How to Install Custom Kernels on Your Android Device

Hey strikers! Are you looking to take your Android device to the next level? Well, you’re in luck because today we’re going to talk about how to install custom kernels on your Android device. Custom kernels can enhance your device’s performance, battery life, and even unlock advanced features. Exciting, right?

Now, you might be wondering what exactly a kernel is and why you should consider installing a custom one. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about custom kernels and walk you through the entire installation process. So, let’s dive in!

WhatsApp Group Join Now
Telegram Group Join Now

Understanding Custom Kernels

What is a Kernel?

Before we dive into the world of custom kernels, let’s start by understanding what a kernel is in the context of Android devices. In simple terms, a kernel acts as the bridge between the hardware and software of a device. It is the core component of an operating system that manages the system’s resources and allows different software applications to interact with the hardware.

Advantages of Custom Kernels

Now that we have a basic understanding of what a kernel is, let’s explore the advantages of using custom kernels on your Android device. Custom kernels are modified versions of the stock kernel provided by the device manufacturer. They offer several benefits, including:

  1. Performance Optimization: Custom kernels are often optimized for specific devices, which can result in improved performance and faster response times.
  2. Battery Life: Many custom kernels come with power-saving features and tweaks that can help extend your device’s battery life.
  3. Overclocking and Underclocking: Some custom kernels allow you to overclock (increase the clock speed of your device’s processor) or underclock (decrease the clock speed) to achieve a balance between performance and battery life.
  4. Enhanced Features: Custom kernels often come with additional features such as gesture controls, advanced sound controls, and improved display calibration.
  5. Customization: With custom kernels, you can tweak various settings, such as CPU frequency, GPU settings, and I/O scheduler, to customize your device’s performance according to your preferences.
  6. Compatibility: Custom kernels are usually developed by a passionate community of developers who create kernels for a wide range of Android devices, including older models that may no longer receive official software updates.

By using custom kernels, you can unlock the full potential of your Android device and tailor its performance to suit your needs and preferences.

Investing some time and effort into understanding and installing custom kernels can be a game-changer for your Android experience. But before you begin, there are a few prerequisites you need to take care of. Let’s explore them in the next section.


Before you dive into the exciting world of custom kernels, there are a few prerequisites you need to take care of. These steps are essential to ensure a smooth installation process and to prevent any potential issues with your Android device. So, let’s get started!

Backup Your Device

Before making any major changes to your device, it’s crucial to back up all your important data. Custom kernels can modify your device’s core system files, so it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Here’s how you can back up your Android device:

  1. Use a reliable backup app: There are plenty of backup apps available on the Play Store that can help you back up your apps, photos, contacts, messages, and other data. Some popular options include Titanium Backup, Helium, and Google Backup.
  2. Sync your data with the cloud: Make sure your photos, videos, and other important files are synced to your Google Drive or any other cloud storage service you prefer. This way, even if something goes wrong during the installation process, you won’t lose your precious memories.

Unlocking the Bootloader

To install a custom kernel, you’ll need to unlock the bootloader of your Android device. Unlocking the bootloader allows you to install custom recoveries, ROMs, and kernels. However, it’s important to note that unlocking the bootloader will void your device warranty in most cases. Here’s how you can unlock the bootloader:

    1. Enable Developer Options: Go to your device’s Settings, scroll down to About phone, and tap on it. Look for the Build number and tap on it seven times to enable Developer Options.
    2. Enable USB Debugging: Once Developer Options are enabled, go back to the main Settings menu, scroll down to Developer Options, and tap on it. Look for USB Debugging and toggle it on.
    3. OEM Unlocking: In the Developer Options menu, look for OEM unlocking and toggle it on. You may need to enter your device’s PIN or pattern to enable this option.
    4. Use Fastboot: Connect your device to your computer and open a command prompt or terminal window. Enter the following command to check if your device is recognized:

fastboot devices
If your device is recognized, proceed with the following command to unlock the bootloader:
fastboot oem unlock
Follow the instructions on your device’s screen to confirm the bootloader unlock process. Please note that this process will erase all the data on your device, so proceed with caution.

