How to Install CyanogenMod based Android ICS 4.0.3 ROM on Motorola Defy/ Defy+

Motorola has already sold many sets of Motorola Defy and Defy +. Both are known for their long battery life and budget price. Both phones are still running on Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread there is no news of official ICS release for them. A XDA developer forum member has successfully developed a Custom ICS ROM running with CyanogenMod kernel. This will enable you to upgrade your Motorola Defy or Motorola Defy+ Device to latest Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Operating System.

The installation procedure is a bit different and hard. I would suggest first to go through video and tutorial in detail. Though, we have tried to simplify the process for your convenience.

Disclaimer: Rooting and installing custom Firmware voids warranty of your device. We or the developers are not responsible for any kind of issues caused during following this procedure. However, this tutorial is created after testing and ensuring that everything works fine.


  1. A PC with latest connectivity drivers of you phone and data cable.
  2. Rooted Motorola Defy/Defy+ with Recovery mode installed.
  3. We suggest a full backup of your device. Backup SMS, call logs, contacts, pics, videos, personal files, internet access points settings, other settings. Backup you current ROM using Recovery mode or ROM manager.
  4. Disable or uninstall Antivirus or Firewall to avoid any security issues while updating the firmware.
  5. Enable USB debugging on your Device. Go to “settings>>Application>>Development>>USB debugging”. Check the USB debugging option.
  6. Download the files from below link respective to your device.

Custom ROM:

Motorola Defy Custom ICS 4.0.3 ROM: Here

Motorola Defy + Custom ICS 4.0.3 ROM: Here



Kernel for defy: Here

Kernel for defy +: Here

Google apps:

How to install cynogenMod kernel and ICS ROM on Defy/Defy+.

  1. Connect your phone to computer and transfer the zip file to Root of your phone’s SD card. All three files of ROM, Kernal and Google apps.
  2. Now, power off your Defy+/Defy and start it into recovery mode. You will need to press Volume up and power button simultaneously to enter fastboot mode where you can select recovery option.
  3. Once you are in the Recovery mode selects “Wipe data/factory reset” and “Wipe Cache partition”.
  4. When you successfully erase cache and data, you can select “install zip from SD card”. Now, select “Chose Zip from SD card”. Choose the ICS ROM file you have transferred to your SD card in step 1.
  5. Once you select, it will install the ICS ROM. Now again choose “install zip from SD card”. This time choose the Kernal file. This will flash the CynogenMod kernel on your phone. (CM9 for Defy+ and Defy kernal build by Quarx).
  6. Now, again select the same option to install zip from SD card and this time choose to install Google apps zip file.
  7. Once again go back to starting menu and select to clear “Dalvik cache”. Once done and confirmed you can go back to start menu by selecting “+++Go Back+++”. And lastly select “Reboot System Now”.
  8. You will be welcomed by new ROM and user interface. You can still confirm by going to “Settings>>About phone >>Firmware Version” you will see that Android 4.0.3 will be installed.

Note: Please create a backup of your current ROM using recovery before following the process. If device hangs on boot screen, take out the battery and reinsert. Follow the procedure again to install the ICS ROM. If you still cannot make it work you can install your current ROM you backed up. You can also report issues on xda developer forum thread.

How to Install CyanogenMod based Android ICS 4.0.3 ROM on Motorola Defy/ Defy+, 7.9 out of 10 based on 12 ratings

35 thoughts on “How to Install CyanogenMod based Android ICS 4.0.3 ROM on Motorola Defy/ Defy+

  1. Does flashing this ROM (CyanogenMod based ICS ROM) improves the camera clarity of Motorola Defy Plus ???

  2. Hi,
    Is this process reversible. Currently I have Android 2.3.4 on my motorola defy plus. I plan to root it and then install ICS 4.0.3 on it.

    In case my phone becomes unstable, is this process reversible. Can I reset my phone to 2.3.4 by restoring to factory settings.


    • Hi Pradeep.

      Unfortunately, This process is not reversible. This ROM needs to Flash your old Stock 2.3.4 ROM.
      Hence, if you want to return back to that stock ROM in future, you will need to Install Custom ROM by flashing (Deleting) ICS. Let me know if you need further information.

      • Sunil,

        Can we take a back up of the factory-ROM currently installed on defy plus and if in case I need my phone back in warranty I flash back the backed up factory-ROM and un-root defy plus so that I may claim warranty ???

        If yes, then can u please share the links where I can find how to do the same(back-up,restore,root & unroot defy+). It will be a great help !!!

