How to Install ClockworkMod


When it comes to custom recoveries, ClockwordMod (CWM) used to be the most widely used system. A custom recovery can perform several different tasks that will help you in your Android developer adventures. So if you’re wanting to use CWM as your custom recovery, this guide will help you get everything setup properly.

CWM is no longer maintained by the community. If you’re looking for a custom recovery, we strongly recommend TWRP instead.

Install CWM Recovery

There are two different ways to get your recovery installed. For those of you that are comfortable with with using ADB, this method is for you. Before we get into it, you’ll need ADB and Fastboot drivers installed.

Install ADB and Fastboot drivers
To get everything setup properly, you can use this very simple tool created by XDA member Snoop05. Download an install using the guide fro in this XDA thread.

15 Second ADB Installer

Enable USB Debugging
To enable USB debugging, navigate to Settings > Developer Options > USB Debugging

Install VIA ADB

  1. Open the folder where your CWM Recovery .img file is saved.
  2. Then open a CMD window inside that folder. To do that, Shift + Right click on any empty white space inside the folder and then select Open command window here.
  3. Connect your Android device to the PC. Type the following into the command window to boot your device into bootloader/fastboot mode:
    adb reboot bootloader

    └ If your asks for permission to “Allow USB debugging”, tap OK.

  4. Once your device boots into bootloader mode, type this into the command line.
    fastboot flash recovery twrp-2.8.x.x-xxx.img

    └ Here modify CWM.img with the name of your CWM recovery .img file.

  5. Once CWM is successfully flashed on your device, type this final command to reboot your device.
    fastboot reboot

Install VIA ROM Manager

A simple way of doing all of this is to install the ROM Manager app from the Play store. If your device is rooted, you should be able to flash the custom recovery right from your phone. No need to plug it into the computer or worry about drivers or anything like that.


ROM Manager

CWM Features

Reboot System

This one is pretty self explanatory. Reboot back into your system from the recovery

Install zip from SD card

This is a common feature used by flashaholics. Transfer your ROMs to your SD card from your computer and flash them with ease. Very easy, just like my sister (R.I.P.).

Wipe data/factory reset

Wipe your phone clean and get a fresh start. If you get stuck in a bootloop or something, this is usually your savior.

Wipe cache partition

Your cached data will stack up fast these days. Everytime I check my cache I’ve got about two or three GB being used up. Clear all of that up through your recovery.

Backup and restore

You can do full system backups to you local storage or your SD card. You can then restore from those backups if anything goes wrong.

So CWM is a safe bet if you’re looking for a custom recovery. It’s one of the originals and it’s used by most Android developers. Woot.