Xiaomi sells affordable smartphones with up-to-date specifications; no wonder it's one of India's best-selling smartphone brands.
However, there's a good chunk of users who disdain Xiaomi for their Android skin. Most of the Xiaomi / Redmi apps run a forked version of Android, known as MIUI (Mi user interface).
Apart from the unintuitive Android skin, Xiaomi also offers its users oblivious advertisements in MIUI apps that, by the way, can not be disabled, at least by traditional means.
That being said, the latest MIUI 11 update, with all of its improvements and UI ( user interface) enhancements, provides a ray of hope for Xiaomi users.
However, I was thinking of making an in-depth article for people who would like to install custom ROMs on their Xiaomi devices and get rid of MIUI once and for all.
How to install custom ROM on the Xiaomi devices?
The custom ROM is a tweaked version of the Android edition. Unlike Android stock in popular smartphones, custom ROMs offer a wide range of customizations.
You can change your phone's theme, get faster Android updates, and a lot more because installing custom ROM and rooting go hand-in-hand.
Installing a custom ROM on Xiaomi devices is a difficult task, involving a variety of dangers, such as unresponsiveness, and, worst of all, a bricked device. I would encourage you to back up your phone using the Xiaomi cloud or third party software.
Here are the steps to mount custom ROM on MIUI devices without further ado:
1. Unlock the bootloader of the Xiaomi device
Unlocking a bootloader is a pretty obvious first step in the Android ecosystem on the way to installing a custom ROM. Unfortunately, Xiaomi has the most humiliating unlocking operation. Xiaomi is making an agonizing wait for its users to unlock the bootloader.
Prerequisites for unlocking the bootloader: – A working Xiaomi account synced with your phone number – Developer settings toggled ON – Mi Unlock Tool
Unlocking the MIUI bootloader –
1. Turn on Find my device under Mi Account > Mi Cloud.
2. Go to Mi Unlock Status in Developer settings and tap on “Add account and device.”
3. Turn on USB debugging in the Developer settings.
4. Login in the Mi Unlock tool application installed on PC.
5. Connect your device to the PC and start the unlocking procedure.
If all goes well, the Mi Unlock device will reveal the error, "Don't unlock it. Wait 168 hours, "i.e. users will have to wait for the request to be processed by Xiaomi and try again.
2. Install a Custom Recovery
Most of the Android apps come with Quick recovery. Recovery is basically a small Linux that allows users to perform numerous tasks, such as resetting a computer in a factory, downloading a custom image, and more.
However, the pre-installed Android recovery limits users from perform tasks that may interfere with the operation of the system.
Prerequisites for installing a Custom Recovery – ADB and Fastboot SDK – A custom Recovery zip file (Here, I have used OrangeFox Custom Recovery)
How to Install a Custom Recovery on the Xiaomi device?
1. Download the Android SDK and install it on your PC.
2. Go to Start and Open Command Line (CMD).
3. Power off the Xiaomi device. Now, hold the power button + Volume Down to get into the device’s Fastboot mode.
4. Connect your Xiaomi Device to the PC using the USB cable.
5. Back to the CMD window, type fastboot devices, and press Enter.
6. Download the custom recovery image for your device.
7. Copy the file to the ADB source folder.
8. Now, type fastboot flash recovery (name of the downloaded file).img, and press Enter.
9. Disconnect the device and boot up into the recovery mode via holding the Power button + Volume up.
If you are facing the error, “Could not load the file,” that means you have not copied the recovery file to the ADB original folder.
3. Install a Custom ROM
Before we move on, bear in mind that installing a Custom ROM will cancel the warranty of the device. However, you can restore it by installing the original MIUI ROM and restoring the MIUI recovery on your computer.
In case the device is softly bricked. Follow this tutorial to restore the previous MIUI Original ROM for your device using fast boot.
Prerequisites for installing a Custom ROM – A custom ROM Zip File (Here, I am using Pixel Experience. The custom ROM brings Google Pixel-like UI on other Android devices.) –GApps Zip file (Google applications are required in several custom ROMS)
How to install a Custom ROM on the Xiaomi device?
1. Download the custom ROM for your device.
2. Transfer the file to your device’s internal storage using the USB cable.
3. Boot the device to the custom recovery by pushing the Power button + Volume Up button simultaneously.
4. Navigate to the zip file on the custom recovery and install it.
5. Once the above process is complete, wipe data and cache of your device.
Each custom retrieval offers a different interface. However, you can find the settings listed above in almost all of them.
If the custom ROM does not include the GApps, download the zip file and install the Google Apps using the same method; however, in this case, you do not need a wide range of data/cache.
How to get Pixel on Xiaomi/Redmi devices –
There are a bunch of custom ROMs you can install on your Xiaomi device. However, if you want a Google Pixel-like experience on your Redmi computer, I would recommend that you install the Pixel Experience.
Additionally, installing Pixel's custom ROM experience does not allow users to install GApps.
If you are downloading a custom ROM for the first time, expect a lot of obstacles and glitches along the way. The trick to mounting custom ROMs on Android is to keep messing around the process until you get it right.
Comment below if you have any problems. I'm going to try my best to help you with that.