        • Hi Jaideep,

          Rooting and Unrooting Tutorial is expected to be published soon here at TechClap, as we’re working on this nowadays. (Currently Rooting has been finished, but we’re testing UnRooting method.)

          But you can easily create backup of your Stock ROM in CMod Recovery with ‘Backup and Restore Option’.

  3. hie..
    i want to knw everythin abt rootin n flashin the roms..
    i googled it i didnt get any satisfactry information on it..
    m new to android..
    hav taken defy+ recently while automatic updatin whis is thr in cell by default… it didnt complete by itself, aftr tht a notification comes as update fail…

    now for fun/experiment want to root my fone, can u gyz plzz plzzz tell me how to root…?
    and the first question ever WHY TO ROOT??
    what are the benifits of rootin..?
    plz plz plz tell me n help to root my new defy+ runnin on 2.3.4……

    thanx in advance… 🙂

  4. cant download kernel…

    403 – Permission Denied

    You do not have permission to retrieve: /misc/
    barebones_filemirror – motorola_defy

    • Please wait, we’re working to write steps for better and Stable Version for your phone model. You should try that instead of this, that Tutorial would be live today for both Motorola Defy and Defy Plus.

        • Sorry for the delay in our updates. We will be regular now. We’re coming with this new tutorial on Defy Plus ICS today itself. Please check back in evening. Keep Visiting us. Thanks.

          • He meant for ‘ClockworkMod Recovery’. You can easily find many tutorials on this topic. Let’s know if you have any doubts. BTW.. New Stable ROM Tutorial is on the way, and it would be published tomorrow, for New Stable Defy Plus & Defy ICS 4.0.4 ROM, which we recommend you to try instead of this one. Please check back tomorrow. 🙂

  5. wers it??
    m really dependin upon ur tutorials..
    as m new to rootin n dont want to brick my defy plus…
    just waitin for ur new tuts… 🙁

  6. Guys who were waiting for firmware tutorial, We apologize but all of these firmwares are under Development stage yet, and expected to become Stable soon. We’re following the development and we’ll post that once we get finest ROM for your Defy/ Defy Plus.

    • No it won’t alter any of ur pre installed apps, on rooting one more app by the name of Superuser will be shown in the app menu ..

      But rooting will definitely void your warranty unless u have a method to unroot it before going to service centre.

    • Yes! We’re looking into the development, and will write about best firmware. Other sites have wrote about same, but their mentioned firmware is not stable yet. You can expect Tutorials once they become some stable, as we’ll test before writing 🙂

  7. I have Motorola defy plus model MB526 on android 2.3.6 and tried
    rooting with –
    doomlord v4
    super one click &
    easy root_AAD

    all fail and stop at waiting on device ?

    would like to root then upgrade to ICS 4.0.3

    your help would be much appriciated


  8. Sir,
    i tried a rom from xda developer,
    bt before tht i updated my fw to 2.3.5 aftr tht i rooted my device,
    then i again trid to instal cm9 ics rom on cel,
    it went right,
    aftr tht cm9 rom was workin properly,
    bt aftr tht my network was too weak,
    even in normal case it was one line or two,
    bt for sum tym only…
    So i again flashd my 2.3.5 ron on it again,
    bt the network problem is stil thr…
    Can u plz giv me the proper .sbf file tht is usd by indian network,
    coz wen i surfd the internet it was a list wer wasnt any india dedicated sw…
    And m realy waitin lyk mad for the most stable ics rom for defy plus,
    reply asap…

    • Most stable ROM would be published once we’ll be satisfy with performance. We’re also India based, so can understand your situation. But, we always recommend everyone to make backup of their Stock ROM before performing any rooting, or Firmware installation on the device.

  9. i knw bt i don knw how i forgot to do it…
    i installd stock 2.3.6 nw tht to europe version…
    nw thrs no range to my device…
    as it is nw totally new and unrooted i went to motorola to flash the latest version of 2.3.6 bt they told tht my memory went off and my cell is nt acceptin new rom they told to replace motherbord of cell which will cost Rs3500 bt i dont trust… coz still signal is thr(eventhough its 1 or two line) i will try my best to solve this i dont think tht i need to change motherbord…
    kindly requestin u to help me…
    for nw my cell is like an ipod with no sim…
    plz help me out…
    reply asap..
    thnx in advance…

  10. i upgraded to 4.0.4 but other video formate not working except MP4 .is any 1 have solution for this .if yes give me link .

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