How To Root Samsung Galaxy Nexus ( Universal Tutorial Guide )

Root Galaxy Nexus Sprint Verizon GSM

This guide here contains instructions on how you can successfully root any firmware version that is running on the Galaxy Nexus smartphones models, which means that this guide supports the International GSM, Sprint and Verizon editions.

Those of you who managed to update their devices using the new Android firmware files that were launched not so long ago can easily apply the root on their devices regardless of the phone’s model number. This means that root you’ll find in this post will work with all Galaxy Nexus editions like the Sprint, Verizon or the Europe/ Asia/ USA GSM editions. Remember that by rooting your phone, you will void its warranty as the phone’s boot loader will need to be unlocked. However, if you wish to reclaim the warranty then you will have to re-lock the bootloader and unroot the phone.

This tutorial guide will work with Windows, Mac OS X and Linux computers.

Before we can start rooting your phone, you will need to read the preparation guide listed below and learn how to properly prepare your device for the changes we’re about to apply over its firmware files. After you’ve successfully rooted your Galaxy Nexus you will be able to install new custom ROMs and enhance your Ice Cream Sandwich experience. Here’s what you need to know and what to take into consideration before applying the changes to your phone:

  • make sure that your phone is charged and that the battery level says that it has more than 75% power left before switching off.
  • enable the USB debugging mode. Open Settings, then swipe your screen until you find the Developer options. Open it and then tick the option that says USB Debugging.
  • during the rooting process, some data might be lost and you should backup your most important files just to be sure. You can move the data on your phone’s internal/ external SDcard.  Also, you should sync your Contacts with your Gmail account.
  • Save the internet and MMS settings just in case something goes wrong and you won’t be able to browse the internet after the root is complete.
  • we will unlock your phone’s bootloader which means that you will eventually be forced to create backups of all the files currently stored on your device.
  • Text messages can be saved using SMS Backup & Restore. Call Logs can be saved using the instructions here.
  • ClockworkMod or the TWRP Recovery tools need to be installed on your device.  These files can be found in the zip file at step 1.

Since you’ve read the above info you can now move to the how-to guide and learn how to properly root your smartphone. In case you can’t complete any of the actions below then you should ask for help by posting in the comments section.

How to successfully root the Samsung Galaxy Nexus running on any firmware version:

STEP1. Download the Galaxy Nexus root zip file from here and save it on your computer desktop.

STEP2. Extract the zip contents in a folder called ‘GalaxyNexusRootNew’ and then move the folder on your computer’s C drive, then USERS and then select your current user profile name folder and create in it a new folder called ‘Downloads’. Place the file there.

STEP3. Now we need to put your phone into fastboot mode and this can be done by taking the back cover OFF, then remove the battery and place it back in.

STEP4. With the phone now powered off you need to press and hold the volume up and volume down buttons simultaneously and while doing that you need to press and hold the Power button. A vibration bleep should be heard and fastboot mode will load.

STEP5. When in fastboot mode, you will need to connect your Gnex to your PC, Mac OS X or Linux computer using the USB connection cable. Please note that in fastboot mode you should see that the ‘LOCK STATE’ is currently set to ‘LOCKED’.

  • please note that Windows users need to have the USB drivers by Samsung installed. If not, then download them from here.

STEP6. Now, open the command prompt or a terminal window, it depends on your computer’s version, in the downloads folder you created at step 2. Enter the following commands:

  • cd GalaxyNexusRootNew
  • fastboot oem unlock
  • please note that if you’re using a MAC then you should change ‘fastboot’ with ‘./fastboot-mac‘ while the Linux users should enter this: ‘ ./fastboot-linux‘.

STEP7. Now your Galaxy Nexus should display a confirmation message for unlocking the bootloader. Select YES and press POWER. Leave the command prompt opened on your PC and wait until the bootloader is successfully unlocked.

STEP8. Now we need to flash and install the ClockworkMod Recovery for the International GSM / Verizon model or the TWRP Recovery for the Sprint edition. Here’s how to do it:

For the International GSM Gnex edition you will need to enter this line in the command prompt:

  • fastboot flash recovery optimus_prime-touch-v5.5.0.4-6-GSM.img

For the Verizon Gnex edition you need to enter this command line:

  • fastboot flash recovery optimus_prime-touch-v5.5.0.4-6-toro-VERIZON.img

For the Sprint Gnex edition you will need to enter this command line:

  • fastboot flash recovery twrp-toroplus-2.1.2-SPRINT.img

Again, Mac users need to replace the ‘fastboot’ with /fastboot-mac and the Linux users should enter instead this: /fastboot-linux.

STEP9. Now you need to restart your Galaxy Nexus and after it loads the main screen you will need to take the ‘CWM-SuperSU-vo.87.zip’ file and place it on your phone’s internal SDcard storage drive. When this is complete you will need to power off the device as we will need to enter Clockworkmod recovery.

STEP10. When the Gnex is off you need to press and hold Volume Up and Down buttons and after that press and hold Power also. Fastboot mode should appear and now the ‘LOCK STATE’ should say ‘UNLOCKED’.

STEP11. Now use the volume buttons to navigate through the fastboot menu and select ‘Recovery mode’. Press Power to launch it. Wait until the CWM / TWRP is fully loaded.

STEP12. Now we will split the guide in two parts as we need to install the SuperSU tool:

  • The International GSM and Verizon Galaxy Nexus users should select the option ‘install zip from sdcard’. Select the ‘choose zip from sdcard’ and select the file you moved at step 9 on your phone’s SDcard. It should be the “CWM-SuperSU-vo.87.zip”. Confirm the installation and wait until it completes.
  • The Sprint Gnex users need to tap ‘Install’ and then select the ‘CWM-SuperSU-vo.87.zip’ file for installation. Swipe to confirm the flashing of the new SuperSU tool and wait until this completes.

As the SuperSU utility has been successfully installed on your Samsung Galaxy Nexus it means that your device has been finally rooted.

Restart the device from the recovery menu and then wait until it performs its first boot. Now you will be able to install any custom ROM firmware you wish and use the Wi-Fi tethering function or any other feature that was limited when your phone’s bootloader was blocked and the root access wasn’t allowed. Also, now you can install ROM Manager and flash new custom ROMs right from your phone’s Android menu.It can be installed using Google Play Store.

In case something went wrong during the rooting process of the Galaxy Nexus you will need to read again all the instructions above and then re-apply all the steps listed under the tutorial guide. Also, use the comments section to ask for help in case you can’t root your device.

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