Installing a Custom Recovery

To install a custom kernel, you’ll need a custom recovery installed on your device. A custom recovery allows you to install custom firmware and kernels, take backups, and perform other advanced tasks. The most popular custom recoveries for Android devices are TWRP (Team Win Recovery Project) and ClockworkMod Recovery. Here’s how you can install TWRP recovery:

    1. Download TWRP for your device: Visit the official TWRP website ( and search for your device. Download the appropriate TWRP image file (.img) for your device.
    2. Enable Developer Options and USB Debugging: Follow the steps mentioned in the previous section to enable Developer Options and USB Debugging on your device.
    3. Enable OEM Unlocking: In the Developer Options menu, make sure OEM unlocking is still enabled.
    4. Boot into Fastboot mode: Power off your device. Once it’s off, press and hold the Volume Down and Power buttons together until you see the Fastboot mode screen.
    5. Connect your device to your computer via USB.
    6. Open a command prompt or terminal window on your computer and navigate to the folder where you downloaded the TWRP image file.
    7. Enter the following command to flash TWRP recovery on your device:

fastboot flash recovery

  1. Replace with the actual name of the TWRP image file you downloaded.
  2. Once the flashing process is complete, use the volume keys to navigate to the “Recovery” option on your device’s Fastboot mode screen. Press the Power button to select it.
  3. Your device will now boot into TWRP recovery. Congratulations, you have successfully installed a custom recovery on your Android device!

Now that you have completed these prerequisites, you are ready to move on to the next step: finding and downloading custom kernels for your device.

Finding and Downloading Custom Kernels

When it comes to finding and downloading custom kernels for your Android device, it’s important to do some research and use trusted sources. Custom kernels can significantly enhance the performance and capabilities of your device, so let’s dive into how to find and download the right custom kernel for your needs.

Trusted Sources for Custom Kernels

To ensure the safety and reliability of custom kernels, it’s best to download them from trusted sources. Here are some reliable platforms to find and download custom kernels:

  1. XDA Developers Forum: XDA Developers is a popular community where developers share their work, including custom kernels. You can find an extensive collection of custom kernels for various Android devices on their forums. Be sure to check the XDA forum specific to your device model for the latest available kernels.
  2. Kernel Adiutor: Kernel Adiutor is an app available on the Google Play Store that not only allows you to tweak kernel settings but also provides a selection of custom kernels. The app has a built-in repository where you can browse and download custom kernels for your device.
  3. ElementalX: ElementalX is a reputable website that offers custom kernels for popular Android devices. They focus on providing kernels that aim to improve battery life and performance. While ElementalX is known for its compatibility with Google Pixel and Nexus devices, they also have options for other devices.
  4. Other Custom Kernel Websites: Some developers maintain their own websites to distribute their custom kernels. If you find a trusted developer who consistently releases reliable kernels, check if they have their own website where you can download their work.

Choosing the Right Kernel for Your Device

With so many custom kernels available, it’s important to choose the one that suits your device and your needs. Here are a few factors to consider when selecting a custom kernel:

  1. Device Compatibility: Make sure the custom kernel you choose is compatible with your specific Android device model. Installing an incompatible kernel can lead to compatibility issues and even brick your device.
  2. Features and Functionality: Different custom kernels offer various features and enhancements. Consider what improvements you’re looking for, such as better battery life, improved performance, or advanced customization options, and choose a kernel that meets those requirements.
  3. Developer Support: Look for custom kernels that have an active community and developer support. Regular updates and bug fixes ensure that the kernel remains stable and reliable. Check if the developer is responsive to user feedback and willing to address issues promptly.
  4. User Reviews and Feedback: Read user reviews and feedback from other users who have installed the custom kernel you’re considering. Their experiences can give you insight into the stability, performance, and overall satisfaction of using that particular kernel.

By considering these factors and using trusted sources, you can find and download a custom kernel that enhances your Android device’s performance and functionality.

