How to change custom rom without losing data

Today I will show you how you can switch custom ROMs without losing your data. Cyanogenmod is one of the most widely used custom rom for android. Couple of months ago Cyanogenmod claimed that it has gained more users than the Blackberry OS which is a big achievement. For those of you who don’t know what custom rom is, It is basically android firmware with some additional features.

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How to install custom ROMs without losing your data?

If you are like me who chose to use a different ROM every 2nd day, then I bet you always wished to have the option to keep all your data while changing to new ROMs. Well You have landed on the right page, below I have mentioned a couple of ways you can avoid data loss installing Custom ROMs.

Titanium Backup – Fail Safe method

Using titanium backup is the most slowest method to keep your data while switching custom ROMs but this method is also the safest because you are not tempering with the system partition. No matter which rom you are installing, you can rest assure that all the ROM features will be remained working afterwards. In my case I am moving from a CFM based Marshmallow rom to Cyanogenmod 13 nightlies.

  1. First of all you have to download and install Titanium backup from this link.
    how to change custom rom without losing data
  2. Once Titanium backup is installed, Open it and follow all the instructions below.
  3. Make sure that your current ROM and your next ROM is rooted because Titanium backup requires root to work properly.
  4. After opening Titanium backup, it will ask you to grant the root access, grant it and it should proceed into the app.
    change custom rom without losing data
  5. Now ignore all the pop ups you see and tap on the Menu key as shown in the image below.
    changing custom rom without losing data
  6. After going in the menu, tap on Batch actions and select Backup all apps. This will open another screen, there you have to select “User” and tap on Check mark.
    change custom rom with no data lost
  7. Now Titanium backup will start Backing up all the apps that you installed. This will not include those apps which are built into the ROM or installed via recovery. This step will take a long time if you have many apps.
  8. Just let the titanium backup run and once it’s done backing up, Now you can Reboot into recovery and install the new ROM. Wipe Data/Factory Reset > Install ROM zip > Install Super SU zip, GApps and any other zip you want to install and reboot back into new ROM.

Important: Make sure that your new ROM comes pre-rooted. Cyanogenmod and many other famous ROMs are not rooted out of the box that is why I have mentioned, Install Super SU zip.

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  • Now you have to install Titanium Backup again and Open it in new ROM. I recommend you to download apk file from here so that you wouldn’t have to download it every time.
  • Titanium Backup will ask for root access, grant it the access and ignore all the pop-ups you see. Now tap on Menu button.
  • Now scroll a little down and select Restore All apps. This will restore all the apps you have along with their data and progress.
    how to change custom rom without losing data 10
  • This will take a long time to restore so I recommend you to put your phone on charging and have a cup of coffee or tea.
  • Once the restore process is done, you will have all the apps, Games along with the progress and settings.

If you liked it then share it with others on twitter, Google+ and If you want a faster method then continue reading.

Recovery method – Faster but not recommended

The only thing that I don’t like about titanium backup is that it takes a hell of a time in backing up and restoring all the apps. Sure you can cut down the time a little by restoring apps without data but that is not why you keep the data right?

There is another way you can go on this, I am calling it the Recovery method and I would warn you that this is not recommended unless you just hate titanium backup. This method will most probably break the features on new ROM so do it at your own risk.

  1. Download the ROM you want to install and save it in the SD Card.
  2. Reboot into recovery and go to backup section.
  3. Now go to Advanced backup and create a new backup of only the Data Partition. This will take a little time but it would not be longer.
  4. Once the backup is done. Navigate to main menu of Recovery and select Wipe Data/ Factory Reset. In TWRP you have to tap on wipe and Slide to wipe.
  5. Now Proceed with the installation of your new ROM. You will also have to install the SuperSU zip if the ROM does not come pre-rooted.
  6. Then go to Backup/Restore section of the ROM and go to Advanced restore.
  7. Now restore the data backup we created in step 3.
  8. I recommend you to wipe delvik cache before booting into the system.

Now you should hopefully have a “working” ROM with your old data. Don’t blame me if you go in boot loop or anything worse happen to your phone. There is a big risk of soft bricking your phone with this method but in some scenarios it works.

That is it guys. If you liked our efforts and found it helpful then make sure to share it with your friends and followers on social networks and follow us on @d_geeky and +DrGeeky. Also subscribe to our newsletter if you haven’y already.


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