Many Android users, myself included, feel icky after a while stuck with the same font.Whereas some OEMs give a few font types to play with, a majority of others do not.
Lucky for you, Android is an open-source ecosystem, so you can even build new font types.Although a non-techie might not find the hard way too savoury for their taste, there’s an easy way out, too!
Below-listed two methods indicate how to change fonts on Android device.
Method 1 : Change Android system fonts from Settings
Android-based smartphone manufacturers like LG, Samsung or HTC hand out a couple of font types that can be easily accessed from the Settings.
Despite a base system font, these OEMs make it fast and hassle-free to download new font types from their database.
In case you never knew this was possible, here’s how you can do it.
- Go to Settings.
- Select Display tab.
- Scroll to find a header titled FONT.
- Then tap on Font type.
Not only can you change Android system font types, you may even download new fonts.
Also, you don’t need to reboot your phone. Any font that you select will be applied system-wide instantaneously.
But that only works if you are not a picky person at all.
By chance you are very particular, and would like to port over a specific font type (like Proxima Nova & Varela Round), then you are going to have to work HARD!!!
Method 2: Use Launchers
When you want to go the ‘non-root’ way, obviously, launchers comes to mind.
There is virtually no shortage of launchers. Some among the popular ones on the Play Store include:
- Go Launcher
- Nova Launcher
- Apex Launcher
- Microsoft Launcher
And the list could probably go on and on.
Also Read: Top 10 Best Android Launcher apps of 2017
Each one of these things allows font customization included within various free themes.
For most people, that would be the end of it. But on the downside, some of these built-in free themes might come with advertisements.
Method 3: Use non-root apps
1) iFont (Expert of Fonts)
Another handy way to achieve the same target is to use iFont. iFont packs a well-known replacement set for system fonts.
It also supports a few foreign languages including Korean, Japanese, Arabic, Russian, French, Spanish, Vietnamese, Myanmar, etc.
One trouble with iFont is that it might require a rooted Android device unless you have one of the following models:
- Samsung Galaxy S3, S4, and Note II
- Xiaomi (MiUi)
- Huawei (Emotion UI)
Among the rooted handsets, the following three are supported:
If you are using this app on a supported device, then you can simply download and use it normally.
If the app rejects your device, in other words, asks you to root the handset, then it’s best to talk about the endless options that Android rooting brings.
Let’s discuss options that open up after rooting.
A word of advice before rooting Android handsets
- Rooting voids any outstanding warranty on the smartphone.
- Rooting exposes your phone to a world of insecurities such as malware, adware, spyware and so on.
- You could brick your phone in several different ways if you don’t know what you are doing.
- You must have all of the rooting apparatus and required software as discussed in this article.
- Get a complete backup before rooting.
With that out of the way, let us get to apps that support rooted devices.
Method 4: Use Root Apps (For rooted phone)
1) FontFix (formerly called Font Installer)
Easily downloadable from the Play Store, Font Installer is a great choice for changing Android fonts.
Moreover, you get to see a font preview before you set it up system wide.
One noticeable drawback of FontFix is that it has ads and you need to pay to get them out.
Since you already know that font types carry an extension ‘.TTF,’ it makes use of these files that are already on your device.
For convenience, you might want to download the font types you like onto your PC and then move them to your device, say into the /sdcard directory.
Now, you need to install this TTF font file. Here’s how to do it:
- Launch the app FontFix.
- Backup existing default font types by tapping on the Menu and then selecting Backup.
- If you are prompted with a SuperSu permissions, grant them.
- Tap on the Local tab to locate the TTF file that you had earlier saved in /sdcard directory.
- Select the TTF file then select Install from the popup dialog. This will be set as your default font system-wide, so be careful.
- Again, grant SuperSU permissions.
- Once the installation is complete, Font Installer will ask you to reboot the device, tap Yes.
Instead of porting over a preferred font type, you could even peruse through Font Installer’s online collection of fonts.
In the Font Installer’s interface, you will see Server and Preview tabs apart from the Local tab that you had previously used.
- Tap on the Server tab.
- Tap on the font that you want to download and install.
- Then, use Preview to see a sample text written in your chosen font.
- Tap Install if you want to go ahead and download.
- Backup once again at this point, later reboot your device when prompted.
2) iFont (useful for rooted devices)
As stated before, iFont covers a variety of rooted devices than non-rooted handsets.
Since your Android can now download and set system-wide fonts, there’s nothing to stop you from using this genius application.
Here’s how to download, install, and use a custom font.
- Browse through the list of fonts under ‘Online.’
- Then download the desired font and hit Set.
- When prompted for the font mode, select System mode, then tap OK.
