Xposed Framework: What It Is and How to Install It

Install custom mods on Android with the Xposed installer app

Xposed is the name of a platform that lets you install little programs called modules to your Android device that can customize its look and functionality. 

The benefit of the Xposed framework over some methods of customizing your device is that you don't have to make a blanket, system-wide modification (mod) that includes tons of changes just so that you can get one or two mods. Just choose the one(s) you want and then install them individually.

The basic idea is that after installing an app called Xposed Installer, you can use it to find and install other apps/mods that can do a wide variety of things. Some might provide little tweaks to the OS like hiding the carrier label from the status bar, or larger functionality changes to third-party apps like auto-saving incoming Snapchat messages.

Illustration of a smartphone with puzzle pieces
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The directions below should apply no matter who made your Android phone: Samsung, Google, Huawei, Xiaomi, etc. However, only Android versions up to 8.1 (Oreo) are currently supported.

Before Installing the Xposed Framework

There are a few things you need to do first:

  1. Make sure that your device is fully backed up. It's possible to run into issues during the installation or use of Xposed that leaves your device unusable.

  2. Check which version of Android you're running so that you know if your device is compatible and if so, which download link to choose below. This is found in the settings, usually in the About phone or About device section, and possibly buried deeper in a More or Software information area.

  3. Identify your device's CPU architecture. Droid Hardware Info is one app that can show you that information.

  4. You'll need to root your device.

How to Install the Xposed Framework

  1. Install Android Debug Bridge (ADB) and Fastboot on your computer.

  2. Install TWRP on your phone using Fastboot.

  3. Download the most recently released Xposed ZIP file that matches the version of Android on your device and the CPU architecture.

    Within each of those folders are other folders that correspond to the device's CPU architecture. It's important to download the correct one that applies to your phone.

  4. Connect your phone to your computer and enable file transfers.

  5. Copy to your phone the file you downloaded in Step 3.

  6. Execute the following ADB command from your computer:

    adb reboot recovery
  7. Tap Install from the TWRP menu on your phone.

  8. From TWRP, locate and select the ZIP file you copied, and then swipe right on the Swipe to confirm Flash option.

  9. Tap Reboot System.

  10. When your phone powers back on, visit this download page and download the APK file shown at the bottom of the intro section (before all the comments).

    You might be told that this type of file can harm your device if you install it. Go ahead and confirm that you want to download and install the file. If you get an Install blocked message, see the first tip at the bottom of this page.

  11. When it's finished downloading, open the file when you're prompted to do so.

  12. When asked if you're sure you want to install the application, tap Install to confirm.

    If you see a message about Chrome blocking the installation, tap Settings on that message and then enable Allow from this source. Tap the back button to see the Install link.

  13. Tap Open when it's finished installing.

  14. Tap Framework from the Xposed Installer app. It might be buried in the menu at the top left of the screen.

    If you're told to Be careful! since Xposed might corrupt your device, tap OK. The backup you made before starting this process will serve as a way to get your device back into working order should it become bricked or put in a "boot loop."

  15. From the Framework screen, tap Install/Update.

    If you're told that the app is requesting root permissions, allow it.

  16. Tap OK when asked if you're ready to reboot.

How to Install and Use Xposed Modules

Once the module is downloaded and the proper permissions have been set, you can customize the settings and then enable it for use.

How and Where to Download Xposed Modules

There are two ways to get Xposed modules installed on your device. The first is way easier, so we'll outline that here:

  1. Open the Xposed Installer app and tap Download from the main menu.

  2. Search or scroll for a module and tap the one you want to install.

  3. Swipe over or tap the Versions tab.

  4. Tap the Download button on the version you want to install. The most recent versions are always listed at the top of the page.

  5. On the next screen that shows what the app will have permission to do on your device, confirm the installation with the Install button.

    If the page is too long to show all the information at once, you'll instead see one or more Next buttons. Tap those to see the Install button. If you don't see this Install option, see Tip 3 below.

  6. When it's finished installing, you can tap Open to launch the new module, or Done to return to the Versions tab.

    If you do not open the app right away at this step, see Tip 2 at the bottom of this page to see how to open it later.

  7. When the module app is opened, it's there you can customize it to your preference.

    Each module presents a unique way to make changes. If you need help, follow the on-screen instructions, revisit Step 2 and open the Support link for the module you have questions about, or see Tip 2 below.

  8. Don't forget to enable the module. See the next section for those steps.

How to Enable or Disable Xposed Modules

Once the module is downloaded, you have to enable it before you can actually use it:

  1. Access the main screen in the Xposed Installer app and enter the Modules section.

  2. Tap the box to the right of the module name to enable or disable it. A checkmark will appear or disappear to show that it's either toggled on or off, respectively.

  3. Reboot the device to submit the changes.

Xposed Installation & Usage Tips

If you've never worked with your Android device at this level, you're bound to encounter an issue or question here and there. Here are some common things we've seen:

  1. If you can't install Xposed because the APK file is being blocked, go into Settings > Security and look for an Unknown sources section that you can put a checkmark in to enable.

  2. The Modules section of the Xposed Installer app houses a lot of the options you'll need for various things. Hold your finger down on any module to be given a menu with these options:

    • Launch UI: Use this if you can't find the launcher icon for a module you've installed.
    • Download/Updates: Install new updates for the module.
    • Support: Visit the support page that belongs to that module.
    • App info: See what your device says about this app, like its total storage usage and which permissions it has been granted.
    • Uninstall: Delete/remove a module with this menu option.
  3. If you don't see the Install button after downloading the module, or if you'd rather install it later, repeat Steps 1-3 in the How and Where to Download Xposed Modules section above, and then choose Install in the Versions tab.

  4. If you no longer want Xposed Installer on your device, you can delete it like you can any app.

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