Update Galaxy Ace 2 I8160 to Android 5.1.1 Lollipop CM 12.1 ROM. Few years back Galaxy Ace launched by Samsung was ruling the Android market. Every other person owned this low budget phone due to its amazing features. Galaxy Ace 2 I8160 is the successor of Galaxy Ace with slightly improved specs and features. Its features include Dual-core 800 MHz processor with NovaThor U8500 chipset, 4 GB of internal memory, 768 MB RAM, TFT capacitive touchscreen with 480 x 800 pixels resolution, 5 megapixel camera with LED flash and many more. It was launched with Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread OS which was officially upgradable to Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean OS. After Jelly Bean, Samsung stopped further updates for this smartphone which disappointed many users. There was only one way to enjoy the latest OS on Galaxy Ace 2, which was flashing unofficial custom ROMs.

Update Galaxy Ace 2 I8160 to Android 5.1.1 Lollipop CM 12.1 screenshot 1Update Galaxy Ace 2 I8160 to Android 5.1.1 Lollipop CM 12.1 screenshot 2

Last year the Cyanogenmod community developed CM 11 custom ROM based on Android 4.4 KitKat OS especially for Galaxy Ace 2 I8160 smartphone. So after the release of latest Android 5.0 Lollipop, there were many hopes that this latest OS will be available for Ace 2 soon. But days passed by and there was no sign of any custom ROM till last month when aviallon, recognized developer from XDA community launched the latest, stable and full functioning Android 5.1.1 based Cyanogenmod 12.1 custom ROM for Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 I8160 smartphone. In this article we’ll discuss easy and simple steps on how to update Galaxy Ace 2 I8160 to Android 5.1.1 CM 12.1.

Update Galaxy Ace 2 I8160 to Android 5.1.1 Lollipop CM 12.1 screenshot 3Update Galaxy Ace 2 I8160 to Android 5.1.1 Lollipop CM 12.1 screenshot 4

Try this process at your own risk. If any kind of damage happens to your device then neither no I nor the developers of this ROM will be held liable for that. Although there are least chances that your phone will get damaged. Still I recommend you to implement every step as mentioned without a single mistake. This Cyanogenmod 12.1 ROM based on Android 5.1.2 OS is compatible only with Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 having model number GT-I8160 and GT-I8160P. Don not flash this on any other device or variant. If tried your  device may turn into semi bricked / non functioning state. Check your device’s model number from Menu–>Settings–>About phone before proceeding.


  • Charge your phones battery at least up to 60% so as to reduce the chances of interruption during the flashing process.
  • After flashing this CM 12.1 ROM on your galaxy Ace 2, all the data present on your internal memory will get wiped out. This may include your contacts, messages, call logs, apn settings, memos etc. So a backup copy of everything must be done before proceeding further.
  • You might be knowing that a folder called EFS present in your phones system directory contains all your phones specific information such as the IMEI, wireless devices MAC addresses, product code, and much more. If by mistake this folder gets wiped out then your device will be completely useless & will no longer be recognized by your carrier. Refer our article to backup and restore EFS/IMEI data:
  1. How to backup and restore EFS/IMEI on Android Phones.
  • Make sure you have installed mobile specific drivers on your PC. This is important so to recognize your Galaxy Ace 2 when connected to PC. You can install them by installing Samsung Kies or manually install them from the link given below:
  1. Download latest Samsung USB Drivers.
  • Your Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 i8160 must be Rooted. Also a custom recovery like Clockworkmod or TWRP must be installed. Steps to install latest CWM recovery are given below:

Step 1: Download and copy this CWM recovery on your phones SD card.

Step 2: Switch off your Galaxy Ace 2 completely and boot into recovery mode.

Step 3: For doing so press and hold Volume up + Home button (middle button) + Power button simultaneously until you land into recovery mode.

Step 4: Using Volume keys navigate to the install zip from SD card’ option followed by ‘choose zip from SD card’ option and then select this CWM recovery using Home button.

Step 5: After successfully flashing it, return to the main menu and select reboot system now option to restart your Galaxy Ace 2.

