Android 6.0 is available for download now and today I wanted to show you how to manually flash the update onto your Nexus 5.

Google has historically released their next big version Android on the same day as a new phone. Interestingly enough though, that is not the case this year with Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P aren’t hitting doorsteps until the end of the month and we already have the factory images published for the recent Nexus devices.

So now that the factory images are available, let me show you how to manually update your Nexus 5 with the brand new version of Android.

Android 6.0 brings a ton of new features to the tablet with things like granular Application Permissions, the fingerprint API, auto backup, app linking, adoptable storage, direct share, doze mode, app standby, improvements to text selection, Chrome custom tabs and many more changes that have happened under the hood. Let’s not forget that Android 6.0 Marshmallow also includes Google’s October security patches.

These patches fix Stagefright 2.0 as well as a dozen or two other exploits for Android.

This will wipe your Nexus 5 clean(losing all of your data). If you want to install Android 6.0 like an OTA update, you could wait for the update to roll out or you can follow this tutorial that I recently wrote for you.

Nexus 5 Manually Install Android 6.0

  1. Download and Install the Google USB Drivers
  2. Reboot Your Computer
  3. Enable Developer Mode on the Nexus 5
  4. Go Back to the Main Settings Page
  5. Scroll Down and Tap on the ‘Developer Options’ Menu
  6. Enable the ‘USB Debugging’ Feature
  7. If Available, Enable the ‘OEM Unlock’ Option Too
  8. Download and Install ADB & Fastboot Tools
  9. Launch the ADB & Fasboot Tools Shortcut
  10. Type the Following Command. . .
  11. adb devices
  12. . . .and Press Enter
  13. Connect the Nexus 5 to the PC
  14. Tap the ‘OK’ Option to Allow USB Debugging if Prompted
  15. Boot the Nexus 5 into Fastboot Mode
  16. Reconnect the Nexus 5 to the PC and Type the Following Command. . .
  17. fastboot oem unlock
  18. . . .and Press Enter
  19. On the Nexus 5, Confirm That You Want to Unlock the Bootloader
  20. When the Nexus 5 Bootloader is Unlocked, Reboot Back into Fastboot Mode(like in step #15)
  21. Download the Android 6.0 Marshmallow Factory Images
  22. Extract the Contents of the .tgz File
  23. Copy the Contents(all 6 files) of the .tgz File into the Minimal ADB & Fastboot Installation Directory
  24. For Me, that was “C:\Program Files (x86)\Minimal ADB and Fastboot”
  25. Type the Following Command. . .
  26. flash-all.bat
  27. . . .and Press Enter
  28. Wait for the Installation to Complete
  29. Then Press Any Key to Exit the Command Prompt
  30. Wait for the Nexus 5 to Reboot on its Own
  31. Be Patient Because the First Boot Can Take a While


We’re likely to see Google push out OTA updates of Android 6.0 Marshmallow very soon, but until then you just might want to manually install the update yourself. Google generally does a slow roll out when it comes to OTA updates and this means that it can take a month or two before you finally get sent the latest version of Android. I just finished manually installing Android 6.0 on my Nexus 5 doing these exact steps so I thought I would put together the tutorial to help anyone else who wants to do the same.

I have written this guide for those who have not done anything like this before. If you have done this in the past, then you can skip over steps like the USB drivers, unlocking the bootloader, etc. For all the new people, start by downloading the USB drivers from Google and installing them onto your computer. It’s best to reboot your PC after installation just to make sure they have been installed properly. Once done, you’ll want to enable USB debugging on the Nexus 5 by diving into the About section of the Settings and tapping on that Build Number menu until the toast message says you did it.

Then you’ll need to go back to the main Settings menu and scroll down until you see the Developer Options menu. Tap on it and look for two options, one is called USB Debugging and the other is called OEM Unlock. Not everyone will have this OEM Unlock option(I didn’t on my Nexus 5 with the Android M Dev Preview), but just make sure you look for it thoroughly. Then, you’ll need to download and install some sort of ADB and Fastboot tools. I have linked to a minimal version of them in the tutorial above, but you could install the Android SDK directly from Google. I recommend the minimal version because the SDK is huge and not needed for most people.

Once installed, double-click on the shortcut that it creates so that it will launch the command prompt directly into the ADB/Fastboot directory. Now, you’ll want to type the command ‘adb devices’ to go ahead and start the service. Once started, connect the Nexus 5 to the PC and you should be prompted to allow USB Debugging access from this PC. I check the ‘always allow’ option and then tap on the OK button to allow this. Once done, you can go ahead and type adb devices again and if you did it properly, then you should see your device listed there(it’s generally listed as a jumbled series of letters/numbers).

Now, you need to boot the Nexus 5 into Fastboot Mode so that we can issue some commands to the device with our newly installed ADB and Fastboot tools. If you haven’t unlocked the bootloader of the Nexus 5 before, then you need to enter a special command once you get into the Nexus 5 Fastboot Mode. This command is ‘fastboot oem unlock’ and once done, you’ll see a prompt on the Nexus 5 asking if you are sure you want to unlock the bootloader. Confirm the process by using the Volume Up and Volume Down buttons to control the selector and then press the Power button to select the option you want.

Once the bootloader has been unlocked, you’ll want to power down the Nexus 5 again and boot it into Fastboot Mode again. Once there, let’s turn our attention back to the PC and download the Android 6.0 factory images for the Nexus 5. You’ll be downloading a .tgz file and this can be extracted with something like WinRAR, WinZIP, 7zip, etc. Inside this folder you will find six different files and we need to copy/paste those files into the Minimal ADB & Fastboot directory. For me, this was in “C:\Program Files (x86)\Minimal ADB and Fastboot”.

When those files have been copied completely, let’s go back to the command prompt and execute the flash-all.bat file to begin the installation process. You’ll see some text flashing in and out at the bottom left of the screen on the Nexus 5. This is telling you which partitions it is copying/writing to and this process can take a few minutes to complete. I want to say it took about 5 minutes for me. Once all of this is done, you’ll see the Nexus 5 reboot into a special menu with the green Android robot. Again, continue waiting and then you’ll see the Nexus 5 reboot again.

During this next boot, you should see the Android 6.0 Marshmallow boot animation appear. This first boot up will take a long time. I estimate mine took about 10 to 15 minutes so please be patient. Once everything has been set up, you’ll see the Android 6.0 Marshmallow action screen where you can start setting everything back up.



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