How to Root Galaxy Nexus!

For those of you who want to take full advantage of what your Galaxy Nexus has to offer, you will certainly want to root your Galaxy Nexus.

UPDATE April 26th 2012 – Please see Updated Galaxy Nexus Root Method!

Why root Galaxy Nexus?

Well, I have a video on why rooting an Android smartphone can have some positive outcomes, see this video.

How to Root Galaxy Nexus GSM/4G LTE!

These are rooting instructions for Galaxy Nexus GSM version (European/Asian/International) and Galaxy Nexus 4G LTE (Verizon).  This method is the “easiest” of them all.

NOTICE: One thing to remember, when you unlock your Galaxy Nexus, your phone will be “wiped” completely, you will lose your personal settings, apps, and wipes your internal storage!  It is recommended to root your Galaxy Nexus early right after you get your phone.

Step 1. Put your phone in USB debugging mode by checking USB debugging ON under Settings->Developer options.  Then connect your Galaxy Nexus to your computer via a micro-USB cable.

Step 2. If you are using Mac or Linux you can skip to Step 4 as drivers are not required.  If you are using Windows, please download the following EXE file and run the Samsung USB Driver program to install drivers:

Download Samsung USB Drivers

Step 3. Double-check you have the drivers working correctly.  If you see “Samsung Android ADB Interface” in Device Manager (Go to Control Panel->Hardware and Sound->Device Manager) you have installed the drivers correctly.  You can go to the next step.  If you don’t see it, try re-installing drivers by repeating Step 2.  If all else fails, you can try another Windows computer as sometimes drivers on Windows can get hairy.

Step 4. Next power off your Galaxy Nexus.

Step 5. Hold down Volume Up and Down buttons, then hold down the Power button.

Step 6. When you get a screen like below with Android robot and its stomach open, you can let go of all three buttons.  This is called the “fastboot” mode.

Step 7. For Windows, double-check that you get “Android ADB Interface” in Control Panel.  

Step 8. Download the file and unzip to root directory of your computer:
(Don’t have unzipping program? Download and install 7Zip first.)

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Open up a command prompt/terminal and type the following to switch directory to GalaxyNexusRoot: (For Windows, type “cmd” under Start->Search to open command prompt.)

For Windows, type:

cd \GalaxyNexusRoot

For Mac/Linux, type:

cd /GalaxyNexusRoot

Type the following to unlock your Galaxy Nexus:

For Windows, type:

fastboot oem unlock

For Mac, type:

./fastboot-mac oem unlock

For Linux, type:

./fastboot-linux oem unlock


sudo ./fastboot-linux oem unlock

Step 9. Go to your phone screen, you should get an “Unlock bootloader” screen like below.  Use the Volume Up button to select “Yes” and Power button to choose.

Step 10. At the bottom of your screen, it should say “Lock State – Unlocked”.  If so, congratulations, you’ve just unlocked your Galaxy Nexus!

Step 11. Next, go back to the command prompt/terminal and type the following to install rooting files and SuperUser application:

For Windows, type:

fastboot boot boot.img

For Mac, type:

./fastboot-mac boot boot.img

For Linux, type:

./fastboot-linux boot boot.img

Step 12. Your Galaxy Nexus should now reboot.  When it reboots, double-check you have the SuperUser app.  If you do, you have rooted your Galaxy Nexus.  Congratulations!

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Galaxy Nexus Reference
You will need a rooted Galaxy Nexus to install all ROM/kernels.
How to Root GalaxyNexus!

First time to rooting and custom ROMs? Please see our Galaxy Nexus FAQ FIRST!
Galaxy Nexus ROMs
Galaxy Nexus GSM ROMs
Galaxy Nexus Sprint ROMs
Galaxy Nexus Verizon ROMs
Categories: Galaxy Nexus Root.

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97 Responses to How to Root Galaxy Nexus!

  1. emanuell says:

    i cant not get drivers to work when im in fastboot i always goes back to android 1.0 im on windows 7 please help asap

    • Max Lee says:

      Do you have the exclamation mark on the Android 1.0? If you don’t, you might be good to go.

      • Ladyminnie says:

        I have got the same problem.
        When using phone normal, drivers are installed properly, when I am in fastboot mode , its saying Android 1.0 with an exclamation mark

        Now I got the message galaxy with an exclamation mark

        • Ladyminnie says:

          problem solved.
          I reinstalled drivers again after getting galaxy with mark and then it was ok

          Now I am only getting a red cross when I want to enter recovery mode via vol up+down and power

  2. emanuell says:

    Yeah i did but i did something and it finally worked:) idk u remeber but i had the htc evo 3d i been following u for a while and i love this GNex

  3. zyze says:

    Im try root on mac my gNex. But not lucky. After write on terminal ./fastboot-mac oem unlock have and nothing more.. Sorry for bad english

  4. zyze says:

    waiting for device

  5. aw says:

    After finishing this process and booting up, my phone won’t connect to the LTE network, only CDMA. The signal is also weaker than it was before. Any suggestions or ideas?

