How to Install Custom Fonts on your Android Device
One major benefit of being on the Android platform is the sheer amount of customization you have sitting at your fingertips. This customization can change from model to model, but one feature that almost every Android phone has the power to alter is its stock font style.
This can be done with the use of different apps or flashing methods, and some of them even don’t require you to root your phone. Today I’ll be looking at several different apps, examining how they work with different Android phones, and how to flash a custom font.
If some of these instructions aren’t followed correctly, it could lead to soft bricking your device, so you have been warned.
Method 1: iFont (Expert of Fonts)
First up is iFont. It’s the proclaimed Expert of Fonts, which is a pretty lofty title, but one it may live up to. As a warning up front, on the app’s main page it claims to support the Samsung Galaxy S3, S4, Note, and Note II without the need for a root.
However, a root would be required for any HTC, Sony, or Motorola phones. When concerning support for any other brand of phone, you’ll need to refer to the app’s main page.
I’ve included the link for the app above, but if you missed it, you can click the Google Play button below.
After you’ve installed it, a few fonts should be available when you launch the app.
Through iFont, you can organize fonts, download fonts, and replace them with enough tapping. Here’s a quick peek at a list of fonts within the app:
In the above image, you can see a list of fonts, colored bubbles above denoting different languages, and another tab used to find different fonts, along with a tab that lists your current fonts. Additionally, iFont has the capability to change the size of fonts installed, so take your time to explore the app.
For those looking to increase or decrease font size, in iFont’s options, you can change your custom font size on your Android device.
You can see what your font looks like when larger or smaller in your font preview section, so feel free to take a look before finalizing your options.
Method 2: Hifont – Cool Font Text Free
Next up to bat, is Hifont, which serves both as a greeting, as well as an exceptionally useful application. Hifont is very similar to iFont in the case of compatibility with certain Android phones.
Without a root, Hifont can function on the Samsung Galaxy S3, S4, S5, Note, Note II, and Note III. However, to add custom fonts on other Android phones, you will need a root to functionotherwise, you run the risk of soft bricking your device.
Hifont isn’t a very large file so it won’t take long to download to your device. If you didn’t click the link above, you can find it below through the Google Play button below as well.
If you have any fonts previously installed on your device besides your stock font, they should show up on the application.
Much like iFont, once opened you will have plenty of fonts on display for you to download, most of them free of charge.
If on any of the Samsung devices mentioned above, installing a font is as easy as clicking your selection, hitting download, and then selecting your font to use.
On a device other than the Samsung ones mentioned, you’ll need to be rooted, and you’ll have to reboot your phone before the font replacement can finish. I’ve mentioned it before, but it warrants mentioning again; do not use this application with an unrooted device if it is not a supported Samsung phone.
Hifont additionally allows you to change the size of custom fonts on you Android device, much like iFont. In the app’s feature’s list, there is an additional mention of a font option for those suffering from dyslexia.
A video can be found here of the application in action:
Method 3: GO Launcher EX
This next method is about much more than just downloading a font changer app. GO Launcher EX is a custom launcher for Android phones that has many desirable features. One of those features is the ability to change your font style in certain places on your device.
GO Launcher EX’s font changes are mostly applied to places where the UI would display text, not in applications. If this isn’t enough for you, I would give this a pass, but for those that are interested, I’ll touch on this briefly.
Thankfully, GO Launcher isn’t a huge file for what it can do, even if it’s on the larger side for application on this list. You can download it here by clicking the Google Play button below.
Now that you have GO Launcher EX, you may also want to download some extra fonts to go along with it.
For this next part you’ll need the TTF files of the fonts you want to install, and then you’ll need to place them in GO Launcher EX’s font directory.
The path for this should be /sdcard/GOLauncherEX/fonts in most cases. After you’ve placed the files correctly, you’ll want to enter the launcher.