Remember to always backup your device before installing a custom kernel, as it can modify system files and potentially cause data loss. Now that you know how to find and download custom kernels, let’s move on to the installation process.

“Finding the right custom kernel for your Android device can transform your smartphone experience. Ensure to choose a trusted source and compatible kernel to enjoy the best performance enhancements.”

Installing the Custom Kernel

Once you’ve found the perfect custom kernel for your Android device, it’s time to install it. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

Flashing the Kernel using Custom Recovery

1. Make sure your device is fully charged or at least has enough battery power to avoid any interruptions during the installation process.

2. Reboot your device into recovery mode. The method to do this varies depending on the device, but it usually involves holding down specific button combinations (such as Power + Volume Down) during the boot-up process. You can also use apps like “Quick Boot” from the Play Store to easily access recovery mode.

3. Once you’re in recovery mode, navigate to the “Install” or “Install ZIP” option. The specific wording may vary depending on the custom recovery you have installed on your device.

4. Locate the custom kernel file that you downloaded earlier. It’s usually in the “Downloads” or “Internal Storage” folder.

5. Select the custom kernel file and confirm the installation by swiping or pressing the appropriate button. The installation process may take a few minutes.

6. After the installation is complete, navigate back to the main menu of the custom recovery and select the “Reboot” or “Reboot System Now” option.

7. Your device should now boot up with the newly installed custom kernel. Congratulations!

Additional Steps for Specific Devices

Some devices may have additional steps or requirements when it comes to installing custom kernels. Here are a few examples:

  • Samsung devices: Samsung devices often require an additional step called “Odin flashing” to install custom kernels. This involves using a software called Odin on your computer to flash the kernel file onto your device. You can find detailed guides on how to do this specific to your device model.
  • Google Pixel devices: Google Pixel devices require an unlocked bootloader and the use of Fastboot commands to install custom kernels. You’ll need to enable USB debugging on your device, connect it to your computer, and use command prompts to flash the kernel file.
  • OnePlus devices: OnePlus devices have a built-in utility called “Advanced Reboot” that allows you to directly boot into recovery mode. To access this, go to “Settings > Developer Options” and enable “Advanced Reboot.” You can then simply reboot into recovery mode and follow the previous steps.

Remember to research specific instructions for your device model to ensure a smooth installation process.

Pro Tip: If you encounter any issues during the installation process, try wiping the Dalvik cache and performing a factory reset from the custom recovery before flashing the custom kernel again. This can help resolve any conflicts or compatibility issues.

With the custom kernel successfully installed on your Android device, you can now enjoy the benefits of improved performance, battery life, and customization options.

Troubleshooting and Rolling Back

Even with proper precautions and careful selection, there may be instances where you encounter issues after installing a custom kernel on your Android device. Don’t worry though! Troubleshooting common problems and having the ability to roll back to the stock kernel will help you overcome any challenges you face. Let’s dive into some troubleshooting tips and the process of restoring the stock kernel.

Common Issues and Fixes

  1. Bootloop: If your device is stuck in a bootloop or continuously restarting, it could be due to an incompatible or faulty custom kernel. To resolve this issue, go into your device’s custom recovery mode and perform a factory reset or wipe data/factory reset. This will remove any conflicting files and allow you to start fresh. Remember to backup your important data before doing this.
  2. Poor Battery Life: One of the potential side effects of using a custom kernel is a decrease in battery life. To address this issue, try the following:
    • Reduce CPU Overclock: Lowering the frequency at which your device’s CPU operates can help conserve battery. Use a kernel manager app to adjust these settings.
    • Enable Battery-saving Modes: Most custom kernels offer additional battery-saving features. Look for options such as “Eco Mode” or “Battery Profile” in your kernel manager app and enable them.
    • Calibrate Your Battery: Sometimes, inaccurate battery readings can lead to poor battery performance. Use a battery calibration app to recalibrate your device’s battery.
  3. Performance Instability: If you notice random freezes, app crashes, or lagging after installing a custom kernel, consider the following solutions:
    • Tweak CPU Governor: Experiment with different CPU governors in your kernel manager app. Each governor has unique performance characteristics, so finding the right one can improve stability.
    • Adjust CPU Boost Frequency: Some kernels have a feature called “CPU Boost,” which increases CPU performance temporarily. Lowering the boost frequency can provide more stability.
    • Undervolt Your CPU: Undervolting reduces the voltage supplied to the CPU, which can help prevent overheating and enhance stability. Be cautious when undervolting and monitor your device’s performance to avoid any adverse effects.

