unroot-nexus-5
How to

How To Unroot Nexus 5 Without Losing Data

Did you just root your Nexus 5 and want to go back to stock firmware without root access? If you answered yes, then you’ve come to the right place. Rooting is one of the things that makes Android devices so much more productive, however, it is not for everyone. If you’re sending your phone under warranty, then you’ll need to unroot your phone.

In this guide, I’ll show you two different methods to unroot Nexus 5. Both the methods are easy to use and the entire process will take just several minutes. I’ll show you how to unroot Nexus 5 through your Windows PC and through Mac.

Why Unroot Nexus 5?

If you’re not sure on whether you should unroot your phone, then consider the follow factors in order to make up your mind.

  • Unrooting the Nexus 5 will bring back Over The Air updates and you’ll be able to get the latest bug fixes and performance improvements on your phone.
  • Unrooting is also the right thing to do when you’re selling your phone. The buyer will probably prefer an unrooted device with a genuine firmware installed. Your Nexus 5 might sell for less if it is rooted or has a custom firmware installed.
  • Get your phone repaired under warranty. If you’ll send your rooted Nexus 5 for repairs under warranty, then chances are that your warranty claim will be rejected. Therefore, you should unroot your phone before claiming warranty.

Tips Before You Unroot Nexus 5

Unrooting is an unsafe process and even though the methods mentioned below are easy to use, you should only attempt them at your own responsibility. These methods are not guaranteed to work on all Nexus 5 devices and if something goes wrong, you might end up with a bricked Nexus 5.

If you’re not satisfied with a rooted Nexus 5, then you should consider installing custom ROMs. You can check out my list on the best custom ROMs for the Nexus 5. If you’re still interested in unrooting your phone, then follow the tips mentioned below.

  • Charge your Nexus 5 at least 70% so that it has enough battery juice to get through the unrooting process.
  • There isn’t a way to completely unroot Nexus 5 without losing data so backing up the phone is the smart thing to do. You can check out our list of the best backup apps for Android if you don’t know about any good backup apps.
  • Sync your phone with your Google account in order to retrieve some data when you log into your account after the unrooting process.

Method 1: Nexus Root Toolkit

The first method uses the popular Nexus Root Toolkit app in order to unroot Nexus 5. You’ll need a Windows PC in order to use the app. Unlike Method 2, this method doesn’t require entering any codes manually and everything will be done through the Nexus Root Toolkit app.

Step 1

Connect your Nexus 5 to your PC using a micro USB cable.

Step 2

Go to Developer options in Settings and enable the USB debugging option. Tap on OK in the Allow USB debugging popup to confirm. If you can’t see Developer options, go to About phone in Settings and keep tapping on Build number until you see a You are now a developer popup message. You’ll now see Developer options in Settings.

nexus 5 usb debugging

Step 3

Download and install Nexus Root Toolkit on your PC. You can get it through this link. Once the installation is complete, you’ll see an Allow USB debugging popup. Select Always allow from this computer and tap on OK.

usb debugging allow

Step 4

After the installation is complete, you’ll see a Your model type popup in Nexus Root Toolkit. Select Nexus 5 from the dropdown menu below Select the device you have. Select your phone’s build number from the dropdown menu below Select the android build you are currently running.

You can find your build number from About phone in Settings. Click on the Apply button after making your selection.

nexus root toolkit model

Step 5

Click on the Full Driver Installation Guide – Automatic + Manual button below Initial Setup. Follow the steps listed in Nexus Root Toolkit to install the drivers.

nexus root toolkit driver

Step 6

In the Step 3 tab, check the number below Recommended Solution and install that particular solution. For example, if you see #1 below Recommended Solution, click on the button below Driver Solution #1.

nexus root toolkit drivers

Step 7

Once the drivers are installed, you can create a backup through Nexus Root Toolkit if you didn’t make a backup earlier. Click on the Backup button and select Create Android Backup File.

nexus root toolkit backup

Step 8

Click on the Flash Stock + Unroot button below Back to Stock. Click on OK to confirm.

nexus root toolkit flash

Step 9

Select Automatically download + extract the factory image selected above for me and click on OK.

nexus root toolkit image

Step 10

Once the stock firmware is flashed, enable USB debugging again by going to Developer options in Settings. If you get a popup on the screen, select Always allow from this computer and tap on OK.

