The impatient geek within you wouldn’t want to wait for the new Android 5.0 Lollipop update, and you would force yourself into trying and updating the device manually. There’s nothing wrong in it, mainly for the reason that Google has officially listed the factory images for the users to download and flash them on the devices they are available for.
In the guide below, you will find how to flash the Android 5.0 Lollipop factory image to your Nexus 5.
Beforehand – An Important Tip
Flashing a factory image to your Nexus 5 will delete all the data, so make sure you take a backup of everything
1. Download SDK (Eclipse ADT Bundle) and Factory Image
These are the two things you need, where the SDK is a platform that bridges and gets things done. You can download the Eclipse ADT bundle (that includes the Android SDK) by going to this website. Based on the OS you are running, you will be able to download the SDK (available for Windows, Mac and Linux).
Now, download the Factory Image of the Nexus 5 Android 5.0 Lollipop, from here.
2. Unzip, Install and Get Ready
You need to first make sure that the Google USB Driver is installed, and that usually is done when you have connected your Nexus 5 to computer. On Windows, run the SDK Manager and you are good to go. Unzip the downloaded SDK bundle. Follow this format: ADT Bundle > SDK > platform-tools > Paste the extracted stock image folder here (remember, I am talking about the factory image that you downloaded in the first step).
Make sure that the extracted factory files has a file named “flash all” and that has to be in the same folder where a file called “fastboot” is located.
3. Start Fastboot Mode
Now, you need to get your Nexus 5 into the Fastboot mode, where you can wipe out the current OS running in it, and then push the new OS version into the device. To get the Nexus 5 into Fastboot mode, you need to first power the Nexus 5 off, and then press and hold Volume Down and Power button together, which should take it to a screen where it is an Android robot with the little text showing “Fastboot Mode”.
* Only in a few devices where this isn’t coming, you might need to press both Volume Down, Volume Up and Power button together.
The bootloader should be shown unlocked in it. This is not the carrier unlock but the bootloader unlocked. (Refer to the important questions section in the end to read about unlocking).
4. Flash the Factory Image to the device
While the phone is on Fastboot screen, connect it to the computer with the USB cable.
Now, in the folder where all the files are located in your computer, locate and run the “flash all” file (It is a .bat file in Windows, and it takes care of all the necessary steps from here).
Wait for sometime here, and you will see the screens as shown below, and the process will happen by itself. Sit back and relax while the file is being flashed to the device, and it takes no more than a few minutes for the entire process to happen.
You will now be welcomed by the new Lollipop screen on the Nexus 5 after the reboot completes. You will have to be patient for the first time, because it can take even 10-15 minutes for the first boot to happen.
1. What if the status shows as “locked” in the Fastboot screen?
It is the bootloader unlocked and in most cases, the status will be shown unlocked already. If not, you will have to run a file called “fastboot oem unlock” which is located in the same folder. Once you run that, a new screen messages would be shown with warning written:
Unlock Bootloader? If you unlock the bootloader, you will be able to install custom operating system software on this phone.
Using the Volume Up/Down buttons, navigate and choose Yes. It will then wipe the data and unlock the bootloader.
2. While doing the oem unlock, it is stuck at <Waiting for Device> message
The problem here is that the USB driver is not installed on your computer. To do that, there are two ways – 1. Download the Google Android drivers, or 2. Go to Device Manager (Windows + x), locate Nexus 5 with the yellow mark beside it. Double click on it and then click on “Update Driver”. In the next window, select “Browse my computer for driver software” and here, you will need to point to the SDK directory. Also, check that the “include subfolders” option is ticked. There you go, the drivers get installed and then the bootloader unlock happens without any waiting message.