If you own a Nexus device then you know how great the “Vanilla” (or “pure”) Android OS is. However, that doesn’t mean that Nexus devices are not lacking any functions. There are many features that you might not find on a Nexus device but the best thing about Android platform is the fact that you can add anything to your device after it has been rooted.
Root permission grants you access to do almost anything with your android device, change the ROM, install new services, completely tweak the look of your Android OS, get rid of bloatware, etc. If you really want to root your Nexus device then we will teach you a simple method that will let you Root almost any Nexus device from the latest Nexus 6 to the old Galaxy Nexus, except for the Nexus One smartphone because that’s really old.
- Windows PC
- Nexus Device (We have used the Original Nexus 7 in this tutorial)
- Internet Connection (Just for downloading the toolkit)
- MicroUSB Cable
- Download and Install Wug’s Nexus Root Toolkit v2.04
- Setting up the drivers for your Nexus device
- Choosing your Nexus model and Android version
- Unlocking the Bootloader
- Rooting your Nexus device
1/ Download and Install Wug’s Nexus Root Toolkit v2.04
This step is fairly simple and self explanatory. All you have to do is head over to AndroidFilehost.com and download the Nexus toolkit. Androidfilehost is a file sharing website trusted by Android developers. Once the download is complete, just run the exe file and follow the instructions to install the Toolkit on your Windows PC.
2/ Setting up the drivers for your Nexus device
This is one of the most important steps. You need to make sure that all the drivers for your Nexus device are installed properly otherwise your device won’t be able to communicate with the computer.
Run the toolkit and click “Full Driver Installation Guide – Automatic + Manual” button in the toolkit. A new window will open where you can see clear instructions to install the drivers for your device.
You can also check to see if you already have the drivers installed otherwise just follow the simple steps in the new window and your Nexus device will be up and running in no time. It’s recommended to restart your PC after installing the drivers. This makes sure that the drivers are configured properly and your device is detected by the toolkit.
3/ Choosing your Nexus model and Android version
Now you have to choose your Nexus device model and the Android version it’s running in the toolkit. You can click “Auto Detect Device +Build” and the toolkit will automatically choose the model and Android version of your Nexus device. If that doesn’t work then just click “change” where it says “Your model type”.
A small window will pop-up. In the first tab, select the model, in this tutorial we have selected the Nexus 7 (Wi-Fi Tablet). In the second tab select the OS version your Nexus device is running. You can check your Android version in Settings > About Phone/Tablet.
Hit Apply after choosing the correct model and build for your Nexus device
4/ Unlocking the bootloader
Every OEM locks their android device’s bootloader so you can’t mess with the internal settings but if you want to root your device then you will have to unlock the bootloader first. If your device is properly connected and detected by the Toolkit then this step should be a breeze. Just click the “Unlock” button, a new window will pop-up with instructions.
Hit “Ok” and your device will be unlocked within a minute. Don’t remove the USB cable, don’t even touch your device. The toolkit will automatically perform different operations to unlock the bootloader and once done, your device will be unlocked. You can now root your Nexus device.
5/ Rooting your Nexus device
The final and the most important step. Before you proceed, you should know that rooting your device will void its warranty. If you care too much about your device’s warranty then please don’t root. However, you can always unroot your device and bring it back to the original Stock settings which should restore the warranty but that depends on the manufacturer. So, make sure that you know the risks before proceeding.
When your device is connected and visible in the toolkit, just click “Root”. If you want to install a custom recovery then Check the Custom Recovery box otherwise keep it unchecked. Custom recovery comes in handy when you want to flash new ROMs on your device. If you only want to root your device then just uncheck the Custom Recovery option.
You will see a new window with a lot of text, click “OK” and the process will start automatically. Your device may restart a couple of times during the process, so don’t worry about it. Once finished, you will see a message that your device has been successfully rooted. You can test the root by downloading apps that require root permission like Titanium Backup, System app remover.
Why Root Your Nexus Device?
Rooting your device is not for the faint of heart. If you don’t have what it takes to read every instruction carefully and follow the steps exactly as they are listed then you should probably stay away from rooting your Nexus device or any other android device for that matter.
Root permission in Android grants you access to the complete system files of your device. You can tweak it in any way you want. You can access the hidden settings that were not even visible without root. There are thousands of apps that require root permission and you can not use any of these apps on your android device unless you have root. Rooting your device will also let you flash new ROMs on your android which is very useful if you are bored of your current stock ROM.
The original Nexus 7 in this tutorial was actually slow and lagged a lot on the Stock Lollipop ROM but after rooting, changing the flash memory type, and flashing a completely new ROM, the Nexus 7 has risen from the dead. It’s lightning fast and there’s no lag whatsoever and this is just one example of how root can help you.
Is It Safe to Root?
That depends on how you want to use your device. If you are an average user who is happy with his device then you shouldn’t root your device. However, if you want to tweak your device, flash a new ROM, install apps that require root then rooting is the only way you can enjoy everything on your android device.
The worst thing you could do to your device (If you don’t follow the steps carefully) is brick it which renders your device useless similar to a brick. However, it’s very simple to unbrick your Nexus devices, so it should not be problem. Still be very careful and read the steps as many times as you want before performing the actual operation. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Do let us know in the comments your experience with the above method. Did you easily root your Nexus device? Did you run into any problems? Do you even own an Android device?