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How to manually update your GSM Galaxy Nexus to Android 4.0.4

Android 4.0.4 has started rolling out for the GSM/HSPA+ Samsung Galaxy Nexus (that's the international, non-Verizon version), as well as a couple of other devices. Not everyone's getting the automatic update right away, but fortunately we've got an easy method that'll allow you to manually update from the earlier version 4.0.2 to 4.0.4 with the minimum of fuss.

Note that this is for stock phones, and for people who want to update without really doing any real  hackery but don't mind a little command line work. Nothing we do here is permanent, other than the update itself. If you've already flashed CWM, then you probably already know what you're doing anyway. And with that ...

Thanks, cgrunner on XDA, for the OTA location

The prerequisites:

  1. You need a GSM Galaxy Nexus with the product codename 'yakju'. NOT the Verizon Galaxy Nexus, or 'yakjuxw', or 'yakjusc' or any of the other variants we've heard about. Check your product name before you begin using this app.
  2. You need to be running stock Android 4.0.2 (ICL53F) rather than any custom ROM.
  3. You need the Android SDK installed. Note the path.
  4. You need fastboot. (Windows or Mac)
  5. You need to unlock your bootloader. If you haven't done that (and you really should), here's how. (Note that if you haven't already completed this step, unlocking your bootloader will wipe all data on your phone.)
  6. Download the Android 4.0.2 to 4.0.4 update from Google here.
  7. Download the latest ClockWorkmod recovery image from here.

Now, the instructions:

  1. Copy the OTA package above to the /sdcard folder on your Galaxy Nexus
  2. Drop the ClockworkMod file in the same folder you have fastboot in on your computer in the SDK folder (either /tools or /platform-tools).  Rename it to cwm.img to make things easy.
  3. Reboot your Galaxy Nexus to bootloader mode (hold volume-up and volume-down, then press power).
  4. Plug your phone into your computer, and open a command prompt or terminal.  Navigate to the folder with fastboot and the cwm.img inside it.
  5. At the command line, type the following: fastboot-windows.exe boot cwm.img (or just fastboot.exe if that's what you've got)
  6. Use the ClockWorkMod recovery menu to flash a zip file from the SD card, and choose the OTA zip file you downloaded earlier.
  7. Let things run their course.

Presto, you've now got Android 4.0.4 on your GSM Galaxy Nexus. It seems like a lot of steps. But once you get the hang of it and understand what's going on (you're booting into ClockworkMod recovery instead of flashing it to your phone first, you're good to go.

Now bring on Android 4.0.5.

Alex Dobie
Alex Dobie

Alex is global Executive Editor for Android Central, and is usually found in the UK. He has been blogging since before it was called that, and currently most of his time is spent leading video for AC, which involves pointing a camera at phones and speaking words at a microphone. He would just love to hear your thoughts at alex@androidcentral.com, or on the social things at @alexdobie.

37 Comments
  • really??? what happened to restart your phone holding power and volume up? like the other nexus phones
  • pimpin ain't easy!
  • Hahaha LMAO tell em
  • I have product code 'yakjujp' on gsm version which is not updated by google but i have 4.0.2 open bootloader and cwm installed.
    What will happen if i apply this update?
  • If I were you, I would flash the factory image of 4.0.2 to your phone so you will be on the yakju version for good. Of course you will lose your settings, etc. http://code.google.com/android/nexus/images.html
  • You MUST be yakju to apply this. This OTA is meant to be applied to a SPECIFIC firmware.
  • Does this release mean that Samsung will finally start shipping the desk dock I've had on back-order with Expansys since February 3rd? The delays for accessories for this phone have been maddening.
  • Who knows. I surely won't be buying it for $90 though.
  • most likely, there was reports that 4.0.3 VZW GNex music didnt work on the landscape dock until it was 4.0.4. If timing is right then the other GSM accessories are coming soon
  • this is the official rom for gsm or AOSP version?
  • yes yes it is.
  • Its not a ROM. Its literally the exact same file that would be downloaded to your phone on an OTA if you're on 4.0.2 yakju. It just updates current firmware.
  • Does anyone knows if this works comming from Stock 4.0.3 IML74K? or where I find the update for this version... Yes, it is a GSM Galaxy Nexus with 4.0.3
  • It is meant specifically to move you from 4.0.2 to 4.0.4. If you have 4.0.3 its through unofficial methods...
  • It is official, it is a Google signed release build. It came with 4.0.3
  • No phones came with or were OTA updated to 4.0.3.
  • Mine came... And it is official android signed build, look http://luciofm.com/gnexus.png
  • If I do the manual way will it wipe my phone?
  • as long as you've already unlocked you bootloader, no it will not wipe the device.
  • What's the point of even getting a Nexus device? Here in Canada, all of the Galaxy Nexus phones are on 4.0.1. Will Samsung even bother to get us updates? What's the point of getting a Nexus handsets if even updates are not guaranteed. Honestly, after seeing these delays on a Nexus handset, I'm starting to consider the iPhone if it comes on my nextwork in the Fall. Android is just proving to be one big wait and disappointment.
  • Point being that this OTA happens, and the Nexus affords you the ability to, if you want, flash things via fastboot, update to Google Images, and have the device you want.
  • mine says the product name of your device is yakjuux thus, your device is NOT updated by google. Does that mean that i cant update to this or 4.0.4? im new to nexus :) thanks!! edit: im on GSM with Fido in canada running 4.0.1...
  • Yes, you CANNOT use this method to update. You're not yakju. If you want, you can flash Yakju 4.0.2 first from Google then update. At least from that point you'll receive OTAs.
  • Cool! Thanks for the reply! How would I do that and would it wipe my phone clean after flashing to 4.02? Thanks!
  • Yes it 100% wipes your phone. Just a little bit ago Android team released 4.0.4 images, so you wouldn't even have to flash 4.0.2 then apply the OTA. You'd just go straight to yakju 4.0.4. Best to read up and know what you're doing before jumping into it though.
  • I am really bummed that as a Verizon user that I will have to keep waiting. Would be nice if Google or Verizon be more up front with status's. Un like some countries that block internet from their citizens - maybe not so bad - as I would not even known about a forth coming 4.0.4 if not for the net. So in those places - what they don't is not stressing them out.
  • Installed just fine. Works great. Thanks Alex.
  • I am getting an error on patch application. says there is an error on file with code 7 any idea? I have flashed with yakju a while ago and running 4.0.2 version. phone is unlocked and rooted
  • exact error is
    assert failled : apply_patch_check.....
    E:error in /sdcard/...
    (status 7 )
    installation aborded.
  • When I try to boot cwm, I get "can not load cwm.img" in the command prompt window. What am I doing wrong. I double checked that I followed all the steps to this point. Thanks NVM - figured it out...WOOT 4.0.4!
  • I also cannot get cwm.img to work, what did you do to get it to work?
  • I'm having the same issue. Someone please help
  • Could someone confirm if it's okay to remove the .zip file from /sdcard following the installation of 4.0.4? Thank Great tutorial - worked perfectly!
  • Facing issues with signal drops after applying this update.. :(
    Every time I turn off the screen, within a few minutes, the signal drops.
    When I turn on the screen again, it returns the signal within 20-30 seconds.. Please help..!
  • ICS 4.04 , update released in Pakistan. File size was 17.9 MB automatically up dated
    Hanif Jiwani
  • .
  • Helpful guide for OS X users "Guide: Update your Galaxy Nexus from ‘yakjuux’ to ‘yakju’ 4.0.4 – Mac OS X" http://digitaligloo.wordpress.com/2012/04/20/guide-update-your-galaxy-ne...