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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.


$ 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.


21 comments for “How to change fonts in Android without font management tool?

  1. Mahesh
    September 9, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    hi I am Mahesh. I m using htc explorer 310 I . and I have problem of read,write of Kannada language. pls tell me solution.

  2. Rishi Doshi
    January 28, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    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)

  3. Ye Tazar Htet
    January 10, 2012 at 1:22 am

    Pls tell me the way to change my samsung galaxy s2 i9100 device.

  4. September 15, 2011 at 10:52 am

    Good article, Thank you so much

  5. August 10, 2011 at 3:44 am

    Use font-changer app from the market or fresh-type it does all of that including font backup but you have to have root-access …

  6. Lucius
    June 22, 2011 at 5:00 am

    Coolie howto. Root explorer saves some commands :)

  7. Derek
    December 1, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    TypeFresh often fails and is no longer maintained.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

  8. November 6, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    Better and easiest way with TypeFresh… See here,

  9. November 1, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    there is not change :( :(

  10. Ziv
    June 21, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    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.

    • June 21, 2010 at 9:04 pm

      Did you check the space on /system? try “df” command to know there is some space or not (I believe this command works in adb shell)

  11. Alvin B.
    February 10, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    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

    • Torkiliuz
      November 3, 2010 at 9:50 pm

      adb shell reboot is the correct command for your last entry…

      • November 3, 2010 at 10:01 pm

        # is the adb shell root prompt here

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