How To: Theme a TouchWiz ROM on Your Samsung Galaxy S3 Using Morphology

Theme a TouchWiz ROM on Your Samsung Galaxy S3 Using Morphology

One of the best aspects of Android is its customization options. You can change launchers and icons, add widgets, and replace standard apps with others that allow full customization. Android allows your device to really take on your personality, from the inside and out.

Stock Samsung Galaxy S3s have all that along with other minor customization options; you can change fonts (Settings -> Display -> Font Style), adjust lockscreen layouts (Settings -> Lockscreen), and more. While these options are great, we're still missing a full theming experience.

Rooted S3s are a whole other story. Of course you have vast theming options with AOSP-based ROMs like CyanogenMod, AOKP, and ParanoidAndroid. The drawback is that you give up a lot of the awesome features that make our S3s unique.

Well Now, We Have Morphology!

Developed by recognized themer rompnit and Team noobz, Morphology is a system wide theme tool that you flash from recovery just like a ROM. The difference is, instead of an all-or-nothing approach to themes, you can choose your elements piece by piece, giving you all the control.

GS3 SoftModder forum member Tyler commented on this post, giving a quick overview on Morphology. The aim of this how-to is to walk you through the whole process.

What You Will Need

1. A deodexed rom.

A deodexed rom will allow you to make changes to all theming elements. If you are on a custom rom, you are probably deodexed, but it doesn't hurt to make sure.

If you are running rooted stock, make sure the it is deodexed! (if you aren't sure, leave a note in the comments section with what you are running)

2. The latest version of Morphology

This will work with AT&T, Bell, Moblicity, Rogers, Sprint, T-Mobile, Telus, Wind, Verizon, and Videotron.

3. The corresponding Prep Package file for your carrier

This will enable your device to except the changes that Morphology will make. For all carriers aside from Sprint, this will replace you 23 Notification Shade Toggles with 15 toggles.

Check screenshots below to see the difference between the two. Optionally, you may also need to flash this file if your theme doesn't stick.

4. A current nandroid of your device

Just in case.

Installing Morphology

Morphology installs from recovery, utilizing the amazing Aroma Touch Installer by amarullz. For this how-to, I will be using TWRP recovery, but this will work just fine with CWM recovery.

Step 1: Preparation for Flashing

  • Move the Prep Package and Morphology zips to the root of your internal SD card.
  • Reboot to Recovery.
  • Before we begin, it's good practice to wipe both Cache and Dalvik Cache.
  • Make a nandroid if you'd like.
  • Flash your specific Prep Package and return to your recovery.

Step 2: Flash Morphology

  • Flash the Morphology 1.5 zip file.
  • This will bring up Aroma Installer. Just follow the prompts all the way through. If there is something you don't want themed, just use the "Don't Touch" option.

You can flash the Morphology file when you want to change one or multiple areas for theming. For example; themed everything blue, but now want the clock yellow? Go through Morphology again, select "Don't Touch" for every option except the clock color.

You can see image previews for all the options here; below is a highlight of some of them.

A few differences here with the AOSP version: No "Ongoing" or Notification bars, an extra toggle (however, they slide on both versions), and the "Clear" button is moved to the top the corner.

So yes, I like orange. And although my set up is simplistic, you can get as creative as you want. Mix and match to your hearts content.

Bonus Feature

Morphology certainly let's you theme it your way, but the options don't end there. Pre-packaged with Morphology are WasabiWa83's gorgeous Ultimate OMG Themes (below are just a few examples). Just select "Install Pre-loaded Theme" when you run Morphology.

Images via

Happy theming!

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Is there a pre-prep package that I could do this for a my Galaxy Tab 2 P3113?

Ryan, for now this theme is only available for Galaxy S3 owners. They are working on a Note 2 version, but nothing for the Galaxy Tab 2.

Which file to download for international version of sgs3 gt-i9300?? Please reply ASAP!

Jasneet, let me look into that and get back to you.

I got an update from the developer. Unfortunately, Morphology has not yet been ported for international versions. It is in the works and I will update this how-to when it is good to go.

do you have to have a custom rom already installed for this to work? I installed it on my stock (rooted) GS3 (T-Mobile) following the instructions, and it worked but my notification bar is completely gone now. I used CWM recovery also.

I also get the error "Unfortunately, System UI has stopped" frequently now...

Not necessarily...let me look into it. You made sure to flash the "Prep Package", correct?

yeah, I installed the prep package, then Morphology.

I have now performed a factory reset, and I still don't have a notification bar.

I did have Nova Launcher installed the first time I flashed morphology, would that have anything to do with it? I didn't have any notification bar modifications though...

You mentioned that you are running rooted stock. That's fine, but you do need to be on a deodexed system (all themes need a deodexed system, not just Morphology).

