How to Flash Custom ROMs on Your Android Phone

by: Vinny MarinoAugust 31, 2011

If you’ve rooted your Android phone, you’re most likely interested in a few custom ROMs. The problem is that many people interested in flashing custom ROMs are not sure how to go about getting started.

In this post, I will run you through the general steps of flashing custom ROMs. You can follow along with the instructional video I’ve included at the end.

Your phone must be rooted so that you can perform the steps in this guide.  If you have a non-rooted your phone, this guide will result in an epic fail.  Android Authority has numerous rooting guides for a lot of the most popular Android phones–so, go ahead and try searching for a rooting guide for your phone.

The process for flashing a custom ROM onto your phone might vary slightly for your specific device, however the general steps are usually the same.

DISCLAIMER: We are not responsible for anything unfortunate that happens to your phone if you decide to follow this guide.

  1.  Using your Android phone, go to and try to find your device on the site.  Then, open the development thread for your particular device. Once you’re there, open up some posts and find a ROM you like and download it.  If you have trouble choosing, I highly recommend either CyanogenMod 7 or MIUI.  Both are well-known, widely used, and have support from a community of users and developers.  However, be forewarned that custom ROMs such as CyanogenMod 7 or MIUI do not work in some devices, in which case, you will have to choose a custom ROM that will work for you particular handset.
  2. Boot your handset into recovery.  There are various ways to achieve this. You might be able to hold down the Power button and select Restart > Recovery.  If that doesn’t work for you,  go to the Android Market and download ROM Manager. Once installed, open up ROM Manager and select “Reboot into Recovery.”  That ought to do the trick and let you reboot your phone into the recovery menu.  Once you’re in the recovery menu, use the Volume keys to navigate through the options and use the Power button to select an option.
  3.  On the recovery menu, select “Wipe,” then from there, wipe the following: dalvik cache, factory reset, and cache. Once you’re done, select Return.
  4. You should now be back on the main menu in recovery. From there, navigate to Flash zip from SDcard > Choose zip from SDcard > Download.  You should now see the ROM you downloaded. Select your ROM and confirm that you wish to flash this ROM.
  5. Once flashing the ROM completes, select Return> Reboot system. Your ROM will begin to load.  This will take a while, so do not be afraid if your phone is still booting after 5 minutes. If booting doesn’t complete after 20 minutes, ask for help.  (You can sound off in the comments.)
  6. After your ROM has booted, go through the set up process and enjoy your new ROM.

Here’s a video guide demonstrating the steps described above:

What rooted phone did you flash a custom ROM on? What ROM did you choose?

  • Jblanch62410

    Well I flashed the cyabogen 7 rom on my evo 4g and all i get is the loading screen that used to be the sprint load screen. The arrow keeps spinning around the dude and goes away and comes back never gets into the rom any ideas?

    • Jblanch62410

      What a noob sorry just ignore my comment just watched video and saw warning i am a tard.

  • Hachikofurry

    i cant get out of the white screen it keeps wanting to update useing the file from original root. this is my first attempt to try to flash a rom what do i do

  • Hachikofurry

    i think i got it i just used RUU_SuperSonic_S_Sprint_WWE_3.70.651.1_Radio_2. to update the new rom and so far so good ill keep you poasted

  • Spurlock Rianne

    My recovery mode does not have all the above options…I have Samsung Infuse 4g..My options are:
    reboot system now
    reinstall packages
    delete all user data
    delete cache data
    format internal sd-card

    So where do I go from here?

    • Voliam

      I get the same options. Would have been nice to see a valid reply to your inquiry.

    • Voliam

      BTW- I have wondered if executing the last three options would have the same effect, but not knowing for sure makes me hesitant to try them…

  • Alex

    I flashed a Galaxy Mini with a Music Edition ROM available at xda forums, and it doesn’t seem to work. Phone ain’t starting now :/
    What to do? anyway, is there a way i can use my PC to get the job done? Cuz that’ll be way simpler!!

  • Alan Radtke

    THANK YOU FOR THIS!!!!! i was so stuck on HOW to get the file to flash

  • I have installed multiple custom roms on my old HTC Hero now, and I just love how Android allows you to mess around with it this much. I have upgraded my phone to newer version of Android many times using custom roms and lately I tried the HTX Zero 0.21 Rom which installs Android 2.3.5 and Sense 3.5 on my 2.5 year old HTC Hero!

    Very interesting stuff!

    I wrote a review on it if anyone is interested which you can find here:

  • AmirHashemieh

    So Why Should We Unlock Bootloader?

  • Yehd_26

    man my phone won;t stop from loading ,,,please help??? ineed any ideas from you guys… what should i do

  • I used CMW recovery for installing custom ROM in my galaxy fit. The process is almost the same……

  • Csumudu

    check out this video that shows how to install Resurrection Remix ICS(Ice Cream Sandwich) 4.0.4 custom ROM in samsung galaxy s2. really cool and worth trying

  • panha

    Hello i have motorola xt800w i want to root it what should i do if i find in xda don’t have.

  • sagart

    I hav celkon A99 mobile(MT6573) i am searching for 2.3.6 or latest ROM please send me link..plz plz..!

  • sanjay

    where do i get roms for my zte n721/karbonn a1?