Step 11

Select the OEM Lock option below Relock and click on OK. That’s it! Once your bootloader is locked, your phone will automatically reboot. You can now restore your backup by clicking on the Restore button in Nexus Root Toolkit and selecting Restore Android Backup File.

nexus root toolkit lock


Method 2: How To Unroot Nexus 5 Mac And Windows

This method is available on Windows and Mac computers. This method unroots Nexus 5 manually and you’ll need to enter some codes in command prompt or terminal. The steps below might seem a bit complicated at first, but if you pay close attention, you’ll be able to unroot Nexus 5 easily in just several minutes.

Step 1

Switch off your Nexus 5. Press and hold the Volume Up, Volume Down and Power buttons simultaneously. Let only the Power key go when your phone vibrates and let the other keys go when you see Start on the screen along with an Android robot. Connect your phone to your Mac or Windows PC using a micro USB cable.

nexus 5 recovery

Step 2

Download the UnrootNexus5.zip file on your PC. Once downloaded, extract the ZIP file on your Desktop. You should now see an UnrootNexus5 folder on your Desktop.

Step 3

If you’re using Mac, proceed to Step 5. On your Windows PC, go to Device Manager and if you see Android Device in the list with a triangle warning sign, then install the drivers from the UnrootNexus5 folder that you extracted earlier. If you see Bootloader Interface, then there is no need to install the drivers.

Step 4

Go to the UnrootNexus5 folder on your Desktop. Hold Shift and Right click on any empty area in the folder. Select Open command window here. A command prompt window should now open.

Open Command Window Here

Step 5

Type the following Windows Commands in the command prompt window that you opened in Step 4 if you’re using a Windows PC. If you’re using Mac, open Terminal and enter the Mac Commands listed below. Make sure that you wait for each command to execute fully before you enter the next one.

Windows Commands:

fastboot flash bootloader bootloader-hammerhead-HHZ11d.img
fastboot reboot-bootloader
fastboot flash radio radio-hammerhead-M8974A-1.0.25.0.17.img
fastboot reboot-bootloader
fastboot -w update image-hammerhead-krt16m.zip

Mac Commands:

cd Desktop
cd UnrootNexus5
./fastboot-mac flash bootloader bootloader-hammerhead-HHZ11d.img
./fastboot-mac reboot-bootloader
./fastboot-mac flash radio radio-hammerhead-M8974A-1.0.25.0.17.img
./fastboot-mac reboot-bootloader
./fastboot-mac -w update image-hammerhead-krt16m.zip

Step 6

After the last command is fully executed, your phone will automatically reboot. The first reboot might take a longer time than usual. That’s it! You have successfully unrooted your Nexus 5. You can now proceed to Step 11 in order to lock your bootloader. If your phone gets stuck in a boot loop, unplug the phone and keep holding the Power button until it turns off. Hold the Power, Volume Up and Volume Down buttons simultaneously. When your phone vibrates, let go the Power key and when you see Start along with an Android robot on the screen, let go the other keys as well.

Step 7

Press the Volume Up button twice in order to highlight Recovery mode and boot into recovery by pressing the Power key. If your phone shows a dead Android robot, then press the Volume Down, Volume Up and Power keys several times simultaneously. Your phone should now go into Recovery.

nexus 5 recovery mode

Step 8

Go to the Wipe data/factory reset option using the Volume keys and select it using the Power button. Select Yes to confirm.

nexus 5 recovery wipe

Step 9

Go to the Wipe cache partition option using the Volume buttons and select it using the Power key. Select Yes to confirm.

nexus 5 wipe cache

Step 10

Select the Reboot system now option. Your phone will now reboot. That’s it! If you want to send your phone under warranty, then you’ll need to lock your bootloader as well. Follow the steps below to lock your bootloader.

nexus 5 recovery reboot

Step 11

Switch off your phone. Press and hold the Volume Down, Volume Up and Power buttons at the same time. Let only the Power button go when your phone vibrates and let the other buttons go when you see Start on the screen along with an Android robot. Connect your phone to your Mac or Windows PC using a micro USB cable.

