How to manually update Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 to Android 4.4.3 KitKat

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Early last week, Google started rolling out the Android 4.4.3 update for its Nexus as well as the Google Play edition line-up of devices. Being an OTA roll-out, the update will be gradually made available to all Nexus owners over the next couple of weeks.

However, for the impatient folks like us out there, a manual method to sideload the OTA update exist  as well. Follow the steps below if you own a Nexus 4 or a Nexus 7 (2012/2013). If you own a Nexus 5, head over to this article for all the steps.

Step 1: Download the OTA file for your Nexus device from below along with the required ADB/Fastboot files and drivers for Windows.

Make sure to install the drivers and extract the contents of the ADB/Fastboot ZIP file inside the ‘google’ folder that you created in step 1 on your desktop.

Step 3: Reboot your Nexus 4 into Recovery mode by switching it off, and then pressing the Volume down + Volume Up + Power button simultaneously. Nexus 7 owners will need to press the Volume down + Power button simultaneously. After the device boots into bootloader mode, use the Volume keys to navigate to the ‘Recovery’ option and select it by using by the Power button.

If you get an Android logo with an exclamation mark, press the Volume down + Power button for 2 seconds. Also, try pressing the Volume up + Volume down + power buttons 4-5 times in a row. This is going to be a bit finicky, so chances are you won’t get into recovery mode right away.

Also, press the Volume Up button once whilst keeping the Power button pressed.

Step 4: Once your Nexus has booted into recovery, use the Volume key to select the ‘apply update from ADB’ option using the Power key. Connect the device to your PC now, and open a new command prompt window on Windows or Terminal on Mac.

You will now need to navigate to the ‘google’ folder you created in Step 1 using the ‘cd’ command. After that, simply copy/paste the following command:

adb sideload kitkat.zip

Mac owners need to copy paste the following command:

./adb sideload kitkat.zip

The OTA file will then be transferred to your phone, and the installation process will automatically begin. After the installation is completed, your Nexus 4 or 7 will automatically reboot as well. The first boot will take some time so please be patient.

You will get an error during the installation process if you have modified the /system partition on your device in any way. Make sure to restore or re-enable any disabled system apps if you are getting a signature verification failed error.

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  • Rishi Nair

    Where is the link for the Nexus 7 1st gen Wifi?

    • Rajesh

      The OTA update has not yet rolled out.

  • Atma Darkwolf

    did all this, still showing as 4.4.2

  • ozi keri

    how do i navigate to the google folder? i have no clue with Command Prompt