How to install


  • Compatible device. Check here, or download EX Kernel Manager, which will automatically download the correct version of ElementalX (if available for your device)
  • Unlocked bootloader.  The procedure for unlocking the bootloader varies by manufacturer.  Please visit to find instructions for your device.  This is a one-time procedure that will factory reset your device.  Unlocking the bootloader will allow you to use a custom recovery and install a custom kernel
  • Install fastboot and adb.  Fastboot and adb are handy programs that you install on your PC that can be used to interact with your Android device.  Download the SDK Platform Tools here.  Fastboot is necessary to flash a custom recovery, while adb is optional (but will make many things easier)
  • TWRP recovery.  TWRP is the best custom recovery available, please download TWRP for your device here
  • SuperSU or Magisk (optional).  SuperSU and Magisk are used to root your Android device.  Please note that you do not need to root your device to use ElementalX, but you need root if you want to change any kernel settings or tweak your device for performance or battery life


Part 1: How to install ElementalX

1. Enter TWRP recovery

You usually don’t have to install TWRP permanently, on most devices you can boot into recovery from fastboot mode. First, download TWRP for your device. To boot into TWRP, first reboot to bootloader:

adb reboot bootloader

Next, enter the following command to boot into TWRP while in fastboot mode:

fastboot boot [path to TWRP recovery image]

2. Backup stock boot image. 

This is very important to ensure you can return to a 100% stock state.

Option 1: backup in TWRP

In TWRP recovery, select “Backup” and then put a checkmarks beside “boot”. The boot partition is where the kernel is stored.  You should name your backup so you will remember it easily.  Your stock boot.img will be saved on your device’s sdcard.

Option 2: backup in EX Kernel Manager

If the phone is already rooted, you can simply use EX Kernel Manager. Open Tools and select Kernel Backup. Tap the save icon at upper right and it will save the currently installed kernel as an *.img file on your sdcard. This backup file can be restored in EXKM, in TWRP recovery, or using the fastboot boot command.

3. Root your device (optional)

If you would like root access to your device, install Magisk. Root access will give you full control over your device and allow you to backup and restore kernels, change settings and tweak your device with EX Kernel Manager.

To install Magisk, download to your device and reboot to TWRP recovery where you can flash the installation zip. Make sure you reboot into your system after the installation process completes. Ensure that root is correctly installed and working.

At this step, make another backup of the stock rooted kernel.  Now that you are rooted, you can do this very easily in EX Kernel Manager by selecting Tools->Kernel Backup. This will save the boot image.

4. Install ElementalX

If your phone is rooted and you have EX Kernel Manager, open the app and go to the ElementalX screen and it will automatically download and install the latest version of ElementalX.

If you don’t have EX Kernel Manager, download the latest version of ElementalX to your device, reboot to TWRP recovery and flash the ElementalX zip.


Part 2: How to install an OTA system update

If you have followed the steps above, you will be able to install OTA updates.  When a system update notification appears, you will need to first restore your stock boot image.  After you have restored your stock boot image, on most devices, the OTA will install correctly (assuming you have not modified anything else on your device)

1. Restore the stock kernel backup using EX Kernel Manager

2. Reboot

3. Reboot to Android

4. Install the OTA. Let it fully complete and ensure everything installed correctly.

5. You will need to install Magisk and ElementalX again


Part 3:  How to install system updates if the OTA fails

If the OTA fails to install, or you didn’t backup the stock boot and recovery images, here is the procedure to install system updates.

For Nexus/Google devices:

  1. Download the latest factory image for your device here
  2. Extract the zip on your PC
  3. For Windows, open the flash-all.bat script and remove the “-w” option.  For Mac or Linux, open the script and remove the “-w” option.  If you do not remove the “-w” this procedure will factory reset your device (i.e wipe all your data!)
  4. Connect your device to a PC via USB cable
  5. Reboot to bootloader  (adb reboot bootloader)
  6. Execute the script (flash-all.bat for Windows or for Mac/Linux).  This will update your device’s system and firmware
  7. Reboot to your system to allow the update to complete and ensure everything installed correctly
  8. You will need to install Magisk and ElementalX again

For other devices:

The procedure for system updates on non-Nexus/Google devices varies by manufacturer.  Please go to XDA for help. For many devices, flashable zips are available that can be flashed in TWRP recovery.