Manually update the Nexus 5 to Android 5.0 Lollipop by sideloading the OTA

BY Rajesh Pandey

Published 13 Nov 2014


Cannot wait for the Android 5.0 Lollipop update to land on your device? Well you can manually sideload the update on your device by following the steps mentioned below.

You will, however, require a Nexus device with an unlocked bootloader. If the device does not already have an unlocked bootloader, you will have to unlock it, which will wipe the device clean of all your data. If you are ready to unlock the bootloader, follow our guide on how to flash the Android 5.0 Lollipop factory image to get a taste of Lollipop on your device.

If the bootloader of your Nexus is already unlocked, you can proceed with the steps below. Since you will be applying the OTA update, the data on your device will remain untouched. However, it is always a good idea to create backups just in case things go wrong.

Step 1: Download the Android 5.0 Lollipop OTA update for your Nexus device from here. Make sure to rename the file to ‘’ and transfer it inside a new folder called ‘google’ on your desktop.

Step 2: Download the ADB/Fastboot files, along with the USB drivers if you are running Windows from below.

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 5 into Recovery mode by switching it off, and then pressing the Volume down + Volume Up + 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. You can also try press the Volume Up button once whilst keeping the Power button pressed to get into recovery.

Step 4: Once your Nexus 5 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

Mac owners need to copy paste the following command:

./adb sideload

The OTA file will then be transferred to your phone and the installation process will automatically start. After it has completed, your Nexus 5 will automatically reboot as well. The first boot will take up to 10 minutes 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. If you are facing any other issues, drop in a comment and we would be glad to help you out.