Find out how to root your Google Nexus 7

The Google Nexus 7 is a resounding little tablet, and as you get more into using it, you may come upon apps that require ‘root’. So what’s root? Put simply, Android is rather like some other operating system — every action that tinkers with its inner workings requires a permission. Having root level permission is without equal security clearance, and on this guide I’ll assist you get it.

Once you’ve rooted your Nexus 7, you are able to do such things as mount USB sticks with StickMount (you will need to discover a USB host cable), install custom ROMs, explore the complete Linux file system (inclusive of ES File Explorer), use Titanium Backup, tune your CPU for performance or battery life (which include with CPU tuner), or even block ads. 

A word of warning — right here procedure will void your warranty, and if done incorrectly, it may damage your device. CNET UK and that i don’t accept responsibility for bricking your Nexus 7. At the bright side, your device could be revived back to factory specifications — these changes aren’t permanent.


You’ll desire a Windows PC. Connect your Nexus 7 using the USB cable it came with (don’t use just any old USB cable). Then install the Nexus Root Toolkit (NRT). This application will will let you root any Nexus-branded Android device. Use the ‘Your Model type’ setting (top left in NRT) to set Nexus 7 as your device.

Backing up

Unlocking the Nexus 7’s bootloader will cause your whole data and apps to be erased, so it’s worth using the ‘Backup + Restore’ feature provided in NRT. When you find your tablet has bogged down because you bought it, with the entire apps and widgets clogging up its processes, this can be a good opportunity to let everything go and begin from scratch — you can find it runs much faster after this process is complete.

Ensure Android Debug Bridge is running

Android Debug Bridge (ADB) is a device that lets your computer communicate with an Android-powered device. To make certain it’s running, click the Launch button within the ‘Advanced utilities’ section in NRT. Inside the bottom-left corner of the subsequent window, click the ‘Launch CMD prompt’ button. Within the command window that looks, type “adb start-server”, and shut both windows and return to NRT.

Configure drivers

First, be certain ‘USB debugging’ is enabled to your tablet. Open the Settings application and faucet on ‘Developer options’, then check the ‘USB debugging’ box. Next, you have to install drivers so one can allow NRT to speak properly together with your tablet. Despite the fact that the Nexus 7 is an Asus device, the drivers are by Samsung. Click the massive ‘Full Driver Installation Guide — Automatic + Manual’ button within the top-right corner of NRT.

You can choose whether to apply the automated driver setup or to do things manually. Fortunately, NRT is furnished with detailed instructions for every step — all it’s essential to do is read them carefully. For the sake of brevity, I’ll outline the manual configuration steps to offer you a neater idea in their purpose.

The first two steps require you to have the appropriate drivers in your device. This entails removing any drivers you might have installed previously, after which installing the Samsung drivers supplied in NRT.

Driver configuration steps 3 and four involve establishing your tablet with the Samsung drivers. It’s a similar process as updating drivers for some other Windows hardware. If you’ve done everything correctly, the Reboot button in step 5 will reboot your tablet.

The above image shows you configuring your Nexus 7 to be recognised as a ‘Samsung Android ADB interface’ device.

The remainder of the stairs are excited by another set of drivers called Fastboot. Your PC requires these drivers to enable it to flash the firmware of an Android device. As you follow the configuration in step 6 through to eight, you’ll install the Fastboot drivers for the Nexus 7 after which reboot it into ‘Recovery mode’ as a test (see image below).

Unlock the boot loader

Just as with a computer, the Nexus 7’s boot loader is a program that tells the tablet ways to awaken and cargo its operating system. It doubles as a gatekeeper, setting a limit at the level of permissions which might be granted to the user. Because we’re coping with a Nexus device, we can’t wish to replace the boot loader or exploit a safety hole. Instead, clicking the Unlock button in NRT will send a command to the boot loader instructing it besides to the ‘Unlock boot loader?’ screen, as shown below.

After unlocking, the Nexus 7 may take a very long time besides, or boot a couple of times — don’t be concerned, that is normal. Once it has booted properly, remember to enable ‘USB debugging’ mode again.

Root the Nexus 7

Once unlocked, clicking the ‘Root’ button will push the SuperSU application on your Nexus 7. Once you run an application that requires root permissions, SuperSU will pop up asking if it could grant root permissions to the appliance.

Beneath the NRT Root button, you will see radio button options for flashing ‘Clockwork Mod’ (CWM) or not. Here’s another recovery mode program — replacing the lovable ‘Android on its back’ recovery mode. In case you intend to flash your Nexus 7 with alternative ROMs, then i like to recommend flashing CWM. If not, then you definately are not looking for CWM. Note, notwithstanding the choice says ‘Permanent’, returning to factory conditions will remove CWM.


You’ll ought to run the SuperSU application once in order that it may complete its installation.


You’ll also see another new application, ‘Busy Box’. This gives alternate versions of Linux tools that other applications may use with root permissions. It’ll need root permissions too.



You’re all done. In the event you find it’s essential to undo everything and return to factory specifications, you could undo all the above using NRT. This YouTube video has useful, easy to follow instructions.