How to Install a Custom Recovery

Installing a Custom Recovery allows you to flash custom ROMs, backup your phone, restore from backups and much more. Every phone has a specific method to install a recovery, so in this post we will get you started with the basics then point you in the direction of more information. As always, make sure you have backed up your data before you begin.

You will need:

  • Rooted Android Device
  • USB Cable
  • USB Drivers
  • Custom Recovery File
  • Android SDK

Step 1: Install USB Drivers

Find the appropriate drivers for your device. You will need this for your computer to recognize your device properly. Below are links to drivers for the most popular devices, but you can also check our USB Driver guide for other OEMs.

Step 2: Choose a Custom Recovery

CWM TWRP
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The two most popular recoveries are TWRP and ClockWorkMod. Download the appropriate file for your device by following the links.

Step 3: Flash Recovery File

Before you proceed, put your phone in “USB Debugging Mode” by navigating Settings > About Phone > Tap Build Number 7 times (until developer confirmation) > Back out to settings > Developer options > Check USB Debugging

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Many devices will have software that makes flashing the recovery easy. Samsung has Odin, Nexus has WugFresh Toolkit, Sony has FlashTool and so on. Now you have all the basics to get started, so you’ll want to find the specific instructions for how to flash the recovery on your phone. Check your device’s XDA forum for more info.