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 How to flash Android 4.4.4 without wiping & losing root

How to flash Android 4.4.4 without wiping & losing root

Google just published Android 4.4.4 factory images for Nexus 4, 5, 7 and 10 on the official site. Currently, Android’s latest version is not available via an Over-the-air update. Additionally to that, you might not be able to get an over-the-air update if your phone or tablet is rooted. If you don’t want to directly flash stock images (which will wipe all your settings), here’s how to get Android 4.4.4 with a rooted Nexus device. Of course, if your device is not rooted you can still use this guide to get the latest Android version before the OTA without losing your settings by completely wiping your device. I’ll use the Google Nexus 4 as an example, but the same steps apply for the Nexus 7 (2012 & 2013), Nexus 4 and Nexus 10.

Things you’ll need:

After downloading all require files and programs you’re ready to go.

 

Step 1: Connect the Android device with the computer

The first step is quite obvious: Connect your Android device to your computer using an USB cable. Make sure to enable USB debugging as it is required for the following steps. If you’re not sure if USB debugging is enabled or not, check the Developer Options in the Android Settings menu. If the menu is not visible, it’s still hidden and you need to unlock it. To do so, head over to About Phone in the Settings menu. Tap Build number a few times until your Android device states “You are now a developer!”. That’s it – you should be able to enable USB debugging.

Step 2: Initial Nexus Root Toolkit setup

Open Nexus Root Toolkit and allow the USB debugging connection on your Android device. Next the Nexus Root Toolkit menu will pop-up.

Nexus Root Toolkit - Menu Selection

First, go to the Options and head over to the Flash Stock tab and tick the box next to Enable “No Wipe Mode”. This will prevent the stock images from wiping your data.

Next, it is important to install the proper drivers which can be done in the Initial Setup menu. Simply follow the the steps and you should be good to go soon. You are now able to flash Android 4.4.4.

Step 3: Flash Android 4.4.4

Click the Flash Stock + Unroot button while having Device is on/Normal status checked. On the next screen select “Other/Browse ..” and “I downloaded a factory image myself that I would like to use instead”. In the next window you’ll be able to select the Android factory images you downloaded earlier.

If the program asks for an MD5 number, take the correct one from Google’s factory image page. The next steps will guide you through the process and you should be done quite soon. Your Android device is now running Android 4.4.4. However, your device is not rooted anymore and does not have a custom recovery installed. Head over to step 4 to fix that.

Step 4: Flash custom recovery and re-root your device.

Almost there! Go back to the main menu and click the Root button while having Custom Recovery checked.

Nexus Root Toolkit - Menu Selection Root

Nexus Root Toolkit will guide you trough the necessary steps and you should be done in a few minutes. That’s it – you are now running the latest Android version with root access. I would recommend flashing Xposed framework to get more out of Android or flash a custom ROM.

Interested in more Android-related articles? Have a look at our overview.

We are not taking any responsibility for damage done to your Android device.

Philipp Greitsch

Philipp Greitsch

Philipp Greitsch is a mobile enthusiast with great interest in the latest trends and developments in mobile, technology and things that make our everyday life awesome.
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45 thoughts on “How to flash Android 4.4.4 without wiping & losing root

Renu Bishtsays:

Android sucks.

http://www.galaxynote4us.com/

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Nicolas Rasays:

fuck you

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Silli Mitrahsays:

Nexus Tool Rootkit never ever worked for me, devices never reconized. Very sad, always this compliations with android devices and windows.

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Try using a different USB cable & check try the different drivers.

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CoolHwipsays:

For me it never works until I enable Camera(PTP) USB connection mode. Drivers might be a cause, cable is almost never the cause.

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Adrianosays:

Do I have to to disable or uninstall Xposed framework and/or Xposed modules before updating to 4.4.3 with this procedure?

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You should be fine without uninstalling Xposed. However, you’ll need to reinstall it after updating to 4.4.3

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Alexsays:

FCUK, all data has been wiped.
I’ve done update of my rooted device before without the user data wipe by flashing only the system partition only. This is the correct way to update a rooted device.

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MyK95says:

This guide work with nexus 5?

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dgero83says:

is it a “Rooted Google Nexus device” ?
Then yes, it does.

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MyK95says:

Yes, it’s rooted

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Davesays:

You forgot to mention a minor thing: CHECK THE NO WIPE MODE IN THE OPTIONS. Yes, there is an option like that, and it’s pretty hidden. Does not appear on this guide. Now i’ve accidently wiped my Nexus 4. Thank you very much.

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I’m sorry to hear that. But it’s mentioned in the second step of this guide.

