Android Basics, Tutorials

How to Install Custom ROM in CWM Recovery

ClockworkMod Recovery can be used to flash CyanogenMod ROM or any other custom ROM on Android devices. There’s a “install zip from sdcard” option that will let you install a ROM zip file on your device. Being the most popular custom recovery for Android, most users prefer it over other solutions. Also, it’s fairly easy to use CWM recovery to install CM or any other ROM. Here is the step by step guide:

How to Install Custom ROM using ClockworkMod (CWM) Recovery

This guide can be used to install custom ROM on your Android device. Not to mention that your device should be rooted and should have CWM Recovery installed. Also, please download the custom ROM zip file that you will be installing. Some of the popular ROMs are:

CyanogenMod (CM) (Latest is: CM 10.1), Modaco, AOKP, Slim ROM, MIUI. There are many other ROMs for different Android devices. You can choose the one that suits your needs the best.

Preliminary Steps:

Take care of following tasks before you proceed with flashing custom ROM:

Task 1: Install USB drivers for your device on your PC.

Task 2: Be sure to backup your data including Contacts, SMS / MMS, APN & MMS Settings as well as photos and videos stored on your device’s internal or external storage.

Task 3: Make sure that your device is well charged. Ideally, the battery level should be around 60-80%. The more the better.

Task 4: USB Debugging should be enabled on your device.

Important: Most of the custom ROM will not have Google Apps in them. So, you will have to download and install GApps manually.

Done with preliminary precautionary steps? So, here’s the guide:

How to: Install Zip from SD Card in CWM Recovery

Step 1: Download the ROM zip file and copy it on root of the SD card of your device. Also copy the GApps zip file, if you want to install Google Apps too.

Step 2: Disconnect your device from the computer and boot it into CWM recovery mode:

  1. Switch off your device
  2. Press & hold Volume buttons + Power button to boot into bootloader mode (Note: button combination may vary depending on your device)
  3. Now select “Recovery” option using Power button to boot into CWM recovery mode

You are now in CWM recovery more. Use volume keys to navigate up & down and use Power button to select an option.

Step 3 (Optional but important): Take a NANDROID backup of your ROM:

  1. From Recovery screen, select “Backup and Restore
  2. Now select “Backup” to start the nandroid backup process.

After backup is done, navigate back to main recovery screen.

Step 4: Now select “wipe data/factory reset” option. When it asks for confirmation, select “Yes” to confirm data wipe process. Then navigate back to main recovery.

Step 5: Now you will install the ROM zip file that you placed to SD card of your device in step 1. Follow these steps:

  1. Select option “install zip from sdcard
  2. Then select “choose zip from sdcard
  3. Now select the zip file that you want to install (the file that you copied onto the SD card)
  4. When it asks for confirmation, select “Yes” to start installation

The custom ROM installation will now begin. Wait for it till its complete.

Note: If you copied any other zip file alongside the ROM file (like GApps zip), repeat the above steps to install that zip file.

Step 6: After installation is complete, navigate back to main recovery screen and select “reboot system now” option to reboot your device.

Your device will now reboot. Please note that first boot may take some time, so be patient and do not interrupt the boot process.

When it boots up, your device will have custom ROM installed. Same steps can be followed to install any zip file like Google Apps on your device.

8 Replies to How to Install Custom ROM in CWM Recovery

  1. I need to recover tab – I only am on windows and can’t format, read.write to sdcard.  short of having a linux box – any ideas?



  2. I did what is mentioned above and everything went fine.

    But i am facing a problem, I can’t connect to my wifi router , i enter my wifi password and connect then suddenly the tablet shows that the connection signal is weak and then it disconnects, then the signal returns strong.
    I tried changing the password encryption, ssid, channel, rebooting both tablet and router, using wifi manager app and wifi fixer but nothing worked.
    Everything else in my tablet works fine.
    I installed the package :

    I tried installing others but the problem stays. 
     Please can any one help.

    1. MohammedDahwi Reflash the ROM but also make sure u wipe Cache, and also Advanced –> wipe dalvik cache

  3. buenas tengo un problema no puedo instalar el recovery cwm ya que no puedo entrar al telefono queda en el logo de la compañia telefonica MOVILNET como haria en ese caso mi telefono es un V8200  de la marca zte pero como soy de venezuela la marca  q aparece en el tel es vtelca alguien que me pueda ayudar

  4. Hello
    My problem is my pc cannot connect with the tablet (recognized but not accessible) and i don’t have any rom or zip in the sdcard (it stopped working during the update)
    any ideas? any default .zip file hidden in the sdcard filestree?
    thank you in advance!

  5. AlViento Same here. I have tried everything, but I can’t seem to find the zip file in the file tree in recovery…

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