Guide To Overclocking Android Phones Using Kernels

Smartphones of 2021 were a wonder to behold. They accomplished things that users couldn’t imagine just a few years ago. However, despite how good they get, smartphones, especially droids, tend to age pretty quickly. Users that do not have the ability to constantly upgrade their

smartphone every year or so, might achieve the much-needed boost in speed, through overclocking. There is no better platform than Android to achieve enhanced performance by tweaking your device through operations such as rooting and overclocking. Android purists are often grateful for the customisability the OS provides them and for good reason. You can squeeze out a considerable number of years from a phone that would otherwise render itself unusable or very unpleasant to use.

Guide To Overclocking Android Phones Using Kernels

Guide To Overclocking Android Phones Using Kernels


Essentially, overclocking is the process by which you can force your CPU to run at speeds that are faster than its original intended speed. Hardcore and professional PC gamers have been long advocates of overclocking their hardware to push their machines to maximum (or close to) potential. You can do the same with Android as well. Mobile gaming is constantly becoming more taxing and intensive on the phone’s processor, which warrants this, now, more than

ever. It can give you as much as 30 per cent of extra power. However, your device will need to be rooted for this process to work. Overclocking is facilitated through downloading the right kernel, also known as bootloader, for your device. It is one of the first programs loaded onto your device and performs several vital tasks such as running processes, managing the hard disk, handling interrupts and the rest of the startup process.

Overclocking your device comes with a few risks such as more heat generation and battery drainage.


Overclocking is sort of a staple process in the modding community, so there is absolutely no shortage of kernels on the internet. You need to locate a kernel for the specific model of your phone, a great place to start would be XDA-Developers. First, you will need to find the model number of your device by going to Settings > About Phone. Also, note the version of Android you are currently using. Search for a kernel with the model number of your phone.

You must keep four things in mind while picking a kernel – it must support overclocking (of course!), must be compatible with your phone model, should work on your current version of Android, and finally, it should have a good reputation (You don’t want your phone

to brick, do you?. Try to pick a popular kernel, since you can easily obtain feedback and help in case you encounter any pressing issues.

Once you have picked a kernel, download a generic overclocking or CPU manager app. This will be used to You can boost up your old smartphone change your CPU clock speeds after the entire process. Some kernels come pre-installed with an app, so use that if it is available.


Firstly, you will have to have a custom recovery installed, in addition to having a rooted Android device since you cannot flash-kernel utilising stock recovery.

Before beginning the process, make sure to have a backup of all the data on your device. You can achieve this either through your custom recovery, apps or various other PC-based solutions. Let’s get to business now.

  • Download your chosen kernel and all the software that comes along with it. You can also download the kernel to your PC and then import it the zip file to your phone’s root directory.
  • Next, turn off your device and enter the fast boot. This is usually achieved by pressing the power and volume down button at the same time. However, if it doesn’t work for your device, a simple Google search should do the trick.
  • Use volume keys to navigate in the fastboot screen and move over to Recovery Mode. Select it by clicking the power button. You will enter your custom recovery, for this tutorial, we are using the example of TWRP.
  • Click on Install (or Install zip for CWM recovery) and then go over to the location where you stored the kernel.
  • Next, you will need to flash the kernel zip file and wait for a success message to pop-up.
  • Once the kernel has been flashed successfully, wipe the cache clean.
  • Navigate to Advanced Settings in recovery and click on Fix Permissions.
  • Lastly, reboot your system. Some super user-friendly kernels allow you to set your CPU clock speed during installation itself. You can choose to make changes, if offered, there or later by using the CPU manager app that you have installed. Read on for instructions for the latter.


If you did not have the ability to change your device’s CPU clock speed during installation, you can now launch your CPU manager app. If you skipped this step, don’t worry, simply head over to Play Store and install a reputable app for this purpose now. We recommend Kernel Adiutor, a great app that manages kernel parameters. You will need to grant the GPU manager app/kernel root permission and you may need to install BusyBox as well. After launching the app, locate the settings that control CPU clock speed. You can now go ahead and choose a max

CPU speed from a drop-down menu or slider, depending on the app you are using for this. When we said “max” CPU speed, we didn’t mean THE maximum clock speed available. We meant, choose a speed that would be the maximum your CPU would run at. Take this slowly, increase your CPU clock speed by around 10 per cent every time and gauge how it impacts your device. Work your way up only if you need to and there aren’t any negative signs such as excessive overheating and battery drainage.

Note that your device will not instantaneously jump in speed with the new settings. Overclocking essentially increase the CPU’s maximum speed, to be able to deliver better performance when necessary. If you encounter any kind of instability, like the aforementioned (heating and battery drainage), you can easily revert to the previous CPU clock speed setting (lower) and analyse how this affects the device.

Additionally, if there are any unforeseen issues or predicaments during this process that don’t solve themselves by simply dropping the CPU clock speed, you can hit the forums or discussion groups. You can read through the massive amounts of previously-posted questions or simply ask the question yourself. Sites like XDA-developers and Reddit has exceedingly active forums that constantly attempt to answer users and solve any pressing doubts they may have about a large variety of topic.

If nothing is working, you will be better off flashing back your original custom kernel since nothing else has worked in your favour. You can then try with a different custom kernel if you haven’t been deterred yet.

You have now successfully managed to overclock your phone. While overclocking comes with quite a few risks, it may very well be worth it. This is because most people would only want to overclock old, dilapidated phones that anyway seem to be dying out. There are a few people that daringly root and overclock brand new phones as well, but we don’t recommend that especially since the phones being released today are capable of doing well without any external assistance.

However, if you have an old phone that has nearly died out, chances are that overclocking may ElementalX kernel – a well-renowned kernel. breathe some life into it.