How to Root Nexus 7!

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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 Android 5.0 Lollipop, KitKat Android 4.4, Jelly Bean Android 4.3, 4.2.2, 4.2.1, 4.1.1, and 4.1.2.)

NOTE: For Android 5.0 Lollipop, 4.4.3, 4.4.2, 4.4 KitKat and Android Jelly Bean 4.3/4.2.2/4.2.1/4.1.1, use SuperSU v2.30 instead in Step 11!

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 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:

cd Downloads

cd Nexus7Root

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 to anywhere on your Nexus 7′s internal storage.

NOTE: For Android 5.0 Lollipop, 4.4.4, 4.4.3, 4.4.2, and 4.4 KitKat, please use SuperSU v2.30 instead!!!

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-

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 “”.

Step 18. Choose “Install”.

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!

If you like this tutorial, please subscribe to our e-mail newsletter to get weekly updates on more cool ROMs, hacks, tips, and also personal help from the author Max Lee via e-mail.

Credits – ClockworkMod for Recovery and ChainFire for awesome SuperSU.

Need Help? Best way to contact me is on Twitter!
You can also follow me on Google+ or Facebook here:
Nexus 7 Reference
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!
Want to stay updated on latest Nexus 7 Root news?
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Categories: Nexus 7 Root.
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173 Responses to How to Root Nexus 7!

  1. jeff says:

    Hey max can u also do a version using wugfresh nexus one click root toolkit. It looks much easier using his tool. Its on xda at the top

    Thanks bro ur the best

  2. Jim says:

    I’m having trouble with step 6 in linux. In terminal I type
    chmod 755* ./fastboot-linux oem unlock
    and the output read chmod: invailid mode: `755*’
    I typed ./fastboot-linux oem unlock
    the output read

    Is anyone else running into this?

  3. Mike Miralles says:

    Hey Max! This is really great! I’m always trying this website ( for several days now because I know this will be your new website. I’m looking forward getting this super tablet next month and it nice that you already have a site for this. I’m hoping that your youtube channel will be back soon. You were doing a great job! Thanks!

  4. BT says:

    Nexus 7: I followed your video and got mine rooted. I have superuser permission, Titanium Backup Pro and Rom Manager (the free one).

    I downloaded CM10 and that seemed to install via Rom Manager. I downloaded GApps and tried to install it with Rom Manager but I get the Android icon with a Red Error Triangle, after a few minutes the device reboots by itself. But, I do not see anything that is different (from stock) in the way of features or Apps.

    Using iMac to do this and the Android File Transfer app… I dragged the two files CM10 and GApps to the Download folder in the Nexus.

    Note: I did not try to install the Motley CM Kernel – Do I need that also if I don’t want to overclock?… What to do next???


  5. katy says:

    I’m stuck with step 13 though, how can I proceed it from there. Also how can I transfer a file using usb computer connection (step 12). After the tablet is connected to the usb cable, nothing was shown up.


    • C.Rogers says:

      I had problems on Step 11, and 12: For Ubuntu users, get “gMTP” from software center. This will allow you to copy files to and from your Nexus 7. Be sure to append “sudo” in front of all “fastboot-linux” commands in the above tutorial, otherwise the command line will show “waiting for device”. I have successfully rooted my Nexus 7 on Ubuntu 12.04, with the help of these instructions and gMTP. Thanks for the tutorial!

  6. katy says:

    I figured it out. Thanks so much

  7. Lucky says:

    After using your steps will I also have CWM recovery permanently? So will I be able to flash ROMs after this using CWM?

  8. Sol says:


    It’s worth pointing out that modern Android devices use MTP (media transfer protocol) instead the old USB block mode. Most Linux/BSD/*nix users will have to have mtp related libraries (and a GUI like gMTP) installed for drag&drop file transfer.

    I think modern full-featured distros might include support out of the box already, but just a heads up for those having problems.

  9. Tony says:

    Hey Max, the zip file link seems to be down. Tried downloading it from three different browsers.

  10. Tony says:

    A little off topic Max, but do you think it’s better to get the 8gb or the 16gb N7?

  11. Yohan says:

    If I do this will I still be able to install ota updates?

  12. Michael says:

    hey max do you think you could put up instruction on how to get back to100% stock in case of warranty and such.

  13. Aviv says:

    Super simple guide!
    thanks alot max!

  14. xman says:

    This works for latest FW 4.1.1?


  15. xman says:

    This works for latest FW 4.1.1?


  16. Philip S. says:

    I am stuck on step 20. How do I disable the recovery flash?

