How to Change fonts on Android:
In almost all cases, we are quite content with the font that is being used as default by our computer programs or our smartphones but there are always some people who want to stand out from the crowd and so prefer their own customized typeface.
For such people using Android smartphones, we have good news that changing fonts is indeed possible in the highly customizable environment of the Android OS, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that doing so is a simple task as you will be required to know some technical know-how before you can accomplish this task.
Here we will discuss two methods by which you can change fonts on your Android; one requiring rooting, the other not requiring rooting.
Change Fonts on Android Through OEM skins:
Stock Google Android that is mostly used in the Nexus devices surprisingly doesn’t have native functionality for changing system fonts so that you can’t on any of the Nexus devices simply go to the Settings page and select an Option to change the fonts. Not even custom ROMs like CyanogenMod that are based on AOSP have this functionality.
This changes when we talk about OEMs as these companies add their own custom settings to the AOSP code to make it more versatile. These custom settings often include the ability to customize fonts.
Many Samsung devices let you change your font style and the company has even added a few extra fonts along with the default one in its Galaxy devices and there are still more available for download on the Google Play Store.
Similar functionality is available on the LG phones too though if you want to get more fonts, you will have to get them from the LG Smart World.
Putting a new font on both these company’s phones is easy; Go to Settings > Display > Font Style and simply tap on the name of the font that you want to use as system font. This will instantly change the font of your device without the need of reboot to bring about the changes.
Change Fonts on Android Through Custom Launchers:
There are custom launcher apps available for Android using which you can change your fonts. Though many of these launchers need to implement a whole theme to change the font, some integrate the option to simply change the font.
The most popular of these custom launchers is GO Launcher EX, it can change the font of your system but there is a downside to it; you can only apply the font change to selected part of the UI but not the fonts of the apps or the system menus.
1- Copy the TTF format font files to the /sdcard/GOLauncherEX/fonts directory.
2- Open the GO Launcher EX app on your phone.
3- Tap the Menu button on the main screen or swipe the screen upwards.
4- From the Menu, select Preferences to open the Launcher’s Settings page.
5- Tap on Visual Settings option.
6- Select ‘Scan Font’ so that your app can scan the directories for font files and when the app finds the font in the /sdcard directory, tap on ‘Select Font’ to select the font you want to use.
Immediately the font of your phone will change without it needing a reboot to bring about changes.Download GO Launcher EX
iFont (For Samsung phones)
iFont is a very popular app for changing fonts on your Android phones, especially on the ones made by Samsung (both rooted and non-rooted).
In order to change font in a non-rooted Samsung device, open iFont’s Online tab to browse for fonts and follow these steps to implement them.
1- First enable installation of apps from ‘Unknown Sources’ by accessing Settings > Security.
2- Launch the iFont app and go to the Online tab.
3- Tap on the font that you want to install on your phone.
4- Now download it.
5- Once it is downloaded, press the ‘Set’ button. Or apply the font manually by going to Settings > Display > Font Style.
6- Tap on the new font to make it your system font.
7- The font is applied without the need of a reboot.Download iFont
Methods requiring Root:
Rooting your devices grants you the ability to alter system files of your phone and so potentially posing the risk of making it useless altogether. So be very careful about how you proceed if you want to root your device.
Font changer apps for rooted devices:
When a device is rooted, an easy way to change the font is through font changer apps that support the use of rooted devices. Many such apps are available on the Google Play Store and we will let you know about two of them below; Font Installer and iFont.
Android Font Installer:
Font Installer is a great choice when it comes to font changes in rooted devices. It hosts some very good features like the option to preview a font before implementing it while browsing through the font list so that you may know exactly how the font will look like when it is activated.
The app is free for use but it is ad-supported, you can remove the ads by purchasing a premium license.
If you already have a TTF font file on your phone that you want to activate then follow these steps to do exactly that using Font Installer.
1- Copy the TTF file to /sdcard directory of your phone.
2- Launch the Font Installer app.
3- It would be wise to back up your system fonts before tampering with a new one, you can do that by taping the Menu button on the app’s home screen and selecting Backup/Restore. When the Supperuser or SuperSU asks for permission, grant it.
4- Now select the ‘Local’ tab to open the directory explorer and locate the TTF file.
5- Tap the TTF file once it is found and when a pop up dialog appears, tap Install to make this your default system font.
6- Grant permission to Superuser or SuperSU when asked.
7- Font Installer will prompt you to reboot the device, do so. And you font is now installed.
But if you want to install a font from the Font Installer’s collection, follow these steps.
1- Select the ‘Server’ tab in the app to see the collection of fonts.
2- Tap the font you like.
3- When a pop up appears, click on Preview to see the font in action before implementing it. If you like it, tap on Install to make it your System font.