If you are not, I can recommend flashing this. This is STOCK, ROOTED, and DEODEXED. You can flash this from Odin (I think you will lose data) or flash from recovery (keep data).

Again, you will HAVE TO be on a DEODEXED rom. I apologize for not mentioning that.

Thanks for the reply! I will try this as soon as they're done downloading. I have a couple questions though, I rooted my phone using ODIN, but I don't remember it being such a big file. Do I need to download this ODIN file to flash with it? Or can I just download the Stock Deodoexed and flash that zip in CWM recovery? I'm still kind of new to android so I don't know much about it...

Yup, that's normal. Stock based roms for our phones are big (700MB-1GB). When you rooted through Odin, you weren't flashing a full rom, but enabling root (depending on method).

All you need to do is download the file (zip) that Faisal direct linked to (same that I linked to) below and flash through recovery. MAKE A NANDROID. Haha just in case, though it seems like you are being adventurous today, which is awesome. To be honest, I don't always have a nandroid ready, but I usually don't mind starting fresh if I happen to screw something up.


Happens to the best of us. Luckily even if you are not backed up, you don't lose too much. SMS and call logs yes, but contacts and apps are backed up by google. It's a little bit of a pain but not a huge deal.

Matt, keep us updated on how it's going.

I flashed the Deodexed rom and now it works great!

I only have one small problem now. In the app drawer, all my widgets have seemed to lost their preview icons. I tried wiping both caches and they're still not showing up, just grey boxes. Not a huge deal though, they still function properly, just no icons in the drawer.

Thanks for all your help though guys, The themes work and I have my notif bar back!

Awesome! Glad it worked. Being on deodexed is nice, you can now flash other mods or theming elements as well!

The widget thing is strange. I'll look into it, but in the meantime, try downloading Nova Launcher or Apex Launcher from the play store and see if you get widget previews back in the application drawer.

Actually, I've been using Nova Launcher the whole time. They show up in the stock drawer, but not in Nova.

Edit: and one other thing, if I want to change my theme can I just flash morphology again from recovery? Or do I have to clear the caches, flash the prep package and then flash morphology?

Edit edit: I downloaded Apex Launcher and It got all the widget preview icons correctly, so maybe it's a Nova problem

Ah okay. That's pretty strange. Did you restore a previous install?

Yea that is strange. You can always try this:
Make a backup with Nova. Uninstall/re-install and restore your backup.

The other thing is that your notif bar may need a "kick". If you have no bar, try taking a screenshot or send yourself an email/text, and see if the bar comes up.

replying to this comment because the other thread is too long

I did some messing around with launchers and now I have all my icons back in nova launcher and everything is working smoothly on my end!

I still have a couple more questions, if you don't mind :) if I want to change my theme can I just flash morphology again from recovery? Or do I have to clear the caches, flash the prep package and then flash morphology?

I always clear caches before flashing anything, though some say it's not necessary. You do NOT need to flash the prep file, just run the Morphology zip again!

And remember, if you just want to change a couple of things rather than everything, only make changes for those, select "Do not touch" for everything else.

Hi I happened to have the same prblm that Matt had there, but difference is I have a I747 from Bell not T999 as him. The ROM above u linked can it work with this version of the SGSIII ? Thx in advance

Also, what version firmware are you running? You can check by going to Settings > About device > Baseband version.

You should be on at least "LJA".

This is strange. Try this...flash the prep file. Reboot your phone and check for notif bar. If it's there, go back to recovery and flash morphology.

Let me know what happens.

my baseband version is "T999UVDLJA", I tried kicking it by taking a screen shot and I didn't see anything. I did install a notif bar app and i got to see the notif bar pop up for a second, but I couldn't pull it down or interact with it in any way. It just came down a little bit and showed the "taking screenshot" message. Then I uninstalled the app and now I don't see any notif bar again.

I tried flashing the prep file again and still nothing.

I've also tried flashing the prep + morphology a few times, trying different themes each time. Still nothing.

Also if it helps I'm running 4.1.1

Thanks for your help so far. :)

Edit: oops meant to reply to Faisal

Hmm...I would have to say that it's got to be that you are on and odexed rom, rather than deodexed.

I checked out the link that Marlon posted; you should try that. For any themes (and other various mods), you need to be on a deodexed rom. If you like the stock feel, flash this. This is stock, rooted, deodexed that you flash from recovery (NOT Odin). Since you are already on LJA, you can get away with flashing this without wiping data, through if you get a lot of force closes, a data wipe and clean install may be necessary.

I'm having trouble running the prep package. I've rooted my phone using Odin and I've extracted the Prep package and Morphology to my SD card. Here's where I'm lost. I get my phone into download mode but nothing seems to happen. What should be my next step?

