The Motorola Nexus 6 by Google is one of the best smartphones for customizing away from the default factory restrictions. The easiest way to change the way your device looks is with a custom ROM. We are posting several guides with some of our favorite custom ROMs for the Nexus 6 and the CyanogenMod 12 ROM makes that list.

Most of you know the Cyanogenmod name by now because they are one of the best in the rooting business. Here’s where it gets confusing: you have CM, Cyanogen, CyanogenMod and CyanogenMod Inc. who apparently are all different people making different ROMs. Put it down to a name that’s grown so big that it has a great deal of people working under the name.


You can install the ROM on your daily phone. It doesn’t come with as many features as some of the other options out there. However, it is nice and stable in typical CM fashion. Even though the features are thinner, it does still come with a new status bar, ambient display, exclusive CM wallpapers, AudioFX, custom file manager, custom profiles, extra volume for the sound and more.

Before starting the installation guide you ought to read through the list of essentials. Here you will learn what you need to complete the steps, the risks involved in following them and more.

  • You cannot begin installing custom firmware or ROMs unless you have root access. When we buy a phone direct from the manufacturer of phone carrier, we are buying a locked device. By locked I’m not referring to locked to a carrier network, but the system internal locked away so people cannot use the software and hardware freely. By opening the OS away from the default factory restrictions we can then install custom ROMs such as this one from CyanogenMod.
  • You must have the bootloader unlocked and a custom recovery installed.
  • There are known radio issues after the update. The developer recommends flashing the new radio file from Android 5.0.1 Lollipop and using that from CDMA services.
  • Stopover at the Developer Options menu and tick the box that enables USB Debugging mode.
  • Install the up to date USB Drivers from third-party links or the official website. Only use trusted links for the drivers so you are not installing a bunch of adware along with the fake file.
  • All the files in this post are coming directly from official XDA Developers threads. Therefore, the files should be safe. Nothing is added by us or anyone we know.
  • Make sure you have at least 50% battery power before starting the guide. You can check how much battery you have by looking at the battery icon available from the status bar.
  • Take a Nandroid backup of the current ROM so you have a mirror image stored for later. You are wiping the ROM clean during the installation. That means the pictures, phone contacts, video and music is all wiped unless you take the Nandroid.
  • You can use Titanium backup if you prefer. Some of the other custom ROM choices had issues with restoring from Titanium. However, this developer has not mentioned anything on his thread.
  • You cannot rely on the USB charging feature this time for the battery because it’s not connecting to a computer for all the guide.
  • You must have a computer, notebook or laptop computer running any OS from Windows, Mac or Linux. We need to transfer the files from the computer to the phone. It’s the safest way for transferring the files.
  • Do not skip the computer and transfer the files directly to the smartphone because it can results in unsuccessful installations.

How to update the Nexus 6 with CyanogenMod 12 custom ROM

  1. Download the official ROM pack from here.
  2. Download the Google Gapps you need from here.
  3. Transfer the files by copying and pasting to the internal SD card of the phone.
  4. Turn off the Nexus 6.
  5. Boot it back up in the custom recovery mode.
    – you can use TWRP or CWM recovery.
  6. Press the keys for entering recovery or install the reboot manager app from Google Play.
  7. Take the Nandroid backup.
  8. Wipe data and factory reset
  9. Install the ROM file by following your steps for the recovery of your choice.
    – tap the “install” or “install from SD card” for ClockworkMod users.
  10. Go back and install the gaps pack the same way.
  11. tap back to the main menu and reboot the device in normal mode.
  12. You are running the new ROM after the device boots. The first booting process takes longer than unusual. It goes back to the usual time after the next boot.
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