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Update Motorola Defy to Android ICS aka Ice Cream Sandwich

Updated on November 8, 2013

Motorola Defy users are eager to have a taste of the sweet Ice Cream Sandwich on their devices like most of the others. But waiting for the official update will be frustrating. It will never happen. Motorola defy, though being a good phone will remain two generation behind with its Android 2.2 Froyo. Will ICS in Motorola Defy be remain as a dream unfulfilled.

Well there are other ways too. The talented guys from the XDA refuse to let this old mobile to die. They have modified CM9 ICS custom ROM to be fitted with Defy. Now you shall have a chance of getting the taste of Ice Cream Sandwich on Motorola Defy.

Motorola Defy with Android ICS
Motorola Defy with Android ICS

What is Android ICS?

Android ICS or Ice Cream Sandwich is the latest version of the Google's popular mobile operating system for smartphones. All the versions of Android are named after desserts. The main feature of ICS is that it combines tablet and smartphone. Android ICS is much beautiful and functional than any other previous versions of Android. It fits beautifully with different screen resolutions and thus the support of apps will increase. It promises to make you fall in love with Android.


1) The Motorola Defy Android update is not official. That is why you shall have to do it on your own risk.

2) If you are a novice user or a do not have some knowledge about such things like rooting or custom ROM installation on your mobile it is advisable to seek help from someone with some knowledge and experience.

3) This ROM is in beta stage. You may have some bugs. Though the improvements are going on. The ROM will be updated for bug fixing.

4) Do a backup before advancing. Store all the important data, documents, pictures, movies etc elsewhere.

The author or this site will not be responsible for any damage or data loss during the updating process.


1) A Motorola Defy which should have been rooted.

2) The phone should be charged to at least 70% level. It would be better if you charge it 100%. If the battery goes down during the ICS updating process your phone may become dead. So, be careful about charging.

3) You need to download the CM9 ICS ROM from here.

4) Now you shall have to download GAPPS package for getting the essential Google apps.

You also need the CM7 Froyo kernel

Android Version Names

Android 1.5 Cupcake

Android 1.6 Donut

Android 2.2 Froyo

Android 2.3 Gingerbread

Android 3.0 Honeycomb

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich

Android 5.0 Jelly Bean

Updating Motorola Defy with ICS: the Instructions

Now follow these step by step instructions to update your defy with Android 4.0 ICS.

1) You need to connect your Defy with the computer using a data cable.

2) Now from the computer find out the downloaded files. These will be all in ZIP form. Copy these zip to your mobile’s memory card’s root directory.

3) Now disconcert the phone from PC.

Now you shall have to enter into the boot menu of your phone. To do it you shall have to restart your phone. When your Motorola Defy startup wait for the Motorola logo to appear on the screen. Wait until the LED light to glow. Then press the volume down button. Voila! You are now in the boot menu. See the video below for help.

Infographic: Motorola Defy ICS Update

How to Install Motorola Defy Boot Menu

Defy ICS Update : Stage 2

Now you are in the boot menu. What to do next?

1) Inside boot menu select “Recovery” option. To do it you have to use the volume up down keys. The power button will work as click.

2) Go from “Recovery” to “Custom Recovery” to go ClockworkMod recovery.

3) Inside ClockworkMod recovery go to “Backup and Restore> Backup”.

4) Now do a Nandroid backup of the phone’s system files.

Nandroid Backup and Restore on Defy


In this stage you have to be more careful.

1) Select “Wipe Data/Factory Reset” to clean the phone from all the previous operating system and other files.

2) Now select “Install ZIP from the SD card” option. Now find out and select the CM9 ICS ROM zip and start the installation.

3) It will take some time. You may take a little coffee break now.

4) When the ICS ROM will be installed you need to install the CM7 Froyo Kernel zip.

5) Now, it is the time to install GAPPS package using the same method.

6) Now return to the main menu of ClockworkMod recovery.

7) Select “Wipe Cache” to clean the memory cache from the trash of the updating process.

8) From the advanced menu select “wipe Dalvik Cache” too.

9) Now return to the main recovery menu screen.

10) Now reboot the phone.

Yes you have done it.

ICS Installation on Defy Video

This is the process to install Android ICS in Motorola Defy. It should be done with care. You may not be successful to do so. Then seek an expert and so him/he these instructions, he/she might help.


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    • profile image

      Jastin 4 years ago

      It works fine with me. Don't you worry Maurico.

    • profile image

      Mauricio 5 years ago

      Is there any problem after doing this steps with the phone carrier?

    • pinappu profile image

      pinappu 5 years ago from India

      Thank you jasontoheal for your kind comment.

    • profile image

      jasontoheal 5 years ago

      It will be good to see more phones with the latest ICS updates running. thanks for posting.