MARSHMALLOW SNOWMAN
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How to Easily Update Nexus 6P

Have you been enjoying the Marshmallowy sustenance on your Nexus 6? Google released factory images for the Android 6.0.1 update not very long ago, and OTA zip files have become available as well. If the update has been slow to reach you, or if you want to know how to get the next update even faster, we can show you how. Updates can bring fun things, such as more emoji, or they can also bring critical patches or fixes to problems or vulnerabilities within the operating system. It seems as though 6.0.1 is more of the latter.

There can be trade-offs, depending on which method you choose. If you want to play it safe and avoid your phone being reset back to factory settings, it might be best to wait on the OTA (Over-the-Air) update. If, on the other hand, you don’t want to wait on your provider for updates, flashing a factory image could be exactly what you want to do. Overall, this update isn’t terribly exciting. But it does contain many source code security fixes. You will want to update Nexus 6P to 6.0.1.

Method 1: Update Over-the-Air

This method requires some wait time. OTAs are already rolling out though, and most Nexus 6P’s have already received them. This is definitely the easiest method, and you won’t lose all of your personal information. Update your Nexus 6P.

Step 1:

This method requires some wait time. OTAs are already rolling out though, and most Nexus 6P’s have already received them. This is definitely the easiest method, and you won’t lose all of your personal information. Update your Nexus 6P.

Step 2: Fully Charge Your Phone.

  • Or check to make sure it has at least a 70% charge.
  • You will also want to be certain there’s enough space. More than 3GB is mandatory. 6+ GB is ideal.
  • From Settings, select Storage.
Storage Space

Step 3: Check Notifications

  • Check the Notification bar to see if there’s an update alert.
  • If you see a System Update, tap on it and confirm you want to download it.
  • If it isn’t available, proceed to Step 4.

Step 4: Go to Settings

  • From your Nexus 6P’s menu, tap on Settings.
  • From now until you are finished, do not turn off the phone for any reason!
Settings Menu

Step 5: Select About Phone

About Device

Step 6: Choose Software Info/Updates

Look for any new notifications here.

Software Update

Step 7:Apply Update

  • If a new update is available, it should be displayed.
  • If it’s available, select the update to install.
  • Even if there are updates listed that precede the most recent, which is Android 6.0.1, you will still want to install these before you apply the most recent update

Method 2: Side Load the OTA Zip

Step 1:

If you don’t have time to wait around any longer, you can have the update now by flashing an OTA zip file to your phone. You will need ADB (Android Debug Bridge) preinstalled on your PC. You can get it by installing the full Android SDK Package or you can opt for the minimal ADB and Fastboot download, which is a lot smaller. For more about ADB, read the article below.

Download: Full Android Software Development Kit
Download: Light & Quick ADB, Fastboot, and Drivers

Install ADB

Step 2: Enable USB Debugging

  • From Menu, go to Settings.
  • From Settings, go to Applications.
  • Click on Developer Options.
  • Enable USB Debugging.
USB Debugging3

Step 3: Download the OTA zip.

MMB29K Download: For MDB08L
MMB29K Download: For MDB08M

Place the file in the same directory where ADB is installed.

Step 4: Reboot into Recovery

  • Turn your Nexus off.
  • Simultaneously, hold the Volume Down and Power buttons down for a few seconds.
  • Use the volume keys to navigate to the Recovery option, and the Power button to select it.

Step 5: Connect Your Nexus 6

  • Attach your phone to your PC via USB cable.

Step 6: Open Command Window

  • While pressing the Shift and Control keys, right-click an empty space on your PC’s screen and choose Open Command Window Here or open it from within the SDK.
  • Or double-click the ADB Fastboot shortcut.
Command Window

Step 7: Check ADB Connection

  • Type the following command:

adb devices

  • Press Enter
  • You should now see device information, such as a serial number.
  • If you don’t, make sure you installed the proper drivers.

Step 8: Apply Update

  • From Recovery on your Nexus 6P, choose Apply Update from ADB.
  • You can use the Volume Down button to highlight the option and the Power button to select it.
Apply Update

Step 9: Sideload ADB

  • Execute this command:

adb sideload

  • From ADB, you should see the file transfer.

Step 10: Reboot

  • When installation is complete, you can reboot your Nexus.
  • Enjoy your update!

Method 3: Flash Factory Image

This method does require an unlocked bootloader, which wipes everything. But maybe a factory reset is just what you are looking for. It will also be necessary to have ADB. Be sure you have enabled USB debugging as well.

