With the right tools and a little knowledge, there's no need to wait for your OTA
Update: Nexus 7 (2012) link has been added. Get to flashing!
Update 2: And the Nexus 10 is now good to go.
The Android 4.4 update has started rolling out to the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets around the world. But if your tablet has yet to receive the update, then don't despair — we've got a quick walkthrough that'll get you updated in a few minutes, assuming you've got a little experience with a command line.
Note that this is for stock Nexus tablets, 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 a custom recovery, you should be able to update manually using that, instead of our method. And with that...
Caution: This guide is intended for technically proficient users only. Proceed at your own risk. Dragons ahead, etc.
- A completely stock Nexus tablet running the latest build of Android 4.3
- The latest version of the Android SDK installed
- The OTA packages (those here are for Android 4.4): Nexus 7 (2012); Nexus 7 (2013); Nexus 10
Check past the break to see the full manual update process.
- Place the update .zip package from Google in the Android SDK/platform-tools folder on your computer, but do not unzip it.
- On your Nexus, go to Settings > Development options and switch the toggle on. Then enable USB debugging under the "Debugging" menu group.
- Power down your tablet
- Start up the bootloader by holding down volume up, volume down and power on your tablet.
- When the menu loads, plug your Nexus into your computer.
- Use the volume up/down keys to navigate to "Recovery mode", then press the power button.
- When the Android with the red exclamation point appears, hold down power first, followed quickly by volume up. You should now see the recovery menu.
- Use the volume up/down keys to select "apply update from ADB," then press power to select it.
- On your computer, open up a command prompt or terminal window.
- Using the command line, navigate to the Android SDK/platform-tools folder
- On Windows, type:
adb.exe sideload <the complete name of the OTA zip file you want to flash>
... or on Mac, type:
./adb-mac sideload <the complete name of the OTA zip file you want to flash>
... or on Linux, type:
./adb sideload <the complete name of the OTA zip file you want to flash>
- The update should begin installing. When it's done, select "reboot system now."
- Enjoy some delicious KitKat
Be an expert in 5 minutes
Get the latest news from Android Central, your trusted companion in the world of Android