Last Updated: June 8th, 2011

Let's face it: as Android users, we like options. One of the greatest things about this platform is the insane level of customization possible, especially if you don't mind getting your hands a little dirty. With some readily available tools (all of which are extremely free) and the proper knowledge, you can make your android phone do almost anything you could possibly want and make it look however you want. What we'll be talking about today is the bootscreen.

The bootscreen is that animation that plays during your phone's (admittedly long) power-on sequence. It's really easy to switch it out and, provided you've found one you like, I can show you how to change it. After some deliberation, I've decided the best place to start is the beginning.

There are some tools you'll need to have installed before we can start. First off, except in some special cases where the /system/ directory has write access already, you'll need root access. Chances are you can find out all about that by heading over to XDA-Developers and searching for your device in the forums. Once you've done that, you'll need one of two things:

  • A file explorer on the phone that supports root functions. Some popular ones are Root Explorer, SU File Manager, and ES File Explorer.
  • The Android SDK installed on your computer. To install the SDK, follow these instructions:
    1. Download and install the Android SDK. This should also install the USB drivers you'll need.
    2. If it doesn't install the drivers, then follow these steps.
    3. Plug your phone into your computer.
    4. Go to the settings menu. Navigate to Applications>Development>USB Debugging and check that box. 
    5. Using the command prompt on your computer, navigate to the "Platform-tools" folder of the SDK.
    6. Type in "adb devices" (without the quotes) and hit the enter key. If your phone shows up (usually a crazy string of letters and numbers), then you're good to go.

Now let's say you have found a bootscreen that you really like and that matches your phones resolution (that's important). Sometimes they'll package it as a handy flashable .ZIP file that you can simply apply in recovery mode. Most of the time, though, you're going to download a bootanimation.zip file that will have to be installed manually.


Basically, the idea is that we are going to be putting a new animation on our phone that will run instead of the stock bootscreen and, if we can't manage that, we'll replace the old one with a sucker-free one. We'll do them in order of difficulty. (Bonus points for you if you caught the reference in this section's title)

It is very important for me to note here that, for the purposes of this tutorial, everything is going to be geared toward the HTC Evo because that is the device I'm currently using. It has been brought to our attention that there are some variables across devices. The location of the file may be different on your device.
  • Most devices seem to store their animation is /system/media/
  • My HTC devices all store bootanimation.zip in /system/customize/resource/
  • Some users have reported being able to load bootscreens into /data/local/ which is significant because /data/ is always writable and does NOT REQUIRE ROOT ACCESS. This has not worked on my EVO, Hero, or my friend's Droid Incredible.

If there are any other locations that work or don't work you can let us know in the comments and we'll incorporate them (thanks to all the people who helped me out with this information).

The Root File Explorer Method

This is, by a wide margin, the simplest method and in no way requires a computer. You can download the bootscreen directly to your phone and move it where you need it all on-device.

1. Install The App

Download and install one of the above mentioned root file explorers (Root Explorer, SU File Manager, ES File Explorer) or any other of your choosing. It just has to get root access.

2. Download your boot animation.

I mean...yeah. That's the point, right?

3. Backup (OPTIONAL)

You can either copy the original bootscreen and paste it on your sdcard/computer, or you can rename it bootanimation.bak and leave it in the original directory for safe keeping.

4. Copy/move

Copy the bootanimation.zip to the directory that it belongs in.

5. Reboot. Enjoy.

Reboot. Enjoy.

The Recovery Flash Method

The flashable .zip method is as straight-forward as straight-forward can be:

1. Put the .zip file on your sdcard

2. Boot your phone into the recovery console

3. Select "Flash ZIP from sdcard"

4. Find the .zip file

5. Flash it

6. Enjoy.

The ADB Method (AKA The "Aw, Dang It" Method)

For each phone the location may be a little different, but the idea remains the same. We're going to be swapping the bootanimation.zip that came on the phone with one that doesn't suck. I'll be using a Windows computer to do this on my HTC EVO 4G.

It's pretty simple if you're comfortable with ADB. Even if you're not, though, it's simple enough for you to pick up quickly

1. The Hunt

Find your animation. There are a multitude of places to find them, but I plan on showing a lot in the future, so let's just assume you want this one.


2. The Name

Rename the .zip file to "bootanimation.zip".

3. The Location

Place this .zip file in the same directory as the SDK's "ADB.exe" file. If you have a recent version of the SDK, this will be in the "platform-tools" directory. On older versions, it will be in the "tools" directory.


4. The Commando

Here's where the magic happens: We're now going to the command line or, as I call it, the commando line. That sounds way cooler.


5. Black Ops

Now, we'll navigate to the directory with ADB in it that we talked about earlier. (My Android SDK folder is named "ASDK" for the sake of brevity.)



6. Did You Plug It In Right?

Now we're going to run a command to make sure your phone is being recognized by your computer. Type in (without quotes) "adb devices" and hope that some crazy numbers and letter show up.


7. This Is Getting Real

Neat. We're ready to roll. We're now going to mount the system as read/write so we can mess with system files. My favorite method is the simple command "adb remount". Alternatively, you can type in "adb shell" and (on the EVO, as well as most other HTC devices) run the command "mount - o remount,rw -t yaffs2 /dev/block/mtdblock3 /system" then, subsequently, "exit". Well done. You are now the builder and destroyer of Android (provided it told you 'remount succeeded').


8. Back That Thang Up

We're in the home stretch now. Remember how we put the bootanimation.zip in the folder we also have ADB in? Here's why. We are going to back up the old bootanimation.zip then install our new one. The first order order of business is getting into the shell (basically using the command line in the phone using our computer as the window to see it). Type in "adb shell", hit enter, then type "su" and hit enter, just to make sure you're in superuser mode. Then we'll navigate to where the current bootscreen is on the phone. Mine is in /system/customize/resource/ so I'm going to type in "cd /system/customize/resource" then, just to make sure I'm right, I'll type in "ls" and verify the file is there. Now, let's make sure we have a backup in case we do something ridiculous and need to roll back. Type in "mv bootanimation.zip bootanimation.bak. Basically, the old one will sit there and, should we need to, we can rename it back to bootanimation.zip and it will be back to its old self. Issue the exit command until you're out of ADB shell.


9. Do The Deed!

This is it, guys. The final step. We will now issue the magic command:

"adb push bootanimation.zip /system/customize/resource/"


10. You're Done. Turn It Off And Enjoy.

The name of this step is also the entirety of the step. You did it.

While it may seem a little convoluted, this project is easy for beginners and SUPER easy for advanced users. It makes an awesome introduction to ADB and Android modding in general. I hope this helped you out and I look forward to seeing how all you crazy cats use and abuse this information to do hilarious, amazing, and entertaining things.

Brad Ganley
An Android power user, Brad consumes most of his free time with unhealthy amounts of cell phones and cell phone related things when he isn't playing with his son. Brad is also an avid movie-watcher and tea-drinker.
  • Vaibhav

    I have a HTC Desire HD with stock rom,
    Android version 2.2. It has been rooted and S-off, all the apps works perfectly. Though by following the instructions mentioned in this post I cannot seem to change the bootanimation.
    I am able to successfully push the bootanimation.zip file but whenever iI restart my phone I still get the default animation on my phone.

  • biji

    You can easily put it on /data/local/ and left untouched in /system

  • Vaibhav

    I pushed the file into /data/local/ and /system but that did not help either.

    • guy

      Try replacing the original file /system/media then.

  • Vaibhav

    I tried that though it did not help either.
    But what solved the issue was replacing the "VFAU_bootanimation.zip" which I had in
    and also changing "bootanimation.zip" to "bootanimation.bak"

    Thanks a lot for the help guys :D

  • Eric

    I use root explorer, and am able to do this from my phone without such a hassle.

    • Ben

      The process seems complex can I just go to terminal imulator. How about going to my sd card find apextoolbox replace the boot animation zip with a new one. Droid x on Apex 1.4.1. Thanx

  • Vaibhav

    What worked for me..

    1) Install Root Manager from Android Market.
    3) Copy the boot animation you want to install to sdcard.
    4)Change the name of the zip file to bootanimation.zip
    5) Now open Root Manager on your Droid.
    6) Copy the bootanimation.zip file from your sdcard.
    7) Go to /system/customize/resource/
    8) Change the permission of the directory to (R/W).
    9) Rename bootanmation.zip already present in the directory to bootanimation.bak .
    10) Paste the bootanimation.zip file from sd card into the current directory (i.e /system/customize/resource/).
    11) Check if you have any other zip file in the same directory containing the name bootanimation. If you do rename the file to filename.bak
    12) Restart your phone !

    • aj

      This sounds wayyyy easier. Doing it now.

    • aj

      Did it. Was really easy. Thanks! :D

    • RockinEvo

      Same process I used haven't failed me yet

    • Avie

      this sounds simple...but i have no idea how to use root manager....

  • hyperkamote

    Here's The most easy way to install boot on your "ROOTED" Devices...

    Go to market and download the ff:


    Android Terminal Emulator

    and your bootanimation.zip

    Connect your phone to your computer via USB.
    Put your downloaded bootanimation.zip on (Root) of your memorycard
    Disconnect phone from computer.

    Open the Terminal Emulator on your phone and enter the ff. CODE
    (take note: Press enter after every line)

    cp /sdcard/bootanimation.zip /data/local/bootanimation.zip

    If the command reboot doesn't work just simply exit your Terminal Emulator and Restart your Phone.

    Wait and watch your newly boot animation..

    • Rusty01

      Word up! Thank you, hyperkamote! I used your formula on my Nexus One, & bang! Red Droid eye animation on my N1! Ha!! Thanks dude. Can I use the same commands with many other boot animations.zip files, like thru ROM Manager or on theunlokr

  • Andy

    anyone else been successful with this on a Galaxy GT-I9000? i don't have a system/customize folder and if i do a full scan the only bootanimation.zip that shows up is the one i transferred to the sd card, nothing in data/local nor /system. mine is a uk t-mobile version, is that why?

    • shred

      i have the same problem on galaxy 551. i have figured out that samsung has changed the normal system of how bootanimation works .earliear png files(images) were saved in the zip file which wre played one after the other

      now those files are in .qmg format which i think samsung has developed itself as till now i havent found anyone who knows how to veiw these qmg files.this has been done to prevent customization .but still i m working on it .i ll let u know if i m successful

  • Vaibhav

    you should be able to find the bootanimation in /system/media/ or data/local/
    if u cant, simply push it !

    • Andy

      Thanks for trying Vaibhav, I've tried bootanimation.zip in both those locations but still no go :/ In data/local all i have is a tmp folder that doesn't seem to contain anything important. In system/media all i have is 2 folders called audio and video and lots of .qmg files, most of these are battery_charging (and range from 10 to 100) i also have bootsamsung.qmg, bootsamsungloop.qmg, chargingwarning.qmg and disconnected.qmg

      my current bootscreen is a t-mobile one that only appeared after i updated to Froyo. Anyone any more ideas?

  • Dustin

    I have a Desire HD, I was able to change the boot animation but I still have a still screen with "HTC" that comes up first. How do I get rid of that?

    • Dustin
    • Kim

      Hi Dustin,
      I have the same problem on a 5" Tablet that runs Android 2.3.1. There is remaining a still screen with Chinese design characters. What should I do? I am not software engineer: can you provide a simple procedure to get rid of it? Thxs Kim

  • Scooterman1

    This bootanimation was broken on the 2.3.3 update for the EVO.
    Here is what worked:
    1. Download the bootanimation file that you want. Extract until you get to the actual bootanimation.zip file.
    2. Use Root Explorer, go to system/customize/resource
    3. Mount directory R/W
    4. Rename spc_bootanimation.zip to spc_bootanimation.bak
    5. Copy your extracted bootanimation.zip to the system/customize/resource directory.
    6. Rename bootanimation.zip to spc_bootanimation.zip
    7. long press spc_bootanimation.zip, select permissions, set to:
    Owner: R/W
    Group: R
    Others R
    Special - All Unchecked
    Press O.K.

    • Kim

      Hello there,
      I am new to this and not software engineer... But how do you change the permission of the directory /system/media/ to (R/W)? I cannot copy/paste the new bootanimation.zip into the directory. It says "bootanimation.zip copy failed". Thanks for your help! P.S.: I have a Chinese OEM branded 5" MID tablet with Android 2.3.1 running on it.

  • http://www.inspirasicyber.com inspirasicyber

    Thank you for the tutorial...i will try it....

  • bduran727

    My phone boots in 8 seconds...

  • Rusty01

    I have a Nexus1, running CyanogenMod 7.1.0-RC1. I should be able to run this bootanimation on the N1, right, even though it is a Droid animation? I get to install zip from sdcard, it starts, then aborts. Whats up with that?? Im gonna try it with the Terminal Emulator, see what happens. Any suggestions / help would be awesome. Thanx

  • michael

    How come i can not get permission to adb remount. It says remount failed operation not permitted

    • http://www.androidapplog.com android

      go to mounts and storage in recovery then select mount system

  • http://www.weblogku.com Azam

    Cool. Will try it out once I root my phone...

  • http://yash1229.wordpress.com Yash

    I'm quite hesitant to do this on my rooted SGS.
    I'm running a stock ROM (2.3.3). Will changing the boot animation be a problem?

  • Dan

    why cant i get the sound to play? please help

  • Gary

    pushed bootanimation.zip to /data/local on my N1 without doing anything else and it worked like a charm

  • helpmeplease

    im using a galaxy prevail and i dont have access to a computer at this time. ive tried copying the boot animations from sd card to /data/local and to the /system/media and nothing works. PLEASE GIVE ME TUTORIAL ON GALAXY PREVAIL IVE BEEN TRYING FOR WEEKS!!!!

