Home How-to How to manually update your Nexus to 4.4.4 KitKat without losing data

How to manually update your Nexus to 4.4.4 KitKat without losing data

Android 4.4.4 kitkat manual update rooted Nexus Device

Google started rolling out yet another kitkat update 4.4.4 to all the nexuses and probably be last. The nexus owners can update to latest version through the OTA but what about those who rooted their device. Even the guys with rooted device will receive the OTA update notification but end up in an unsuccessful reboot. So, for them here is a Step-by-Step Guide on how to manually update to the latest 4.4.4 Kitkat without losing data.

This guide isn’t upto the current version of kitkat but the same can be used for other future updates too and also this is a common guide to all the nexus line of devices. So make a bookmark of this page or add to pocket for future.

Prerequisites :

  • Nexus Device running latest stock android 4.4.3
  • Windows PC
  • USB Cable

If you have gone through my previous guide on How to Root your Nexus 4/5/7 running Android 4.4.3 Kitkat then you may skip the Steps 1 to 6. If not then just follow the guide right from the beginning.

Step 1 : Prepare your Phone/Tablet

Since this method will utilize Android Debug Bridge (ADB), you’ll need to enable USB Debugging on your device, which is in the Developer Options menu. If you don’t see that menu in your Settings, let’s unlock it now.

Head into Settings, then scroll all the way down to the bottom and hit About Phone. In here, scroll down to the bottom again and tap Build Number seven times in rapid succession.

Next, back out one level and you’ll see a new Settings menu titled Developer Options. Open this menu, then tick the box next to Enable USB Debugging and press OK on the subsequent popup.

Android USB Debugging

Step 2: Connect Your Phone/Tablet to Your Computer

This is a simple step, but it’s an important one. You’ll need to connect your phone to your PC to apply the update, but the USB cable you’re using to do that is important. Make sure there is no visible damage to the cable and the connection it makes at both ends is firm.

Step 3: Download the Factory Images from Google

Thanks to Google for uploading the factory images for all the Nexus line of Devices, if not we may end up here at 4.4.3. The Factory Images can be downloaded from the Google’s official Developers site. The Factory images here are the exact firmware that came shipped with your device, so there’s no difference between this and an OTA update.

From your Windows PC, click this link scroll down and download the latest 4.4.4 Factory Image under your Device Name. Make sure to note the save location as you’ll need to access this file later.

Step 4 : Install Nexus Root Toolkit

This is a superb tool which not only simplifies the things but also explains each and every option and its purpose. To download Nexus Root Toolkit click this link from your Windows PC.

When the download has finished double click the .exe file and hit RUN. From the next window, click Install.

Nexus Root ToolKit NRT

When the installer is finished, you’ll be asked to enter your device name and Android build number. Choose your device and its built number from the drop down and click Apply.

Nexus Root Tool Kit current running OS

At this point, you’ll see a dialog box instructing you to enable USB Debugging on your device. We’ve already covered that part in Step 1, but you’ll also need to allow your computer to connect to your device at this point.

Unlock your device and you should see a dialog box asking you to Allow USB Debugging. Tick the box next to Always Allow From This Computer and tap OK.

Computers RSA Key

Next, NRT will ask you to download a couple of files. Click OK to allow it to download all of the necessary files.

Step 5: Configure Nexus Root Toolkit (NRT)

At this point, you should be looking at the main screen of the Nexus Root Toolkit. First, you’ll need to install the ADB drivers if you haven’t already done so. Right up top, tap the button that says Full Driver Installation Guide to get things started.

Nexus Root ToolKit Initial Setup

On the next screen, click the Step 3 tab and take note of the Recommended Driver Solution. Click the corresponding driver solution below it, then follow the prompts for driver installation.

ADB Drivers installation

To check whether the drivers configured properly or not. Goto Step 4 and hit the Full Driver Test.

confirm your drivers configuration NRT

When finished, head back to the Nexus Root Toolkit’s main page.

When finished, head back to the Nexus Root Toolkit’s main page and press Ctrl+K  for options (or) click the Options menu, then select Options.

Head to the Flash Stock tab on this screen, then tick the box next to Enable No Wipe Mode.

no wipe data nexus root tool kit

Step 6 : Create Android Backup File

It is always advised to create of a backup of your current stock rom because if something fails in middle of the process you have an option to restore back, no worries. Nothing gonna happen. To create a backup of all your existing apps and data click that Backup button under Backup+Restore on main screen of the NRT and then the “Create Android Backup File“.

Backup System apps and Data NRT

Be patient, the backup process takes time to complete.

Step 7: Flash the Update

Back on the main screen of NRT, click the button labeled Flash Stock + Unroot.

Back to Stock NRT Nexus and Me

On the next screen, be sure to tick the boxes next to Other/Browse and I downloaded a factory image myself…, then click OK.

browse factory image

Use the next window to browse the Factory Image  file that you downloaded in Step 3, then click Open.

Next, you’ll be asked to enter an MD5 number to verify the file’s integrity. You can get this MD5 Checksum number from the Google Developer Website next to download. Copy the text and paste it into the field in that window and click OK.


After a bit of processing, a window will appear that summarizes the install options you’ve selected. Click OK here to begin flashing the update, making sure that your phone doesn’t get disconnected from your PC during this process.

When it’s done, you may see a window asking you to change your build number (Step 3). This is for NRT’s own sake, and it’s not necessary here, so just click Cancel.

That’s it, now you have been successfully updated to the latest 4.4.4 Kitkat. Again there is no UI updates all are under the hood, fixing various bugs and improving security. And probably this could be the last kitkat update from Google. Next big what will see in the Google I/O 2014 which is going to start in couple of days, till then enjoy your latest bugs free update.

If you are willing to root your nexus device running the current 4.4.4 kitkat then here’s a common guide How to Root your Nexus 4/5/7 running Android 4.4.3 Kitkat for all the nexus line of devices.

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