How to download CyanogenMod ROM updates faster by using only 10MB of data

I’ll admit it; I’m a flashaholic. The only problem is that I don’t like that each nightly update is at least 150MB for my particular device. Even though I have unlimited data, it’s still not cool to either wait a while for the latest update to download via my carrier (non-LTE) or having to wait until I get home to do so via WiFi. Granted, this is probably not an issue to most, but if you like your nightlies, then you’ll definitely like this little gem of an app called CyanDelta which makes managing those various CyanogenMod updates a much more easier process. Hit the break to see how you can grab your precious updates without using up too much data.

The beauty in the CyanDelta app is that it downloads only what you need. By that, I mean it only downloads the ‘delta’ (get it?) or change in the version you’re currently running vs. the newest version. This results in a very small, manageable download .zip that you can even manage on 2G speeds in a decent amount of time. My experience is that most updates average about 10MB but it all depends on how many changes have gone into the newer version as well as which device you’re using. If you’ve been flashing for a while, you’ll certainly see the beauty in this – fast, efficient, minimal data usage, and secure. This may also make things easier on those that want to jump into the rooting pool.

The process of moving to this update method is very easy (Prerequisites: CM7, CM9, or CM10 ROM device with ARM processors having ClockworkMod or TWRP recoveries running OFFICIAL ROMs via All steps are clearly presented on the screen, and conveniently walks you through the updating process. Without any prior knowledge of the app; I simply followed the on-screen prompts, heeded the warnings, and had the update downloaded, flashed, and running in a matter of minutes.

  You can follow these steps to ensure you do everything correctly from beginning to end:

  1. Install CyanDelta from Google Play (Link Below).
  2. Download the .zip file of the ROM you are currently using from the CyanogenMod website (
  3. Launch CyanDelta and select the .zip file you just downloaded by navigating to the folder to which you downloaded it. CyanDelta will import the file and create a new zip in a newly created ‘Cyandelta directory’ folder on the root of your SD card.
  4. When an update is available, a notification will appear. You can also check for updates manually through the app. If a new update is available and you wish to update, you can start the download by simply following the on-screen prompts.
  5. The new zip will be placed in the ‘CyanDelta Dir’ folder on the root of your SD Card. Now you can install it manually from your custom recovery, or you can press “Install zip”directly within the app. If you choose to update via CyanDelta directly (my preferred method), it will automatically reboot to recovery, install the zip, wipe cache partition (if you select this in the app options), and reboot the device (remember to be patient if  you choose to wipe Dalvik, and give the device a little time to fully boot up).


The process is very smooth and secure, and only takes a few minutes from beginning to end. In the settings of the app, you can choose to poll the servers up to once an hour for new builds. The app also allows you to select an additional .zip file to flash during the process such as a custom kernel or Gapps, provided you push the .zip to the CyanDelta Dir folder. As mentioned, you can also choose for the update to wipe Dalvik cache during the process, but that’s completely up to you. Additionally, once an update is available, it’ll show you the exact size of the file as well as provide you with a handy changelog so you can decide if the changes are worth updating.

Overall, I’m very pleased with this new updater method, and judging by the reviews in the Play Store, most would agree with me. We’ve seen other updating methods in the past, but they just seem to get better and more efficient for the end-users. Give it a shot and let us know how you like it.

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About the Author: Sean Stewart

Born in Tennessee yet raised in Florida, Sean is an analyst now living back in Tennessee. His love for gadgets and electronics began in the early 90’s when he received a Sony Walkman for Christmas. At the time, he felt the cassette tape playing, Mega-Bass wielding, three-band equalizer piece of electronics was as good as it'll ever get. There was also the original Nintendo which consumed countless hours of his youth, followed by every follow-up version, a Sega Genesis, PlayStations, and Xboxes. He was a little late to the smartphone party however, not being exposed to one until running a jail-broken, 2nd Gen iPhone on T-Mobile’s network. His phone of choice now is the Galaxy Nexus. He spends most of his free time with his wife and two daughters.


    Damn dude, is android your second choice os or what? Otherwise explain why you are using a vibrant. Even the brokest people out there find a way to upgrade their phone. Don’t lie,

  • Whatif

    This app has been out for quite a while now :|

  • Whatif

    This app has been out for quite a while now :|

  • sean_stewart

    Sold the GS II to get N4… now in limbo. It’s cool though. Many folks don’t realize older phones can rock 4.1 with no issues if you know what you’re doing.

  • Saif

    Other ROMs also need this awesome thing!

  • sean_stewart

    They do mention on their site that other ROMs versions are in development. ;-)

  • Lucas

    Excellent app! I´m new to CM and the full archive update stile was eating my data plan :)

  • David Realpe

    Tengo la siguiente inquietud. En mi caso debo instalar las actualizaciones de cyandelta de forma manual porque tengo CWM closed-source (ROM Manager). ¿Es necesario realizar un wipe cache partition cuando se hace la actualización de forma manual?

  • Alexis

    I just read this in 2015. And I’m using CM since 2011 :/ haha thank you bro!