Step 12

In the same command prompt or terminal window, type the following command.

Windows Command:

fastboot oem lock

Mac Command:

./fastboot-mac oem lock

Step 13

Your bootloader is now locked. Press the Power button to boot your phone normally. That’s it!


Conclusion

The Nexus 5 is an excellent Android smartphone and you can do a lot of stuff with it right out of the box. However, I feel that rooting gives users a lot more options on their Android devices. That being said, not everyone is comfortable with a rooted phone and if you feel that you made a mistake rooting your Nexus 5, then you can easily unroot it using any of the methods mentioned above.

Make sure that you only attempt the methods above if you’re willing to take full responsibility. They are not guaranteed to work on all devices and they can brick your phone if anything goes wrong. Follow all the instructions carefully and let us know if you have any queries in the comments section below.

Similar Posts

19 Comments

  1. Without losing data and you ask people to completly format their phones? That’s a little bit misleading…

  2. Hey! I did all the steps that were mentioned above and was successfully able to unroot my nexus 5 but when i try booting it up it keeps on showing ” unfortunately the phone has stopped” and starts rebooting again. Basically i cant get past this screen. What should i do?

  3. Not able to update system software in NEXUS 5 after rooting the phone:-

    I am getting a notifiaction for Android System Update. When I select to install, It says it will reboot and install updates, but when it reboots it goes in to Team Win Recovery Projest mode (TWRP) as I had rooted my phone. After it goes to recovery mode I manually select reboot and it doesnot start to update and the notification is not to be seen again. But after 2-3hours it come back again asking to update. Let me know how to diable the phone going into recovey mode or how to update in recovery mode if there is way to do it???? This has been happening from past 2days. My phone is Nexus 5. Plz help…

          1. Answer to my main question:-

            Not able to update system software in NEXUS 5 after rooting the phone:-

            I am getting a notifiaction for Android System Update. When I select to install, It says it will reboot and install updates, but when it reboots it goes in to Team Win Recovery Projest mode (TWRP) as I had rooted my phone. After it goes to recovery mode I manually select reboot and it doesnot start to update and the notification is not to be seen again. But after 2-3hours it come back again asking to update. Let me know how to diable the phone going into recovey mode or how to update in recovery mode if there is way to do it???? This has been happening from past 2days. My phone is Nexus 5. Plz help…

            And now I am not able to take screenshots. Tried to delete the screenshots folder , rename it. What ever I do once I unplugg the cable the folder comes back with 5 screents shoots which are not opening. Not able to delete the folder from phone.

    1. HI There,
      After researching I found 2 options available:

      1) return to stock rom and wait of OTA update first before rooting again.
      2) search of newest rom from Google, manual update using fastboot. Do not flash ‘userdata.img’ unless you want to wipe the system of all your user data

      Please let me know how this works out for you. =-)

  4. i havent rooted my nexus5 device but i unlocked the bootloader to install a custom ROM. Should i follow all these steps (how to unroot nexus5 step1-step12) to relock the boot loader.

    1. HI Dan,
      I am glad that the tutorial was able to help you and you are most welcome. Saludos a todos en Venezuela! (Greetings to all in Venezuela), Thanks for commenting.

    1. Hi Stuart,
      I am very glad that this guide was able to help you and you are most welcome. Don´t forget to share your positive experience in your social media accounts so other can benefit as well. Thanks for reading! =-)

  5. Why does your article say “without losing data”? I’ve just used this method and it has wiped my entire phone, including 2-step authentication generators for 3 accounts that I am now locked out of. Very misleading. I’m very unhappy with this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *