So, you may have heard of Cyanogenmod. You may have seen other people with it on their Android devices. But what IS it, exactly? We’re here to help you understand.
Cyanogenmod is far and away the most popular Custom ROM available for Android phones. Where most ROMs are available on only one device, Cyanogenmod is made by a team of developers working on different devices, so there’s versions available for a ton of the most popular Android phones on the market. Cyanogen releases often provide the newest versions of Android well in advance of ┬átheir official availability on most devices, and also adds lots of nice features and tweaks that make it hard to go back to the stock experience.
If you’d like to take the plunge, here’s a quick and easy guide to getting the ROM up and running on your device. Installing Cyanogenmod should be a relatively painless experience for users who have already rooted their devices–if you haven’t yet, check out Lockergnome’s rooting guides or do a google search for “(your device) root guide.” This guide will assume you already have root access on your phone.
Will My Device Support Cyanogenmod?
This is the first question you need to ask yourself before the install. Cyanogenmod is on a lot of devices, but not all. You can get Cyanogenmod for Nexus One, HTC Dream/Magic (G1), HTC Evo 4G, Droid Incredible, Original Droid, and many others. Here’s a list of devices with stable Cyanogenmod releases. If you have a device on the list, read on to get started!
What does Cyanogenmod have that my stock ROM doesn’t?
The Cyanogenmod feature list is extensive, but some of the main benefits of upgrading are a customized, optimized music player, music controls on the┬álock-screen, an addition to the notifications bar with switches to turn on and off your phone’s various antennas (WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, etc.), along with a myriad of speed and performance tweaks. You may also get a whole new version of Android once you install Cyanogenmod with all of the features and benefits that comes with that OS. If you aren’t on Android 2.2 but your device has a Cyanogen release, you’ll be on 2.2 once Cyanogenmod is installed.
1. Install ROM Manager
Installing an app called ROM Manager is the easiest way to get Cyanogenmod on your device. It’s going to make it easy to install whatever ROM you like (including Cyanogenmod), as well as make backups, restore backups, and much more. Head over to market and install ROM Manager.

2. Back up your current ROM
It’s best o make a backup of your current ROM before installing a new one, so we’ll do this first. Open ROM Manager, give it root access and then select the Backup Current ROM option from the main ROM manager screen. If all of the options in ROM Manager are greyed out, you might need to install ClockworkMod Recovery before you can go any further, so do that first–then you’ll be able to continue on.
Once you click the Backup Current ROM option, your device will reboot into recovery, perform the backup, and then reboot back into the Android OS. Open ROM Manager again.
3. Download and Install Cyanogenmod
Once you’re back in ROM Manager, select the Download ROM option and then select the CyanogenMod option from the next screen. It will ask you what version to install, you should usually pick the most recent stable version (Right now it’s 6 or 6.1 for most phones). If it asks you if you want to install Google Apps, say yes–Google apps are important things like GMail and the browser.
It wil then download the ROM image from the Internet (now is a good time to turn on WiFi if you’re near an access point–this image is over 100MB). When it’s done, it should ask you if you want to backup your current ROM and / or wipe Data and Cache. You don’t need to make a backup since you did it in the previous step, but it’s a good idea to wipe data and cache. Keep in mind this option will erase all of your apps and settings, but they should be easy to get back from the Market once Cyanogenmod installs.
Your phone will then reboot, wipe your DATA partition, and then install the ROM. Once you reboot again, you’ll be back in your new Cyanogenmod Android OS! Set up your phone and sync your accounts as usual, and your apps from before should start download immediately. You’re set up!