The most common and easiest way to upgrade the Android operating system on a Xiaomi phone (or may be any other Android phones) is through Over The Air (OTA) Update mechanism. However, that may not be enough to certain extent. Some users feel that flashing the full ROM is more satisfying rather than just installing part of the ROM. This guide shows you how to properly flash MIUI on a Xiaomi phone (Mi or Redmi variants) using its Recovery ROM. Flashing Recovery ROM allows users to upgrade or downgrade either within the same Stable build (China/Global) or migrating from/to Developer build (China/Global).
Important note: rolling-back or downgrading MIUI ROM to older version can only be done within the same ROM variant.
About MIUI Recovery ROM
Xiaomi releases two build of ROM: Recovery and Fastboot. Recovery ROM is always in .zip format whereas Fastboot ROM is always in .tgz format. Both Recovery and Fastboot ROMs are available for each variant: China Stable, China Developer, Global Stable, and Global Developer ROMs.
Flashing Recovery ROM
This tutorial is done using Mi Mix on MIUI 8. The steps will also be applicable to almost any recent Xiaomi phones running MIUI 7 or newer (MIUI 8, MIUI 9, MIUI 10 – once it released).
Also read: How to flash MIUI Fastboot ROM.
Step 1 – Download appropriate version of MIUI Recovery ROM for your phone. Different Xiaomi phone needs specific MIUI ROM. It means you cannot just download and use any MIUI ROM which is not for your phone. Visit official MIUI download page or use search form above to look for a copy in our website – or browse around in our ROMs section.
p.s: You better firstly download the full ROM package (zip) file into your computer and transfer it then to your phone’s storage.
Step 2 – Make sure you have downloaded and copied the .zip file into your phone’s internal storage. Now launch the MIUI Updater app through Tools >> Updater.
Update for MIUI 9: The Updater app is now located at Settings >> About phone >> System Update.
Step 3 – Next, tap on the three dots at the upper right-hand corner to reveal advanced options.
Step 4 – Now choose the “Choose update package” from displayed options.
Step 5 – Look for and locate the full ROM zip file you have copied into your phone. Choose the file name and then tap “OK” and the system will automatically flash it.
Step 6 – Once the decryption process has completed, you’ll be asked to choose “Erase and Update“. Tapping on “Cancel” will cancel the flashing process.
Step 7 – That’s all. Simply wait till the flashing process is finished and your phone will reboot accordingly into the new version of MIUI.
How to downgrade MIUI version using Recovery ROM? Simply follow the same procedure above but use older version of MIUI ROM .zip file than the current running version. Again, you can only downgrade from the same ROM variant (ex: from MIUI 126.96.36.199 Stable to MIUI 188.8.131.52 Stable and not from Stable to Developer or vice versa). Otherwise you may see “Can’t verify update” error.