Dec 15 AT 3:12 PM Edgar Cervantes 49 Comments

Video: Verizon Galaxy Nexus – unlocking the bootloader

nexus root

After all the hype and waiting, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus has finally been released in the US and is available for purchase straight from Verizon. We know many of our readers have been waiting for this moment and probably have this device in their hands right now, or are about to. There are many reasons to want this device, but one of the biggest incentives is the fact that a Nexus phone is known to have a more open ecosystem, meaning it is much easier to unlock the bootloader.

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus is a bit different, though. It comes with Ice Cream Sandwich, one of the most (if not the most) revolutionary updates the Android OS has received. Android 4.0 has much to be excited about, and even the CyanogenMod team has mentioned that some of their “extra” features have been taken off the custom ROM, since Ice Cream Sandwich is now incorporating them. This means that, more so than before, users are considering not installing any custom ROMs on their devices in favor of the Stock ICS UI.

We’re reaching out to our readers to see what their opinion is on this matter. We’d like to see how many of you are going to stick with stock, or if you’re loyal to the custom ROMs developer community. One of the main advantages of following the developer community is that updates come out much faster, but this wouldn’t be an issue with a Nexus device. (They are the first to get updated). At the same time, many of you may like the extra juice that some developers add to your device.

Unlocking the bootloader will allow you start messing with your smartphone as you please (rooting, flashing custom ROMs and kernels, etc.), and it’s very easy to do with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Our friends from Droid-Life have posted a video that demonstrates how this is done, as well as a detailed step-by-step guide. The process is very simple; the bulk of the process is setting up the SDK, ADB and drivers.

As always, there’s a disclaimer. Before doing this, you should realize that customizing your device (this includes unlocking the bootloader) may void your warranty and/or brick your device if not done carefully. If you choose to do so, the responsibility is solely yours, and you may be on your own if something goes wrong.

Check out Droid-Life’s video to see how to go about unlocking the Samsung Galaxy Nexus bootloader, and let us know what you think. Will you be unlocking the bootloader to play around with your phone, or would you rather stick with stock this time? If you’re doing it, is it mainly for rooting? Do you think installing custom ROMs is necessary with Ice Cream Sandwich already on your device and updates coming in a timely fashion?

Via: Droid-Life

Source: Droid-Life

Hello, I am Edgar Cervantes. I am an avid Android fan, and keeping myself updated on the topic is part of my daily life. I will always work hard to give the best of me to our community of Android enthusiasts, and I am very honored to be part of this ship. Hopefully we can all enjoy sharing our knowledge and opinions!

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  • thekaz

    I’ve messed around with rooting and flashing and all that on my tablet.. at the very least, I will leave ICS on there to get to know it better before deciding anything. Odds are, if it is as good as they say, I may wind up just leaving it on there.

    • mr 1338

      oh one has got to love those Nexus devices :D
      nothing tops pure vanilla android ( maybe with a shot of bright blue ;)

    • dl22

      Yup, no complaints at this point.

    • http://www.focuszonedevelopment.com Homncruse

      I don’t understand all the comments in this thread talking about “I’m going to stick with stock as long as possible, only do this when you need to”, etc.

      Unlocking the bootloader isn’t just about installing custom ROMs. It allows you to:

      * Install custom recoveries, which provide better backup abilities (though it removes you from the OTA update track),

      * Flash add-ons such as new kernels

      * Root easily and use root-enabled apps.

      You can keep stock firmware after you unlock the bootloader. In fact, it’s best to do it early before you have much history and data to lose (since you can’t back it up with Titanium Backup before you’re rooted, obviously).

  • zyphbear

    As much as I know I CAN do it, until they stop supporting the device, I plan on sticking with stock for as long as possible. Since it won’t have a special Skin or other things to delay the updates, I know that I will enjoy every feature that Google wants to introduce, including “Majel” when they get to it. I might get a launcher if I get tired of the main screen. One of the biggest parts would have to be the warranty, but I do like ICS as it is.

    • http://www.focuszonedevelopment.com Homncruse

      You’ll still get updates from Google ASAP if you unlock the bootloader. Flashing a custom recovery (such as ClockworkMod Recovery) or ROM (such as CyanogenMod) is what remove you from the automatic update track, not unlocking the bootloader.

