Friday, November 14, 2014

How to manually install the Lollipop OTA on your Nexus device, download links included

Manually installing Lollipop to Nexus device

There are two methods for manually updating your Nexus device to Android 5.0 Lollipop. You canflash the factory image, but if your bootloader isn’t unlocked, it means you have to do a factory reset. The good news is that there is another method and that is to install the actual Over-The-Air (OTA) update. Even better news….you won’t lose your data!! Oh wait, there’s even better news…..we have all the instructions on how to do it right after the break.

You will notice that there is a lot of information here. In fact a lot more than other sites. I remember when I first tried to do this method and found a lot of guides online, but every single one left out a lot of relevant info, especially for the newbies. I tried to compile every little detail in an attempt to make it as easy as possible for you. If you have already done this before, and only need a refresher, a lot of it is overkill for you.

If you’re running a custom recovery, you can go ahead and download the appropriate Zip file below and flash it. The below instructions are for those that are running stock, which is the majority of you.

The first thing you want to do is download and install the Android SDK if you haven’t already. You only really need ADB so you can skip the entire Android SDK and download and install Minimal ADB and Fastboot instead, which will give you just the necessary files.

Note: If you go the route of installing the full SDK, ADB and Fastboot will be in the C:\program files (x86)\android\android-sdk\platform-tools folder. If you use Minimal ADB and Fastboot, you can choose the directory you want.


Now it’s time to download the appropriate Zip file for your device and place it in the folder where ADB and Fastboot is. If you installed the full SDK, it’s in the C:\program files (x86)\android\android-sdk\platform-tools folder. Below are the links. Note:You want to make sure that your device is on the“From” Build Number that’s listed for each device. To see that, just open Settings > About Phone and scroll down to About Phone. Now scroll down to the bottom and look at the Build Number. Make sure it matches the “From” listed below for the device that you’re upgrading.

Nexus 4 (occam) From KTU84P to Unknown (C0ming Soon)

Nexus 5 (hammerhead) From KTU84P to LRX21O

Nexus 5 (hammerhead) From KTU84Q to LRX21O

Nexus 7 (2013) WiFi (razor) From KTU84Q to LRX21P 

Nexus 7 (2013) LTE (razorg) From KTU84P to Unknown (Coming Soon)

Nexus 7 (2012) WiFi (nakasi) From KTU84P to LRX21P

Nexus 7 (2012) 3G (nakasig) From KTU84P to Unknown  (Coming Soon)

Nexus 9 (volantis) From LRX21L to LRX21Q

Nexus 10 (mantaray) From KTU84P to LRX21P

Note: The Zip file has a rather large name so feel free to rename if it you wish so you don’t have to type out the entire file name in the CMD Window. Alternatively, you can paste it in the CMD prompt window by pressing ALT and the Space Bar, then choose Edit, followed by Paste.


Now you need to make sure USB debugging is enabled. If the Developer Options aren’t showing in the Settings on your device, follow these steps…..

1) Tap on About Phone and find the Build Number.

2) Tap on the Build Number 7 times and the Developer Options will appear on the main page of the Settings.

3) Tap on the Back key to see the Developer Options.

4) Tap on Developer Options.

5) Check to enable USB Debugging

Before you connect your device to the USB port on your desktop / laptop, you want to make sure you have the appropriate drivers installed. You can grab them here.

Now connect your device and you are ready to flash the Zip file that you downloaded earlier. Note: You might get a pop up box on your device stating what the computer’s RSA Key is. Just check Always allow from this computer and tap on OK


Now it’s time to install the OTA update that you downloaded earlier

1) Open the Command Prompt in Windows and navigate to the folder that ADB and Fastboot are installed in. Again, if you installed the full SDK, it’s in the C:\program files (x86)\android\android-sdk\platform-tools folder. Just type cd\program files (x86)\android\android-sdk\platform-tools. If it’s somewhere else, just navigate to it.  Note: To make things easier so you don’t have to type out long directories, you can also paste it by pressing ALT and the Space Bar, then choose Edit, followed by Paste.

2) Assuming you device is already connected to your computer via USB and USB Debugging is enabled, you need to start it in fastboot mode. Follow one of the two methods below.

A) Type adb reboot bootloader

B) Turn your device off, then turn it back on while holding down the relevant key combinations for your device. For many devices it’s Volume Up + Volume Down + Power. You can see what your device’s key combinations are here.

3) The  fastboot menu should appear and you should see “Start” in the top right. Press Volume Up till it changes to “Recovery.” Press the Power button to select it.

4) You will see an Android with a red exclamation point icon, press Volume Up and the Power button at the same time.

5) You will get a new menu. Navigate to apply update from adb and select it by pressing the Power button.

6) In the CMD window (make sure you are in the right directory), type: adb sideload [the full name of the file].zip (Note: without the brackets around the file name)

7) The update will install and reach 100%.

I hope this guide helped you. Please let me know if I missed anything.

If you want to learn how to flash factory images, make sure to check out our guide on that here.

8) Reboot and enjoy your new update!!

About the Author

Prejeesh Sreedharan

Author & Editor

I am a Biotechnologist very much interested in #SciTech (Science And Technology). I closely follow the developments in medical science and life science. I am also very enthusiast in the world of electronics, information technology and robotics. I always looks for ways to make complicated things simpler. And I always believes simplest thing is the most complicated ones.

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