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How to Update a Custom ROM on Android (Easy Steps)

It’s crucial to maintain your custom ROM up to date if you use one. You’ll get features and bug fixes with every new update, which will improve your smartphone experience overall. Updates can contain the most recent Android version, which you don’t want to miss, or they can be for speed improvement.

Here’s how to update a custom ROM so that you don’t miss any new additions or upgrades.


How to update a Custom ROM

A modified ROM can be updated in a variety of methods, such as via ADB or fastboot instructions. Through an over-the-air update and a custom recovery like TWRP or Orange Fox, we’re employing the most common techniques.

You must attend to a few issues before beginning the upgrade process:

Backup your Android device

Create a backup of all the data on your phone before beginning the procedure. You can make a complete backup of your phone using the Titanium Backup software if your phone is rooted. If not, this advice on backing up your Android phone can assist you in properly backing up everything on it.

Make sure you have the correct files

Before flashing any updates, make sure you’ve obtained the appropriate ROM files. If you flash the incorrect file, there is a potential that your device might enter a boot loop or, in the worst-case scenario, become completely hard-bricked and display no indications of life at all.

Check to see whether your phone has the proper recovery software installed. Use the suggested recovery only when you find something similar in the update notes, as developers sometimes propose a particular recovery.


Verify that you have downloaded all the necessary files

Always have an extra ROM on hand that you know will work with your device. If your phone doesn’t start after flashing the update, you may flash that ROM.

Last but not least, make sure you have downloaded every one of the items specified in the update notes, such as vendor or firmware zips. You can also download the DFE (Disable Force Encryption) file to keep your phone unencrypted after flashing or the Magisk zip file to root your phone.

It’s time to update the ROM once you’ve completed all of this.

1. Use an OTA update to update your ROM

The same process is used to install standard OS or security upgrades on any Android phone when installing an OTA, or over-the-air, update for a custom ROM. Over-the-air updates are sent to devices by developers, and you can download them to your phone via the System Updater app. The simplest approach is this one, however, it’s restricted to a few certain ROMs.

This is how you do it:

  • Go to settings on your phone, scroll down, choose System, then select System Updates or Updater.
  • If the new update does not appear on your device, choose to Check for updates or Refresh.
  • Once the update has been detected, hit the Install button to begin the installation.
  • Your phone will enter recovery mode after you press the button, flash the update, and boot the new ROM.

The updater offers a variety of installation options. Some display the Download option first, and the Install option follows only after the Download is finished. Those others only have a Download and Install button.

The OTA technique is the same as the “dirty flash” technique we’ll describe below. The OTA flashing process is automatic, which is the only distinction. As with the other methods, you don’t have to manually select and flash files or erase any system partitions.

Only use this technique when updating to the subsequent version. Your device could boot into a loop if you use it for different versions.

2. Use the “Dirty Flash” Technique to Update Your ROM

A ROM update that is installed without first wiping any system partitions is referred to as a “dirty flash.” The OTA method is essentially manualized in this case.

With this technique, nothing is erased as you manually flash the updated files from the recovery. Since they can also flash Magisk modules, unique kernels, or some audio mods along with the update, most users prefer this method for updating custom ROMs. 

Also, since your data is still intact when you set up your device, you don’t need to do it again. Because it is suggested for the ROM we are running, we are using the Orange FOX recovery.

Don’t worry if you’re in another recovery; the procedure is the same. Simply browse the aforementioned areas and carry out the necessary steps.

  • Restart your phone in recovery mode.
  • Select the update file by going to the Files area. Tap Add to Queue, then choose the additional file you wish to flash along with the update. If you need to flash additional zips, repeat this procedure.
  • Select Reboot when installation is finished after adding files to the list, then push the slider to the bottom to begin the procedure.
  • If you choose the Reboot after installation option, your phone will start up immediately after flashing all the files. If not, you can reset your phone by tapping Reboot to System. You could get a message stating that your device has successfully been updated after starting.

Use this approach exclusively to upgrade to a new version of the ROM you’re presently running, just as with the OTA method. Never use it to flash an alternative ROM.


3. Use the “Clean Flash” Technique to Update Your ROM

After deleting system partitions such as the vendor, data, internal storage, and others, an update to a ROM is referred to as a “clean flash.” 

It destroys all of your phone’s data and previous settings, much like a factory reset, and after booting, you have to set up the device from scratch. Although it is less practical, everything should go off without a hitch.

Here’s how to do a clean flash:

  • Go to the Wipe section after starting your device in recovery mode.
  • Wipe the following objects at this time.
  • Vendor data for the Dalvik/ART Cache Cache System

If you like, you can also erase the internal storage. If you don’t have a backup of the data on your phone or if you want to keep the ROM files on your phone, you should leave it alone. The ROM files should be transferred to your PC or a USB stick if you want to wipe the internal storage.

Flash the ROM files from the internal storage if it hasn’t been deleted; otherwise, connect your phone to the PC using a USB cord so that the PC can access the phone’s storage. To flash your phone, transfer the ROM files to it.

If the files are stored on a USB drive, attach the drive to your phone using the OTG connection, Select USB Storage from the Files section, choose the files, and then begin flashing.

  • Swipe the slider to start flashing after selecting the ROM from the Files area. Wait until it is finished before answering your phone.
  • When it’s completed, choose Reboot to System to start the ROM. Your phone may take longer than normal to start up since it’s the first boot after a clean flash.
  • After the phone has booted, you’ll need to set it up just as you would a new phone: sign in to your Google account, download applications, restore backups, and adjust settings.


Updating Your Custom ROM

To get the most out of your Android phone, keep your ROM updated. The custom ROM community is large, and the flashing procedure is simple. You can your question in the comment section or on any other forum for your device if you need help from people across the world.