  • themanwithsauce

    It was a difficult launch but ASL worth it in the end. My hat goes of to Samsung, Verizon, and google for providing another great phone for the power user. Now then, gentlemen, start your roms!

  • thechad

    I’m waiting to see if HTC and T-mobile will get ICS out for the Sensation by February. If not it’s custom rom time for me.

  • Bill

    I don’t see any reason to unlock it until there is something you want to flash. Yes, unlocking will wipe your phone, but installing a new ROM will wipe you phone. Keep it stock until you don’t need to keep it stock…

    • http://www.focuszonedevelopment.com Homncruse

      Or wipe early while you have nothing to lose…

  • Adryan maldonado

    If i had a galaxy nexus i would unlock the bootloader and yes custom roms and kernels are still neccessary. One glaring example of why they are neccessary is this thing with google wallet. Can you get that stock? Nope. Im sorry to but google should have grown a pair and verizon how its going to go down.anyways should root and instal mocodacos(i think thats his name) custom rom/kernel you can install google wallet,use it, and google gives 10 dollars!!!! So yes definitely sticking with custom roms.

    • mothy

      I dont get the whole Google wallet thing?

      • junibert

        Google Wallet’s being withheld from Verizon customers. Verizon asked Google to leave it out and I think even hide it from the market.

        Might have something to do with the fact that Verzion actually has poured money into their own wireless payment system…or maybe they just don’t like Google Wallet.

        In case you were wondering what Google Wallet is, it’s a NFC (Near field communication) payment system that let’s you swipe your phone over the reader and pay for stuff like your daily coffee etc. The system being tied to Google gives you the benefit of being able to instantly apply coupons etc.

        • Adryan maldonado

          hey thanks for answering that question. So if anyone else doesnt understand they will now

  • Karen

    There’s a great way to win an unlocked version of this phone by trying out the new app from Goba. Details are here: goba.co/win-a-phone

  • Billy

    I am going to stick with stock for a while. Get a feel for what Google offers and then see what the community is up to. I like to play with the roms and stuff but also excited to see how stock runs itself.

  • Thomas Biard

    When I get a new phone I like to tinker around with it for a while while it is still completely stock so I get a good feel of how its supposed to act and what to expect from it, then I find out if SBF is available, and then and only then will I root and begin with ROMs and customization. I think the best part overall with rooting is Titanium Backup. This kind of thing should be available on all phones no matter what!

  • mikesuds

    I don’t care what you say. This, my friends, is a Nexus.

  • nsnsmj

    Awesome! A little off-topic, but I can’t wait for Google to update the Nexus S.

  • Alexander drzfr3shboialex

    please hurry tmo

  • dl22

    I’m pretty much traumatized from flashing my OG Droid so much. I did that mostly out of necessity, trying to squeeze as much life out of it as I could.

    Its a relief to have my galaxy nexus and it JUST WORKS. Praise da Lord!!

  • ArticulateFool

    I had my gsm nexus unlocked, rooted, and custom rom’d within 30 minutes of opening the box!

    Just did an initial boot to test things then unlocked the power!

    • junibert

      That’s probably what I’d do. Which custom ROM did you go with?

  • honourbound68

    I’d do it. I’m sure some awesome devs out there will make some incredible kernels so it’d be worth unlocking the boot loader

  • mothy

    Awesome, I am tempted to actually run this stock unrooted I know that probably blasphemous but……..

  • amgala

    Thank you for posting this video!!!

  • HoLfElDeR

    Nexus FTW

  • Chazzers

    When I got my first Android device (Captivate), I was eager to root it and install a custom ROM. However, ICS looks very promising, so I think I’ll wait a bit and see how it feels. However, if time goes on and there are some extra features I want, I won’t really hesitate to root it.

  • beatrixasdfghjk.

    Well, I think I’d get CMod, just for the fun of it.
    Stock Android is getting really, really great, though D:

  • Jorge Eslava

    That’s the beauty of Nexus devices, if you want a customer rom you can flash one easily, if you don’t want to mess with the software you still get the latest and greatest first. Its always win or win with Nexus.

