We already know that Nexus devices are easy to unlock and root, but the process is still a bit different each time. Thus, XDA member HQRaja posted a handy guide on exactly how to root the Nexus 4.

There are two different ways of rooting the device - using either ADB with an insecure boot image, or directly through ClockworkMod Recovery. While both methods are posted in the source thread at XDA, the CWM method is undoubtedly easier and will probably feel more familiar to most. Ergo, we're going to focus on doing it that way.

First off, this requires working fastboot and adb. If you don't have that set up, a quick Google search should provide a decent how-to. Past that, you'll need CWM, the appropriate drivers, and the flashable SuperSU package, all of which can be found at XDA. After downloading all of the required files, go ahead and plug the phone into your computer, transfer the SuperSU file onto the storage partition, make sure you have "USB debugging" enabled in Developer Options (if you don't see dev options, go into About phone and tap the build number seven times) and reboot into the bootloader.

Update:  Koush just released the official ClockworkMod Recovery for the N4, which you should probably use instead of the port. You can find that download here. (Make sure to modify the commands down below appropriately if you choose to use the official CWM Recovery.

adb reboot bootloader

Once in the bootloader, you'll need to go ahead and unlock the phone.

Unlocking the bootloader will factory reset the device.

fastboot oem unlock

The device should then reboot - if it goes into the normal setup, go ahead a reboot back into the bootloader using adb reboot bootloader. From there, you're going to launch CWM - note that this doesn't install CWM, it merely boots it so you can flash SU and busybox.

You must launch the command from the directory where the recovery file is.

fastboot boot cwm-recovery-mako.img

After that, use the volume rocker to navigate to the "recovery" option, and hit the power button. In recovery, you can make a backup if you choose, then flash the SuperSU/busybox file that you downloaded earlier.

Boom. You're done. Reboot and enjoy.

If you hit any snags or would prefer to use the other method, check out this thread on XDA.

[via Addictive Tips]

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • Dan Coulter

    I can confirm that the method in the XDA thread works. The first time I tried to boot into the boot image, it hung on me, but the second try worked like a charm.

  • Pancake345

    Anyone whose rooted know if Screencast will work with the Nexus 4?

  • heat361

    You should add that you have to be in USB debugging mode :)

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

      Added. :P

  • http://www.facebook.com/nikhilkaduskar Nikhil Kaduskar

    Now let me just grab my Nexus 4 on the table... Oh wait! I wasn't able to buy it! :D

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alexander-Drizzy-Rojas/100000186636833 Alexander Drizzy Rojas

      This was supposed to be my day present since 10/15 lol. Hopefully there is more stock at the end of the month

  • Leandros99

    This works for every Nexus device, from Nexus One to Nexus 10.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

      The process may be the same, but each devices requires a specific build of CWM, so that's not entirely true.

      • Leandros99

        Touché. ;)

  • Chronus719

    I would try it out and give you feedback if my device had shipped on time.

  • Mike Loomis

    It's been awhile so I have to ask for clarification: is wi-fi tether a part of stock Android but removed by carriers, or is it only accessible by rooting and flashing a custom rom?

    • didibus

      It is a part of Stock Android since gingerbread I believe. I have the Nexus One running Stock Gingerbread, and I am not rooted, yet I can use tethering both USB and WiFi.

      • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

        Since Froyo (Android 2.2)

  • Eric

    Is the process same for international version as well??

    • http://twitter.com/redbullcat Phil Oakley

      The phone's are exactly the same around the world AFAIK.

    • fixxmyhead

      slap yourself

      • QwietStorm


  • http://twitter.com/Perf_white_GT C. H.

    It works :)

  • mikkej2k

    Are there any sales figures for the N4? Is there any clue what the demand is? How about how many will be available in the coming weeks?

  • majid

    official ClockworkMod Recovery link does not work

  • majid

    recovery clock mode is old, isn't it ?