How to Flash Android 7.0 Nougat Factory Image on Your Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6, and Nexus 9

BY Rajesh Pandey

Published 22 Aug 2016

android nougat

Google has just released the final version of Android 7.0 Nougat. The latest version of Android comes with many new features including multi-window support, a redesigned notification panel, built-in data saver, and more.

If Marshmallow was more about refining the user experience, Nougat is all about shiny new features. The final release of Nougat is accompanied with Google releasing the factory images of the OS for its compatible Nexus devices. The company will also start rolling out OTA updates to all Nexus users, but that will take its own sweet time (read: couple of weeks). If you cannot wait until then, you always have the option of flashing the factory image on your Nexus device provided you are ready to sacrifice all your data on the phone.

Read: Android 7.0 Nougat: All the new features

There are some pre-requisites to flashing a factory image on your Nexus devices which are as follows:

  • The bootloader of your device must be unlocked
  • Flashing the factory image will wipe your device clean of all your data, so create a backup of all your important data
  • You must know your way around ADB and fastboot

If the bootloader of your Nexus device is not already unlocked, you can do so right before flashing the factory image. I have mentioned the steps below, just in case this is your first time flashing a factory image. The steps below will also work on Nexus devices that are already running the developer preview of Nougat.

Android 7.0 Nougat factory images are available for the following devices:

  • Nexus 6P
  • Nexus 5X
  • Nexus 6
  • Nexus 9
  • Pixel C
  • Nexus Player

The popular Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 have reached their end of life and will not be receiving the Nougat update.

Setting up ADB and Fastboot

Mac: Follow this quick guide to set up ADB/Fastboot.

Windows: Download and install the 15-second ADB/Fastboot installer by following the instructions mentioned. Also, make sure to download and install the ADB drivers from here.

Unlock the bootloader

Step 1: Download the Android 7.0 Nougat factory image for your Nexus (or Pixel) device from here.

(Optional) If the bootloader of your Nexus device is not unlocked, head over to Settings -> About Phone and tap on Build Number 7 times to enable the hidden Developer Options menu. Head back to Settings -> Developer Options and enable on the OEM Unlocking option.

Step 2: On the desktop of your PC, extract the contents of the Android 7.0 factory image file inside a new folder called ”android”. It is extremely important that all the contents of the factory image are present inside it. Only extract contents from the zip file that you downloaded. There is no need to extract contents of various other zip files present inside the archive.

Step 3: If you are on Windows, Shift + right click on the “android” folder and select the ‘Open command window here’ option. On a Mac, open up Terminal, type “cd”, drag ‘n’ drop the “android” folder inside the window, and then press enter.

Step 4: Boot your Nexus device into bootloader mode using the key combination mentioned below:

  • Nexus 5X: Volume down + Power button
  • Nexus 6: Volume Down for a few seconds and then press the Power button simultaneously
  • Nexus 6P: Volume down + Power button
  • Nexus 9: Volume Down + Power button

Step 5: Confirm that your device is being detected by your PC by running the below command:

fastboot devices

If detected, this command should return the Android ID of your device. If not, restart your Android device and PC. If that fails as well, reinstall the ADB drivers.

Step 6 (Optional): If the bootloader of your Nexus device is not unlocked, run the following command:

fastboot oem unlock

You will have to confirm your selection by pressing the Volume Up button on your device followed by the Power button. Once done, your device should reboot. If not, reboot the handset manually. Once it boots back into Android, skip the setup process, switch it off, put it into bootloader mode and connect it to your PC.

Step 7: Now, run the below command to flash the Nougat factory image on your Nexus device.




Android N installation

The script will automatically flash all the full Android 7.0 Nougat factory image on your Nexus or Pixel device. Once done, your Android device should automatically reboot into Android. If not, manually reboot the device into Android by long pressing the power button. The first boot can take its own sweet time, so be patient.

If you have ran into some issues whilst flashing the Android 7.0 Nougat factory image on your Nexus or Pixel, drop in a comment and we will help you out.