How To: The Super Fast & Easy Way to Install CyanogenMod on Your Samsung Galaxy S3 (No Rooting)

The Super Fast & Easy Way to Install CyanogenMod on Your Samsung Galaxy S3 (No Rooting)

The Super Fast & Easy Way to Install CyanogenMod on Your Samsung Galaxy S3 (No Rooting)

It seems nowadays the word "easy" has taken on an alternate meaning. When I see "easy," I expect a quick and painless process, but when it comes to flashing or installing a custom ROM, easy means anything but.

That's the main reason I've avoided installing CyanogenMod on my Samsung Galaxy S3—because "easy" never really seemed so easy.

For example, on the Nexus 7, you had to unlock your bootloader, have a custom recovery, and use a root toolkit to install CyanogenMod and Gapps. On the HTC One, it was a similar process, minus the toolkit.

That doesn't sound so easy to me. I want to do even less work, and I want it to take me five minutes or less.

Luckily, the folks over at CyanogenMod heard my complaints and have created quite possibly the easiest and fastest way to install a custom ROM ever—NO rooting and NO bootloader unlocking involved. Let's install it on my GS3 and see just how easy it really is.

Compatibility & Back Up

The installation of CyanogenMod 10.2 will factory reset your device, so make sure you back up your GS3 in case you need it.

If your device isn't even compatible, you will be shit out of luck. If you are not sure if your Android device is compatible with this pain-free method, check out their list of supported devices.

Step 1: Enable USB Debugging

Now, on your GS3, you'll need to enable USB Debugging. You can do this by going to Menu -> Settings -> Developer Options and make sure Developer Options is turned ON (if not already). Then, make sure the box next to USB Debugging is checked.

Images via wonderhowto.com

If you do not see Developer Options at first, go to About device and tap on Build number until it says You are now a developer.

Image via wonderhowto.com

Step 2: Download the CM Installer on Your GS3

Now, you'll need to download the "one-click" CyanogenMod Installer from Google Play onto your Android device. After it installs, don't open it just yet. Patience. You will open it up in Step 4 below.

Update: Play Store Version No Longer Available

The above version of CyanogenMod Installer was removed from the Google Play Store, but you can still get it directly from CyanogenMod.

Step 3: Download the CM Installer on Your Windows PC

The device apps alone isn't enough to get the job done, so you'll need to download the companion CyanogenMod Installer for Windows on your PC. You will need to be running Vista or later.

The developers are working on an installer for Macs, so sit tight Apple fans. Linux is also a possibility if demand is high enough.

Step 4: Connect Your GS3 to Your PC

Connect your device to the computer with your USB cable, and then open up the Installer app on your GS3. You may be prompted to enable Camera (PTP) mode for your USB connection. Click continue on the installer and the check the mode in the settings.

Image via wonderhowto.com

Step 5: Run the CM Installer on the PC

Now, run the Installer in Windows. It will automatically update and then detect your plugged-in device.

If you've done everything correctly your device will be detected and you will see this on your GS3 screen.

Step 6: Sit Back & Relax

The installer will now begin to download its goodies. Once it's done downloading, you will see the CyanogenMod blue bot waving you onward.

Image via wonderhowto.com

This is your last chance to back up all of your stuff. You can backup your phone's data using Kies on Windows or Mac or placing it on an SD card.

Now hit install and you are almost done!

During this installation process, your device will turn off and on. Just make sure the USB connection is stable and you should have nothing to worry about.

Step 7: Reboot One Last Time

You can now commence the "Success Dance." Your installation is now complete and your device will restart one last time.

Step 8: Enjoy Your New ROM

Now wasn't that actually easy?

It's great to see CyanogenMod helping the common folks out with this installer, because I've only been using CM on my GS3 for like 5 minutes now and I'm already sad I didn't do it sooner. I mean, I was still stuck on Android 4.1.2. Screw you AT&T and TouchWiz. I now have stock 4.3 with all the softModder bells and whistles for ultimate customization.

Image via wonderhowto.com

The process really couldn't be easier, especially since there's zero rooting and unlocking involved for you, and I never ran into any snags while installing. Did it run as smoothly for you as it did for me?

28 Comments

Hi, I want to do this to my GS3 but just need to know if it can ever be reversed back to its original factory settings and operating system?

same question here. what keeps me still on stock 4.1.2 is the fear of losing my level of reached comfort, if anything goes wrong with new soft/firmware.

also, as far as i understood, Cyanogen leaves you free from all the few goodies Touchwiz has - like movement stuff. what else will you NOT have on Cyanogen? a short but true list would be much appreciated.

The short answer is yes. You can restore back to the original stock ROM (touchwiz) by flashing that stock ROM using ODIN, Samsung Kies, or using Recovery Mode. If you made a backup using something like Nandroid or Titanium backup you can restore back to that using those backup systems. And yes Cyanogen does remove much of the touchwiz items like Smart Stay, Smart Alert, Direct Call, Samsung Link (to your TV), S voice, S Beam, Photo Share, Camera, and so on. But Cyanogen is easily customizable and gives users the option of adding a ton of other non-standard features. It really is up to you to see what fits your tastes.

what, what do you mean - Camera? i cannot believe Cyanogen users are not using cameras on their phones. Apart from that, i'm really looking forward into trying it. I hear they are working on adding their flashing software to Google Playstore so users would be able to try it in even more easier way.

