If you’ve made it this far, you probably know why you want CyanogenMod on your Samsung Galaxy S5. However, if you don’t know all of the amazing functions CyanogenMod is capable of, you should take a look.
For those looking to get straight to installing this custom smorgasbord, let’s first tackle the risks to installing this custom ROM.
What are the risks?
While CyanogenMod doesn’t require a root, it still shares a few inherent risks with the rooting process, and some of the same precautions. The biggest risk is of course bricking your phone, but this risk is quickly mitigated by paying attention to which files you download and flash.
If you end up flashing CyanogenMod meant for the S4, it will, without a doubt, brick your Galaxy S5. Pay attention to the model, and even the carrier of the ROM file you download, and always backup your device before attempting any major installations.
However, that’s enough of the scary stuff, let’s see what steps you need to take to install CyanogenMod on your Samsung Galaxy S5, and what you’ll need on hand to do it.
What you’ll need:
- USB Debugging needs to be enabled on your device.
- You’ll need a Micro USB cable to connect your phone to a PC.
- A ZIP file containing the appropriate CyanogenMod files.
- TK GApps files if you want access to the Google Play Store on your phone.
- A recent version of TWRP Recovery.
- Samsung Drivers installed on your PC.
- Your phone needs to accept the installation of apps from unknown sources (ie: not Google Play), in your Settings and Security.
- A way to backup all of your information, because it all of it will be wiped.
- A Micro SD card to store information.
- Your phone charged above 70% battery or more.
- 10 to 15 minutes of your time.
This won’t take too long, so let’s get started.
The first thing we need to do is get a hold of the CyanogenMod files we need. We can do that by visiting the CyanogenMod website.
Once on their website, we’ll need to:
- Scroll down until you reach your version of the Samsung Galaxy S5, or if on a PC, hit Ctrl + F and search for Samsung to have it highlighted immediately.
There are multiple different versions of it here for different countries and carriers, but you’ll want the link that matches the Galaxy S5 that you have. If you got your phone through Sprint, for example, select Sprint, if it was through Verizon, select Verizon, etc.
- For this example, I’m going to be using Sprint, but no matter the version, the way to download it is the same. After clicking the appropriate link, you’ll be taken to a new page where you’ll be prompted to download the latest release of CyanogenMod.
- Click the link that says Download Latest Release.
While that’s downloading, let’s secure what we need next.
The next bundle of files you’ll need to download is for TK GApps, which is what you’ll need along with your custom ROM in order to still access the Google Play Store.
To download these files, you’ll need to head over to the XDA developer forums (the download link above). This thread contains everything you need, but read over the information carefully so you don’t download anything you don’t intend to.
Different packages are available depending on what apps and features you are looking for, so take a look at all of the choices before you download.
Once you have what you need, make sure it’s in a place you can easily reach, because we still have one more step to take before installing CyanogenMod.
This is more of a warning than a step, but be absolutely make sure you have all of your important data backed up. The last thing you want is for something to go wrong, and then be left with a malfunctioning phone devoid of anything useful.
Backing up your phone doesn’t take very long, and it’ll save you a headache in the long run.
If you have everything you need, let’s do the last of the prep work.
- Connect your phone via USB cable to your PC.
- Add both the CyanogenMod files and the TK GApps files (in their packed–ZIP file–forms) to your secondary storage, such as an SD card.
- Now disconnect your phone from your PC once the files are done transferring.
- Once your phone is powered off, put it into recovery mode. You can do this by holding Volume Up + Power + Home all together until your phone shows the Samsung logo.
- Next we’ll begin wiping your phone’s current data. First, navigate to your Wipe Data and Format Options, then Factory Reset, and then finally Wipe all user data.
- After this, Wipe Cache, and Wipe Dalvick can also be found under Wipe Data and Format Options. If not, they could also be under advance settings.
- Once both all three of these are done, return to recovery mode.
Next we need to go to Install Zip so we can start the install process of both CyanogenMod, and TK GApps.
- From recovery mode, open Install Zip.
- After opening, go to Install from SD card and then locate the CyanogenMod zip file before selecting it.
- Hit Yes to confirm your selection and then wait for the installation to finish.
- Now head back to recovery, and do the same above in this step, except with the TK GApps zip file.
- Once both have finished installing, go back to recover and select Reboot Now.
If you did everything correctly, as you reboot you should have the little CyanogenMod mascot on screen as you boot for the first time with the ROM. Booting for the first time with a new ROM will take longer than usual, but once you’re at your home screen, you can start restoring your data as soon as possible.
CyanogenMod opens up various options for Android phones, even without rooting. There are plenty of features to access and enjoy on CyanogenMod enabled phones, so why not take the time to explore them?
If you need any additional help, there’s also an informational wiki available to help guide new users, as well as experienced ones. No matter your experience level with custom ROMs, CyanogenMod should continue to impress.
If you’re ever worried about the hassle of updating your ROM when newer versions release, there’s an easy way to stay on top of the latest updates. However, if CyanogenMod isn’t your ROM of choice, please share your go to custom ROM in the comments below!