  • Samar

    Will try may be after 6 months or so after enjoying native ICS.

  • clocinnorcal

    I’ve learned from 2 androids over 2 years that rooting is a must asap. Custom roms arent always tweaked to the teeth with extras, a lot of dev’s out there are just looking to provide the smoothest rom possible with a few goodies thrown in occasionally. I’m not saying that there isnt crazy cooked up roms either :P One of the main benefits of rooting isnt flashing new roms but taking advantage of your new superuser permissions. Adfree android is one of my favorite root apps, and there are many more!

  • tequilya

    I’ll be unlocking it when I have a need to, which will come eventually. I like to run stock for at least awhile to get a feel for how things were intended and to make sure there aren’t any issues with the hardware before I start doing things that could void the warranty.

    On my OG Droid I started getting the bug to use custom ROMs as my phone started to fill up and its little 256MB needed some crapware removed to make room for stuff I actually cared about. Cyanogen FTW!

    That should be less of an issue with a Nexus (very happy to finally see one on my carrier), but it is still important to me to know that I’ll have the custom ROM option later when support from the manufacturer starts to dry up and in case even Google eventually leaves this hardware behind.

    The wait for a Galaxy Nexus was excruciating and frustrating; the Razor was an awesome phone that I’d have very likely upgraded to instead, but the locked bootloader made it taboo in my book. I’m always going to be waiting for a phone that has custom ROM options down the road.

  • jasonlee

    I’ve been avoiding any sdk stuff cause I hear its a pain to set up….but its a must for this phone

  • donger

    Stock ICS for me.

  • Nathan D.

    If only I had one

  • Shadowlore

    Normally, I’d say Unlock the bootloader asap… however, with VZW in the mix, I’ve learned to hold off a bit.

    We had 3 Xooms we bought for development at the office when they came out… unlocked the bootloader of all 3, and everything was peachy.

    Turns out 1 of the xooms seems to have had something wrong internally, and it toasted the processor. (same software and setup on all 3.. the other 2 were just fine)

    Wound up sending it into VZW for them to send it off to Moto for repair… it never made it to Motorola. VZW accused us of toasting the device with something wrong, and tried to make us eat the cost of the device in the process.

    Took almost 3 months until finally Motorola ignored VZW and checked the device, only to find there was some shielding that was loose and apparently grounded out internally.

    As much as I hate to do it, until I’m 100% certain there’s nothing physically wrong with the 2 Nexuses we got today, I’ll be staying ‘stock’. Giving it 60-90 days of good use, before I get around to doing it properly.

  • levelm

    I only have one reason to do this — wireless tether. However, I share the thoughts of others about making sure nothing is wrong with the hardware before I go voiding my warranty.

  • ramenchef

    Thanks for the guide on how to do this.

  • tpulu

    If only it was that simple for every Android device…. *sigh* Ok, someone post a video of “How to unlock the bootloader of the HTC ReZound” hehehe

  • eliander mendoza

    this is why i love android this phone its new and it you can unlock bootloader and much much more than another plataforms….

  • Ivan Todorov

    And he do it…so easy :) LOVE Google!

  • Louis A

    I know I will do this but I will wait just a little and see what’s up before I jump into it.

  • tequilya

    Still can’t bring myself to root just yet. will wait a bit to Make sure hardware is OK and for early adopteres to work out the kinks

  • humidity
  • Evokill1

    I’m still a noob with rooting and the rest :s

  • Dheerupv

    Guys..I know I’m a noob..but can anyone tell me how to back up your contacts including phone numbers before unlocking the bootloader..once I unlock my bootloader does it mean that I won’t ever recieve any OTA update?.. does unlocking the bootloader completely wipe your phones internal memory?..

  • hayzem

    Hey! Thank you for that, it is cool. I have a question that can I use it after unlocking in Turkey?

  1. I’ve messed around with rooting and flashing and all that on my tablet.. at the very least, I will leave ICS on there to get to know it better before deciding anything. Odds are, if it is as good as they say, I may wind up just leaving it on there.

