How to update your Galaxy Nexus to Jelly Bean

An easy, step-by-step guide to upgrading your Galaxy Nexus to Jelly Bean

Google has lifted the lid on the latest version of its Android platform, called Jelly Bean 4.1. If you own a Samsung Galaxy Nexus Android phone, you should receive a software update notification in the near future. However, this isn't likely to officially occur for a few weeks or longer, depending on the version of phone you have and where you purchased it.

If you can't wait that long, however, you can install the Jelly Bean software to your Galaxy Nexus manually, provided you are using a Windows PC. We've written an easy, step-by-step guide that includes images to help you through the process. The installation should take you around 20 minutes to complete.

IMPORTANT: Before you go ahead you should ensure you backup your Galaxy Nexus and save any important data (such as photos and videos) you want to keep. This manual software installation will wipe all data on your handset. To back up your Galaxy Nexus, navigate to Settings > Backup & reset and ensure the "Back up my data" checkbox is ticked, as shown in the image below:

To back up other files that won't be saved through your Google account there are a few options. For photos, we recommend the excellent Dropbox app. Navigate to the camera upload menu and you can choose to sync the images in your camera roll that you want to keep.

The best way to manage this in an ongoing manner is to use the automatic camera upload feature in the settings menu of Dropbox. When this is switched on, any new photos you take with the Galaxy Nexus camera will automatically be uploaded to Dropbox.

To backup your text messages, we recommend the SMS Backup+. It can back up your text messages through your Gmail account and can be set to backup automatically, or at predefined time periods.

WARNING: PC World Australia takes no responsibility for anything that might go wrong during this process. We are not liable for any faults or damages caused by any of the procedures in this guide. If followed correctly, these instructions should ensure a hassle free process, but you are ultimately advised to attempt this at your own risk.

This guide will work with any global, GSM version of the Galaxy Nexus, regardless of software build. It WILL NOT work on the Verizon LTE model that is sold in the US. This method does not require the phone to be rooted.

How to install Jelly Bean on your Galaxy Nexus

Step one

Download and install the Galaxy Nexus toolkit from here. It should be an 84MB file.

Once the download is completed, open the .exe file and follow the instructions to install the software. Make sure you install the toolkit directly on your main hard drive, as the software states. In our case, this was the C:\ drive.

Once the install is completed, open the Galaxy Nexus toolkit you just downloaded. It should look like this:

Step two

Follow this sequence using the Galaxy Nexus toolkit software:

Press "7" to select your device and then press "Enter".
Press "1" to install the Galaxy Nexus drivers on your computer, and then press "Enter".
Select the version of Windows you have installed on your PC. In our case, we pressed "2" for
Windows 7. (Press "1" if you are running Windows XP or Windows Vista). Then press "Enter".
Press "1" to confirm the install, then press "Enter".

This will install the drivers on your PC. If you get an error message after this sequence, just disregard it. It should look like this when completed:

Step three

Plug your Galaxy Nexus into your PC using the USB cable. If the drivers are installed correctly, the phone should automatically be detected by your computer.

If the drivers don't install, restart your computer and try and install them again, following the instructions in step two.

Step four

Download the stock version of Android Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.4 from here. This is necessary for the upgrade to Jelly Bean. It should be a 191MB file.

Once this file is downloaded, copy it to the following directory on your computer: "C:\Galaxy Nexus ToolKit\put_google_factory_image_here". (In your case, the "C:\" drive may be a different letter).

Step five

Turn off your Galaxy Nexus. Put the phone into bootloader mode by holding the power button together with both the volume up and volume down buttons. Hold these three buttons simultaneously until you see this screen:

Plug the Galaxy Nexus into your PC via the USB cable again. Once the drivers have been detected, open the Galaxy Nexus toolkit software again and follow this sequence:

Press "7" to select your device, then press "Enter".
Press "26" to refresh connected devices, then press "Enter".
Press "3" to unlock your bootloader, then press "Enter". Type the word "yes" then press "Enter.

You should now see a screen on your Galaxy Nexus that asks you whether you want to unlock your bootloader. Use the touchscreen to select "Yes".

Once the bootloader has been unlocked, you MUST turn on the Galaxy Nexus normally until you see the start screen.

Step six

Turn off your Galaxy Nexus again, and put it back into bootloader mode (see step five). Open the Galaxy Nexus toolkit software again and follow this sequence:

Press "7" to select your device, then press "Enter".
Press "8" to 'Download, Extract + Flash Google Factory Stock Rom', then press "Enter".
Press "2" to 'Flash Google Factory Image', then press "Enter".
Type the word "yes" then press "Enter".

The Galaxy Nexus toolkit software will now install the Google factory image software you previously downloaded. Following this process, your Galaxy Nexus should restart normally into the initial setup screen. Go through the setup process, but DO NOT log into your Google account.

Step seven

Download Google's stock Jelly Bean 4.1 software from here. It should be a 229MB .zip file.