4- If a backup notice appears, be sure to back up your system fonts before proceeding, it won’t take too much time.
5- Reboot the device.Download Font Installer
In a previous subsection, we told you how to use iFont to install fonts on non-rooted devices, now we will show you how to do that on rooted devices. iFont works on phones manufactured by companies other than Samsung when they are rooted. Here’s how you will download, install and use a custom font using iFont’s Online tab.
1- Launch the app, and open the Online Tab.
2- Tap the font you want to install.
3- Download it and then tap the ‘Set’ button.
4- If you get a dialog box asking whether System Mode should be turned on, tap OK.
5- Reboot the device in order to complete the process.
But if you want to install using a TTF file from your device, copy that file to /sdcard/ifont/custom directory and then take these steps,
1- Tap the Menu button on the iFont main screen.
2- Select Settings > Change Font Mode. If you are using a rooted non-Samsung device, choose System mode, otherwise choose Samsung mode.
3- Go to the Custom tab in iFont.
4- Select the font you like.
5- Tap the Set button.
6- Confirm the change via the resultant dialog box.
7- If you get a dialog box asking whether System Mode should be turned on, tap OK.
8- A reboot will complete the changes.Download iFont
The Way of the Geek:
These were the easy ways you could change your phone’s font, but if you are the curious and tinkering kind, then you will have much fun manually changing the fonts of your Android device.
These manual methods require root access because you will be directly accessing the systems directory, there are two methods for doing this; by Android Debug Bridge or by root-level file manager app.
Let’s talk a bit about system fonts first.
If you do decide to manually change the fonts on your Android, you should know about the following font files
1- Roboto-Regular.ttf: This is a system-wide font file as it is used everywhere from app labels to menu texts.
2- Roboto-Bold.ttf: This is the boldface edition of Regular and isn’t used as regularly as the Regular variant. But, still wherever bold letters are used, this font is the one handling it.
3- Roboto-Italic.ttf: The italic type of the Roboto.
4- Roboto-BoldItalic.ttf: This is same as the italic variant except that its bold.
All these fonts are located inside /system/fonts directory. The general idea between manual replacing is that you replace the old system font files i.e. Roboto’s with the new fonts having the exact same names though with their own typefaces.
Though be sure to make a backup of your system fonts before proceeding.
Using the Android Debug Bridge (ADB):
You need the following in order to change fonts using ADB.
1- A rooted Android device.
2- A computer with Android SDK installed and set up.
3- Your Android device’s USB drivers installed on the computer.
4- ADB must be able to detect your Android.
5- Your Phone’s USB cable.
6- The TTF file you want to use.
Here we will guide you on how you can replace the system font Roboto-Regular.ttf with a font file named Times_New_Roman.ttf.
1- Rename Times_New_Roman.ttf to Roboto-Regular.ttf.
2- Using any of the convenient methods, copy the newly name Roboto-Regular.ttf to your Android’s /sdcard directory.
3- Open CMD on your PC.
4- Launch the remote shell connectivity on your phone with the following command in CMD ‘adb shell’.
5- Execute the following commands; “su” and “mount -o remount,rw /system”.
6- Back up the original TTF file somewhere.
7- Copy the newly named Roboto-Regular.ttf into the fonts directory “cp /sdcard/Roboto-Regular.ttf /system/fonts”.
8- Ensure that the file is readable (either 644 or 666). This is critical as if the file is not readable the system will bootloop.
9- Exit the interactive shell by typing “exit”.
10- Reboot the device to complete the changes.Download Android SDK
Using File Manager app:
This method is much more easier than the ADB. For this, you will need,
- A rooted Android device.
- A file manager app like ES File Explorer.
- Read and write permissions for the /system folder.
- TTF that you want to implement to be copied over to /sdcard directory.
The following steps are for the ES File Explorer, if you use a different app, then the steps may vary.
1- Copy the Times_New_Roman.ttf over to the /sdcard directory.
2- Launch ES File Explorer on the device.
3- Tap Menu > Settings > Root Settings to turn n ‘Root Explorer’ and ‘Up to Root’. Grant permission to Superuser or SuperSU when prompted. Also enable the ‘Mount File System’.
4- Through the app, navigate to /system/fonts folder and look for Roboto-Regular.ttf there, once found, rename it to serve as backup.
5- Now copy the Times_New_Roman.ttf from /sdcard to the /fonts directory and rename it as Roboto-Regular.ttf to set it as the default system font.
6- Long tap on the newly named Roboto-Regular.ttf to open a menu. From there, select Properties.
7- From the Properties menu, tap the Change button and make sure that the ‘read’ permissions are granted for User, Group and Other. Also make sure that ‘Write’ permission is granted to User.
8- Reboot the device to apply changes.Download ES File Explorer
[Via: Android Authority]