The 2012 Google Nexus 7 is currently struggle to survive among the latest Marshmallow based tablets. However, the first gen. of the Nexus 7 is still a good Android based device, even though it might lack some performance when talking about the latest Marshmallow update. Probably that’s why Google hasn’t released its Marshmallow OTA for this tablet. However, you can still update to Android 6.0.1 if you use a dedicated and optimized custom ROM, like CM 13.

Yes, that’s right; CyanogenMod is available for the 2012 version of the Asus Google Nexus 7. However, the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow based custom ROM is not developed by the CyanogenMod team, but by those of xda-developers who managed to bring a stable and a smooth software for your device – we have to thank them for this step by step guide. So, before doing anything else, make sure you check the developer webpage from here. Then, return to this tutorial and resume all the following guidelines as I will explain you how to safely install CM 13 on your own Google Nexus 7.

First of all, as already mentioned, this Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow OS is stable enough for a daily use. Moreover, the system will run without bugs, lags or any other software related issues, though you might find some minor problems from time to time. Overall, you have all the reasons for trying it out.

Also, you can do it safe and secured without assuming any risks. How, well by making a Nandroid backup before doing anything else. As you might know, through a custom recovery you can make a dedicated backup process through which to save the current ROM that powers your 2012 Google Nexus 7. So, after flashing the CM 13 firmware, if you won’t like how the new ROM runs on your device, you will be able to use the Nandroid backup for going back to stock.

As mentioned, the Nandroid backup can be ensured only if you can use a custom recovery image. Well, the same software will be used on the actual installation process from below. So, bottom line, you must now install CWM or TWRP recovery on your tablet. Moreover, you have to root your handset because a custom Android 6.0 Marshmallow ROM, such as CyanogenMod, can be installed only on an unlocked Android system – basically because the ROM must modify in built settings, add new features, apps and capabilities and remove restrictions and old tools.

Do note that you are about to complete an unofficial update operation which comes with some risks. The first negative aspect is related to the warranty of your tablet, which will now be lost. However, you can easily learn how to manually troubleshoot a soft bricked Android device, so you should be partially safe and secured. Also, during the update operation your personal data, info and accounts will be removed as you will have to clear app data cache and to make a hard reset.

Since a wipe is implied I now recommend you to save your data – at least only temporarily as you can restore everything after completing the CM 13 firmware flashing process. So, sync your Google Nexus 7 data or use other compatible backup and restore apps in order to save everything. On your way you should head your attention towards things such as calendar info, texts, market apps, internet settings, EFS, IMEI / NVRAM, saved passwords, recent saves, images, videos, audio files and so on.

Being a manual update procedure, the steps from below will imply in having access to a computer – don’t worry, you only have to download the CM 13 platform and compatible Google Apps. In some situations, users reported issues with the security features while trying to download the required files. So, you might want to temporarily turn off the antivirus protection – this is only optional and should be completed only if you can’t download the files otherwise.

On your tablet you have to enable Developer Options (tap a few times on Built Number from “menu – settings – about device”) as from there you then have to check the USB Debugging option. Finally, you will have to charge your Nexus 7 2012 if that’s required – usually, plugging in the charger is recommended if the power left is lower than 60% (skipping the charging process might lead to a bricked device – if it gets turned off in the middle of the update operation).

How to Install Stable CM13 on 2012 Google Nexus 7 and Update to Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow OS

  1. You can download the update file from this page.
  2. Google Apps package can be then downloaded from here.
  3. Place these two files on your computer, if possible on desktop.
  4. You then have to transfer the files on your tablet, so plug in the USB cord and resume the copy-paste process.
  5. When done, remove the USB cord and complete a shut down sequence – just sit back and relax while your Nexus 7 is being powered off.
  6. After doing so, enter recovery mode on your Android device.
  7. From there, first of all, clear everything; the wipe can be done by selecting “wipe data factory reset”, “wipe cache partition” and “wipe dalvik cache”.
  8. You now have to load the downloaded files; you can do so by selecting “Install” followed by “select zip from SD card” and “choose zip from SD card”.
  9. Resume the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow update operation.
  10. Go back to main menu of recovery when done.
  11. Select “reboot system now”.

There you have it; Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow should now run on your 2012 Google Nexus 7. Give it a try and test everything before making a proper opinion about how things work now. Then, don’t forget to share all your thoughts with us by using the comments field from down below.

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