Your phone should still be connected to your computer via USB. Open the internal memory of your Galaxy Nexus on your PC by going to Computer > Devices with Removable Storage. Copy the Jelly Bean 4.1 software you just downloaded to the Galaxy Nexus' internal storage. DO NOT unzip the folder, just copy the .zip file.

Turn off the Galaxy Nexus and put it back into bootloader mode again (see step five). Open the Galaxy Nexus toolkit software again and follow this sequence:

Press "26" to refresh connected devices, then press "Enter".
Press "9" to 'Boot to CWM or TWRP Recovery without Permanently Flashing it', then press "Enter".
Press "1" to 'Boot Clockworkmod Touch Recovery, then press "Enter".

The Galaxy Nexus screen should now display a menu that looks like this:

Use the touchscreen on the phone to select the "install zip from sdcard option" as shown above. Browse for the file "", which you copied to the Galaxy Nexus earlier in this step. Confirm the selection.

The software will then be flashed onto your phone. It should look like this when in progress:

Once the installation is completed, use the same menu on the phone (as shown in image above) to select the "wipe data/factory reset" option. Then go back and select "reboot".

Your Galaxy Nexus should now restart.

Step eight

Turn off the Galaxy Nexus and put it back into bootloader mode again (see step five). Open the Galaxy Nexus toolkit software again and follow this sequence:

Press "26" to refresh connected devices, then press "Enter".
Press "11" to 'ReLock your bootloader', then press "Enter".
Type the word "yes" then press "Enter".

Once this is completed, restart the phone normally again.

Step nine

Once your Galaxy Nexus has been restarted, go through the initial setup process again, but DO NOT log into your Google account.

On your phone, go to Settings > Backup & reset and then select "Factory data reset". The Galaxy Nexus will restart.

Step ten

You're just about done! You can now log into your Google account and setup the phone as you normally would.

To confirm you're running the latest Jelly Bean software, go to the settings menu on your Galaxy Nexus, scroll down to "About" and you should see the Android version listed as 4.1 as shown in the image below:

Have you updated your Galaxy Nexus to Android Jelly Bean? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below!

Guide credits:

ClockworkMod for the Galaxy Nexus toolkit.
XDA Forums for the stock version of Android Jelly Bean 4.1.
Google for the stock version of Android Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.4.

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

PC World




Hi, hope someone could answer these questions

Do you need the yakju build to do this? (I have Yajuux)
Do you need to root the GNex?
Will it void the warranty?

Ross Catanzariti


Hi Abdul,

You don't need any particular build to do this. It just needs to be the global, GSM version of the Galaxy Nexus. It will not work on the Verizon LTE model sold in the US.

You don't need to root. I suspect it will void the warranty as the update wasn't officially issued by Google.



Do you have info on returning the phone to its original settings, if we decide we don't like it?



Also, does this work for the CDMA version?



Hi all. Can i unlock my phone and root with the toolkit?
And if i update, can i put back ICS? And will i get my 4.1 on my language? (hungarian)



Why should we not log into our google account during the process? (just curious ^_^)



Hi all, If I´m already on 4.0.4, do I have to go through step four anyways? Thanks much



R.C.........u can get to the bootloader screen using the toolkit..........

Ross Catanzariti


This works with the GSM version only.

If you're already on stock 4.0.4 you can skip step four.

Andrew McCreadie


Hi i installed this last week and love but now as google have released the factory images should i install that instead. Also can i install the takju version instead of the telstra yakju version. So i then can get updates when they come out.



Hi Guyz...
do we have to unzip the file in step 4 before copying it to the folder...
"C:\Galaxy Nexus ToolKit\put_google_factory_image_here"
thnx in advance.



thanks a lot
i am running jelly bean perfectly with no problems
its a lot faster
BTW dont unzip the file
just follow the instructions entirely as they are very clear and easy to follow



Followed the instructions, running JB with no issues, it actually got an OTA update within half an hour, the OTA update failed due to signature error, but have rebooted, and phone appears fine.



I am so angry... Google it bought a galaxy nexus because it was the flagship phone. Now I need a hack to install an update????? I am sick of being in a beta tester nightmare... Give me windows phone ASAP... God Damn it.

David Richardson


Thank you for providing these instructions, it's nice to move on from the bug ridden 4.0.2 to JB which seems very stable and optimized.



There's definately a great deal to find out about this topic. I love all of the points you've made.



wow..............omg.......this is the easiest procedure to update google nexus to jelly bean. thanks aaaaaa loooooot................



Thank you so much!!!Very detailed!!!And I've uploaded it finally! I've tried heaps of other ways to unlock my phone and failed.Great thanks!!!



ooh ,nice it is working but there is new update for JB 4.1.1 tell me how to update to it.
thank you



hi i have a nexus gt-i9250_eurxx with android 4.0.1 loaded i cant seem to update it ota as there is no option for system updates please help, also how can i know if the phone is already bootloader unlocked??



