Root Google Nexus 4 on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean [How-To Tutorial]

Android 4.2 might not be Google’s next major update, as most people hoped it might be, but it’s still the latest smartphone/tablet operating system from the search giant, and that’s enough for most people to desire it more than perhaps anything else. Add to the mix the fact that the latest Google Nexus 4 comes preloaded with the new Jellybean version, and that the device is being sold at an exceptionally reasonable price point of $300, and users will be lining up to buy the device as soon as they can.

This consequently means that the developer support and attention will also be garnered more and more by this phone. When it comes to open source development of Android, first and foremost come rooting, and well, Nexus 4 is no exception there. The device has already been rooted, and we’ll show you in this post how to achieve that.


Before we begin, please note that the standard disclaimer applies – you follow these instructions at your own risk. We cannot be held responsible for any damage resulting through following this process.


First and foremost, you need to have a Nexus 4 with an unlocked bootloader. These instructions involve gaining superuser (root) access on your Android using an insecure boot image, and that might render your device completely useless if attempted with a locked bootloader.

Other required components include:

  • Android Debugging enabled on the Nexus 4
  • ADB configured on your computer with fastboot
  • Insecure boot.img for Nexus 4
  • Root Files for Nexus 4

You can grab all the files from the XDA-Developers link given at the end of this post.

Just so you know, this root method involves booting the device up via an insecure boot image, gaining full read/write access in Android Debug Bridge, and then manually pushing the superuser binaries to the system. While alternate methods exist, this one is more likely to yield a successful root.


We highly advise taking a complete backup of your Nexus 4 before attempting this, just in case something goes wrong.


Step 1: Boot your Nexus 4 into fastboot.

Step 2: In a command prompt window (we are assuming you’re trying this on a PC), first try booting using the insecure boot image that you downloaded above. This you can do by running the following command in ADB.

fastboot boot boot.img

Hopefully, your device will start properly, and that indicates that you’re good to go. If not, you may want to try an alternate method.

Step 3: Extract the downloaded Root Files and place them in the root folder of your ADB configuration path

Step 4: Run these commands in the sequence given

adb shell mount –o remount,rw /system adb push su /system/bin adb push Superuser.apk /system/app/ adb push busybox /system/xbin/ adb shell chmod 06755 /system/bin/su chmod 0644 /system/app/Superuser.apk chmod 04755 /system/xbin/busybox cd /system/xbin busybox –install /system/xbin/ exit exit

Reboot your device either using ADB, or the hardware buttons on your Nexus 4.

As the phone boots up, you should have root access, along with Superuser installed.

(via XDA-Developers)

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