install Android L on Nexus 7

How To Install Android L On Nexus 7 to Step Up From KitKat

All of us have been eagerly waiting for Google’s next major Android firmware, and while KitKat is still one of the most popular firmwares, everyone has been talking about the latest Android L OS. After Google announced the features of its latest firmware, it made available developer previews of Android L for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7.

If you own a 2013 Nexus 7, then you might want to install Android L on Nexus 7. While the firmware is only a developer preview, it is still worth installing if you have been looking forward to the latest Android firmware.

Why Install Android L On Nexus 7?

If you’re still not sure why you should give Android L a try on your Nexus 7, here are some of the reasons why you should install it on your device:

  • The new material design. This supposedly gives Android a totally new look with better colors, textures and transitions.
  • View various notifications on the lockscreen and get popup notifications over anything that you’re doing on your device.
  • Significant improvement in battery along with a battery saver mode.
  • New and improved design for the soft keys.


Keep  in mind that this is just a developer preview and not a proper firmware update. Therefore, some of the features might not work properly on your Nexus 7. The Android L preview can only be installed on the 2013 WiFi version of the Nexus 7 and not any other version. Installing the Android L update will reset your device and all your internal data will be deleted.

You should create a backup of all your important files either using your default backup feature or using a third party backup app from the Google Play Store before proceeding with the installation process. You’ll need a Windows PC and a micro USB cable in order to install the firmware.

Fastboot Method

This is probably the most reliable way for installing images on Nexus smartphones and tablets. Also, this is the official method for installing the Android L developer preview on the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7. It uses the Android SDK and Fastboot to install images on Android devices.  The method isn’t that difficult and you’ll be able to install Android L on your Nexus 7 in just minutes.

Step 1

Download the Android SDK package on your PC. You can get it using this link. Make sure you get the correct 32-bit or 64-bit version. Once downloaded, extract the package on your PC. The extracted folder will be ADT Bundle.

Step 2

Go to this link and click on the razor-lpv79 option below Download next to Nexus 7 (WiFi) “razor”. The file size is over 400 MB. Once downloaded, extract the file on your PC so that you have a folder with the Android L image files.

Android L Download

Step 3

Open the ADT Bundle folder you extracted earlier, go to SDK and click on the Platform-Tools folder. Move the Android L image folder that you downloaded and extracted in the previous step to the Platform-Tools folder.

Platform Tools

Step 4

On your Nexus 7, go to the Settings app, tap on Developer options and enable the USB debugging option. If you can’t find Developer options, then go to About phone and keep tapping on Build number until you see a You are now a developer! popup message. You should now have the Developer options menu in your Settings app.

USB Debugging

Step 5

Switch off your Nexus 7 and hold the Volume Down and Power buttons simultaneously. Don’t release the keys until you see a Fastboot screen.

Nexus 7 Fastboot

Step 6

While in Fastboot mode, connect your Nexus 7 to a PC using a micro USB cable.

Step 7

Open the ADT Bundle folder you extracted earlier, click on SDK and go to the Platform-Tools folder. This is the same folder where you extracted the Android L firmware earlier.

Step 8

Hold the Shift key on your PC, right click on the Platform-Tools folder and select the Open Command Window Here option. A command prompt window should now appear on your PC.

Open Command Window Here

Step 9

If you haven’t unlocked your device’s bootloader, type the following command in the command prompt and press the Enter key:

fastboot oem unlock

Wait for Fastboot to unlock your bootloader. If your bootloader is already unlocked, you’ll see a The bootloader is already unlocked! message.

Step 10

Once your bootloader is unlocked, enter the following command in the command prompt window and press the Enter key:


Step 11

Wait for Fastboot to install the Android L firmware on your Nexus 7. This can take several minutes. Once completed, you’ll see a Finished message in the command prompt. Press any key to close the command prompt window.

Flash All

Step 12

Unplug your Nexus 7 from your PC. Your device should now begin booting. This can take several minutes as this is the first time that your device is booting in Android L. That’s it! You have successfully installed Android L on your Nexus 7 and you can now enjoy Google’s latest features.


Android L is Google’s latest firmware and millions of users have already been impressed with the firmware’s features. Google showcased some of the incredible features of the OS at its live event, but we don’t have the list of devices that will get the Android L update in the future. We do know that Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 are likely to get the proper update in the future and while that might take a while, you can get a flavor of Android L on your Nexus 7 right now. Even though you can only get the developer preview, you’ll be able to enjoy most of the firmware’s features on your device.

Whether you want to check out some of the newest features in Android L or you just want something different on your Nexus 7, you can easily use the Fastboot method mentioned above to install Android L on your device. The method should work fine on most 2013 WiFi Nexus 7 models and you’ll be able to install the firmware in just a couple of minutes. Make sure that you follow all the instructions properly to avoid any errors. Feel free to shoot any questions on how to install Android L on Nexus 7, and tell us what you think about Android L in the comments section below! You might even be interested in finding great cases for your Nexus 7.

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