Android How To: Restore Your Nexus 5 Using Factory Images



The Nexus 5 is yet another device that you're more than likely going to be cracking open and installing all sorts of kernels, ROMs, mods and tweaks on to. Which is a whole lot of fun – nobody can deny that – but sometimes things can go wrong. Maybe you flashed something in the wrong order or removed the device from the USB port too soon. No matter what the cause, there's an easy way back to stock when it comes to the Nexus devices. These lie in the Factory Images provided by Google, essentially a big folder of files that restores your Nexus 5 to how it was before you took it out of the box. This is a great way of wiping the slate clean and getting your device back. Here, we're going to tell you how to restore your Nexus 5 using the factory images provided by Google.


If this is the first time using your Nexus 5 on your PC, then you'll need to download the drivers and install the Android SDK in order to get fastboot installed onto your computer. Once you've done that, you can download the factory images from Google's Website here. Once you've downloaded the fairly large file, follow the instructions below to bring your Nexus 5 back to life.

  • Extract the contents of the ZIP file to your platform-tools folder, which is found somewhere on the C drive in windows (you can search for it from the Start menu)
  • From the platform-tools folder, launch a Command Prompt, which you can quickly do by pressing Ctrl+Shift and Right Click and selecting "Open command prompt here".
  • Then, turn your phone off or, if your phone doesn't boot to Android, hold down the Volume Down and Power Buttons to get Into Fastboot mode.
  • Once you've done that, plug your Nexus 5 into the PC and type "fastboot devices" into the command prompt you opened earlier to check if your device is recognized.
  • If it isn't listed, you should try and reinstall the drivers. If it has been recognized you can continue.
  • Included with the factory images are flash all scripts we should do all the work for you. On Windows you need to type "flash-all.bat" or on Mac or Linux "./"
  • If that didn't work, you can try flashing the files manually using the commands below:

fastboot flash bootloader bootloader-hammerhead-HHZ11d.img
fastboot reboot-bootloader
fastboot flash radio radio-hammerhead-M8974A-
fastboot reboot-bootloader
fastboot -w update

  • Once that's done, you should be able to turn your phone off, and then turn it back on to be greeted with completely stock Android, as it was out of the box.

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Former Editor-in-Chief

For years now I've had a heavy interest in technology, growing up with 8-bit computers and gaming consoles has fed into an addiction to everything that beeps. Android saved me from the boredom of iOS years ago and I love watching the platform grow. As an avid reader and writer nothing pleases me more than to write about the exciting world of Android, Google and mobile technology as a whole.

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