  17. aaron says:

    getting stuck at step 13 keep getting, -bash: flashboot: command not found, even after doing the tab trick…. super frustrated, just want cm10!

    • curtbrue says:

      Aaron, im having the same problem with adding recovery to the terminal. What did you do to get passed this? Any help would be appreciated!!!! I cant move on until i figure this out. Thanks bud!!!

  18. shalomazar says:

    hey max, im using OS X, and im having some issues… i unlocked the boot loader but i cant seem to install clockwork mod recovery touch… your commands arent working on terminal… i did replace fastboot with ./fastboot-mac… is there anything else extra for mac for step 13… thanks

    • shalomazar says:

      update: i installed CMD-touch- but now when i go to recovery it give me an android logo with the stomach open with a warning sign….

      • shalomazar says:

        update: everything fixed… thank you so much for ur video… btw it feels so much better when u fix everything yourself… instead of letting others do it for u…

        • admin says:

          k cool good job bud!

        • Nathan Bartell says:


          How did you fix? I get the android logo with open stomach and red warning sign too. I watched the video but didn’t see how to fix. The video was for Nexus 10, but I am assuming they are the same process?

    • thomlark says:

      Installinf from windows- Flashed recovery-clockwork-touch and get the dead android with red triangle when entering recovery.

      If this problem has been solved before, I’m sorry I can’t find the solution. Pleas point me in the right direction

  19. xman says:

    Hey Max,

    After rooting my swiping left-right menus seem to be laggy. What do you suggest to fix this?


  20. Alec Vanek says:

    If i root my nexus 7, can i still do updates, like if android 4.1.2 came out, would i lose root if i updated?

  21. roybj says:

    Hi, great stuff thanks!
    is it possible to only get root and not flash the recovery?
    will this allow me to get OTA updates normally?

    thanks for all your effort!

  22. Gary says:

    Hi Max,
    Thank You for your video, i has root my Nexus 7, but one thing i want to know is “for example”, i has save some photo and some file on my N7, but after i do the Hard reset by “Factory data reset” under the setting, all the file is still here, so how can i do to made my N7 like “NEW” & “Clear”.
    Many Thanks,

    • admin says:

      You can use the factory reset feature in the stock recovery or CWM recovery instead. But the stock version will erase everything on your storage so make a backup before doing that.

  23. suntoryjim says:

    Hey Max,

    This worked perfectly. So easy to do, I was able to root my N7 while at work.

    Running Codename Android ROM now at your suggestion.

    Request: can you do a tutorial on how to choose and install a custom kernel for the N7 along with your recommendations? Maybe even a video review of the popular custom kernels?


  24. thanks! says:

    Hey this is great – I’m a mac user, and terminal can be a bit intimidating. This worked like a charm, and I’m quite grateful you put this method up so clearly. Thanks!

  25. Thomas says:

    If you’re having trouble transferring the file on mac. Go download Android file transfer

  26. Clem says:

    Does this install BusyBox as well?

    Also, can I just install a custom Kernel on this rooted stock ROM? E.g.

    Thanks for the great tutorial again :D!

  27. Mark says:

    What am I missing?
    Using linux mint and/or Ubuntu 12.04 and sits at and doesnt recognise the connected tablet?

    All commands are correct but no joy using Linux?!

    Any pointers?

  28. thebobp says:

    Max, I think you should update the CWM in this guide to 6.0.1

  29. Josh says:

    Hey Max im having a problem copying the supersu zip to my root. It wont let me copy when its PTP and my nexus isnt getting recognized by my computer when I set it to MTP.

  30. Anthony Kiniyalocts says:

    Hey Max,

    I was wondering if instead of installing CWM Recovery I could install TWRP (Personal Preference)? If so would I just replace the step of installing CWM with TWRP?

  31. rdtsa says:

    how can i unroot it ??? help please!!!

  32. rrr says:

    There’s only damned advertising on that download-page! Where is ?!?!

  33. David says:

    Hey max, do you think you could put up a video of how to unroot? It would be greatly appreciated! :D

  34. skikuna vandrede says:


    Thanks for the Rooting guide. on the mac, I have not been able to find a way to disable recovery mode.. How is it done? What happens if i can’t/don’t disable it?


  35. Gaelen says:

    I rebooted at step 20, but didn’t get the option to disable recovery flash, tablet just went straight to rebooting. You said this would give permanent recovery. If I didn’t get the option did it automatically disable it?

  36. Zack says:

    Please help installed paranoid android and wifi wasn’t working so I restored a rom. Any idea on how I can fix it. please. Thank You