How to unlock and root Nexus 5 – Install TWRP recovery

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Google’s Nexus 5 Smartphone is the first to ship with Android 4.4 KitKat and its stock software is pretty nice. We all want to get full access to our device and have maximum use of it, and after the launch of Nexus 5, those tech lovers who want to unlock and root their devices would have been searching wildly for the procedure to unlock and root this kit kat running device. The search is now over because this post contains the procedure by which one can maximize the use of his device, by unlocking the bootloader, then rooting and installing custom recovery software. It can be done easily using the Nexus Root Toolkit and with minimum of fuss.

nexus 5 root-install-recovery

Note: The mentioned process is only meant to be applied on Nexus 5 and no other device.


  • Follow the procedures on the page carefully and in writing sequence or else it can lead to damaging of your device.
  • Only you will be responsible for any damage, if caused to your device.

Install the Nexus Root Toolkit, a well-designed app that automates pretty much everything on your device and launch it. To start, you will need to go through the initial setup phase which is quite simple – select Nexus 5 as your device, then the build number that matches your device (likely KRT16M). Now, you will be offered the chance to download a few files for the Nexus 5 so accept these and once this is completed, you should be at the Nexus Root Toolkit or NRT main screen, with options to Install Drivers, Backup, Restore, Unlock, Root and Install Custom Recovery.


  • After installing the NRT, ensure that the drivers are installed for your device. Start by enabling USB debugging on your phone. For this, you’ll need to unlock the Developer settings menu by going into Settings -> About phone and then pressing on the build number at the bottom of the screen seven times. Now, you’ll see a message that “You are now a developer!” when you’ve succeeded. Then, go into Developer options in Settings and turn on USB debugging.
  • When you connect your phone to a PC you’ll be asked to confirm that you want to allow USB debugging for this computer. Be sure that you select allow and tick the box to remember this choice. After this, follow the instructions provided in the NRT program to install drivers (“Full Driver Installation Guide…”). Typically, it involves deleting all existing drivers, then installing the universal drivers provided. Remember that you don’t skip any step (including removing old drivers and restarting your computer), as they are all necessary. When you get a success message in the driver test phase, you’re all ready to move onto the next steps.
  • Unlocking your phone will wipe your data so make sure you back up everything first. To do this, click on ‘Backup’ in the main Nexus Root Toolkit window and then follow the instructions. Now, your device will reboot and you’ll be asked to unlock your device and prepare to accept the backup option. Just wait and then press ‘Back up my data’ and wait for a few minutes while your apps and data are backed up and copied to your computer.


How to unlock bootloader of Nexus 5

Step 1 – Allow the NRT to reboot your device into bootloader mode automatically and then you’ll be asked to confirm you want to unlock the bootloader. To confirm your choice use the volume buttons and navigate to the ‘yes’ option and press the power button. Your phone will reboot a few times and display some interesting screens, before ending up back at the initial setup screen

Step 2 – Now, go through this as you did initially, filling in your Google account details and the like. Once concluded, be sure to enable the Develop Menu and then USB debugging as you did in the first step.

How to root Nexus 5 and install custom recovery

Step 1 – In the Root section of the NRT’s main window, click the checkbox next to “and also flash… Custom Recovery” and press the Root button.

Step 2 – Once your device is rooted and your TWRP custom recovery is installed, you’re done but you may need to update the SuperSU binary to finish things off.

Step 3 – Restore your phone to the way it was before using the ‘Restore’ option in NRT, selecting the .ab file you made earlier.

Step 4 – Now, your device will reboot and then you’ll be asked to “Hold the device in your hand and unlock the screen” by NRT. So, do as it suggests, then hit ‘OK’. Lastly click “Restore my data” when given the option on your Nexus 5 and wait patiently while the restoration is carried out.

At last you will get a “Process finished!” message from NRT and its over. Now you can try out some root-only apps and new ROMs, or can do either if you want.

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