Restoring the Stock Kernel

If you encounter persistent issues or simply wish to revert to the stock kernel, follow these steps to restore it:

  1. Download Official Firmware: Visit your device manufacturer’s website or a reputable source to download the official firmware for your specific device model. Make sure to select the correct firmware version.
  2. Enter Custom Recovery Mode: Power off your device and enter the custom recovery mode. The key combination to enter recovery mode varies among devices. For most devices, it involves holding the power button, volume up, and home buttons simultaneously.
  3. Wipe Cache and Data: In the custom recovery mode, select the “Wipe” or “Advanced Wipe” option, and then choose “Cache” and “Dalvik Cache.” Swipe to confirm the wipe.
  4. Flash Official Firmware: Return to the recovery mode’s main menu and select the “Install” or “Install ZIP” option. Locate the official firmware file you downloaded and confirm the installation.
  5. Reboot Your Device: After flashing the official firmware, select the “Reboot” or “Reboot System Now” option to restart your device. It should now be running on the stock kernel.

Remember that restoring the stock kernel will erase any customizations and modifications made to your device. Ensure you have backed up all important data before proceeding with this process.

By troubleshooting common issues and knowing how to revert to the stock kernel, you’ll have the confidence to experiment with custom kernels on your Android device. Enjoy the benefits of enhanced performance and customization, while having the safety net of easily rolling back if needed.

Tips for Optimizing Kernel Performance

When it comes to optimizing the performance of your custom kernel on your Android device, there are a few key tips that can help you get the most out of your device. By adjusting kernel settings and using kernel manager apps, you can fine-tune your device’s performance to suit your needs. Here are some tips to get you started:

Adjusting Kernel Settings

  1. Governor: The CPU governor determines how your device’s CPU frequency is regulated. Choosing the right governor can have a significant impact on performance and battery life. Popular governor options include “performance” for maximum performance, “powersave” for improved battery life, and “interactive” for a balance of performance and battery life.
  2. I/O Scheduler: The I/O scheduler controls how data is read from and written to your device’s storage. Different schedulers prioritize different aspects such as throughput or responsiveness. Some common options include “deadline” for balanced performance, “cfq” for fairness between processes, and “noop” for a simple and efficient scheduler.
  3. Undervolting: Undervolting involves reducing the voltage supplied to your device’s CPU, which can result in improved battery life and cooler temperatures. However, it’s important to note that undervolting requires careful tweaking and monitoring to avoid stability issues. It is recommended to start with small undervolting increments and test for stability after each adjustment.
  4. GPU Boost: Many custom kernels allow you to adjust the frequency and voltage of your device’s GPU (Graphics Processing Unit). By increasing the GPU frequency, you can enhance gaming performance and graphic-intensive tasks, but this might also lead to increased power consumption.
  5. Entropy Settings: Entropy refers to randomness in the system, which is crucial for tasks like generating cryptographic keys. Adjusting the entropy settings in your kernel can improve the speed and efficiency of such tasks. You can experiment with modifying the entropy pool size to find the optimal setting for your device.

