How to install the official Cyanogenmod 12.1 ROM on the Xiaomi Mi 4

The Xiaomi Mi 4 is a great device, but is one of the unfortunate devices not to have a Lollipop Update.

Xiaomi Mi 4 CM 12.1 homescreen

Well, when OEMs fail to provide a solution, we hae only one option. To install a custom ROM.

We will be guiding you on how to install the official Cyanogenmod CM 12.1 ROM on the Xiaomi Mi 4. The firmware is based on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop.


Androidpure and the author are not responsible for any damage you incur. Proceed at your own risk. Perform a nandroid backup of your current firmware.

Backup the EFS (IMEI) partitions by using the Partitions backup & restore app (requires root). Backup all your data, pics, videos, SMS, etc.

Install the official CM 12.1 ROM on the Xiaomi Mi 4

1. Download the official Cyanogenmod CM 12.1 ROM for the Xiaomi Mi 4 from the Cyanogen website and copy it to your phone.

2. Also download the TWRP Recovery img and copy it to your phone.

3. You will also need a GAPPS package to use Google services, so download it by selecting an option from the wiki. I recommend the Open GAPPS packages. The ARM minimal version should do just fine.

4. Since the Mi 4 has two system partitions, you will need to have CWM recovery to install the ROM to the active partition. Download it from here, and flash the CWM recovery using either the fastboot method or from your device’s recovery. (I used the cwm 11 version)

5. Wipe the data and cache partitions using the CWM recovery. (Do NOT wipe the storage completely, as it will delete all your files)

6. Select install zip and choose the Cyanogenmod ROM file which you copied to the phone, and flash the firmware.

7. Reboot the phone.

Tip: CWM touch recovery is a bit odd in that you must use swipe gestures to navigate and confirm the action. Swipe up or down to scroll, and swipe right to confirm the action.

If you do not use CWM, your phone will boot into MIUI even after you flash the Cyanogenmod ROM, because by default TWRP or other recoveries, flash the ROM to your 1st partition, which is not the active one.

Install GAPPs on Xiaomi Mi 4:

If you try installing the GAPPS on CWM, you will get an error which says you need to use TWRP. Read our previous article to install TWRP recovery on the Mi 4, or just flash TWRP when you are booted into CWM. Flash the GAPPS file and wipe dalvik/cache partitions and reboot the device.

Congratulations, you now have Cyanogenmod CM 12.1 on the Xiaomi Mi 4.

To enable root on CM 12.1, first enable developer mode by navigating to Settings > About Phone > Build number (tap on it 7 times). This will unlock the developer options. Now, navigate to Settings>Developer Options > Root access. Select Apps and ADB (or Apps only) to enable root.

Here is a screenshot of the Mi 4’s about phone screen:

Xiaomi Mi 4 CM 12.1 about phone

And here are the AnTuTu benchmark screenshots of the Mi 4 running on CM 12.1.

If you need help installing the ROM, drop a comment below.

For latest Android News & reviews, follow AndroidPure on TwitterFacebook, and Subscribe to our YouTube channel. Want any help with your Android Smartphone or Gadgets, Ask your Questions at Androidpure Forum.

Posted in Guide, ROMs, Root