Upgrading a Nexus 4 (or any Nexus Device) to Android 5 Lollipop (LRX21T) via Sideloading OTA from KTU84P (4.4.4) KitKat

Finally, the Android 5 Lolipop Nexus 4 Factory image LRX21T was released by Google!  So you can now update to a clean system. However unless you want to backup and restore all your data, or trust the G-cloud to restore your data back to your Nexus 4, you will need to wait for the over-the-air update (OTA).  This will enable you to upgrade in one foul swoop, with your data in place.

However, it will take  a few weeks for this to trickle out to all handsets, networks and countries.  What if you want it, now, now, now?

The answer – ‘sideload’ an over the air update – rather than wait for it to come to you!


This works on an un-rooted, unmodded or custom-recovery Nexus 4 (i.e. stock) running Android KitKat 4.4.4 KTU84P.

Here is the process:

  1. Download this zip file of the Google OTA update (via this Reddit thread)
  2. Install ADB on your Mac or PC (if not already installed)
    1. Mac instructions from WonderHowTo
    2. Windows PC Instructions from Dottech
  3. Check you can communicate with your Nexus via the USB cable (after enabling debug mode on the Nexus) – instructions at end of advice for 2A or 2B.
  4. Follow these instructions from droid-life.com to sideload the zip file to your Nexus 4

This is my experience:

  1. Zip File (interesting to note 13 November 2014 modified date). Re-named it to 5l.zip: Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 20.59.24
    Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 21.23.29
  2. ADB Test and Sideload Mac OS X terminal commands : Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 21.01.44
  3. Updating progress on Nexus 4 screen:Photo on 17-11-2014 at 14.02Photo on 17-11-2014 at 14.11
  4. Update complete and ready for restarting:Photo on 17-11-2014 at 14.13
  5. Android 5 Lollipop starting up (this takes about 10 minutes first time):Photo on 17-11-2014 at 14.27
  6. Running Android 5 Lollipop with all Apps, Data and personal settings intact: Screenshot_2014-11-17-14-49-56

These instructions also be adapted for your specific Nexus device – you will just need to find your OTA zip file for your specific device.





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