Restore Google Nexus 7 2013 to Stock Android 4.3 Jelly Bean

Rafia Shaikh

This tutorial is for those users who are running a custom ROM on their Google Nexus 7 2013 edition tablets, or those who have managed to brick their device while attempting to flash any custom ROMs, kernels, etc. We will be using the factory image for the 2013 Nexus 7 device released by Qualcomm along with all the drivers to flash a stock Android 4.3 Jelly Bean firmware to restore the Google Nexus device.

Note: this tutorial is only for the Google Nexus 7 2013 edition with WiFi - code name "Razor".

Prerequisites to restore Google Nexus 7 2013 to stock Android 4.3 Jelly Bean:

  • Download and install USB drivers for Nexus 7 in your computer.
  • Enable USB debugging mode from developer menu.
  • Backup any important data before going forward for the tutorial.
  • Make sure to disable any running anti-virus programs on your computer before starting the unbricking process.
  • Download and install the latest Android SDK on your computer to get latest ADB and fastboot versions.
  • Ensure that your Google Nexus 7 carries more than 70% of charge.

How to unlock bootloader on Nexus 7 2013:

If your Nexus 7 2013 has a locked bootloader, then you would first be needed to unlock it. This procedure will wipe everything from your device!

Note: if your Nexus 7 2013 is running on unlocked bootloader, then you can skip this part.

  • Power off the Nexus 7 2013.
  • Boot it into Bootloader mode: press and hold Volume Down and Power buttons. Release them when the Bootloader menu appears.
  • In the Android SDK / fastboot folder, open the command prompt window and connect your tablet with PC.
  • When connected, run the following command to unlock Nexus 7 2013 bootloader:
    •  fastboot oem unlock
  • Press Volume Up on your Nexus 7 and then Power key to confirm the bootloader unlock process.

In the bootloader mode, the Lock State should now say unlocked; which means we are ready for the restoration to stock Android 4.3 process.

How to restore Google Nexus 7 2013 to stock Android 4.3 Jelly Bean:

Required files: download the factory image of Nexus 7 Razor Android 4.3 from here. This package contains the full system, bootloader, recovery and kernel img files. Here is how to install factory image of Android 4.3:

  • Extract the tgz factory image archive and keep all the contents in a single folder.
  • If you want to wipe your data then skip the next step.
  • Edit the flash-all.bat for Windows and for Mac / Linux using a text editing tool:
    • We will edit the fastboot update command: change it from fastboot -w update to fastboot update - actually only deleting the -w string which is the command to wipe data from your device.
  • Switch your Nexus 7 2013 off and boot it into Bootloader mode.
  • Connect your tablet with computer using a USB cable.
  • Run the flash-all script to install the factory image. Be patient.

Ta da! Your Google Nexus 7 2013 Razor has been restored back to stock Android 4.3 ROM.

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