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How to Upgrade Samsung Galaxy S4, i9500 to CM12.1(Android 5.1.1)

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Unlike the HTC upgrade to CM, upgrading most Samsung android devices to CM are really easy in as much as you have had any compatible custom recovery installed on the phone.
In this tutorial, I discuss how to upgrade your Samsung Galaxy S4 to CM 12.1 (Android 5.1.1).

First, the requirements: 
1- Custom Recovery: before you can be able to flash custom ROM on the phone, a compatible custom recovery must be flashed on the phone. In my opinion, I recommend TWRP recovery for the Samsung Galaxy S4, i9500.
Learn how to flash custom recovery on all Samsung Android devices here.

2- CM 12.1 ROM: now, you need to download CM 12.1 (Android 5.1.1) either on the phone or onto your PC from the link here.

3- GApps: GApps are packages designed for every android versions. GApps are mostly required for every custom ROM to function properly.
You may download compatible GAPPS  for the CM 12.1 here.


1- First, if you have downloaded the custom ROM and GApps from the link above, I suggest that you move them to the root of the SD Card.

2- Boot to Recovery: remember that you need either of the compatible custom recovery flashed on your Samsung Galaxy S4, i9500 to carry out this operation.
Now, you should boot to recovery. You may use CM Recovery, ClockWorkMOD Recovery or TWRP Recovery.


i- Wipe Data/Factory Reset the Phone. On TWRP Recovery, simply select "Wipe".
ii- Select the "Install from SD Card" or "Install" for TWRP Recovery users.
iii- Navigate to the cm 12.1 ROM you downloaded and select it. Wait few seconds for the installation to complete.
iv- Following the same routine, flash the GAPPS on the phone as well.

This is for those that already have earlier version of CM ROM installed on the Samsung Galaxy S4 and wished to upgrade to the CM 12.1, android 5.1.1.

i- Once you are in the recovery, choose "Install from SD Card" or "Install" for TWRP Recovery users.
ii- Navigate to the cm 12.1 ROM you downloaded and select it. Wait few seconds for the installation to complete.
iii- Following the same routine, flash the GAPPS on the phone as well.

Meanwhile, in either case, I suggests that you back up your files in case you have corrupt partitions in the upgrade. Here is detailed tutorial on how to backup your SMS (Text Messages) and backing up your Whatsapp messages is here. You may also want to backup your applications, here is how to back up your applications.

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