Gather round, gather round! Do you happen to own a relatively modern Nexus device? Great! Today, we'll be showing you how to very easily
do a number of tweaks and changes on your Nexus smartphone or tablet with the use of a genius toolbox of magic and wizardry. We're, of course, talking about WugFresh's Nexus Root Toolbox -- likely the most thoroughly debugged, reliable, and newbie-friendly piece of software that helps you perform otherwise scary operations on your Nexus device. The toolbox has a simplistic and pleasant GUI, and supports a number of options, including: rooting and unlocking your Nexus, extensive and thorough back ups and restores (Nandroid), flashing of stock or any custom ROM and more. Best of all, the Nexus Root Toolbox can revert all these operations and bring your Nexus device back to its absolute and completely stock state, should you wish so. As always, performing such operations should be handled with care, but we can vouch for the reliability of this software -- we've used it with a number of Nexus devices, running different versions of Android, and we never once ran into a problem due to a fault of the software. It truly is a polished gem -- a rarity in the world of Android.
But today won't be about teaching you how to flash a custom firmware -- the Nexus Root Toolbox is intelligent enough to guide you in baby steps, with thorough, correct and succinct directions and explanations that flow seamlessly and never try and get ahead of you before you're ready for the next step. Instead, we'll be spotlighting this great piece of code, and what you can accomplish with it.
Download: Nexus Root Toolkit
. There's currently support for the Samsung Nexus S, Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7 (2012), Nexus 7 (2013) and Nexus 10.
How to root, unlock, flash and tweak any Nexus device
How to root, unlock, flash and tweak any Nexus device
1. Set up
Before you get to enjoy the versatility of the toolboox, it needs to be properly adjusted. This works by selecting your particular device model and the exact software build its running. Go to Settings > About Phone > Build Number and check your exact version and select it on your PC. We're assuming that your adb drivers have not been installed/aren't working properly, but if they are, you can also choose the 'Auto Detect Device+Build' option at the bottom and the program will do it on its own.
Once you confirm the above information, the toolbox will ask you to download the corresponding stock image of your device's firmware. We strongly recommend you go for it -- it doesn't take long by any standards. This way, the software will be able to instantly revert your device back to its stock firmware, should you decide to, or if something goes wrong.
2. Setting up your Nexus and adb drivers
Adb device not found. Sounds familiar? Probably, especially if you ever attempted to tweak your device. Android and adb drivers are infamous for their constant malfunctions and general nuttery. Drivers are especially problematic if your PC has seen a few Android devices before, as their particular drivers often don't play well with each other. Well, that's a non-issue with the Nexus Root Toolbox, as its driver installation setup is often bulletproof for Nexus devices. Since the toolbox is wholly reliant on a working adb interface, setting up the drivers and ensuring that they work properly should be your first stop.
3. Setting up your Nexus and adb drivers
As we mentioned already, the Nexus Root Toolbox is a guide in itself. Simply follow the on-screen text instructions to boot, and you and the tool will get along just fine, even if you're new at this. Once you're finished with the driver setup instructions, you should go for the 'Full Driver Test' button. This will reboot your device and check whether fasboot and adb are both working correctly. The toolbox will keep you up to speed with everything it's doing at all times. If you're having problems, refer to the Help section at the rightmost.
4. Backing up your device
Unlocking your device's bootloader is unfortunately impossible without wiping your device. You can use the toolkit to backup your important files, including network APN's, call log, texts and contacts, apps and app data. A full Nandroid backup is also available (it backups a complete snapshot of your current system and you can then restore your device to that same state later), but requires a custom recovery, for which you'll need an unlocked bootloader.
5. Unlocking the bootloader
Before you get to enjoy the full arsenal of options that the toolkit offers, you need to unlock your device's bootloader. This is as simple as clicking the Unlock button, and following the on-screen isntructions. You can re-lock your device at any time later.
6. Time to root
Once your device's bootloader has been unlocked, you're now at liberty to do whatever you please with your Nexus device. Just the way Google intended it. Go ahead and hit the 'Root' button and follow the on-screen instructions. Don't fret -- you can revert this and unroot just as easily. No sweat. You can also choose to flash a custom recovery, like CWM or TWRP. The toolkit will find an appropriate version for your device on its own -- just follow the instructions.
7. Advanced options
As any proper tweaking softaware, the Nexus Root Toolkit has a giant advanced utilities section. From quick controls like rebooting to recovery/bootloader, through file pushing and pulling, application installs and flashing custom or stock firmware, including recoveries and ROMs -- the advanced utilities has it. If these option mean little to nothing to you, you should probably stay clear of them.
8. Full restore to stock
If, at any point, you wish to restore the stock state of your device, the Nexus Root Toolkit is your friend. It can unroot your device, lock its bootloader, and flash the stock Android firmware, kernel and recovery. The toolbox will even help you if you somehow soft-bricked your device (e.g. you get stuck on the boot animation logo). You need to be very, very creative in your meddling with the device to actually hard-brick it these days. As tempted as you may be, don't do blind changes to your phone -- always read up before.