Using Kernel Manager Apps

In addition to adjusting kernel settings manually, you can also take advantage of kernel manager apps available in the Google Play Store. These apps provide a user-friendly interface and make it easier to optimize your device’s kernel without delving into complex settings. Here are a few popular kernel manager apps:

  1. Kernel Adiutor: Kernel Adiutor is a powerful app that allows you to adjust various kernel parameters. It provides a clean and intuitive interface, making it easy for both novice and advanced users to customize their kernel settings. The app also offers features like CPU frequency and temperature monitoring.
  2. Kernel Manager for Franco Kernel: This app is specifically designed for devices using Franco Kernel, a popular custom kernel. Kernel Manager for Franco Kernel allows you to tweak various kernel settings, including CPU and GPU frequencies, I/O schedulers, and governors. It also provides real-time CPU and GPU frequency monitoring.
  3. EX Kernel Manager: EX Kernel Manager is a comprehensive app that supports a wide range of custom kernels. It offers an array of features, including CPU and GPU frequency control, I/O scheduler and governor options, and voltage control for undervolting. The app also includes a system monitor and battery monitor.

By utilizing these kernel manager apps, you can easily optimize and fine-tune your custom kernel for better performance and battery life, all through a user-friendly interface.

Remember, when making changes to your kernel settings or using kernel manager apps, it’s important to proceed with caution and monitor the changes you make. Pay attention to your device’s stability, battery life, and temperature to ensure that any modifications you make are beneficial.

With these tips and tools at your disposal, you can take your Android device to the next level of performance and customization. Enjoy the benefits of a custom kernel tailored to your specific needs!


In conclusion, installing a custom kernel on your Android device can be a great way to enhance its performance and customize its features. By following the step-by-step guide outlined in this article, you can unlock a whole new level of control over your device.

Custom kernels offer several advantages, such as improved battery life, better performance, and additional customization options. They can help you optimize your device to suit your specific needs and preferences. However, it’s important to note that installing a custom kernel may void your device’s warranty and can potentially lead to issues if not done correctly.

Remember to always backup your device before making any changes, and follow the prerequisites carefully. Take the time to research and find trusted sources for custom kernels, and choose a kernel that is compatible with your specific device.

If you encounter any issues during the installation process or experience performance problems after installing a custom kernel, don’t panic. Common issues can often be resolved by troubleshooting techniques, and if necessary, you can always revert back to the stock kernel.

Lastly, for those who want to further optimize their kernel performance, experimenting with kernel settings and using kernel manager apps can provide additional customization options.

Installing a custom kernel can be a rewarding experience for Android enthusiasts who want to take their device to the next level. It allows you to unlock new features and customize your device to suit your preferences. By following the steps outlined in this guide and taking necessary precautions, you can confidently install a custom kernel and enjoy the benefits it offers.

Remember to always proceed with caution and take your time understanding the process before making any changes to your device. With proper research and preparation, you can have a smooth and successful experience with custom kernels on your Android device. Happy exploring!

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are custom kernels for Android devices?
    Custom kernels are modified versions of the device’s stock kernel that offer additional features, performance enhancements, and customization options. They can be installed to optimize and personalize your Android device’s performance.
  2. Why would I want to install a custom kernel on my Android device?
    Installing a custom kernel can unlock several benefits such as improved battery life, better performance, overclocking capabilities, underclocking options, enhanced audio, and access to advanced features. It allows you to fine-tune your device for a better user experience.
  3. Is installing a custom kernel safe for my Android device?
    Installing a custom kernel involves certain risks, and if not done correctly, it can potentially lead to device instability or even bricking. It is important to thoroughly research and follow the installation instructions provided by trusted sources to minimize any potential risks.
  4. How can I install a custom kernel on my Android device?
    The exact process may vary depending on your device model and manufacturer, but in general, you need to unlock your device’s bootloader, install a custom recovery, select and download the custom kernel, and flash it using the recovery mode. It is recommended to follow a step-by-step guide specific to your device for proper installation.
  5. Can I revert back to the stock kernel after installing a custom kernel?
    Yes, it is usually possible to revert back to the stock kernel by flashing the original kernel or firmware through the custom recovery. However, it is essential to create a backup of your device before installing a custom kernel in case you need to revert back to the stock setup.
Share on:
Vijaygopal Balasa

Vijaygopal Balasa is a blogger with a passion for writing about a variety of topics and Founder/CEO of Androidstrike. In addition to blogging, he is also a Full-stack blockchain engineer by profession and a tech enthusiast. He has a strong interest in new technologies and is always looking for ways to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the field.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.