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If you ever need to unbrick your Nexus 5 or return your phone for warranty purposes, you can unroot your Nexus 5 completely back to stock with stock firmware.
Now, if you did make a backup ROM of your stock ROM, you don’t have to do this, you can simply restore your stock ROM then lock the bootloader. But in case you did not make a backup of your stock ROM, here’s how to unroot your Nexus 5 with stock firmware. You can use Windows, Mac, or Linux to do this.
*WARNING – This unroot method delete EVERYTHING on your Nexus 5, please MAKE A BACKUP of EVERYTHING on your Nexus 5 before starting! YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!
Step 1. Turn off your Nexus 5 then hold down Volume Down and Power buttons together for about 2 seconds until you see bootloader menu. If you are in a bootloop, you can also hold the buttons down for about 15 seconds until your Nexus 5 reboots into bootloader menu.
Connect a micro-USB cable from your Nexus 5 to your computer.
Step 2. Download the latest stock firmware for your Nexus 5 and unzip the file. If you do not have an unzipping software you can use 7zip or Alzip.
Step 3. Download fastboot.zip, unzip the files and copy everything to your stock firmware folder you unzipped in Step 2.
Step 4. Open a command prompt for Windows and Terminal Emulator for Mac/Linux. If you don’t know how to do this, please Google it.
Replace above hammerhead-krt16m-factory-bd9c39de
and hammerhead-krt16m with appropriate directory name for the firmware you downloaded.
chmod 755 *
chmod 755 *
You should see a bunch of random numbers. If you do see it, you can go ahead. If you don’t see it for Windows, you may need to install drivers. Follow Step 6 in our Nexus 5 Root tutorial if you don’t know how to install drivers.
Step 5. Next, we are going to flash the stock bootloader as it may be required on newer firmwares so type:
fastboot flash bootloader bootloader-hammerhead-HHZ11d.img
./fastboot-mac flash bootloader bootloader-hammerhead-HHZ11d.img
./fastboot-linux flash bootloader bootloader-hammerhead-HHZ11d.img
*Replace bootloader-hammerhead-HHZ11d.img with the file ending in .img in your stock firmware directory!!!
Step 6. Next, we are going to flash the actual stock firmware so type:
fastboot -w update image-hammerhead-krt16m.zip
./fastboot-mac -w update image-hammerhead-krt16m.zip
./fastboot-linux -w update image-hammerhead-krt16m.zip
*Replace image-hammerhead-krt16m.zip with the file starting with “image” and ending in “zip” in your stock firmware folder.
*On some firmwares, you may have to flash the radio (if the firmware comes with it):
fastboot flash radio radio-hammerhead-m8974a-22.214.171.124.08.img
*Replace radio-hammerhead-m8974a-126.96.36.199.08.img with the radio image file.
Step 7, When that is done successfully, your Nexus 5 will reboot. You should see a welcome sign and if you see this, congratulations! You’ve successfully unrooted your Nexus 5 with stock firmware.
If you are returning your Nexus 5 for warranty or your phone is in bootloop, continue to Step 8 otherwise you can stop here if you want.
Step 8. Repeat Step 1 to enter bootloader menu then select “Recovery mode” and enter stock recovery.
Step 9. Hit the Volume keys to see the stock recovery menu then select “Wipe data/factory reset” and reset your Nexus 5. This will completely reset your Nexus 5 to fix bootloops and also clean it completely.
Step 10. Reboot into bootloader menu by repeating Step 1 then connect a micro-USB cable from your Nexus 5 to your computer.
Step 11. Let’s lock the bootloader now for the final step.
Go back to your command prompt/terminal and type:
fastboot oem lock
./fastboot-mac oem lock
./fastboot-linux oem lock
Step 12. Once bootloader is locked, simply reboot your Nexus 5 and your Nexus 5 should be completely unrooted just the day you got the phone. Congrats!
This is optional and I left out the step for flashing radio but the command for flashing radio is simple:
fastboot flash radio radio-hammerhead-M8974A-188.8.131.52.17.img
./fastboot-mac flash radio radio-hammerhead-M8974A-184.108.40.206.17.img
./fastboot-linux flash radio radio-hammerhead-M8974A-220.127.116.11.17.img
Q: I am in a bootloop no matter what!!!
A: You can usually get out by locking and unlocking your bootloader, try:
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fastboot oem unlock
fastboot oem lock
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You will need a rooted Nexus 5 to install all ROM/kernels.
NOTE: THE AUTHOR OF THIS SITE IS NOT RESPONSIBLE IF YOU MESS UP YOUR PHONE, PLEASE READ INSTRUCTIONS TWICE BEFORE TRYING IF THIS IS YOUR FIRST TIME TO ROOTING AND CUSTOM ROMS!
First time to rooting and custom ROMs?
Please see our Nexus 5 Root FAQ FIRST!!!