The default camera app is removed, but yes, there still is a camera app in cyanogen.

do we even have to give up fast file transfer methods like nfc and wifi direct? also, is the camera app as good as the touchwiz version?

and what all problems are to be expected after installing cm 10.2 instead of the stable 10.1.3? is it in any way beneficial than 10.1.3?

I'll like to see that for Jelly Bam which is compatible with CyanogenMod. That's because Jelly Bam is way ahead of the original CyanogenMod ROM in terms of customization.

I just attempted to follow the instructions. i went to open the CyanogenMod on my GS3 and it says my device is not compatible. Must mean im shit outta luck.

my device is the 4G samsung galaxy S3 on the virgin network here in Australia.

Any suggestions?

It's most likely that your phone has custom firmware (like a Virgin Mobile modem to work on the network). This was a challenge for me, for I have a Galaxy S2 GT-i9100T and that was firstly, the hardest to find a kernel to root it. Luckily, I found it and then I rooted. Now my S2 is compatible with any GT-i9100 ROM and modem. So here is my suggestion. Browse the web and find a phone specific kernel (like a kernel compatible with your OS and modem. (Be sure to be very specific with your Android version and modem and build number), then flash that by Odin and then reeboot into recovery and then flash supersu.zip (Be sure to download that for S3). Then when you boot up again, you have root privilages (that is, if you done it right) without any loss of data. To install Custom ROM ( i recommend AOKP), download the .zip file to your phone and then do a factory reset (won't delete fils like photos or music), wipe cache and dalvik cahce then flash the ROM and/or GAPPS (Google APPS like Play store). Voila. I am not responsible for anyone's bricking of their device. However, doing it by the CYANOGENMOD installer will wipe all your data, so back it up (I recommend just using the windows explorer, for all your apps will be gone either way).

When they say the galaxy s3 T-Mobile version is compatible, does that also mean the metro pcs version because they're combining?

I was wondering is there an equivalent of the "screen mode" like in TouchWiz. If yes, it would be great if some one post a screenshot of it.

It doesn't work with Verizon Galaxy S3.... F you Verizon and your stupid useless bloatware.

I got version 4.3 pushed to me on Christmas Eve. Galaxy S3 on Verizon.
Is not supported. Thanks Verizon.. You have now crippled my phone !!!

Merry Christmas.

Looking forward TO the next Mod that supports this new Firmware.

Please keep me posted....

Will this work for the i747 s3 from att?

It should work on the i1747 S3. That is what I used for this guide.

I installed this on my S3 (i9300) and now it keeps freezing and I have to reboot it. Also it says there is a new update available from cyanogenmod but it keeps restarting the download when it reaches about halfway. An ideas?

my s3 wont reboot its stuck on the android logo

After installing android 4.4.2. my phone can't connect to internet using my data plan...I already activated data and roaming, needed by my isp, but cannot connect. I SETUP THE APN correctly but nothing happens...any help would be appreciated...

Will this work with my unlocked gsm s3. Im using ultra-me as acarrier. Ive been wanting to root for a while. My phone still 4.2.1. I cannt afford to mess up my phone. This seems to be fast and easy. How come there isnt a vid on this?

I did this to my phone last week. Since then, the battery has been horrible and it reboots once a day for no reason. I wanna go back to the stock mode but i don't have that back up image anywhere. I tried to root it but the PC still just shows "waiting for USB DEBUGGING TO BE ENABLED". I enabled the Anroid Debugging that this rom has but no change. Please help me get back to the stock rom so i can root my phone.

Alexisrivera00@gmail.com

I just did this with my G3 and I can not get the wifi hotspot to work. It shows it broadcasting and I can connect to it but it will not allow anything to connect to the internet. Any ideas? Thanks!!!

I've always wanted to get cyanogenmod onto my moto g, but have never wanted to got through the process of rooting. Any way I could get this to work on my moto g?

Hi i would like to do in this method on my GT I9300 please let me know how to update this to 4.4.2

ok i have big issues here..... I have or well had a rooted phone i factorty rested to wipe it clean... Now i did everything to the T here is where i get hung up on.... IT downloads, then goes to the install screen. sits there for a couple of mins. puts my phone in download mode and then from there proceeds to tell me that they can not talk to my phone... I have tried 3 differnt cables as well as Reseting my computer... I"m currently runing windows 8.1 Pro.... Any suggestions ???

Hey I have dobe these all settings
but it is not installing in my Gs4

My Gs4 won't reboot it sticks on android logo any idea plzzzz

i have se international version ... on completing the process i get the message in my computer that the mod is installed but on my phone i get clockworkmod option to root the phone yes/no.

on selecting either option phone just gets reverted to factory mode with android 4.3............... so what to do ............

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