As some of you might now, Samsung is currently rolling out Android 4.4.2 on the international Samsung Galaxy Note 3. However, the release takes place in only a handful of regions, and it may take a while before the update expands its reaches. More so, carrier-branded models are usually the last to receive new software updates, and in the US the rollout process is even slower. That being said, if you happen to own the T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy Note 3, then you're probably still weeks away from KitKat.

If this doesn't sound good to you, then you can always rely on the developer community to create a custom ROM. Such is the case with CyanogenMod, as the team has now started releasing CM 11 nightly builds for the T-Mobile Galaxy Note 3. CM 11 is a custom ROM based on Android 4.4.2, but also includes further optimizations and extra features.

This guide will allow you to install CM 11 on your T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy Note 3. But, before moving on, keep in mind that the ROM is still under development and may contain bugs. Nightly builds are being released on a daily basis. You also need to understand that CM 11 does not include the TouchWiz user interface.

IMPORTANT READ BEFORE PROCEEDING:

  • This ROM works only with the T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy Note 3. If you try to flash it on any other device or Note 3 model, then you'll brick it, so don't do it
  • If you want to install CM 11 on the Sprint Note 3, visit this link instead
  • This ROM requires you to have a rooted Note 3 that runs the latest version of CWM or TWRP recovery
  • In order to successfully apply the ROM, you will need to factory reset your smartphone during the installation process. Create backups if necessary
  • You can backup your app data, text messages and APN settings using applications such as "Helium", "SMS backup & restore" and "APN Settings Backup & Restore"
  • You can sync your contacts with your Google account as a simple and effective backup method
  • The guide includes steps on how to create a NANDROID backup of your current ROM
  • You are required to connect your Note 3 to a computer. Enable "USB Debugging" before doing so. Go to "Settings" > "About device" and tap "Build number" until you receive an on-screen message indicating that you have developer access. Return to "Settings", tap "Developer options" and enable "USB Debugging"
  • It's very important that you don't run out of battery during throughout the guide. You need at least 70% full battery before moving on
  • Don't skip any steps and bullet points. This is an advanced guide that includes unofficial operations. Proceed at your own risk

T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy Note 3: Install Android 4.4.2 CM 11 Custom ROM Using CWM Recovery:

  1. On your computer, visit this link to download the latest available CM 11 zip file
  2. You also need to download an Android 4.4.2 Google apps package from this link
  3. Establish a connection between your T-Mobile Note 3 and your computer using the USB cable
  4. Copy the zip files onto your phone's storage, and once the transfer is done, disconnect your device
  5. Turn off your smartphone and reboot it in CWM recovery mode. Press and hold "Volume Up", "Power" and "Home" at the same time
  6. Now, as a safety measure, create a NANDROID backup of your current ROM. Select "backup & restore", and follow any additional steps
  7. After the backup, return to the CWM screen and select "data wipeout / factory reset". From the "Advanced" menu, you also need to select "wipe cache" and "dalvik cache"
  8. Go back to the CWM screen, select "Install zip from SD card", and flash the CM 11 zip file
  9. Once more, select "Install zip from SD card", and load the Google apps zip file as well
  10. With both files loaded, select "+++Go Back+++", followed by "Reboot system now"

NOTE: This first reboot after a fresh ROM installation can take several minutes to complete. If the process is not finished in 10 minutes, or if your smartphone is boot looping, then you'll have to redo the guide from the beginning. Make sure you don't miss any steps, and ensure that your smartphone is properly factory reset

NOTE: The NANDROID backup can be used to return to your previous ROM. Reboot in CWM, select "backup & restore" and load the backup file

T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy Note 3: Install Android 4.4.2 CM 11 Custom ROM Using TWRP Recovery:

  1. On your computer, visit this link and download the latest CM 11 zip file
  2. Grab the Android 4.4.2 Google apps zip file from this link
  3. Connect your smartphone to your computer via USB
  4. Copy the files to your phone's storage, and once the transfer is complete, disconnect your device
  5. Power off your Note 3 and reboot it in TWRP recovery. To do so, press and hold the "Volume Up", "Power" and "Home" buttons at the same time
  6. In the main TWRP menu, select "Backup", mark the type of data that you wish to save and then swipe the "Swipe to Backup" button. This will create a NANDROID backup of your ROM, so don't skip this step!
  7. From the main recovery screen, tap "Wipe". Also, select "wipe cache" and "dalvik cache" from the "Advanced" menu. Complete the operation by swiping the "Swipe to Wipe" button
  8. Go back to the recovery menu and tap "Install"
  9. Load the CM 11 zip file downloaded at step 1
  10. Tap "Install" a second time, and flash the Google apps zip as well
  11. With both files installed, return to the main TWRP screen and tap "Reboot"

NOTE: The first time you reboot your device, you'll notice that the process will take longer than normal. This is OK, so don't press any buttons. However, if the process is not complete in 10 minutes, or if your smartphone keeps restarting, then the installation process has not been successful. Restart the guide while making sure that your smartphone is fully factory reset, and don't skip any steps

NOTE: You can use the NANDROID backup to restore your previous ROM. Simply reboot in TWRP recovery, select "Restore" and load the appropriate file


See More: T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy Note 3: Install Android 4.4.2 CM 11 Custom ROM Using CWM or TWRP Recovery