Nexus 5 Color 4

Android How To: Root Your Nexus 5

November 4, 2013 - Written By Jeremiah Nelson

The Nexus 5 is supposed to be an open device that is designed for Google employees and developers to tinker with. It didn’t take long for the developer community to root the Nexus 5 either. If you’re interested in gaining root access to your new Nexus smartphone, just follow these steps and you’ll be up and running in no time.

Keep in mind that rooting your Nexus 5 requires that you unlock the bootloader first. Unlocking it will wipe the internal storage of your phone, wiping out all of your data. That includes pictures, video, and media. Make sure to back up that information before you proceed. Let’s get started!

Step 1: The first thing you need to is to unlock the bootloader on your Nexus 5. You can follow this step-by-step guide. It works on Windows, Mac, and Linux computers.

Step 2: Once you have unlocked the bootloader, reboot your phone normally. You can enter your Google credentials right away, or after you have rooted the device. Then download the SuperSu ZIP file from here and transfer it to the root of the internal storage on the Nexus 5. Download the Nexus 5 compatible TWRP recovery from here and transfer it to the ‘google’ folder you created on your desktop while unlocking the bootloader. Rename this file to ‘recovery.img’ for simplicity purposes.

Step 3: Reboot your device into fastboot mode by pressing the Volume down + Power button. Now connect it to your PC, open a command prompt window, and enter the following commands:

 fastboot devices

The fastboot devices command will make sure that the device has been detected by your PC. If you’re using a Mac, you’ll need to add a “./” before every fastboot command, without the quotation marks. So “fastboot devices” becomes “./fastboot devices”. Make sense?

Next, we need to flash the recovery on the device by typing in the following command:

fastboot flash recovery recovery.img

Step 4: Once the recovery has been flashed, you need to reboot your Nexus 5 into Recovery mode. Using the Volume keys on the side the device to navigate, find the ‘Recovery’ option and select it by pressing the Power button.

Step 5: After booting into recovery mode, tap the ‘Install’ button and then select the SuperSU ZIP file that you transferred to the device in Step 1. After the ZIP file has been flashed, reboot your device and you’ll be all set.

There’s also an autoroot method if you don’t want to want to go through the trouble of opening a command prompt and typing commands. You first need to install these drivers. Then, use Chainfire’s CF-Autoroot to automatically root the Nexus 5 in a single step. Some users are reporting errors using Chainfire’s method, though.

As always, be careful when tinkering with your Android device. You are the only one responsible if you void your warranty or mess something up. Root is a responsibility as well as a right.