How to root, unlock, flash and tweak any Nexus device
0. phoneArena 23 Jan 2014, 06:39 posted on
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...
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1. Finalflash (Posts: 1982; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)
Yea, download the tool kit and click as it tells you to...don't need more than that line and a link to the tool kit.
24. Chris.P (Posts: 332; Member since: 27 Jun 2013)
Obviously, the credit goes to the developer, WugFresh, for his hard work. This, and many other pieces on the side, are often published with one simple purpose: discover-ability.
It's a great tool, and more Nexus owners should know about it.
2. XperiaFanZone (Posts: 1544; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)
@Chris: so, by backing up app data, does that include all chat history from Whatsapp/Viber/Kik/etc?
5. XperiaFanZone (Posts: 1544; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)
You've rooted phones before. Did you manage to back up app data before the data has been wiped?
9. PapaSmurf (Posts: 9339; Member since: 14 May 2012)
Of course. This is probably the best app for backing up app data (non-rooted phones) -
Once rooted, download Titanium Backup and you'll realize what you've been missing all this time.
12. XperiaFanZone (Posts: 1544; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)
I mean the app data of the app (before/in the process of rooting), not the apk files.
Not going to use Helium.
13. PapaSmurf (Posts: 9339; Member since: 14 May 2012)
Yes, app data. That isn't helium btw. It's a totally different app. The recent reviews speak for itself.
For backing up messages and such, other alternatives are Avast's backup app, which is phenomenal or My Backup by Rerware.
14. XperiaFanZone (Posts: 1544; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)
Are you sure?
"*** Notice: App Backup cannot backup data or settings of apps for you, but it only backup the apk files."
16. Killertech2099 (Posts: 143; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)
Then use my backup i just got my white nexus 5 today, i use it, you can back it up on their site or if you have a meenova back it up to that
17. PapaSmurf (Posts: 9339; Member since: 14 May 2012)
Whoops. Didn't catch that. Try these.
apps/details?id=com.gpit.andro id.lifestyle.mobsafety.backup. trial
18. XperiaFanZone (Posts: 1544; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)
Need root to backup app data.
I'm asking, were you able to save app data in the process of rooting?
21. PapaSmurf (Posts: 9339; Member since: 14 May 2012)
No. You have to back everything up before you root. Once you root, it's best you do a factory reset to have the device running fluid without any problems occurring. Once you flash a custom ROM, you'll see why millions of people choose to root.
Apps to download once you root:
1) Titanium Backup - Backs up EVERTHING
2) Greenify - Stops background processes for battery/memory hogging apps (Facebook, Maps, etc.)
3) ROM Manager - Download, backup, and flash ROMS
4) Goo Manager - Wider selection of ROMs for free, does the same as RM
5) AdAway (red symbol with a bird) - blocks all ads on any site, including this one [you'll need it])
6) Root Uninstaller - Uninstall ANY app on the device, including carrier and OEM bloatware
7) SetCPU - Over/underclock CPU and GPU to either increase performance or battery life
Sorry for the late response. If you want info, I could give you my email.
23. XperiaFanZone (Posts: 1544; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)
It's for the non Nexus device that I'm going to root (some day). Thanks for the info. If I need more info I'll respond to one of your recent comments.
25. networkdood (Posts: 6329; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)
Titanium Backup does what Root Uninstaller does and will even freeze it for you - now, when you go to do an update, you will need it back on the device. SetCPU, Greenify not really necessary anymore. What you do after you unlock the bootloader and root the device is to replace the kernel with Bricked Hammerhead kernel, found on XDA Developers. I get 2-4 days of normal use with it...very awesome.
28. networkdood (Posts: 6329; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)
Sorry, I meant restore it - if you mod the device and try to install an update, it will fail - best to go to XDA and flash a stock rom, or an updated stock rom, as Google releases the updates. You can also flash the update using the cmd window and Android SDK.
29. PapaSmurf (Posts: 9339; Member since: 14 May 2012)
Can't give up Greenify. It actually works. ExposedInstaller will be your best friend when you have toot too, especially if you love tweaking the hell out of your phone. Changing the kernel is pretty much necessary, but I wouldstrongly advise using a step-by-step guide if you don't know what you're doing. No one wants to have their phones softbricked (it's not fun).
4. Chris.P (Posts: 332; Member since: 27 Jun 2013)
That's the idea. Though if you want to keep your downloaded images, you'll likely have to backup your media folder, too. Or just pull it to your PC.
10. PapaSmurf (Posts: 9339; Member since: 14 May 2012)
It's better to just upload photos to Dropbox since it can be accessed anywhere and can be used as an application on PC or Mac.
7. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 3234; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)
Nice helpful article. Thanks Chris.
8. AfterShock (Posts: 3697; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)
Tool kits, while handy are not suggested for Nexi folk, or why the freak by a nexi?
As they usually Bork something, then can be clueless trying to repair it because they have no idea what their doing.
Fastboot OEM unlock.
Or go home.
11. PapaSmurf (Posts: 9339; Member since: 14 May 2012)
I plan on rooting my N7 (2012) that I have since I have hours before my classes start. Helllloooooo Superuser and CM11!
15. TylerGrunter (Posts: 1149; Member since: 16 Feb 2012)
Done already! Bot my N7 (2013) and my N5. But I keep stock.
19. apple4never (Posts: 1007; Member since: 08 May 2013)
can this be used on a mac or is it windows only?
26. networkdood (Posts: 6329; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)
I used this app as well as Skipsoft and for some reason it never recognized my phone, however, I updated the MTP driver manually, and then I found this:http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?
That info righ there is how I unlocked the bootloader and rooted my phone, as well as installed TWRP recovery. Then I installed Flashify, which will let you install and back up boot, recover images and kernel as well as install any zip file. The app called Nexus 5 App was interesting as it has several links to mods for the Nexus 5, and I used that app in conjunction with Flashify to mod the phone. But, the two are convenient, not necessary.
27. networkdood (Posts: 6329; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)
Another app is APP OPS - great software for removing permissions of any app. Power Toggles adds a row of icons to the notification drop down - can include flashlight, data off/on, sound, etc - very useful. Font installer is a another great app - self explanatory there. Also, get the third party app, Lucky Patcher, as it really does get rid of in game ads, such as the ones found in Angry Birds.
30. PapaSmurf (Posts: 9339; Member since: 14 May 2012)
My Moto X comes in today (can't wait) so I'm rooting it and starting all over. Still keeping my beast Note 3 though.
I'll check out everything, though Lucky Patcher can be replaced with AdAway also. Also, BeatsInstaller (I actually did notice a difference, depending on the build version of the apk) was installed every time I rooted phones.