  6. Kevin lee says:

    So if I root it now will i get ics 4.0.3?

  7. Feniks says:

    Step 7. For Windows, double-check that you get “Android ADB Interface” in Control Panel
    I failed in this step
    Device Manager can’t find my galaxy Nexus….
    What can I do…?

  8. Adam says:

    So does this work for Mac? At least one person said it did not.

  9. Insane Homer says:

    It worked! But beware!

    It completely wiped the SDCard and settings…? Was it supposed to do that? SD card is empty – all music(6GB), all settings wiped! I was presented with the Google setup wizard or reboot.

    PS for the ADB driver install that shows – Android 1.0 driver error in Device manager after fastboot mode. You need to select Manual installation of the driver, Browse, then manually pick. then point to C:\Program Files (x86)\Android\android-sdk\extras\google\usb_driver\android_winusb.inf (installed via the SDK driver install).

    • Keith says:

      You should read what stuff before you click on it. 3rd paragraph, last sentence of the unlock bootloader screen. look at the screenshot above if you need a refresher.

  10. enduf says:

    same thing happen to me, and there is the exclamation mark too. If I go to step 8 as ignoring step 7. nothing happens at the prompt command window and the galaxy nexus. so I just reboot the phone, and nothing has been changed. I think it might be a driver problem. My Android version is 4.0.2. and GSM version. what should I do?

  11. Max says:

    The Link to download the is broken, we cannot download the file /

    Invalid link:

  12. adam says:

    Hello there Max.

    What a great guide you got there for noobs like me. There is one problem that i faced so far, i dont know the directory command to find GalaxyNexusRoot in the terminal. Hint: I have the folder on my desktop. pls help


  13. Corey says:

    Hey Max..when i try and do unlock and root for mac when i open up the terminal and type cd/galaxynexusroot it says no such file or directory…does the file of galaxy nexus root have to be under a certain folder on a mac like it is under C drive for windows

    • Pablo says:

      did u get it to work? i get the same propt! help..

      • Billy says:

        mine was in the downloads folder so I had to type this whole thing every time to be in the right directory.(mine was in downloads so) type this Downloads/GalaxyNexusRoot/./fastboot-mac

  14. Corey says:

    I am not even sure if i am communicating with the terminal right i followed the directions but it doesnt seem to work

  15. Fernando says:

    Solution to the Android 1.0 drivers for Windows. Go to download n install PdaNet for android. Works for me

  16. Jordan says:

    How do i unroot my Galaxy Nexus

  17. mario says:

    I have got the same problem.
    When using phone normal, drivers are installed properly, when I am in fastboot mode , its saying Android 1.0 with an exclamation mark.

    Help ?

  18. mausool says:

    thats cool i have done it it works …….. Little difficult to do for the 1st time in mac……. 🙂

  19. brian says:

    If anyone is still having the issue where device manager does not correctly recognize your Galaxy Nexus while in fastboot mode, you can try downloading 1wayjonny’s found at

    They are in his sig at the bottom of the opening post–called, Android Universal Naked Driver. After much searching and many driver install attempts this was the one that worked.

    Thank you to Zedomax for the guide, was great! (other than driver issues on my end^^)

  20. Omar says:

    my phone keeps flashing google everythign worked even unlocked my the phone but after typing in the fastboot command it wont turn on i need help

  21. marco says:

    On step 7. For Windows, double-check that you get “Android ADB Interface” in Control Panel.

    The name of the device on my device manager become ”Samsung Galaxy Nexus BootLoader Interface”
    will that have any effect at all??

  22. Fredrik Førde says:

    i have now tried for the third time, to download the samsung usb files, but it’s to slow(5kb/s) or it stops :-S . i don’t have a slow conection. any other places I can download the file? please help.

  23. Fredrik Førde says:

    never mind.
    but now it says, after I’ve installed samsung usb drive, that the “mtp”, or something like that didn’t get installed. so it doesn’t say Samsung Android ADB Interface. and when i go into fastboot, the usb drive says android 1.0(no exclamation).

  24. Ben says:

    “waiting for device”

  25. marcus says:

    I had the exclamation mark and after 4 times of reinstalling driver still not succeed. Then I tried the PdaNet solution and it works

  26. Yoann says:

    What to do when we lost the root after an OTA?
    Seems that the bootloader is still unlock but how to get root again? Will this erase the SD?