ITS VIRUS(Torjan horse) ...Don't download and run



Hi, this works perfectly for me! infact after the first flashing to google factory 4.0.4 (takju-imm76i-factory) which i downloaded from google i checked for updates and it showed 4.1.1 was available for download. i Then downloaded the 4.1.1 from google directly and flashed it using the exact same steps as above but with takju-jro03c and now i have jelly bean stock!!!
Perhaps the guide should be updated to reflect this. I wasnt able to upgrade my phone ota due to having a samsung build hence going through all this...



i don't know what happened
but after step 6 my phone won't go on initial set up
im panicking
its stuck on the screen with all the flash colours
wat do i do?
please email me.



Here's a new issue, I have installed the image that you recommended. I already am on Jelly Bean, but am getting notification to Install Android 4.1 System Update.



anyone having issues with long boot/not booting at all, i had this problem, phone sat there with the pretty X for about 15mins...
i missed the part in step seven that says

"Once the installation is completed, use the same menu on the phone (as shown in image above) to select the "wipe data/factory reset" option. Then go back and select "reboot"."

i reflashed like in step seven then wiped data, and i worked, booted within 3 mins :D



I upgrade my mobile as above and now my mobile is keep on rebooting after upgrading to Jelly bean OS 4.1.1.
Any suggestions ?

Happy Nexus User


This article is horribliy outdated. Many of the new features in the v7.8.0 of the Galaxy Nexus Toolkit are not covered. Not to mention the download link itself is outdated. I suggest anyone who want to update his/her Galaxy Nexus head to the original XDA-Developer page [1] for detailed documentation and video tutorial. The latest version of the Toolkit has a one-click update which is much simpler than the article describes.

[1] Google for "gnex toolkit v7.8 xda". The first result should be the correct thread. The thread ID is 1614827.

Happy Nexus User


Actually, the 2nd link in the article's Credits list: "XDA Forums for the stock version of Android Jelly Bean 4.1." links to the right page of the Galaxy Nexus Toolkit. Saves you time googling for the right page :)



wow, after bricking my Galaxy S2 following similar instruction (from a different website) I was heistant to say the least.

But my Nexus on an Optus pre paid working now flawlessly on Jelly Bean from ICS.

OMG it is so fast! Miss the lovely boot animation from old rom (circular squares revolving) the X things is boring but hey who reboots their phone?

Beautiful guide



20 mins? Took me 3 hours!! It hung on flashing the ROM for 4.0.4
Also I already had 4.0.4 but trying to follow the steps by taking out that 1 step made it very confusing so I just flashed it to 4.0.4 anyway. Once I did that it worked well. Had an OTA update straight away as well. Now on 4.1.2






your mom's a trojan



Thank so much bro, or Danke :)



Will this process unlock my bootloader and root my phone, as well as install Jelly Bean?



Warning, i had troubles with the 4.2 OTA update after using this guide,

i got the OTA 4.2 on takju after having errors trying to update (the red exclamation mark coming out of androids stomach)

It turned out it was a radio error, i flashed the new radio and the OTA installed without a problem.

The radio i had was xxla2 = failed 4.2 OTA

The radio i flashed was xxlf1 = installed properly without error

More info can be found in this thread on xda if you are having the same problems

I used the cwm-radio-i9250-xxlf1 file from here and used the gnex toolkit and option 9 to boot into cwm and flash the radio.



I am yet to do this process but will soon.

Just want to know why in the article they flash to stock 4.0.4 first then to 4.1?

Couldnt you just do 4.0.4 then it wld pretty much get an instant OTA update to 4.1 when finished?

Or couldnt you just flash straight to 4.1?

Sorry if I am missing something



thank you Werd it is working ..... thank you a lot.
now with JB 4.2



love this app just used it to flash 4.2 to my Nexus :)



By doing this will I be able to get over the air update straight from Google?



Sooooo, my less than a year old Galaxy Nexus needs me to go through all of this if I want to run the latest software? Otherwise I'm stuck in the past.

Yay, Go Samsung and Google. You guys have really nailed it. Customers must love you.

Tam Sham


hi guys ., i updated to ICS to jelly bean by this method 2 month ago ., now i am getting jellybean 4.2 automated update ., but when i install it ., it shows some error and stuck in boot loader ., i tried more than 10 times to install ., also i done factory reset and tried installing ., i cant install 4.2 in any way ., what changes it makes if we use this method to install .,., is there any way to install automated jellybean 4.2 update ., please help!!!



does this work for vodafone and australian versions, because on the toolkit it says for american versions..



@simonsays I completely agree. I for one will not be going back to Samsung any time soon. Completely shocked that a phone (or any piece of technology) built and designed in the 21st century doesn't automatically update when connected to the net. I'd be happy with a manual update button hidden in the settings if it's not too hard, but no.

Moataz Fathy


i am on 4.0.1 not 4.0.4 . is it the same procedures or it will be different ?

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