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Doh! I expected it to come up in the Flash Stock + Unroot process. Now I found it. I also lost my 4g radio file I think.

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Adrianosays:

With this procedure, the settings will be overwritten?

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ASHISHsays:

Root function is not working for Android 4.4.4

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Takumi Fujiwarasays:

are you on windows 7? th NRT works good for me. i have flashed a factory image to my device 2x (4.4.3 factory image, coz i was impatient for the OTA, which is slow on wifi only variants) and i also have rooted my device 2x-during 4.4.3 and rerooted again on 4.4.4::D still no problems.:D

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Maxiridesays:

I’ve followed your guide but when the command prompt opens to send the files to the device it return the error “Failed to allocate XXXX bytes” and the installation abort.

What could be the issue?
I’m running stock kernel and rom on the Nexus 4 with Xposed framework and that’s all… I’ve got 2Gb of memory free also.

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It seems like 2GB are not enough. Can you try to free up some more memory?

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Derek Lewissays:

Thanks for the tutorial… The initial driver setup was a bit glitchy but after a reboot it worked smoothly. Everything was smooth, I’m not too used to that lol.

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Glad to hear that!

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ChristyKf9says:

Everything works fine until it reboots my device to bootloader. It keeps saying fastboot undetectable and I ca’t go from there. IK I have the correct drivers for my device, and the original USB. I followed all the instructions from beginning to end, even completely uninstalling all my drivers and it still won’t detect fastboot.

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Did you try a different USB port on your computer?

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Canersays:

Dunno why, but after flashing, the root function doesn’t work – says checksum mismatch

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Pedro Alfradique Lohmannsays:

Thanks for your help ! This “Nexus Root toolkit” is a really interesting program. I was looking for the word that you’ve mentioned on this post to start my update from 4.4.3 Rooted System.

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Rasmus Fuglsays:

Damnit, why did it wipe my device even after enabling No Wipe mode?

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Last step says to “click the Root button while having Custom Recovery checked.” but the screenshot shows the Custom Recovery button is UNchecked

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Andrei Muresansays:

Hi, I got a rooted Nexus 7 LTE (2013) running on 4.4.2, can I run this method successfully and flash 4.4.4 directly ?

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4.4.4 is not available for the N7 LTE (2013). However, you can update to 4.4.3 with this method.

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Andrei Muresansays:

Thanks.

I actually had issues updating to 4.4.3 via OTA, had an error upon reboot and I remained on 4.4.2. Hope I can get this right 🙂

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Dereksays:

Thanks for the guide, worked like a charm.

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Caio Guimarãessays:

i misunderstood and was expecting “no wipe” option after starting the ‘flash stock + unroot’ process.. so GUYS! ATTENTION. option on the top menu before starting the process! like said in the first step.. don’t be hasty like me and lose all your junk. fortunately all the really important data is synced but i will have a lot to figure about the apps and other stuff i lost. i will miss the whatsapp shit. but is always good to start fresh! good article. i will have to wait for the next update to test if the no wipe option really works

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Ankitsays:

Ho can I do it for my MOTO e?

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Sanilsays:

Incoming calls not working.. Also notifications panel isn’t working..and even the home button… Pls help

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Thank you for this wonderful subject who advised me a lot
How To Root Galaxy S4 I9505

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Hi, so I’ve never used the toolkit and wanted some clarification. If I don’t want a custom recovery when I re-root, I just un-check the customer recovery option in the last step, yes? Or is the custom recovery compulsory?

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Can I do this to 4.4.4 directly from 4.4.2 or do I have to update to 4.4.3 first?

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Just updated from 4.4.2 to 4.4.4 with no problems. Thanks!

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nickelfaultsays:

Thank you, worked like a charm! Hopefully this fixes some of the issues I’ve been having 🙂

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I downloaded the toolkit from suggested sight and it just plays ads. Won’t open

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Old thread I know, so apologies. Anyone know why the stock firmware for 4.4.4 on Google’s site does not match the stated checksum? Neither MD5 nor SHA match.

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Pamodasays:

This really worked, i’m using a nexus7 (2012 WIFI) and the lollipop update ruined my device. Thanks to this article i was easily able to root and install kitkat again. Now my tablet runs as smooth as before.

Thank you very much.

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Josiesays:

Managed to get this to roll my Nexus 7 back to Android 4.4.4 after Android 5 made it unusable – huge thanks! Only issue is that a vast amount of storage has disappeared (32GB device only showing 6ish GB usable) – why is that and how can I fix it?

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nice looking toolkit. does it still working? I saw many kinds of toolkit now.

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