Android 5.0 Lollipop factory images now available for Nexus 5, 7, 9 and 10

Looking for a way to install Android 5.0 Lollipop on your Nexus 5, Nexus 7 WiFi (2012 and 2013) or Nexus 10 without waiting for an OTA update?

Google has uploaded factory images for each device, as well as for the Nexus 9 and Nexus Player, to load the software from scratch. Generally only used to wipe and reset a problematic device, factory images are useful to quickly install new releases. OTA updates, according to Google, can take up to three weeks to roll out to all devices.

Google provides simple instructions for flashing, but users must be familiar with the terminal or command prompt to pull them off.

To flash a system image:

  1. Download the appropriate system image for your device below, then unzip it to a safe directory.
  2. Connect your device to your computer over USB.
  3. Start the device in fastboot mode with one of the following methods:
    • Using the adb tool: With the device powered on, execute:
      adb reboot bootloader
    • Using a key combo: Turn the device off, then turn it on and immediately hold down the relevant key combination for your device. For example, to put a Nexus 5 (“hammerhead”) into fastboot mode, press and hold Volume Up + Volume Down + Power as the device begins booting up.
  4. If necessary, unlock the device’s bootloader by running:
    fastboot oem unlock

    The target device will show you a confirmation screen. (This erases all data on the target device.)

  5. Open a terminal and navigate to the unzipped system image directory.
  6. Execute the flash-all script. This script installs the necessary bootloader, baseband firmware(s), and operating system.

Once the script finishes, your device reboots. You should now lock the bootloader for security:

  1. Start the device in fastboot mode again, as described above.
  2. Execute:
    fastboot oem lock

Locking the bootloader does not wipe any data, but when you want to flash it again, you must run fastboot oem unlock again, which will wipe the data.

Remember, flashing a factory image overwrites any data on the device, including media, photos and documents.

No word on when factory images for the Nexus 4, 6 or 7 LTE are going to be available, but generally cellular-based images take several weeks to be posted due to delays in certification.

Happy flashing!


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