    • oh one has got to love those Nexus devices :D
      nothing tops pure vanilla android ( maybe with a shot of bright blue ;)

    • Yup, no complaints at this point.

    • I don’t understand all the comments in this thread talking about “I’m going to stick with stock as long as possible, only do this when you need to”, etc.

      Unlocking the bootloader isn’t just about installing custom ROMs. It allows you to:

      * Install custom recoveries, which provide better backup abilities (though it removes you from the OTA update track),

      * Flash add-ons such as new kernels

      * Root easily and use root-enabled apps.

      You can keep stock firmware after you unlock the bootloader. In fact, it’s best to do it early before you have much history and data to lose (since you can’t back it up with Titanium Backup before you’re rooted, obviously).

  2. As much as I know I CAN do it, until they stop supporting the device, I plan on sticking with stock for as long as possible. Since it won’t have a special Skin or other things to delay the updates, I know that I will enjoy every feature that Google wants to introduce, including “Majel” when they get to it. I might get a launcher if I get tired of the main screen. One of the biggest parts would have to be the warranty, but I do like ICS as it is.

    • You’ll still get updates from Google ASAP if you unlock the bootloader. Flashing a custom recovery (such as ClockworkMod Recovery) or ROM (such as CyanogenMod) is what remove you from the automatic update track, not unlocking the bootloader.

  3. It was a difficult launch but ASL worth it in the end. My hat goes of to Samsung, Verizon, and google for providing another great phone for the power user. Now then, gentlemen, start your roms!

  4. I’m waiting to see if HTC and T-mobile will get ICS out for the Sensation by February. If not it’s custom rom time for me.

  5. BillGuest 3 years ago

    I don’t see any reason to unlock it until there is something you want to flash. Yes, unlocking will wipe your phone, but installing a new ROM will wipe you phone. Keep it stock until you don’t need to keep it stock…

  6. If i had a galaxy nexus i would unlock the bootloader and yes custom roms and kernels are still neccessary. One glaring example of why they are neccessary is this thing with google wallet. Can you get that stock? Nope. Im sorry to but google should have grown a pair and verizon how its going to go down.anyways should root and instal mocodacos(i think thats his name) custom rom/kernel you can install google wallet,use it, and google gives 10 dollars!!!! So yes definitely sticking with custom roms.

    • I dont get the whole Google wallet thing?

      • Google Wallet’s being withheld from Verizon customers. Verizon asked Google to leave it out and I think even hide it from the market.

        Might have something to do with the fact that Verzion actually has poured money into their own wireless payment system…or maybe they just don’t like Google Wallet.

        In case you were wondering what Google Wallet is, it’s a NFC (Near field communication) payment system that let’s you swipe your phone over the reader and pay for stuff like your daily coffee etc. The system being tied to Google gives you the benefit of being able to instantly apply coupons etc.

  7. KarenGuest 3 years ago

    There’s a great way to win an unlocked version of this phone by trying out the new app from Goba. Details are here: goba.co/win-a-phone

  8. I am going to stick with stock for a while. Get a feel for what Google offers and then see what the community is up to. I like to play with the roms and stuff but also excited to see how stock runs itself.

  9. When I get a new phone I like to tinker around with it for a while while it is still completely stock so I get a good feel of how its supposed to act and what to expect from it, then I find out if SBF is available, and then and only then will I root and begin with ROMs and customization. I think the best part overall with rooting is Titanium Backup. This kind of thing should be available on all phones no matter what!

  10. I don’t care what you say. This, my friends, is a Nexus.

  11. Awesome! A little off-topic, but I can’t wait for Google to update the Nexus S.

  12. I’m pretty much traumatized from flashing my OG Droid so much. I did that mostly out of necessity, trying to squeeze as much life out of it as I could.

    Its a relief to have my galaxy nexus and it JUST WORKS. Praise da Lord!!

  13. I had my gsm nexus unlocked, rooted, and custom rom’d within 30 minutes of opening the box!

    Just did an initial boot to test things then unlocked the power!

