Motorola Defy and Defy Plus has been two highly appreciated Android based smartphones which are now stuck on old Android variants. Even though there won’t be any further official Android OTA updates released by Motorola for the Defy or Defy+ due to hardware limitation, if you own one of the mentioned device, you should know that you can still enjoy your phone without losing the ability of testing the latest apps and features that are being available on the Android platform. How? Well, quite easy as for example, during the guidelines from below you can learn how to install CM11 based on Android 4.4 KitKat firmware on your Motorola Defy and Defy Plus.

I don’t know whether there are many users who are still owning the Defy or the Defy+, but for those who aren’t considering in buying a new device, this tutorial will be more than helpful. First of all, I will teach you how to prepare your handset for an update operation. Actually for an unofficial update process, as CM11 is not an official firmware released by Motorola or by Google. And of course, after that I will show you how to easily install Android 4.4 KitKat on your Defy and Defy Plus. So, what do you say, will you try my step by step guide?

In order to convince you, I should mention that the present firmware, the CM11 one has been optimized only for your Defy and Defy+ which means that the Android 4.4 KitKat ROM will smoothly run on your handset. So, you will not experience lags or issues when using the latest Android OS, with its features, apps and capabilities on your outdated Android based smartphone. Also, CM11 is coming with extra features too, features and also looks that cannot be found on the stock version of Android 4.4.

Do note thought that this variant of CM11 is not official. Actually, this Android 4.4 KitKat based software represents an unofficial port of CM11 as the Cyanogenmod team is still working in developing the nightly release of CM11. Don’t worry, as even though this is only a ported firmware you will still receive all the Cyanogenmod goodies. Furthermore, according to those who have already tested the software, there aren’t major bugs and issues included on the system; apparently, only the WiFi and Bluetooth capabilities are not working properly so far. Of course, the problems will be soon resolved by the CM team, so you have nothing to worry about.

If you have decided to complete this guide for learning how to update the Motorola Defy and Defy Plus to Android 4.4 KitKat with CM11 custom ROM, then you need to read all the lines from this tutorial. The guide can be risky but if you follow my indications, everything will go as planned and without unwanted problems. So, as promised before, I will first show you how to prepare your device for the installation procedure that will shortly follow.

Your Motorola Defy / Defy+ must be rooted or else you won’t be able to complete this step by step guide. As you know, the root access refers to the access that you can gain by removing the factory and default restrictions that are coming pre-installed on any Android based handset. In our case, when trying to update with a custom ROM, the system must be unchained via root because CM11 will have to use and change some internal files and in-built programs. Therefore, gain root access before doing anything else.

After that continue the pre requisites by installing CWM recovery or any other custom recovery that is suitable with your Defy / Defy Plus because CM11 Android 4.4 OS can be flashed only by using the mentioned tool. In case you are wondering if you can use the stock Android recovery that is installed on your device, the answer is no. You need the latest version of CWM recovery for being able to apply CM11 custom ROM firmware. So, make sure to apply the same – only after gaining root access because the stock recovery can be replaced with a custom one only if root has been achieved.

A backup is highly recommended. Unfortunately, on the update process you will have to wipe the system and clear the cache. When doing so, the data which is saved on the internal storage memory might get corrupted or even wiped out. And when I say the data I mean text messages, call logs, market apps, contacts list, personal info and accounts and basically everything else you have placed on your phone and not on the SD card. That’s why you need to use suitable backup and restore apps; if CWM recovery is installed on your handset, learn how to use the same (by using this tutorial) for making a proper Nandroid backup – for saving the current ROM too.

After completing these operations you will have to make sure that you can use a computer on which you must first deactivate the antivirus or the security protection. Don’t worry; your computer will not get infected during the update operation. Next, on your phone you need to go to “menu -> settings -> developer options” for enabling the USB debugging option. If you don’t do that, you will not be able to connect your device with your computer. Also, your Defy / Defy+ must have more than 60% power left; else your phone might get turned off in the middle of the flashing process – you can brick your handset if that happens.

Good; now you have prepared your device for the update process. So, next I will show you how to easily install CM11 Android 4.4 KitKat firmware on your Motorola Defy or on your Motorola Defy Plus. Don’t use this tutorial if you own a similar or different handset as the steps from below are compatible only with the same.

