If you own a Nexus device such as the Galaxy Nexus or Nexus 7 2013, then you might want to learn more about unlocking the bootloader and/or rooting the device. Equally you might want to install a custom ROM (my favourite is CyanogenMod 10.2 Android 4.3 right now) or just learn more about the inner workings of your Nexus device. Once such free tool we use is Nexus Root Toolkit developed by WugFresh Development.
Why would you use Nexus Root Toolkit? WugFresh Development Nexus Root Toolkit will guide you through the process of back up, unlocking the bootloader and rooting. It also allows you to flash stock and unroot and re-flashing the OEM lock, which returns your device back to factory settings. This means you avoid having to use ClockworkMod Recovery (upon triggering the bootloader, this allows you to completely replace the primary Android OS) and TWRP (this is a custom recovery tool) apps, which can at first glance appear challenging to use.
Simple steps (make sure you have USB debugging enabled for added security):
- Download and install Nexus Root Toolkit Wugfresh Development (see Bootnote)
- NOTE: Not all Nexus devices are supported. Check here http://www.wugfresh.com/nrt/
- Select the correct device – Change (as well as the correct build)
- Configure the drivers for your Windows machine – see this blog entry
- Backup your device – Create Android Backup File – only System apps+data*
- Click unlock – this will wipe your device (this resets your device)
- Next up – click root – this script will root your Nexus. This will modify boot.img so you can run privileged commands. Root files will be pushed (via ADB) to your device in flashable zip format. It then uses an openrecoveryscript and the temporary TWRP so that all the necessary zip files will be flashed automatically.
*You also have the option of backing up SMS, call logs, contacts, APN and Virtual SD card.
The Advanced Utilities option provides functionality available form the Android SDK such as ADB. You can list devices connected to your PC as well as reboot, reboot bootloader and reboot recovery mode. You can also install APKs, set and check file permissions and push/pull files/folders. All of this can be done using ADB (at the command line) but this tool makes it very easy for novices to understand rooting without bricking their Nexus devices.
Safe surfing folks!
Bootnote: Nexus Root Toolkit > File size: 64.6 MB MD5: 5d76316d45e629fe0cf48f0fa9034846. To check this hash on Windows – use: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=11533