  14. I’d do it. I’m sure some awesome devs out there will make some incredible kernels so it’d be worth unlocking the boot loader

  15. Awesome, I am tempted to actually run this stock unrooted I know that probably blasphemous but……..

  16. Thank you for posting this video!!!

  17. When I got my first Android device (Captivate), I was eager to root it and install a custom ROM. However, ICS looks very promising, so I think I’ll wait a bit and see how it feels. However, if time goes on and there are some extra features I want, I won’t really hesitate to root it.

  18. Well, I think I’d get CMod, just for the fun of it.
    Stock Android is getting really, really great, though D:

  19. That’s the beauty of Nexus devices, if you want a customer rom you can flash one easily, if you don’t want to mess with the software you still get the latest and greatest first. Its always win or win with Nexus.

  20. Will try may be after 6 months or so after enjoying native ICS.

  21. I’ve learned from 2 androids over 2 years that rooting is a must asap. Custom roms arent always tweaked to the teeth with extras, a lot of dev’s out there are just looking to provide the smoothest rom possible with a few goodies thrown in occasionally. I’m not saying that there isnt crazy cooked up roms either :P One of the main benefits of rooting isnt flashing new roms but taking advantage of your new superuser permissions. Adfree android is one of my favorite root apps, and there are many more!

  22. I’ll be unlocking it when I have a need to, which will come eventually. I like to run stock for at least awhile to get a feel for how things were intended and to make sure there aren’t any issues with the hardware before I start doing things that could void the warranty.

    On my OG Droid I started getting the bug to use custom ROMs as my phone started to fill up and its little 256MB needed some crapware removed to make room for stuff I actually cared about. Cyanogen FTW!

    That should be less of an issue with a Nexus (very happy to finally see one on my carrier), but it is still important to me to know that I’ll have the custom ROM option later when support from the manufacturer starts to dry up and in case even Google eventually leaves this hardware behind.

    The wait for a Galaxy Nexus was excruciating and frustrating; the Razor was an awesome phone that I’d have very likely upgraded to instead, but the locked bootloader made it taboo in my book. I’m always going to be waiting for a phone that has custom ROM options down the road.

  23. I’ve been avoiding any sdk stuff cause I hear its a pain to set up….but its a must for this phone

  24. Normally, I’d say Unlock the bootloader asap… however, with VZW in the mix, I’ve learned to hold off a bit.

    We had 3 Xooms we bought for development at the office when they came out… unlocked the bootloader of all 3, and everything was peachy.

    Turns out 1 of the xooms seems to have had something wrong internally, and it toasted the processor. (same software and setup on all 3.. the other 2 were just fine)

    Wound up sending it into VZW for them to send it off to Moto for repair… it never made it to Motorola. VZW accused us of toasting the device with something wrong, and tried to make us eat the cost of the device in the process.

    Took almost 3 months until finally Motorola ignored VZW and checked the device, only to find there was some shielding that was loose and apparently grounded out internally.

    As much as I hate to do it, until I’m 100% certain there’s nothing physically wrong with the 2 Nexuses we got today, I’ll be staying ‘stock’. Giving it 60-90 days of good use, before I get around to doing it properly.

  25. I only have one reason to do this — wireless tether. However, I share the thoughts of others about making sure nothing is wrong with the hardware before I go voiding my warranty.

  26. Thanks for the guide on how to do this.

  27. If only it was that simple for every Android device…. *sigh* Ok, someone post a video of “How to unlock the bootloader of the HTC ReZound” hehehe

  28. this is why i love android this phone its new and it you can unlock bootloader and much much more than another plataforms….

  29. And he do it…so easy :) LOVE Google!

  30. I know I will do this but I will wait just a little and see what’s up before I jump into it.

  31. Still can’t bring myself to root just yet. will wait a bit to Make sure hardware is OK and for early adopteres to work out the kinks

  32. I’m still a noob with rooting and the rest :s

  33. DheerupvGuest 3 years ago

    Guys..I know I’m a noob..but can anyone tell me how to back up your contacts including phone numbers before unlocking the bootloader..once I unlock my bootloader does it mean that I won’t ever recieve any OTA update?.. does unlocking the bootloader completely wipe your phones internal memory?..

  34. hayzemGuest 3 years ago

    Hey! Thank you for that, it is cool. I have a question that can I use it after unlocking in Turkey?