Once in GO Launcher EX,you’ll need to navigate to your Preferences menu. This can be donesome ways, but can easily be done by swiping the screen upwards on the Home screen and selecting Preferences on the next view-able menu.
From Preferences,you’ll need to select Visual Settings.
From this point, just select Scan font to have the launcher search the directory. When it has confirmed your fonts, you can select the font of your choice with the Select font option on the screen below.
Method 4: Flashing a Font
This next method doesn’t require an application, but it does require that your phone be rooted. For this method, you’ll be flashing a font directly onto your phone, replacing your stock font.
This doesn’t take very long to do, but I highly recommend you backup your device before flashing any fonts. If you want to change your font again, you’ll need to repeat all the steps below, so commit them to memory, or take good notes.
As a warning, this method should only be attempted if your phone has Android 4.0 or higher.
First you’ll need to download a font ZIP pack of a font you want to use on your phone. This can be any font ZIP out of a total of 355 made by the XDA forum contributor, Gianton. These can be found conveniently on the file hosting site Mediafire.
The original forum thread where they were found is no longer accessible. The file size is extremely small for the value it contains, so it shouldn’t take long to download.
Place the ZIP file of the font you want on easy to find a place on your internal storage, or a secondary form of storage, like an SD card, which is recommended, for quick access.
After your ZIP file is in place, boot your phone into custom recovery mode. This is where we’ll need to be to replace the font.
From here, you should:
- Choose Install or Install from SD card depending on your custom recovery.
- Navigate your directory to where you placed the font ZIP file.
- Select the ZIP file and then confirm your selection.
- Wait for the font to install, and then navigate through your custom recovery to where you can wipe data.
- Wipe the dalvik cache.
- Once that is finished, reboot your device.
After that, your stock font should be replaced if everything was done correctly. If you’ve found yourself stuck in a boot loop, you’ll need to restore your phone and attempt the process again
Method 5: ADB Commands
For this method, we’ll be making use of the Android Debugging Bridge to install custom fonts. If you aren’t familiar with ADB, I can’t recommend this method because of the complexity, but for those that have used it before, I’ll be going through the necessary commands.
In these steps, I will be assuming you are trying to replace the common Android stock font, Roboto-Regular.ttf, with Arial.ttf. If this is not correct for your needs, please substitute the font you’d like to use accordingly.
On the PC you are using for ADB, rename the file Arial.ttf as Roboto-Regular.ttf and make sure it’s in a place you can easily access.
Copy the renamed Arial.ttf onto your SD card’s main directory, this way it’s sitting in /sdcard so you can easily copy it over later.
Run the command prompt on your PC, or quickly open a terminal before connecting your Android device to your PC via USB cable.
Here’s where things get fun. You’ll need to run the interactive remote shell by typing:
- adb shell
This is to start the process. Now enter the following in this order:
- mount -o remount,rw /system
After that, you’ll want to backup the original Roboto-Regular.ttf in case of either failure or wanting to revert.
To do this you’ll need to enter:
- cd /system/fonts
- mv Roboto-Regular.ttf Roboto-Regular.ttf.bak
Now you’ll need to copy the fake Roboto-Regular from your SD card into the spot where the real Roboto-Regular.ttf used to occupy.
To do this, use the command:
- cp /sdcard/Roboto-Regular.ttf /system/fonts
Next, you’ll want to confirm the file you copied over is readable. If the file cannot be read, your device will be soft bricked. The file will be confirmed as readable with either a 644 or a 666.
To confirm, use the command:
- chmod 644 Roboto-Regular.ttf
Now exit the interactive shell with the command:
You can now reboot your device to confirm the font was installed correctly.
Custom fonts can be installed on Android devices in some ways, and provide a great amount of creative flexibility and customization. This is just one more way you can help make your Android device feel unique and personal.
If you ran into any issues with the methods above, ask any question you have in the comments below. While you’re still here, why not share your favorite font in the comments too? Personally, I’m a big fan Book Antiqua.