Step 1: Download System Image

Download: Factory Images for Nexus 6P

  • The build number of the files needs to match that of your phone.
  • To verify, go to Settings.
  • Tap on About Phone.

Step 2: Unzip or Extract

  • Right-click on the zip folder and select Extract All.
  • Or, left-click and press the Extract All button from the Compressed Folder Tools.
Extract All

Step 3: Connect to PC

  • Connect your Nexus 6P to your desktop via USB.

Step 4: Boot into Fastboot Mode

  • Via ADB: While the phone is still turned on, type in the command and press Enter.

adb reboot bootloader

  • Via Key Combination: Turn the phone on while pressing and holding the Volume Down and Power buttons at the same time.
  • Continue to press the buttons until you see the Fastboot Mode screen, then release.
Fastboot Mode

Step 5: Open a Command Terminal

  • Type cmd on Windows address bar.
  • Alternatively, you can also long-press the Shift and Control keys and right-click an empty area of your screen. Then select Open Command Window Here.

Step 6: Find Folder

  • Navigate to the folder that ADB and Fastboot are installed in.

Step 7: Unlock Bootloader

  • Type

fastboot flashing unlock

Step 8: Flash Image

  • Run flash-all
  • This should install the bootloader, OS, and firmware.

Step 9: Lock Bootloader (Optional)

  • While this isn’t mandatory, it is best for security.

fastboot oem lock

  • Type
  • Press Enter.
Lock Bootloader

Step 10: Reboot

  • Your phone should do this automatically.
  • When it’s finished, it’s okay to disconnect your device.

Method 4: Update by Installing CyanogenMod 13 with 6.0.1 (Rooted with a Custom Recovery)

If you can’t stand the suspense, installing CyanogenMod 13 is one way that you can get updates ahead of the rest. Keep in mind, however, that this is a custom ROM. Therefore, you will be taking on the risk of installing a custom ROM, which can void the warranty or at worst, brick your phone.

However, if you are into customization, great performance, and better reliability this is an excellent choice. Nightly builds can be quite volatile, however. Ensure that your phone has 70% charge or greater. Update Nexus 6P with root.

Must Read: 22 Best CyanogenMod Features for Making Your Life Easier

Step 1: Download CyanogenMod 13 6.0.1

Download: CyanogenMod 13 6.0.1

CyanogenMod 13

Step 2: Download GApps

Download: GApps

  • Select the ARM platform.
  • Choose the 6.0 version.
  • We recommend the Nano variant.
Gapps

Step 3: Ensure you are running the latest version of recovery program.

If you are using TWRP, make sure that it is v2.8 or greater. Older versions will most likely fail. If you need an update for TWRP, use the link below.

TWRP

Step 4: Enable USB Debugging

  • Go to Settings.
  • Choose Developer Options.
  • Enable USB Debugging.

Step 5: Connect your 6P

  • Using a USB cable, attach your device to your computer.

Step 6: Power Off your 6P

  • Hold down the Power button.

Step 7: Boot into Recovery Mode

  • Press the Power and Volume Down buttons simultaneously until Recovery Mode appears.
  • Now you can navigate by using the Volume Up and Volume Down buttons.

Step 8: Wipe the /data and /system partitions.

  • For CWM Recovery, press Wipe Data/Factory Reset and confirm.
  • For TWRP, use the Wipe option.
Wipe Data

Step 9: Install CyanogenMod

  • Tap on Install.
  • Locate the CM ROM file that you downloaded in Step 1.
  • Swipe to install.

Step 10: Install GApps

  • Go back to the main menu of the custom recovery and tap Install again.
  • Navigate to the Gapps zip file that you downloaded in Step 2.
  • Swipe to install.

Step 11: Reboot your Nexus

  • From the main menu of the custom recovery, select Reboot.
  • Specify System.

Conclusion

OTA updates are by far the easiest and safest option. If you download them as a zip file, it’s a little bit more difficult and there are risks. Downloading a factory image will always wipe your phone, but you can start with a clean slate. Flashing a custom ROM is a big change, but change can also be for the better.

Regardless of how you decide to do it, 6.0.1 will bring you a better, faster camera with a Quick Launch feature. In all honesty, it has also brought many complaints. Installation, battery, and even connectivity problems have been reported. If you experience issues with installation, many users have reported that letting the battery die and recharging it 100% resolved the issue.

Tell us how you like your new update in the comments section below. If you are still having difficulty installing the update, tell us about your troubles.

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