    • SwagButHacked says:

      i think i saw an app called ota root keeper and it like keeps the root even with ota updates but roms are a different story

      sorry im wryitinhg with my footty

  27. Bikram says:

    I did everything as instructed. Everything went fine. But after the phone is on, I even see the superuser app. But that app crashes every time I try to launch it. i.e. I don’t even get the window of the app. Tap the app icon and get crash notification. :(:(:( fyi, I’m at ICS 4.0.4 Could you please advice?

  28. Matthew says:

    Hey peeps just wanna know what software did you`re use to unzip the file
    Thanks in Advance 🙂

    • lal says:

      You unzip on your computer, not your phone. Just use any normal unzipper: windows explorer should have one by default, or if you’re missing you can get winrar or info-zip.

  29. Ed says:

    Hey does this erase all of your content like it does on the Nexus S? BTW great job on your sites. Only place I get my rooting and rom instructions from.

  30. MIKE says:

    Mine is stuck at the google logo with the unlocked padlock
    what did i do wrong?

  31. Shaun says:

    If you are running Linux and you get “Waiting for device” try “sudo ./fastboot-linux boot boot.img”.

    Also if you get “command not found” while running linux right click on the file called “fastboot-linux” then click the “Permissions Tab” -> Then click the check box “Allow executing file as program”. While you’re doing it for “fastboot-linux” you might as well do it for “adb-linux” and “su”.

    My phone locked up on it’s first reboot. I pulled the battery and rebooted and it came right up.

    • jaxxed says:

      64bit Linux users may also need to install 32bit compatibility libraries.

      If you’ve chmod’ed the program and it still des nothing, then this may be the case.

  32. Ryan Shaw says:

    Rooted successfully with Linux (didn’t want to waste time with stupid Windows drivers so used Ubuntu on USB stick).

    Since the root, I cannot set the phone to vibrate. It seems disabled. I’ve tried two other ROMs as well and same result. What is going on?

  33. Jose Cruz says:


  34. Mad says:

    Does this work with the 4.0.2 update?

  35. paraponera clavata says:

    For all of you that are having the driver problems in fastboot mode (Android 1.0 exclamation mark etc) check this link out it shows you how to get the driver installed right

  36. Eric R. says:

    Windows 7 installed the drivers fine. I checked Control Panel and everything showed up fine. And then when I moved to Fast Book and checked again in Control Panel, the drivers no longer show up in there. So I tried to reinstall them a few times and I’m being told they are already installed, but they are not showing up in Control Panel, so I am scared to move forward past Step 7.

    Anyone else having these issues?

  37. ghanshyam says:

    Only by using PdaNet it worked, Thanks guys for your useful comments.

  38. max says:

    Does it work with Galaxy Nexus with 4.0.4? If so, can I proceed step 11 if the bootloader has already been unlocked?


  39. NSX says:

    I have a same qustion like max… My bootloader already has been unlocked.. If I start from step#11 is the rooting will wipe all of my user data? I remember when I rooted my phone at first time, I lost every of my data. Now I just installed the new firmware (4.0.4) and I lost my root privileges. Is it possible to get back the root privileges beside keeping every user data? Thanks.
    Greets: NSX

    • Duality says:

      I just did exactly that. What Max and yourself were asking about. Galaxy Nexus on 4.0.4 and the update caused me to lose root access (well Superuser was still there but things broke down, and the Root Checker apps told me it was not rooted, etc).

      I did the directory change in Terminal on my Mac, then I did Step 11. I am concerned whatever this boot.img is may be outdated though since I have no idea what that file actually IS. If someone can enlighten me here, or on my comment below, please let me know.

      Anyway it hung on the Google logo for a long, long time. In fact it was even detected by my Mac before it started. I left it for over 15m JUST to be safe… Wouldn’t power off with the button, had to remove the battery. Restarted but I’m in the same spot.

      I can’t recommend this process! Maybe it’s the boot.img file, maybe it’s out of date but I don’t know because I don’t really know what it is. =/ I also tried updating within the Superuser app but it fails at the ‘Gaining Root Access’ stage.

  40. Tom says:

    Avoid this tutorial. It doesn’t work. I’m now reflashing everything for the third time following your piss poor tutorials.

  41. Kaveh says:

    ATTENTION EVERYONE! who ever has a problem with “waiting for device” should know this! you probably have this issue because you have a 64 bit windows! its easy to fix this problem!


    1. go to device manager
    2. under the Samsung Android Phone you will see Android 1.0 or something like that with a yellow mark on it
    3. right click on Android 1.0 and choose update driver
    4. choose “Browse my computer for ….”
    5. choose “let me pick from a list of…”
    6. go to “C:\Windows\System32\drivers\” and press ok
    7. choose Samsung Android Phone .. or something like that…
    8. it will show a bunch of samsung drivers… choose the latest one! and
    9. go on and go to CMD and follow the rest of the instructions told on this website…

    I also have to thank Galaxy Nexus Root for the instructions..