First, go to recovery (Vol Down + Home + Power) and make a nandroid.

Second, you do not extract the zip files, you flash them as is. Place them on the root of your sd card and you will see them in recovery.

You will not be doing anything in Download mode.

When you rooted, did you change roms at all? If all you did was root, you will need to be on a deodexed rom, whether it is stock or custom.

If you are not on a deodexed rom, let me know your carrier and we can walk through what you need to do.

As I said, when I get into recovery mode, all I see is the Android screen and it says "Downloading". I did however already make a nandroid using ToolKit. Now, when I go to recovery, will my phone be connected to my pc?

I rooted my phone with Odin using this: "boot-insecure-dlk3-SGHI747.tar".
BTW, my phone is ATT.

If you are in a screen that shows "Downloading", you are in Download mode, not recovery. Download mode is what you want to be in when you use Odin.

To flash these files, you do it through recovery. And I apologize, I screwed up the instructions before. To get to recovery, it's Volume up + Home + Power. (Volume down + Home + Power is for Download mode)

Before you do that, with your phone on, plug it into your computer. Copy the prep file and the morphology file (both are zip files) into the Phone folder (the main one).

Now, go to recovery, go to install, and scroll down to the prep file (if you are using ClockWorkMod recovery, use the volume keys to scroll). Flash that, go back, and flash the Morphology file.

i have a sprint gs3 i flash it step by step but when it reboot it gets stuck on updrating apps can u help me

Go back to recovery, wipe Cache and Dalvik Cache, find Fix Permissions and select that, then reboot.

Let me know if that fixes it.

Can you tell me what Rom and android version you are using?

ok, I got to recovery mode and when I try to install the prep package I get a "signature verification failed- Installation aborted" error. FYI, I'm trying to install with the files on my sd card.

I'm guessing you are using ClockWorkMod recovery...find the option to disable Signature Verification and attempt to flash again.

Hey guys, feel free to post screenshots of your new setup. It'd be cool to see what everyone is doing with Morphology.

Thank you so much! Apparently CWM wasn't installed. The only problem I have now is after flashing Morphology and reboot, I get this- "Unfortunately, System UI has stopped". My home screen and lock screens don't change to the theme I installed. I assume you have a recovery now.

The SystemUI thing...this happens for a few reasons:
1) You did not flash the prep package.
2) You did not "FIx permissions" after flashing Morphology
3) You are not on a deodexed rom.

What rom are you running? If all you did was root your phone BUT you didn't install another rom, I'm guessing #3 is the culprit. Let me know...if this is the case, we can find a new rom (custom or stock). Just start backing up whatever you need to and we can go through your options.

I just realized I'm having the same problem as Matt- no notification bar. I was gonna try what you suggested but the link is for T-mobile. You have a link for ATT?

Here you go, Dan. This is Stock, rooted, and deodexed.

I'll say just one more time for good measure...make a backup before flashing.

Now, you flash this just like Morphology. Place it on your phone, go to recovery, wipe cache and dalvik cache, and flash this.

If for any reason your phone doesn't boot, or you are getting Force Closes on apps, you may need to wipe data. If this is the case, remember that if you don't make backups of sms/apps/call logs, you will lose those. So get back to recovery, Wipe System, and flash the file.

Once you've done this, make sure the rom is playing nice with your phone. After that, go back to recovery, wipe Cache and Dalvik Cache, flash the prep package and then flash Morphology.

Ok, I just wanna be sure I made the correct backups when I started. Here's the files I have: backup-all-system-noapk-shared-201302250805.bak, and a folder that contains a boot.img, recover.img, and three .tar files.

Sounds like you're set to flash!
Remember, try it first WITHOUT wiping data (ONLY Cache and Dalvik Cache).

IF you have problems, then wipe System.

Now, it seems like what you did was make a nandroid. That's great to have, but you may want to back up your messages. You can do that by doing Step 3 here.

Thank you again! Everything seems to be working perfectly now. Got my notification bar and no errors.
Sorry for being such a noob but I appreciate all the help!

Awesome! No problem at all, that's what this is all about.

If you have any ideas for other how-tos or just general questions and curiosities, post in our forum!

I'd like to make sure, FreeSg3 is deodexed right? I can't seem to find that info on any of the forums.. Would this work with FreeSg3?

Absolutely! Morphology was originally created to be fully compatible with FreeSG3, so you are ready to flash!

If you are feeling adventurous (a full rom update), I can suggest a rom with Morphology built in, and it is just as stable as FreeGS3. Let me know...

Yep...I was on that rom for a loooong time.

Marlon - which rom would you recommend? I do see liquidsmooth has a recent update, I'm considering it but am currently on twrp recovery and i'm not sure if it would work with flashing liquidsmooth..

let me know, many thanks!