- Reboot your device and enjoy the new font.
Now, to use a local TTF file of your choice, copy this file from your PC to your Android device’s /sdcard/ifont/custom directory.
Thereafter, perform the following steps in a sequence.
- Tap the Menu button on the iFont’s main interface.
- Then tap on Settings, Change font Mode.
- For rooted non-Samsung devices, choose System Mode. For Samsung devices choose Samsung mode.
- Hit Custom tab, then pick the font you like. Tap Set later.
- Then press OK when the prompt shows up.
- Tap OK again at the prompt again.
Reboot your device after applying the new font.So far, I’ve only touched on the easiest ways to customize system fonts. But why bother rooting any Android device if you don’t get your hands REALLY dirty?
The below-stated third method is not for the faint-hearted, but for an all-around Android Geek!
Method 5: Edit System/fonts directory
Note: This manual method requires root and excessive tampering with the secure system directory /system/fonts directory.
All default font files reside here & as a result, I’ll be using the ADB commands and file explorer with root access to make modifications.
What are system fonts?
These fonts come preinstalled from your OEM. Most commonly, you will find Roboto as a default font.
There are different variations of Roboto that you need to be aware of.
Before you tinker with either one, you need to be exactly sure of what you are doing.
As a good rule of thumb, pick the basic Roboto-Regular.tff file, then proceed with the rest.
Golden trick to use:
You need to mask the identity of new font files that will replace the default system font types under the same identities as used by the latter.
Consider this for example:
I want to use Proxima-Nova.tff instead of the regular Roboto-Regular.tff, so I will rename Proxima-Nova.tff as Roboto-Regular.tff using the ADB commands.
The default Roboto-Regular.tff needs to be renamed as something else while they reside within the /system/fonts directory.
You could use any extension or tinker with the name as you please, say Roboto-Regular(original).tff, just as long as it appears different.
Make a backup copy:
To be on the safe side, it’s best to make a complete backup copy of the original font files that you can easily restore.
Method 6: Using an efficient file manager application
This is an easier alternative to entering the ADB commands but you require an efficient file manager app.
You can download ES File Explorer or ASUS file manager from the app store for free and then proceed with the following:
- Transfer the renamed file to the /sdcard directory on your Android device.
- Launch either one of the file explorer mentioned above.
- Tap the Menu button, then Settings, Root Settings.
- Now, open the Root Explorer and grant SuperSU permission, if needed.
- Don’t forget to enable the “mount file system” functionality.
- Get to /system/fonts directory and rename Roboto-Regular.tff by long pressing it.
- Now, browse and locate the desired font file. Long press and rename it to Roboto-Regular.tff.
- Long-press this newly renamed file and copy to /system/fonts, then tap OK.
- Open /system/fonts directory and then access properties of the newly moved Roboto-Regular.tff.
- Tap Change to set Read & Write permission for the User, Group and Other, then tap OK.
- Reboot your device to append changes.
Method 7: ADB Commands
Before using the ADB commands, ensure that you have the following:
- A rooted Android device with root access.
- Android Software Development Kit (SDK) installed and setup.
- Device’s USB drivers for Windows PC.
- Verify that the ADB is able to detect your device. If you don’t know how, refer to How to install ADB and Fastboot
- A USB cable, preferably that came with your device.
- Replacement font files that you want to use.
Open a terminal or Command Prompt with admin privileges and enter the following commands:
adb devices *lists devices attached to your computer via USB
adb push your_desired_font_type.tff /sdcard/ *places the new font type on the sdcard adb shell ls /sdcard/*.tff *lists all the files within sdcard with a .tff extension
Now, on your PC you will perform the following steps:
- Rename Proxima-Nova.tff to Roboto-Regular.tff
- Copy and paste or move the renamed “Proxima Nova” font to the /sdcard.
- Open a terminal (in Linux) or a Command Prompt on PC.
- Run the following set of commands on the terminal to append changes to your device instantly.
su *begin root access
mount -o remount,rw /system cd /system/fonts *navigate to system fonts mv Roboto-Regular.tff Roboto-regular(original).tff *backup original font cp /sdcard/Roboto-Regular.tff /system/fonts *copy the renamed file into fonts directory chmod 644/666 Roboto-Regular.tff *the copied file must be readable, so enter either 644 or 666, not both. exit *to exit the interactive shell
Thereafter, reboot your device normally and verify if the system displays new font.
Those of you who are unwilling to perform root have only Launchers to depend on. While they are good and everything, they don’t the same flair as rooting does.
As I said above, being picky does not suit everyone, but if you are then I hope you’ll find some artistic comfort from these above-stated methods.