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  45. Duality says:

    I used these instructions a few times now on my Mac and it’s worked flawlessly every time. My only issue with it is that while it’s good because it’s simple, it also doesn’t explain anything.

    Can someone please answer one question for me?

    When at the stage where the command is ‘fastboot boot boot.img’ what are we actually doing? We’re using fastboot to boot into the boot.img file? But what IS that .img file? Is it the SU files? I have no idea and I really want to figure it out because I am a little concerned that this boot.img will get outdated over time. If anyone knows what this file actually is PLEASE let me know!!

  46. eleszet says:

    Hello community,

    @Max: Thanks for the great guide.

    I have the same issue as already reported above. After installing the SamsungDrivers I just get this wenn I plug my GalaxyNexus:

    I didn’t find a solution for this problem in the comments, does smbd have any idea what’s going on here?

    If I continue the boot procedure Windows recognizes the phone:

    Will fastboot work in this mode? If not, what am I doing wrong?

    greetings from germany
    please excuse my english skills

  47. hellpsyko says:

    i made it past the unlock phase and then when I get to the “fastboot boot boot.img” part, command prompts says “cannot load ‘boot.img’ ” what is the problem here?

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  49. yesmaster says:

    should i turn on debugging mode before doing this step or not? because in some forum they told as to do so

    • Max Lee says:

      no need.

      • yesmaster says:

        cool thnks man.i did the tutorial and works like a charm :). now i want to flash a new rom but im really scared of getting a bootloop and not be capable to go to cwm to flash new rom. can u point me to ur video in solving this so i can have a peaceful mine(im just a 16 year old that cant afford to buy a new gnex if i brick it hehe) of flashing new rom(paranoid the tablet mode).i have a windws 7 home premius 64bit. ive been browsing ur site a whole day haha it makes me exited of new things i learn here.. i

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  51. Liam says:

    I’ve performed all the steps above and everything went fine. However when i boot my phone up i do not have root access? sorry i’m new to this and a bit confused. If i try and give any apps (eg nova launcher) root access it says it can’t. Also the superuser app wont update on account of root access failing. Is there something else i need to do?

    Many Thanks

    • Max Lee says:

      Try reflashing the super user zip file.

      • Liam says:

        I’ve done that and still the same. I’ve also done the whole thing again to see if i messed up the first time, and no matter what i do i seem to end up in the same place! no root access. really not sure what i’m doing wrong.

      • Keith says:

        I’m also having the same issue. I noticed in Astro that /system/xbin/su doesn’t have execute permissions (only read, -r-). Might this be the problem?

        • Max Lee says:

          Hmmm. what ROM are u guys on?

          • Keith says:

            I’m on stock ICS. I’m performing this process from a Linux PC. I’m verifying that root access isn’t working via Titanium Backup and the Root Check Basic app.

            I tried manually chmod’ing ‘su’ to executable by all, before reflashing the superuser files. It did not seem to help. I upgraded to Root Check Pro, and this is the output.

            As a side note, when I first extracted the zip file, I had to manually chmod ‘fastboot’ to make it executable. I also had to use ‘sudo’ to get past the “Waiting for device” issue. Perhaps that’s why the user ownership for ‘su’ comes up as “root:root.” I don’t know if that is normal or not.

            • Max Lee says:

              For linux, you have to do:
              chmod 755 *

              and you might have to use sudo or just do:
              sudo -i

              so you can run everything as root.

              Hope that helps.

  52. jess says:

    i followed the steps up to the command referring to boot.img and i get a error saying cannot load boot.img file. what am i doing wrong

    • leftis says:

      ok i am stuck at the same point of guide.
      i am trying to fastboot boot boot.img,but i get only errors on my command prompt(different errors anytime i try)
      do you figure it out?

  53. Dan says:

    I just received the ota to jb from sprint. Will this method work for stock sprint jb or should I wait to see if there are any issues?


  54. Guy says:

    After i root the phone, does google keep upgrade my android if there’s a new release?

  55. Gregory says:

    After typing “fastboot oem unlock” I get “waiting for device message on my cmd and no response from the device itself – how do i fix it in order to go on?

  56. zed says:

    Followed the steps on my mac and it seemed to work.I can see the super user app after my phone rebooted. Now i installed ‘bootlocker” from which I can lock and unlock the bootloader. When I try, it says “bootloader status : NO root access ” . Have I really unlocked my phone

    • Anilikos says:

      Same thing, although the process came through and superuser got installed, I don’t really seem to have root access on the phone

  57. Dwayne says:

    great put up, very informative. I ponder why the other experts of this
    sector don’t realize this. You should proceed your writing.
    I am sure, you’ve a huge readers’ base already!

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