How to Upgrade YOUR AT&T Captivate to Android 4.0 ICS

android-icsCheck out my original post here to see my article gloating er. sharing with you about me installing ICS on my AT&T Samsung Captivate smartphone. Afterwards head back over here for instructions on how to install it on your phone.

This is just a quick how-to – no video sorry.  Again this isn’t for the weak at heart or technically challenged. I TAKE ABSOLUTELY NO RESPONSIBILITY if you brick your device. So be forewarned!


  1. Root your device and install ClockworkMod Recovery.
  2. Reboot into Recovery using 3-button-combo
  3. Do a Nandroid backup!
  4. WIPE (wipe data/factory reset + wipe cache partition)
  5. Install the ROM from internal sdcard using ClockworkMod Recovery
  6. Optionally install the Google Addon

Note: You should have the necessary ROM and Google Addon Zip Files Downloaded and installed onto your Phones Internal Zip BEFORE performing the steps below!

Root and install ClockworkMod Recovery

First you will need to Root your phone and make sure you have total access to your device. I highly suggest getting the AIO Toolbox – it’s sort of an all-in-one tool for Rooting/Flashing your phone back to stock. (Note: If you already updated to Gingerbread? This tool WILL NOT WORK!)

Then if it isn’t already installed – get Clockwork Mod Recovery and install it!

Reboot into Recovery Using 3-button-combo

You will also need to make sure your phone is able to get into Recovery and Download Modes.

 How to test?

Turn off your phone. Then while holding the Volume Rocker button down – Turn on the Power. As soon as you see the AT&T Logo let go of the Power button but keep holding down the Volume Rocker button. If you get to the system recovery menu – you should be good to go. Remember how to do this it will be important!

Ok – so you have your phone Rooted? Good.

Perform a Nandroid Backup

The best and easiest explanation is to just go here for instructions. Essentially your creating a backup image of your phone in it’s current state just in case you royally screw it up. In my history of flashing ROMs to my phone – I have only completely bricked my phone only once. And that was due to my stupidity and not having that 3-button combo working on the device.

WIPE (wipe data/factory reset + wipe cache partition)

So you have your phone Rooted, You can get into Recovery, and you performed your Nandroid Backup? Great – were almost there! Now you get to wipe your phone clean making it ready to install.

Get back into Recovery Mode – To make this easy I would suggest already having Clockwork Mod installed and have it go into Recovery Mode with it’s Advanced Options to allow you to do this.

While in Recovery Mode

Go to Wipe Data/Factory Reset – This will wipe your phone of any installed applications essentially returning your phone back to stock. This is IMPORTANT – DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. This will avoid Force Close issues or worse!

Wipe Cache Partition

You will choose Wipe Cache Partition next. This only takes a few seconds.

Install the ROM from internal sdcard using ClockworkMod Recovery

Now you can finally install the ROM onto your phone!  You can either go to ClockworkMod Recovery or while your still inside of the Recovery Menu.

From ClockworkMod Recovery – Choose Install Rom from SD Card – it will boot into Recovery Mode. You will choose the proper Zip file to install and it will install the ROM onto your phone. To get the current ROM you will need to go here and download it and have it on your internal SD Card. DO NOT put this on your External SD Card or Inside a Folder. Just Paste the zip file right into the directory that pops up when you have your phone plugged into your computer.

From the Recovery Menu – I have foregone the above step and just rebooted into Recovery and clicked on the “install zip from sdcard” option. Use the Volume Rocker buttons to navigate to the correct zip file and then hit the Power button to install. Worked fine for me anyways…

Install  Google Addon Apps and Fix

Again go here and make sure to download BOTH zip files to get Google Apps installed onto your phone. The ROM cannot have them packaged with them due to licensing conflicts with Google. While still in Recovery Mode you selec t “install zip from sdcard” option again and selec t the and to install them – in that order!
Reboot your phone and you should have ICS running on  your phone!

If you have any issues… again go back to XDA to troubleshoot and see if there are any possible bugs/fixes etc in relation to this ROM.

Helpful Resources:
YouTube Video – How to Install a ROM onto your AT&T Captivate (source: MobielTechVideos)
My Q&A for New Users Post on XDA-Developers

About Jason Mathes

Geek, Gamer, Blogger. I share my passion for gaming, technology, and WordPress. You will find reviews, tutorials, and more inside!If you have any questions or want to discuss the article? Find me on one of the Social Media buttons below. Or use the Contact Page up top!


  1. Ricky says

    Isn’t there any easier way to get it done? The long procedure seems to be too difficult to understand. Is CM available? CM=CyanogenMod

    • says

      Do you mean like just download the ROM an update using Clockwork Recovery – and *poof* your updated? No – not currently. This is an early build they are working for Cyanogen Mod 9. If you are updating from CM7 – there are a few steps less – but you will need to go to the XDA Developers forum I have linked in the article to read about how to do that.

      The instructions I listed were those who still have a “stock” phone and wished to update.