How to update your Nexus device without waiting for OTA?

Nobody likes to wait for an Android update and especially when it is a Nexus device. So, in this little guide, we will be telling you guys how to update your Nexus device without waiting for the OTA update. This is a perfectly official method like updating via OTA. Nexus devices

This guide is for the Nexus device users, who haven’t flashed any custom ROMs or custom recoveries. If you are using a stock Nexus device, you are good to go. This guide will work with any of the Nexus devices – Nexus 4, 7, 5 or 10. Before you do any of the following step, enable USB debugging on your Nexus device. To enable USB debugging, you have to go to Settings and open Developer Options, if you don’t see Developer Options, go to About Phone/ Tablet, tap on Build Number repeatedly and the device will tell you that you are now a developer, go back and you will see Developer Options. In Developer Options, enable USB Debugging. Once you have done that, you are ready to move to these steps.

    • Now, first you will need the OTA update URL: see, as soon as the Nexus device OTA updates start rolling-out, the official OTA update URLs pop-up around the web. You will need the right OTA update URL for your Nexus device.
    • Now, download the update file using the following OTA update URL.
    • Update 3: Android 5.0 update download links: Nexus 5 (for India KTU84Q to LRX21O), Nexus 10
    • Update 2: Android 4.4.3 update download links: Nexus 7 (2013) Wi-Fi – Android 4.4.2 (KOT49H) to 4.4.3 (KTU84L), Nexus 5 Android 4.4.2 to Android 4.4.3.
  • Rename the downloaded update file to update.zip.
  • Now, download this platform-tools.rar file, it contains necessary ADB files, which you will need to use it to apply the update.
  • Extract platform-tools.rar using WinRAR or any of your favourite archive extractors.
  • Put renamed update.zip file in the extracted platform tools folder
  • Now open platform tools folder and press Shift button and while you have it pressed, right click your mouse or touchpad.
  • Choose “open command window here” from the list of options
  • Now, a command window will appear on your computer
  • Connect your Nexus device to your computer if not already connected. Give it sometime to finish driver installation etc. Once done, move to next step.
  • Type adb devices command and press enter and see if your Nexus device is shown, if it is visible  (you should get something like the image below) then you are good to go to the next steps, if not then you need to get the drivers for your Nexus device and install them. When you are done with driver installation, check again using adb devices command and if it shows your device, move to the next steps.ADB Devices
  • Now type this command – adb reboot recovery and press enter
  • Your phone will rebooted and reach the stock recovery. If your Nexus device shows red triangle in recovery, try pressing volume up + power button for just 1 sec and then let it go. Try it a couple of times until the recovery options appear.
  • Now with volume down, highlight “apply update from ADB” and press power button to choose it.
  • Then type this command adb sideload update.zip and press enter
  • If you have done everything right, you will see that the computer transferring the update to your Nexus device.
  • Once it is complete, choose reboot system now and you are done.

16 comments

  1. when i connect my nexus4 normally and type adb devices command from platform-tools, my device was displayed but when i enter into recovery mode and select install update from adb and type adb sideload filename.zip, it says “device not found” what is this problem? please help me.

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  2. What you are saying is a very lengthy process man. I was tell you in 3 simple steps. Which should not take more than 2 – 3 mins to see your official OTA on your Nexus device.

    1. Go to Settings> Apps > All Apps > Download Manager > Clear Data > After Clear Data to stop the process there itself press Task manager > and close it swiping away.
    2. Again Go to Settings>Apps >All Apps > Google Services Framework > Clear Data > after clear data stop the process by pressing task manager and swiping it away.
    3. Now with out doing any other thing ” Switch off your phone and restart it. As soon as it restarts. Go to Settings > about device > software updates.

    There you will have it, the new kit Kat 4.4 ready to be updated, just go ahead and update it. Don’t worry its official 100% .

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    • Its not official and sometimes you may have to try many times to get the OTA.
      The real problem in this method is when you clear Data from Google Services Framework, it breaks a lots of things.. You won’t get notifications from google apps for a while and may not get push notifications from 3rd party apps at all unless, the setup for those app are done again.
      Also if you install apps from paystore in a PC web browser, it may not show your device for sometime.

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  3. after “abd reboot recovery” command the screen doesnt go into recovery but a logo of android with a red question mark appears with “NO command” written..is it missing stock recovery??what should i do?

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  4. @gaurav2328:disqus
    Few Queries before I flash Lollipop on my Nexus 5 :
    1. Will the above process clear/delete all the data on my phone like – Pics, Msg, Call Logs, Downloaded Apps, etc.?
    2. Will it void the warranty?
    3. Do I get future/further updates from google like – 5.1 or 5.x, etc?
    4. When will Lollipop OTA gonna arrive in India?

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    • 1. No
      2. No
      3. Yes
      4. Any time over next one or two weeks, phases roll-out

      Just make sure you use the right build for your Nexus 5. There are two – one for India & Australia (Telstra) and second for rest..

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