Downgrade Nexus 5, Nexus 4 Back to Android KitKat

Though Google has updated their Nexus range of phones such as Nexus 5, Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 to Android 5 Lollipop, some users are struggling to get grip with the new Lollipop update for various reasons. Many users want to downgrade their Nexus 5 or Nexus 4 back to the good old Android 4.4.4 KitKat.

If you do not want Android 5 Lollipop and wish to downgrade your Nexus 5 or Nexus 4 (also, Nexus 7 & Nexus 10) back to Android 4.4.4 KitKat, read on to know how it is. Downgrading firmware on a Nexus device is a relatively a simple process, but it requires little long time to complete. Also, it will wipe your device, so you need to back up every data on your phone.

Google-Nexus-5

The Android 5.0 Lollipop update (also, Android 5.1.1 on select Nexus devices) brings various software fixes, new aesthetic look, new features and security enhancements to the phone. You should feel faster performance, get HD voice calling, enhanced device theft protection, On-body detection, better volume control, two SIM cards support and more, once you update your device to Android 51.1.

Downgrade Nexus 5, Nexus 4 Back to Android KitKat

Prerequisites:

a) This installation process will wipe your device completely. Make a backup of your data (contacts, call logs, messages, etc.). Also, make sure your device has at least 80% charging.

b) Driver for your Nexus device installed on your computer

c) ADB and Fastboot installed on the computer (You can use minimal adb and fastboot [Download here] for this purpose)

Download and Install Android 4.4.4 KitKat on a Nexus device

1. Download appropriate Android 4.4.4 KitKat factory image [HERE] for your device and unzip the file. Move the unzipped files to the same folder as the Minimal ADB and Fastboot installed on your computer (usually it will be C: – Program Files (x86) – Minimal ADB and Fastboot).

2. Enable “USB Debugging” on your device from Developer options menu.

3. Now, power off your Nexus 5 or Nexus 4, 7 & 10, and enter into “fastboot” mode by holding down the Volume up + Volume down + Power buttons together. Then, connect your phone to your computer via a USB cable

4. Now go to the Minimal ADB and Fastboot folder and open a command window there (shift key + right click and select open command window here option).

5. If the LOCK STATE says locked, then type: fastboot oem unlock at the command prompt, and press Enter. On your phone, choose “Yes” (use volume key) and confirm it by pressing the Power button.

Note: This will ERASE your device, so make sure you have backed everything up first.

6. With the bootloader unlocked, you can install the Android 4.4 firmware. To do that, go to the Minimal ADB and Fastboot folder (where you have saved the unzipped factory image) and execute the flash-all script.

This script installs the necessary bootloader, baseband firmware(s), and operating system.

On Windows: Run the file “flash-all.bat”.

On Mac: Run the file “flash-all.sh” using Terminal.

On Linux: Run the file “flash-all.sh”.

Wait for the process to complete. The phone will reboot automatically.

7. When the process finished, you should lock the bootloader again for security. For that, boot your Nexus 5 into fastboot mode, and then issue the command: fastboot oem lock

Kannan is a computer and Android enthusiast, a blogger by passion and a tech freak. His always ready-to-help attitude, knowledge and hard work is what drives him.

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