How to Update Motorola Defy and Defy+ with CM11 Android 4.4 KitKat Custom ROM Firmware

  1. Download the CM11 Android 4.4 update file from here; or from here.
  2. Then, from here download the Google Apps package.
  3. Save the downloaded files on your computer.
  4. Don’t unzip the files; place it on desktop and proceed to the next steps.
  5. Connect your Defy / Defy+ with your computer by plugging in the USB cable.
  6. Then, drag and drop, or copy-paste the downloaded files from desktop to your phone’s SD card.
  7. Disconnect the devices by unplugging the USB cord and turn off your phone.
  8. The recovery mode must be entered now; if you don’t know how to do that, just follow our dedicated tutorial.
  9. From recovery, the first thing to do is to wipe the system; so select “wipe data factory reset”.
  10. Then, clear the cache by choosing “wipe cache partition”; return to main menu, select “advance” followed by “wipe dalvick cache”.
  11. Good; now from main menu of recovery you need to select “install zip from SD card”.
  12. Then pick “choose zip from SD card”.
  13. Select the CM11 update file from the SD card and flash the firmware on your smartphone.
  14. Repeat the last steps and install Google Apps package on your handset.
  15. When the installation procedure ends, you are done.
  16. Enjoy Android 4.4 on your Motorola Defy or on your Defy Plus.


If in the end, after applying the CM11 ROM your handset gets stuck in a boot loop, you need to do the following for resolving the problem: boot into recovery mode once more; from recovery select “wipe data factory reset”; also choose “wipe cache partition”; then return to main menu of recovery and select “reboot system now”.

Do note that a boot loop is not similar with the fact that the first boot of your smartphone is taking longer than usual; in that case you shouldn’t panic as there is nothing wrong with your phone.

Now, if you don’t like the CM11 platform and if you want to revert to your old OS, you will be able to do so only if a Nandroid backup has been previously performed – read the lines from above. So, restore the stock ROM by entering recovery mode and by selecting “backup / restore”. For resolving any other problem, use this dedicated step by step guide.

Perfect; we are done. Congratulations, you have successfully install CM11 Android 4.4 KitKat firmware on your Motorola Defy / Defy Plus. Remember that this was the unofficial variant of the CM11 software, so if you find bugs or issues don’t panic. Do share your experience with us by using the comments field from below.

Bartolomeu Carvalho · 2 years ago

the installation was aborted. it says " E: couldnt verify the zip file". or something to that effect, please help

emiliano rossi · 3 years ago

just wanted to let defy owners know that cm11 is now incredibly fantastic!
is showing hardware limitation only on internet, wee is slower an modern phone, but for the rest is really super.
totally quicker thsn the original OS.

Bjoern · 4 years ago

Thanks man, good work!

You should mention, that it needs TWRP 2.6.x.x and above to install cm11 from zip.

I searched for on the web and it did work for me on my Defy-non-plus!



Mayank · 4 years ago

Very Bad. Phone app is crashing, also phone is working too slow. Auto restarting again and again. Many more bugs.

Grubby · 4 years ago

Thanks for the inspiration. It took me a few detours to get things to work, but now have cm11 on my defy+ and it works very well and is more responsive than stock rom. Thanks again

Christian Henning Brevik · 4 years ago

Well, After "Installing update..." it just says "Installation aborted." a second later.

Srav · 5 years ago

I got Signature Verification failed,Installation aborted.
Please give a Solution.

android · 5 years ago

Verry unstable, not recommended!!

daniel m · 4 years ago

Works well now. My old slow defy+ is a new phone now. Smooth and fast no problems.WiFi and blue tooth work well. in fact haven't found any bug so far

Peejay · 5 years ago

Can CM10 be updated with CM11 fairly simply or does it need a complete rom install? CM10 is working fine on my Defy and I have enjoyed the process of updating, I am looking at updating my wife's HTC from 2.3 to CM11 as well.

Pravin Londhe · 5 years ago

Is this 4.4 Rom Ready to use on daily basis ???

vighanesh gursale · 5 years ago

Google Apps link broken it shows file not found, please fix that

Pablo · 5 years ago

The led stays on green all the time and i don't have cellular sign; however till now the performance of the phone is excellent, much superior than 4.3. No more bugs till now

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