Root and Unlock the bootloader of Google Nexus 5

Nov 5, 2013

Google Nexus 5 has been in the public domain for a few days now, and it was only a matter of time before the good folks at XDA got their paws on the device and hacked it for the rest of us, geeks. And now, that has already happened.

You can follow the guide below in order to first unlock your Nexus 5’s locked bootloader and then root it via SuperSu zip file method.

Root and Unlock the bootloader of Google Nexus 5

How to Unlock the Bootloader of Google Nexus 5

  1. Make sure that you have downloaded and installed the latest drivers for Nexus 5 for your Windows computer system.
  2. Download universal ADB/Fastboot drivers for your system here. And if you are on the latest Windows 8, you will need to allow installation of unsigned drivers.
  3. Download Fastboot and ADB zip file for Windows operating system here and for Mac OSX here. Extract the folder in a new folder, name it ‘unlockn5’.
  4. Run Command Prompt (for Windows) / Terminal (for Mac OSX), change directory to the new folder that you had earlier created (cd desktop/unlockn5).
  5. Reboot Nexus 5 into Bootloader mode. In order to do this, turn the device off. Once the power down cycle has completed. Hold Volume Up + Volume Down + Power button while the device is powered off. The device will turn itself on, and boot into Fastboot mode.
  6. Once Nexus 5 turns on in Fastboot mode, connect it with your computer system. If it is a Windows based system, the system will initialize and install all prerequisite drivers.
  7. Once the initialization process has taken place, just type the following command in Command Prompt (Windows) or Terminal (Mac OSX) to unlock Nexus 5’s bootloader.
  8. fastboot oem unlock

A confirmation screen will now appear on the handset, asking you to confirm your action of unlocking the device. Press accept. Once done, the device will unlock and reboot. Upon the reboot, you should see an unlocked lock – which will confirm that your Nexus 5 bootloader is now unlocked.

How to Root Google Nexus 5

When your Nexus 5 bootloader has been unlocked, the next step is to root the device. In order to get that done, do the following steps.

  1. Download SuperSu zip file from here. Transfer the file to Nexus 5’s internal SD card.
  2. Download ‘TWRP’ recovery for Google Nexus 5 from here. Transfer the ‘TWRP’ recovery file to ‘unlockn5’ folder that you had earlier created on your computer’s Desktop.
  3. Reboot your Nexus 5 into Fastboot mode; in order to do so, press Volume Down + Power button.
  4. Once the device reboots into Fastboot mode. Type, ‘fastboot flash recovery hammerhead.img . This will initiate flashing of ‘TWRP’ recovery on your Nexus 5.
  5. Once the installation has taken place, reboot your phone into ‘Recovery Mode’.
  6. Inside ‘Recovery Mode’, click on Install, navigate to the SuperSu zip file and click on it. Once the file has completed installation, reboot your phone.

Your Google Nexus 5 is now rooted!