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For those of you who want full root, here’s how to root your Nexus 7 Android tablet. (This root method works on Jelly Bean Android 4.2, 4.1.1, and 4.1.2.)
Why root your Nexus 7? What is root?
Root is basically full “admin” access your Nexus 7 tablet so you can run rooted (admin) apps, install custom ROMs, and do all sorts of things otherwise not possible. If you are coming from iPod, this is basically jailbreaking equivalent time 100.
This method will work on any Windows, Mac, or Linux computer.
Before we begin, unlocking bootloader WILL ERASE EVERYTHING on your Nexus 7 so do COPY EVERYTHING on your Nexus 7 to your computer before beginning!!!
Step 1. Hold down the Volume Down and Power buttons together for about 30 seconds until your Nexus 7 reboots into bootloader/fastboot mode.
Step 2. You should see an Android guy with belly open. Connect micro-USB cable from your Nexus 7 to your computer.
Step 3. Next, download Nexus7Root.zip below and unzip/extract. You will find a folder called Nexus7Root with all the files you need including drivers for Windows (no drivers needed for Mac or Linux.
Step 4. For Windows, go to Device Manager and Update the drivers, you should see an Android with exclamation mark. The drivers for Nexus 7 are included in the zip file under usb_driver folder. If you don’t know how to do this, please watch the tutorial video!
For Mac and Linux, skip to Step 6.
Step 5. Once updated with drivers installed, you should see “Android Bootloader Interface”. You are good to go then.
Step 6. Open a command prompt or terminal and type:
fastboot oem unlock
For Mac and Linux, please type this before the fastboot command:
chmod 755 *
And also replace all “fastboot” with “./fastboot-mac” for Mac and “./fastboot-linux” for all commands on this page!!!
Step 7. You should see “Unlock bootloader?” screen on your Nexus 7. Hit the Power button. THIS WILL ERASE EVERYTHING!!!
Step 8. Once bootloader has been unlocked, you should see the red letters change to “unlocked”.
Step 9. Reboot your Nexus 7 and you should see the welcome page again, go ahead and sign in.
Step 10. Connect microUSB cable from your Nexus 7 to your computer.
Step 11. Copy the file CWM-SuperSU-v0.94.zip to anywhere on your Nexus 7′s internal storage.
Step 12. Reboot into bootloader/fastboot by holding down Volume Down and Power buttons together for about 30 seconds.
Step 13. Go back to command prompt/terminal and type:
fastboot flash recovery recovery-clockwork-touch-220.127.116.11-grouper.img
fastboot erase cache
Step 14. Use Volume buttons to choose “Recovery mode” and hit the Power button.
Step 15. Once in ClockworkMod Recovery menus, choose “install zip from sdcard”.
Step 16. Choose “choose zip from sdcard”.
Step 17. Choose the file “CWM-SuperSU-v0.94.zip”.
Step 18. Choose “Install CWM-SuperSU-v0.94.zip”.
Step 19. You should get “install from sdcard complete”.
Step 20. Reboot and choose “Yes – Disable recovery flash”.
Step 21. Once rebooted, you will find SuperSU superuser app. Congratulations, you have successfully rooted your Nexus 7!
Step 22. Download and install a rooted app like Titanium Backup app from the Play Store and run it, you should find the Superuser request window pop up!
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You will need a rooted Nexus 7 to install all ROM/kernels.
First time to rooting and custom ROMs? Please see our Nexus 7 Root FAQ FIRST!