Best Custom Recovery for Android – Showdown : CWM v/s TWRP

NOTE: Before reading further, you should be familiar with Android Rooting. We suggest you read this article on rooting and its advantages before proceeding. 

So you know that you can customise your Android device. Yea-yea its open-source and shit 😛 But where to begin? You’ve probably read that you need to flash a custom recovery onto it before you can do anything serious. But, that begs a few questions – what’s a recovery? What’s a custom recovery? What are my options for custom recoveries? So before beginning the quest for the best custom recovery for your android device, we’re going to take a complete look at recoveries so that you can be well-informed when you start messing with your Android device.

Best Custom Recovery for Android - Showdown : CWM v/s TWRP

Best Android Recovery

Best Custom Recovery for Android | What is a recovery?

The recovery, simply put, is a runtime environment (like a mini operating system) separate from the Android operating System, that can perform various system-related tasks. The stock recovery on most Android devices can apply OTA (over-the-air) updates, delete user and cache content (for factory reset purposes), and allow external tools from a microSD card to run functions on the device.

Consider the example of a PC. Recovery for an Android device may be considered as what BIOS is for PC. BIOS is a small piece of software that is independent of the operating system and can controls the basic I/O settings and functions of a system. The recovery has no function whatsoever as soon as Android is being booted.


And a Custom Recovery?

Best Custom Recovery for Android - Showdown : CWM v/s TWRP

Best Custom Recovery for Android

A custom recovery is a non-stock recovery – a recovery that wasn’t shipped originally with the phone by the manufacturer which people can install over the stock recovery. There are many different reasons why someone will want to install a custom recovery – most of those reasons are extra functionality. Most of the major features that the best custom recovery should include are:
  • The ability for third-party ROMs to be installed over the stock Android image
  • The ability to perform Nandroid backups -these are very good backups that saves literally everything from your personal data to the operating system itself
  • The ability to communicate with the Android Debug Bridge, or ADB, on a computer for debugging and other developer-type actions, which is otherwise only possible when enabling developer tools within Android
  • A more useful and/or visually pleasing interface for the recovery, which can include touch capabilities or an interface not driven by menu options.

Long story short, the best custom recovery should allow you to do various things that the manufacturer may not want you to do with it. They make the stock recovery so limited for the sake of making sure that you don’t turn your device into a brick, but you know what you’re doing, right?

Best Custom Recovery for Android | CWM and TWRP

The top two most popular custom recoveries are ClockworkMod (CWM) and Team Win Recovery Project (TWRP). Both of these recoveries are fantastic choices and come loaded with features (including the ones we listed above).

Best Custom Recovery for Android - Showdown : CWM v/s TWRP

CWM Recovery for Android


CWM has been the recommended recovery for a long time and is still the most-used one, but TWRP has been gaining more popularity, has a few more options, and is even themeable. CWM is menu-driven and comes with a boring interface, but it works well.


Best Custom Recovery for Android - Showdown : CWM v/s TWRP

TWRP Recovery for Android

TWRP is more dynamic as it displays large buttons that you can easily tap on to execute, and it also guesses what you’ll want to do next: The buttons aren’t set in stone. For example, after flashing a new ROM, it’ll replace one of the buttons with an option to wipe the cache and other related functions. It also stays in the folder you browsed to last, which is great if you have multiple related files you need to flash that are all located in the same folder. Both projects boast a long list of supported devices, so you should be able to find a recovery made for your device.


Other Custom Recoveries

If you think that the best custom recovery is not one of the two listed above or if  you’re curious about recoveries other than CWM and TWRP, you should definitely check out the XDA-Developers forum for more recoveries that support your device. Search by going to your device’s subforum and looking for threads with a [Recovery] tag on them. All recoveries should address the main points that a custom recovery provides, but they can vary on how they tackle those points. The most obvious change between them will be their different interfaces.

Best Custom Recoveries for Android | Conclusion

Custom recoveries are great tools, and can be useful while you have a third-party ROM installed or even still your stock Android image. However, be sure that you’ll actually make sure of that custom recovery, as replacing the stock recovery can void the warranty.

Coming Soon :  How to Flash Custom ROMs using Custom Recovery , Best Available Custom ROMs for Android

Congratulations! You now know what a (custom) recovery is 😀 Which one’s your favourite recovery? What do you think should be the most useful features of your best custom recovery? The comment section is always open for discussions 🙂

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2 Responses

  1. andy says:

    All the punctuation symbols in the article show up as a weird combination of symbols that are unknown to me. There must be a way to fix this so that I can focus on the content than on the deciphering.

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