  • helpmeplease

    now my boost mobile animation doesnt even play!!! ony the boost sound and samsung animations... dARTDASGTADHADFHG

  • vibranthelp

    i have a samsung vibrant and followed the steps to setup android sdk. when i go to check to see if the computer see's my device, the list is blank. any advice on how to fix this?

  • Trogdor

    Samsung Galaxy Prevail uses .qmg boot animation files. Which means using a zip file will NOT work. Don't even bother. Unless you have a custom .qmg boot animation, you're stuck with stock, or nothing.

  • steve

    Got that right. there is no known program available to edit or create qmg files. for the meantime i just have a blank startup with a nice looped wav file i made on acid pro

  • jeff

    tried it twice on tmobile galaxy s2 with cwm and nothing. someone please help. keeps saying installation aborted. stock rom rooted.

  • http://www.moshblog.me.uk Mosh

    Running a rooted and S-OFF's (otherwise stock) HTC Desire. I cannot find any bootanimation.zip file anywhere in the system folder at all! I've done a search using the facility in Super Manager and there simply doesn't seem to be such a file. I've searched for just "zip" files and it pulled up three, none of which is the boot animation.

    As such, I have no idea where to put my custom one. There's no existing one to backup/replace!

    The phone was supplied by Three and it's their poxy logo I'm stuck with every time I reboot. Believe me, I have looked on a *lot* of sites for alternative locations but I just cont figure this out!

  • henry

    so samsung galaxy doesnt use .zip to boot up

  • Kim

    Hello there,
    I am new to this and not software engineer... But how do you change the permission of the directory /system/media/ to (R/W)? I cannot copy/paste the new bootanimation.zip into the directory. It says "bootanimation.zip copy failed". Thanks for your help! P.S.: I have a Chinese OEM branded 5" MID with Android 2.3.1 running on it.

    • https://www.facebook.com/pacmanpalafox Francisco

      If you are using root explorer in the begining there is a whit button in the very top almost in the middle that says "Mount R/W just click that and you're done

  • Killian

    Alright, so I tried to mount it with both techniques. I have a motorola photon 4g. When I try to remount with adb remount it just says, "remount failed: Operation not permitted" and when I try it with the adb shell and the other command it does nothing at all. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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    "Make some Money in forex now. Click this link to join!".

  • https://www.facebook.com/pacmanpalafox Francisco

    I don't know if this has been said before because I haven't read any comments but for all Huawei Ascend 2 users the boot animation is located in cust/cricket/us/media I used Root Explorer. Thank you Brad Ganley

  • zack

    guys i flashed 'GOOGLE nexus s' splah screen on my galaxy s gt i9000....by flashing some param.tat.md5 fıle (pda by odin).....now when i restart my phone 'Google' comes written instead of 'GT I9000' black screen and then a small size 'Google' comes and then boot animation....how can i go back to my gt i9000 splash screen or boot screen ....i just want to change the first 'Google' to my orignal gt i9000....im currently using ics... please help....and sorry for my bad english

  • http://ubattahanlama.net/ ubat tahan lama

    thanks for the great tutorial here

  • Fayyaz Ali

    i am getting a blank screen on place of my animation.. and then it reaches the lockscreen. any recommendation about PNG 24, 8 bits or is it some thing else that i am missing.

    i have 21 files with 480 x 320 resolution. i am creating them with photoshop

    my desc.txt looks like this..

    480 320 10
    p 0 0 part0

  • http://www.facebook.com/birdpooguy Dulaya Saennok

    Mine is HTC Inspire and it's under "/system/customize/resource/" like you said. Thanks so much for the clearification!

  • SilverGrey

    I have a rooted Huawei Y200 phone.. I'd like to try changing/replacing my boot logo.. my question is , is there gonna be a problem since I am only using stock rom?

  • harry

    please i am using a htc cha cha and i upgraded it to ics 4.0.and i wanna change the annoying boot animation..please help

    • donkey nutz

      FUCK YOU

  • http://qr.net/beagle devo-T

    There are two errors in these instructions. It may have been pointed out before, but they are:

    STEP 7

    mount - o remount,rw -t yaffs2 /dev/block/mtdblock3 /system
    should be
    mount -o remount,rw -t yaffs2 /dev/block/mtdblock3 /system

    STEP 9

    adb push bootanimation.zip /system/customize/resource/
    should be
    adb push bootanimation.zip /system/customize/resource/bootanimation.zip

  • David

    Note 2 7100 4.4.2 help bootanimations.zip ? Adres? Systém ? Bin ? Please hele