Unlock Your Nexus 5 to Tweak and Softmod Android Experience

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By Precious Silva | December 19, 2013 12:30 PM EST

Nexus users can find some interesting things to do once they root their devices. Rooting can be quite tricky but it is possible. Understanding the steps and doing the necessary precautions should help avoid problems. Once Nexus 5 has been rooted, users can expect a completely different Android experience.

Before users can root and access the fun things, they have to unlock their bootloader first. Fortunately, Google's Nexus devices make it easy for users to unlock such. Follow the steps provided.

1. Create Back Up - Unlocking the bootloader will remove all data on the handset. Unlocking the boatloader is similar to factory reset. Accessing the bootloader allows users to conduct deep-level modification. Removing all data is the best way to ensure information remains safe if someone accesses the handset and breaks in.

Users should make sure they create backup before proceeding. If the device has been synched with the Google account, then emails and contact should be safe. Users can go to Play Store to download the apps they got or purchased before. SMS Backup & Restore is an excellent way to back up SMS messages.

2. Download Android SDK to Windows PC - The Android SDK connects the PC to the device. Without it, the computer will not recognise the device, and update or modification is impossible. Downloading the toolkit will allow users to give commands unlocking the bootloader. Users have to use a program to unzip the file. Some options include WinRAR and WinZip.

3. Unzip the File - Once the AndroidSDKSLIM.zip has been downloaded, open the file. Create a new folder and transfer the .zip file. Unzip within that folder.

4. Confirm with the Command Prompt - Unzipping the file will provide a folder that can read android-sdk-windows. Open the folder and then go to platform tools. There will be several files in it:

  •  api
  •  systrace
  •  adb
  •  AdbWinApi.dll
  •  AdbWinUsbApi.dill
  •  fastboot
  •  NOTICE
  •  source.properties.

 While inside the folder, press the Shift Key and right click. Choose "Open command window here." In the given terminal, type this command: adb version. There should now be a response saying Android Debug Bridge version 1.0.31.

5. Enable USB Debugging on the Nexus - To connect the device properly to the computer, USB Debugging must be enabled. Go to Settings and then choose Developer Options. Another option is to go Settings > About Phone. Go to the bottom to see the Build Number. Tap it several times until a message pops up: "You are now a developer!"

6. Boot Phone into Fastboot Mode - Switch off the device and then press Volume and Power button at the same time. The Android logo will appear. At the bottom there will be a label saying it is in a Lock State. This will start the unlock process.

7. Unlock bootloader - Connect the device to the computer. Go open the android-sdk-windows folder and then proceed to platform tools. Users should see the following:

  •  api
  •  systrace
  •  adb
  •  AdbWinApi.dll
  •  AdbWinUsbApi.dill
  •  fastboot
  •  NOTICE
  •  source.properties.

Open the terminal by pressing Shift Key plus right click. Choose "Open command window here." Type this command: fastboot devices. The command should provide a list of connected devices. If the handset's serial number has been listed, then everything is all set.

To unlock the bootloader, type this command: fastboot oem unlock. There will be a message asking for confirmation. Use the Volume Keys to select Yes. Press the Power button for confirmation.

8. Reboot with Fastboot Command - Following confirmation of fastboot command, type the following: fastboot reboot. This will reboot the handset and complete the process.

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