Every Android device you buy comes with a stock recovery which is a separate bootable partition on your operating system. That’s important for doing jobs like taking a factory reset, applying some updates and wipe the cache partition. If you want to install a custom ROM and not use the stock ROM that comes with your device, you’ll need to install a custom recovery. The custom variation of the recovery lets users upload zip files and install them. Including the new ROM in a zip file is the only way we know how to install a custom ROM.

Samsung Galaxy S5

Files You Need

  1. Download the CWM recovery file from here.
  2. Download the Samsung USB Drivers for mobile phones from the official Samsung Developers page.
  3. Download the Odin 3.10 from here. If the Odin version 3.10 link is down at your time of visit, you may use one of the other older versions of the Odin flashing tool.
  4. Installing a custom recovery on the Samsung Galaxy S5 does void the manufacturer’s warranty. You cannot get that warranty back again unless your device doesn’t have Samsung’s Knox security.

Installing CWM recovery on the Samsung Galaxy S5 (SM-G900M)

  1. Download the Odin flashing app to the computer and move the file over to the desktop. You can click and drag that file from the default Downloads folder over to the desktop.
  2. Once you have the Odin app on the desktop of the computer, right-click the mouse over the file.
  3. Select the option called ‘Extract Here’ from the menu.
  4. Double-click and run the Odin app after it’s extracted. You should now have the Odin app running and open on the computer.
  5. Follow the same steps to extract the CWM recovery file so that’s on the desktop and you can use the executable file.
  6. Make sure you have the USB Debugging Mode enabled on the S5 smartphone. You can find that option by navigating to the Menu > Settings > Developer Options > USB Debugging Mode.
  7. Those without the Developers Options can unlock it by navigating to the Menu > Settings > About Device > Tapping over the build number 7 times until it says you are now a developer.
  8. Reboot the Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone to download mode.
  9. Connect the Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone to the computer with the USB cable you would usually use for charging the device’s battery.
  10. If all goes well, the Odin app should change the color of the ID: COM port. This signifies that the Samsung USB Drivers are working.
  11. Click the AP button and browse the desktop for the custom recovery file — remember that you need to have extracted that file for this to work.
  12. Click the Start button and the Odin app will now flash that custom recovery on your Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone.

All you need now is to know how to boot the Samsung Galaxy S5 into the custom recovery mode you just installed.