Still Waiting on That OTA? Here's How You Can Manually Update The Nexus 5 to Android 4.4.1



Being a Nexus user isn't easy at times, sure we get updates before everyone else but, if you've messed around with the system files on your device or you're running a Custom ROM (which, let's face it both are probably true) then these OTAs can be a tricky affair. Nexus owners reading this will no doubt have tried to apply an update before and failed because they've modified the framework or system files in some manner. Don't worry, I've been there, too. Needless to say, Android 4.4.1 is now here and Nexus 5 owners are looking to get their hands on this fixed camera, after all it wasn't all that brilliant out of the box. So, without further a do, let's get you folks updated to Android 4.4.1.


It goes without saying that if you're not confident using commands or doing anything like this, then waiting for the OTA is the better option. First of all, you'll need to download the OTA file from Google here. As well as this, you need to make sure that you have "adb" working on your PC, Nexus users will more than likely already do so.

  1. Rename the downloaded .ZIP to something easier to type, we'll use ""
  2. Reboot your Nexus 5 into the bootloader by holding Power+Vol Down and then hit Vol Up to get to Recovery, press the Power button to boot into recovery
  3. When in recovery mode, use the volume keys to navigate to "Apply Update from ADB" and hit the power button
  4. Connect your Nexus 5 to your PC/Laptop
  5. Open a command prompt or terminal in the same folder as the OTA file (Windows users can hit "Ctrl+Shift+Right Click") and type "adb devices" to check if your Nexus 5 is seen.
  6. Once there, just type "adb sideload"
  7. Your Nexus 5 should take a little while to reboot and then you'll be running Android 4.4.1, which you can check from the settings. Remember, if you've adjusted anything in the /system partition, the update will fail.

For those users that are running a stock ROM but have modified some system files – like myself – there is still an easy way. Enterprising XDA member "bugxie" has put together a stock ROM that's rooted and can be flashed on top of any stock ROM with little fuss, so Nexus 5 owners have at it!