I would recommend the MOAR rom, brought to you by the same team that built Morphology. It's recently updated (you can flash with TWRP), and has the theming engine built in!

You can download directly here, and also flash this right after you flash the rom.

Coming from FreeGS3, I would strongly recommend a FULL WIPE. If that's not something you want to do right now, just run Morphology and you can theme your current rom.

I can definitely say that MOAR is an awesome rom. The devs are great and are always updating it. Plus, like Marlon said, Morphology is built-into the rom.

I don't like that I have to register on the website where the gps fix is.. but thank you for these, I will definitely flash these tonight!

Ugh, just had a blond moment here, I was clicking on the wrong dl button, d'oh! Got the gps link dl'ed.. will def try these tnite.. many thanks for all you do!

No problem! Let us know how it goes.

Also, because you said you were running FreeGS3 I assumed you are on Sprint. If you are NOT on Sprint, do not flash the MOAR rom.

I have a question what if I'm not patronising any of the carriers you mentioned? Would I still be able to customize the theme of my s3?

Unfortunately no, this mod is currently only for US carrier versions of the GS3.

So what's some other remedies for the "no notification bar" & "system ui has stopped" errors? When i download the 2 proper files, flash them correctly, and it still poops on me? Plus morphology has froze on me all 3 times, in a row too, had to hard reboot to get out of it. And as an IT professional i only give things 2 tries, i just really wanted this!

Setup: 2 latest files needed provided above
Clockwork mod v6.0.1.2
Android v4.1.2
Fully rooted deodexed MB1 stock touchwiz rom
Sprint GS3
Nova launcher v2.0.1 with very little changes and the kub icon pack

Luckily my recovery from Sunday night got me back to normal with no losses or stupid errors anymore, but thanks for trying guys.

Try the following:
Wipe caches and flash this.
Reboot recovery.
Wipe caches and flash this.
Reboot recovery.
Wipe caches and flash the Morphology zip.
Reboot recovery.
Wipe caches and fix permissions.

Booyah!! Thanks for helping me out man, i really appreciate it! This is exactly what I've wanted, the stock sammy rom with just a few cool looking tweaks. And now that's exactly what I got!!! Many many mahalo's!

1 small question/request though, i bought some cool icons last month for nova, but is there any way to get those into the touchwiz rom?

Sweet! Glad it worked.

I haven't messed with icons really. I'm sure there is a way to change the TW icons for the Nova ones, but I'll need to look it up.

BTW, I love Nova! Gotta ask though, aside from TW-specific widgets, why go back to the stock launcher?

That's really about it, just the widgets. But over the last week I've found a few things that nova kinda screws up. When my phone reboots automatically each morning, nova doesn't start i have to unlock the phone and then go in and launch it, biggest annoyance yet. And unless i buy it for $5 i can't hide any apps, like my pro licenses that i don't need to see. And it made my homescreens bigger, so everything looks a little out of place now, i couldn't even fill up my 7 4x4 screens before, so now i have even more room!?? Damn.....

But i have nothing but love for all you devs!! You guys make me look simple. Goodjob geniuses!!! I love all your hard work.

Thanks for the speedy reply, I'll give it another shot. Let you know in a few how it goes once I'm done flashing.

After getting everything setup I've noticed more than half my memory is being used constantly, anyone know how much RAM morphology consumes roughly? Superphone's kinda slow now, but unfortunately, only in nova, TW seems to run quick enough though.

That's weird. Is there a particular process eating up memory?

Not that i can see, no. And I've applied your battery drain fix the other day, with gsiffdaemon. But nothing looks abnormal, and i can't see any new processes necessarily. Not sure how I italicized this either. But is there a way to take off morphology? Temporarily of course ;) just to see if there's a change.

I own and use a rooted s3 (International) running stock jelly bean 4.2.2. I'm fairly satisfied with touchwiz, but an issue that has become all consuming is the color scheme, white text on black background, I can no longer stand it.

Can this Morphology flip the color scheme around? i.e. black text on white background? I'm just about to give up on Samsung (and maybe android altogether) if I can't sort this out now.

Hmm that's really weird, as stock Touchwiz is black text on white background.

First, Morphology is only for US variants using 4.2.1, so we're out of luck there. BUT, take and post a screenshot here so I have an idea of what you're talking about, and I'll see if I can come up with something.

I have a T-Mobile GS3 (T999) running JB 4.1.2, stock. Am I deodexed? Can I use Morphology? Thanks for the help.

Will this work for samsung galaxy s3 1747 at&t? I am also running the rom Deadly Venum....Will this still work?

Will this work on 4.3 deodoxed touchwiz rom????

@Marlon Sanchez, please how can the pre pack file be flash.? Because it was downloaded as mp4 file.

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