That’s it! You’ve flashed the latest CWM recovery. Now let’s flash the Android 5.1.1 Lollipop based CM 12.1 ROM.

Update Galaxy Ace 2 I8160 to Android 5.1.1 Lollipop CM 12.1

Procedure to install Android 5.1.1 Lollipop on Galaxy Ace 2:


  1. Download Cyanogenmod 12.1 Custom ROM for Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 i8160.
  1. Download Google Apps (Android 5.1.1 Lollipop).


Step 1: Download both the zip package files in a folder on your PC. Do not extract them.

Step 2: Now using original USB cable connect your Galaxy Ace 2 to PC and copy both the downloaded files on your phones SD card.

Step 3: Safely disconnect the phone from PC & switch it off completely. Now you need to enter your phone into CWM recovery mode. Recovery mode can be entered by pressing & holding Volume up + Home button (middle button) + Power button together till you enter recovery mode.

Note: Touch won’t work in recovery mode. So use Volume keys for navigating up and down and use Home button for selection.

As soon as you land into recovery, firstly make a complete backup of the ROM you are currently using. This is called as nandroid backup which is the backup of your entire operating system & is always helpful during the failure of flashing process or during any problem with the ROM, then you can easily restore your saved previous ROM.

Refer our detailed article for taking Nandroid backup:

  1. How to take Nandroid Backup of any Android Phone with 8 simple methods.

Step 4: For taking a complete nandroid backup, using volume keys navigate to the ‘backup & restore’ option on the recovery mode and on the next screen select ‘backup’ option using home button. This will make a complete nandroid backup of your current ROM. Refer screenshots.

Nandroid backup screenshot 1Nandroid backup screenshot 2

Step 5: Now you need to clear the data/cache present on your phone. For that navigate to the ‘wipe data/factory reset’ option and on the next screen select ‘wipe cache partition’ option. This will clear all the data & caches from your phones internal memory respectively. So a complete backup of everything is must taken before implementing this step.

wipe data cache screenshot

Step 6: Now navigate to the Advanced option located on the recovery mode itself. Select Reboot Recovery  option on the next page.

reboot recovery screenshot

Wait until you boot again into recovery.

Let’s move to the actual Android 5.1.1 Lollipop based CM 12.1 ROM flashing process.

Step 7: Navigate to the ‘install zip from SD card’ option using Volume keys & select it using Home button. Then on the next screen select ‘choose zip from SD card’ option. As soon as you select this option, you’ll see all the data present on your phones SD card. Just select the CM 12.1 ROM which you’ve copied earlier using home button. On the next page select ‘Yes’ option to start the actual Android 5.0 Lollipop flashing process. It will take some time to complete successfully. So wait and be patient.

CWM recovery Screenshot

Step 8: Again select ‘wipe data/factory reset’ option and ‘wipe cache partition’ option from the recovery to clear all your phones data & cache. This step is must to solve the boot loop issue.

Step 9: Similarly flash the Google Apps (GApps) as you’ve flashed this Cyanogenmod 12.1 custom ROM. Just remember not to wipe data/cache after flashing them.

Step 10: Everything completes here, just restart your Galaxy Ace 2 by selecting ‘reboot system now’ option from the recovery mode. Note that the first boot takes more time to start than usual. But don’t worry it’ll be normal after a couple of boots .

reboot system screenshot

Note: If you want to restore back your previous saved ROM, then you can do that by going back to the recovery mode and selecting ‘Backup and Restore’ option and then on next page selecting ‘Restore’ option. Then you may select the saved ROM you want to restore.


That’s it! You have successfully flashed Android 5.1.1 Lollipop based Cyanogenmod 12.1 Custom ROM on your Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 i8160 / i8160P. The same can be confirmed from Menu->Settings->About Phone. Note that this Android 5.1.1 ROM is not an official firmware from Samsung but  an unofficial custom ROM. Lastly, if you need any help regarding the procedure mentioned above, then feel free to ask me through the comments below & I’ll be glad to help you out. Till then Enjoy! 🙂