How to change fonts in Android without font management tool?

This HOWTO talks about how to change the default fonts in Android mobile without any font management tool. The system fonts are available in /system/fonts directory. DroidSans.ttf is the main font used in most of the applications. Overwriting the fonts in this directory with your fonts will change the fonts in the Android mobile.

This involves two steps. One is to get the /system/fonts directory in read-write mode and another one is transferring your fonts to /system/fonts directory.

1. Make /system/fonts with read-write permission. Follow my previous post of Mounting /system partition in read-write mode in Android to get it done.

2. Backup the existing fonts and copy the new fonts using adb tool. Here # is the adb root prompt.

# mv /system/fonts/DroidSans.ttf /system/fonts/DroidSans_org.ttf

Repeat the above command for the fonts you are going to overwrite as a backup.

# exit

$ exit

C:\android-sdk-windows-1.1_r1\tools>adb push c:\downloads\fonts\myfont.ttf /system/fonts/DroidSans.ttf
1145 KB/s (0 bytes in 73292.000s)

The above command will copy the new fonts. Repeat this command for all the fonts you want to overwrite.

C:\android-sdk-windows-1.1_r1\tools>adbshell

$ su

# reboot

Once your mobile rebooted, you can see your shining new fonts.

WARNING: Default font is tailor made for Android mobile to fit perfectly with all the controls and screen. There is a chance of imperfectness in your font for Android. In this case, you can revert back any time by following the above process.

Enjoy!

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21 comments

  1. Hi,
    I read this article after i installed new fonts, without taking a backup!! Yippee .. Now i can only see squares 🙂 i dont have the default font file. where can i find it? I have Hero H7000 phone. (Chinese)

  2. TypeFresh often fails and is no longer maintained. I found Font Changer, available on the Market, which worked very well for me.

  3. Hello, I have a problem changing the fonts.
    I rooted my device (HTC-Desire 0.80) successfully.
    when trying to change the files in /system/fonts I receive: ‘write: No space left on device.’
    I remounted the /system as read write.
    please advice.

    Thank you.

  4. Better way to do it if you’re rooted – the above skips a couple of things.

    1) You can simply do an adb “pull” to backup the font on the device. adb pull /system/fonts/DroidSans.ttf DroidSans.ttf

    Before the push, you must remount, or you’ll get an error. that’s done by:
    adb remount

    Then finally, rebooting can be done over adb too!
    adb reboot

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