your data or the cache. In TWRP, you will see this under the "Wipe" section, and in ClockworkMod, you will have to choose the "Wipe Data/Factory Reset" option or the "Wipe Cache Partition" option. When you finish this, you can reboot into your new ROM.

Now you've fully understood how to flash a ROM to your Android phone and then you can enjoy your new ROM on your Android device.

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