There are many steps to installing LineageOS on your Android device. Unfortunately, many of the instructions can be specific to your device. But we can help you understand the basics of what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. That way, each step and aspect won’t seem quite so confusing.
Ultimately, you will be flashing, or replacing, the previous software on your Android with the LineageOS software. This will give you a plethora of customization and security options for your device.
Step 1: Install
In this step, you will be installing the software your device needs in order to handle LineageOS. You will need to hook up your Android device to a computer that can run a basic operating system like Windows, Mac, or Chrome.
From there, you will need to install Android Debug Bridge (ADB) which helps you to communicate with a device. It is usually hosted by Google, which makes it more trustworthy.
Step 2: Download
Next, you can install the version of LineageOS that best matches your device. You can find these on the LineageOS Wiki. If you find more than one file that matches your device, you’ll want the one that was uploaded most recently.
You will also need to download a Custom Recovery Package. For both the recovery package and the LineageOS download, you should be selecting the one for your exact device. Finally, you’ll have to download a Google Apps package.
Step 3: Backup
This step is extremely important. If you have anything of value on your Android device, now is the time to back it up somewhere else. Once you move past this step, you will most likely lose all of your information. It will be like a factory reset. There are lots of options for this, so pick the one that works best for your device.
Step 4: Connect
After backing up your information, you will need to go into your device’s developer settings to enable debugging and unlocking options. When that is ready, you can use a USB cord to connect your Android to your PC.
Step 5: Unlock
Here comes the tough part. You will need to follow device-specific instructions to unlock your bootloader. When you first turn on your machine, the “bootloader” is what starts up all the software. Simply put, it’s what boots up your device. When you unlock it, you allow processes in there to be flashed (or replaced).
Typically, unlocking the bootloader requires a handful of basic commands. Some of these include the following: verifying your connection, rebooting your machine, checking the mode, and unlocking the bootloader.
Once you’ve unlocked this, your Android will automatically reboot and reset. As you set it up again, make sure the debugging is still turned on (see step 4).
Step 6: Flash
Okay, now you have unlocked everything and you’re ready to get LineageOS into your device.
You can now start up the ADB and input some processing commands that will check your connection and put you into fastboot mode. You should be using the LineageOS instructions for your exact device. This should activate your custom recovery package.
Next you’ll wipe and format your data. Then you can find the file for LineageOS and install it, or flash it, onto your device. Finally, you can flash your Google Apps into your new system as well. You’ll reboot one final time, and then you’ll be able to personalize your phone!
While these are very general instructions (we highly encourage you to follow device-specific instructions for this process), we hope that they will give you some guidance as you prepare for installation. It may seem like a lengthy process, but the freedom and options that LineageOS can give you are well-worth the effort.