In March this year, we wrote a post on how to increase internal storage on Android devices using adaptive storage. If you remember, we mentioned that not all phone manufacturers, including Samsung and Xiaomi, offer the option to increase internal memory. That’s a bummer, isn’t it?
But all is not lost, we have been modding our Xiaomi devices ever since and we found this cool solution to increase the internal memory on any Xiaomi phone.
This solution (as above) also uses an SD card to borrow said memory, however, it also involves flashing a custom ROM to enable adaptive storage.
Conditions for this trick to work
- The phone must have support for external memory.
- Android version must be Marshmallow or higher.
- The SD card used in the process must be a high-speed class 10 SD card. Just a good point of warning: if you stick with a slow memory card, your Android may slow down in the long run.
- ADB and Fastboot are installed on your computer.
So, without further ado, let’s begin.
#1. Backup all data
Said earlier, the process involves flashing a custom ROM on the device, which means you erase all data on the device. So before you proceed, make sure all apps, data, and contacts are safely backed up to a computer or the cloud.
#two. Create an IM account
Again, this is a prerequisite for flashing your phone, as creating an MI account helps you unlock the bootloader.
This process usually takes 3-4 days and requires you to write to Mi admins to allow developer rights. Xiaomi keeps the bootloader locked to keep the user’s private data safe from fake ROMs or devices.
#3. Download the Developer ROM
As you already know, every Xiaomi device has two or more types of ROM associated with it: a Global ROM and a Chinese ROM. Obviously, the global ROM only runs on phones with Snapdragon processors and the Chinese ROM will run on MediaTek processors.
In this step, all you have to do is select your phone (in our case, it’s a Redmi Note 3) and select the developer ROM. Clicking download will automatically download a zip file to your computer.
Related: 10 tips to improve security and privacy in iOS 13
#4. Transfer the ROM
Now that the ROM is downloaded on the computer, transfer the zip file to your phone using a data cable. Here, make sure the file is copied to your device’s internal storage. Once done, head to the Updater app (under Tools), tap the three-dot menu and manually select the ROM from internal storage.
This process usually takes 8-10 minutes to complete, after which the phone will boot into the new developer mode.
The bootloader controls how the device in question will boot and getting into the bootloader is called Fastboot.
#5. Enter Fastboot mode
The following steps require another tool that goes by the name of Mi Unlock. This tool helps to get into Fastboot mode. Once downloaded, Mi Unlock also asks you to sign in with the same Mi credentials.
To verify Mi account, turn off your phone and press and hold the Volume Down key and Power button at the same time until you see a rabbit on the screen.
After entering Fastboot mode, connect your phone to the PC using a data cable and click “Unlock” (in the unlock tool).
#6. ADB and custom recovery
Unlocking the device completes the first half of the process. The second half uses another set of tools,
- ADB and fast boot
- Custom TWRP Recovery
- lineage roms
- GApps (Google Apps)
The popular XDA Developers forum features an installer called “15 Seconds ADB Installer v1.4.3” which, as the name suggests, ensures that all the necessary files are copied inside your Program Files folder pc.
These files are inside a folder called Minimal ADB and Fastboot.
Navigate to the folder, right-click to open the command prompt and type the following command,
fastboot oem unlock-go
If your system does not allow you to open the command prompt from within the folder, click here. The original unlock The command helps determine whether the device has been successfully unlocked.
An unlocked device message from true indicates that we are ready to go to the next step: copy the TWRP image file inside the Minimal ADB folder to change the device recovery type.
To copy the files, type the following command:
flash fastboot recovery [TWRP image name]
Here, rename the image with the name of the TWRP file you downloaded.
Related: How to Download Instagram Reels Videos on iPhone and Android
See also: How to Root LeEco Le 2 and Install TWRP: Step by Step, Detailed Guide
#7. Install the lineage ROM
Copy the Lineage ROM file (downloaded in step 6) to the phone’s internal memory. Now boot the phone into recovery mode ie press and hold the power button and volume up button until you see TWRP flashing on the screen. Tap the Backup option which will take a NANDroid backup of your Android device
A NANDroid backup is a clone of an Android device’s file system and is usually done by a custom Android recovery, but can also be done by an app. Once the backup is done, it’s time to wipe the device.
Also make sure to clear cache along with system data and internal storage. Now that everything is fresh and clean, tap install and install both zip files: Lineage ROM and then GApps.
After installing the same zip file, the device will reboot again. This process will take around 10-12 minutes, after which your phone will boot stock Android similar to the one found on the OnePlus3 or Moto G5 Plus.
Speaking of the Moto G5 Plus, check out the difference between the Redmi Note 4 and the Moto G5 Plus
#8. Enable adaptive storage
As they say, patience always pays and it is absolutely true in this case. When everything is successfully completed, and your phone has a new look, you will be able to enable adaptive storage.
Go to settings > storage, after USB > Portable storage and tap the hamburger menu in the upper right corner. Tap settings and select Format as internal storage > Delete and format. Once this is done, the device storage will show the aggregated memory.
This point needs a little warning: since the phone considers the SD card as part of the internal storage now, an unplanned eject can result in an unstable phone and apps may be forced to close.
This is how you can increase the internal memory of your Xiaomi device. The process is a bit long to be sure, but at the end of the day, you get more memory and relief from memory related issues. Of course, flashing a new ROM means you have to say goodbye to the built-in IR blaster. But hey, more storage, remember?
See also: How to increase the resolution of your Android device without root