4EXT vs. ClockworkMod

4EXT and ClockworkMod are two recovery images for Android devices – they can be used for installing, saving and restoring alternative ROMs.

But what’s the difference between those two tools? That’s what this article is about.

Depending on the Android ROM it might be required to use on of the two tools. For example, there are plenty of ROMs that aren’t fully compatible with ClockworkMod (CWM).

I merged the tool differences I know in the following table:

4EXT CWM
Backup/restore yes (yaffs2/tar) yes (tar)
MD5 checksums yes yes
Touch input yes, optional yes, optional
Backup/install inapp Premium Premium
Wipe /data, Dalvik, Superwipe /data, Dalvik
Themes yes no
Storage mount yes yes
Power Reboot/Bootloader/Power Reboot
Extras OTA, battery display, screenshots, backup converter
Manager 4EXT Recovery Updater ROM Manager
Premium Recovery Control (2.29 €) ROM Manager Premium (4.99 €)
Website [click me!] [click me!]

I have been using CWM for a long time until I switched to a ROM which required 4EXT because of OTA update functionality.

The differences between the two tools aren’t that big – 4EXT looks a little bit more beautiful and offers some nice-to-have features like OTA. If you’re flashing your devices a lot you might also like the feature to also shutdown your device instead of reboot-only capability.

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