Updated with links to the OTA zip files for the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 (2012/13) mobile data models. You can find them at the bottom of the article.
After hearing that Android 4.4 KitKat would be rolling out to the Nexus 10 and WiFi variants of the Nexus 7 (2012/2013), many of us jumped to check to see if we’d receive the update. Unfortunately, Google tends to take its time updating devices and we could be in for a rather lengthy wait.
As Android enthusiasts, you know we couldn’t simply wait to try all of that KitKat, and luckily there’s a method to install Android 4.4 KitKat onto your device manually using ADB sideload. Here’s a step by step guide (with images!), to help you manually download and install Android 4.4 KitKat onto your Nexus tablet. (Wifi variants only).
Android Authority takes no responsibility for what may happen to your device. While this is a reasonably safe procedure, you continue at your own risk. This procedure is recommended to intermediate and advanced Android users.
This method will not clear data, and you shouldn’t lose any of your app data or settings.
1. Make sure you have a microUSB cable at hand, as well as a PC or Mac, and are running the latest Android 4.3 version. Also make sure that you’ve already downloaded the Android SDK, as well as the Android 4.4 update zip file for your respective device and have all of your drivers installed.
2. Go to Settings>About Phone>Click on build number seven times until the message “You are now a developer” appears. Exit from “About phone” and scroll down and find the “Developer Options” setting. Click on this and then enable USB debugging.
2 (b). Connect your tablet to your computer and a warning should pop up with the computers unique RSA number asking if you want to connect to the computer. Click “Always connect to computer” and accept. Then disconnect the USB cable from the computer. Now turn off your device.
3. Return to your computer and unzip the Android SDK that you should have already installed (if not return to the “what you need” section and make sure you’ve completed all of the steps before returning).
4. Find the zip file containing the Android 4.4 update and rename it to something easy like “Kitkat”. Then move the file to the Android SDK in the folder titled “Platform tools”. (This will make things easier when using the command prompt).
5. Return to your tablet and power it back on by holding Power and Volume down buttons at the same time (for the Nexus 10, hold down the Power and volume up and down buttons simultaneously). You will now be faced with the fastboot mode.
6. Click the volume up button until you see the words “Recovery mode”. Press the power button to accept. It will show the Google logo and then you’ll be greeted by an Android with an exclamation mark and the words “no command written”. Use the micro USB to connect to your computer.
7. Hold the home power button down first, then quickly hold the volume up button while still holding down the power button (this is a little difficult and you’ll need to work on your timing before getting it right). You will then see this:
8. Use the volume down button to go down to “apply update from ADB” and hit the power button to accept. You will then see this:
9. (Almost done!) Now return to your computer for the final steps. Open the folder containing the Android SDK and open the “platform-tools” folder. If you’re using Windows Vista/7/8, hold shift and then right click on any empty space. You’ll see the option “Open command window here”. If you’re using Linux or OSX or Windows XP open a command prompt and then navigate to “platform-tools”.
Windows 8 command prompt window.
10. In the command window type the following command “adb sideload Android KitKat”, without the quotation marks and substituting Android KitKat for whatever you named the zip file containing Android 4.4 for your device. Edit: Remember to add the extension “.zip” to the end of the file name for the zip file.
11. If you’ve done everything correctly, you can now sit back and watch your device install the update itself, if not head to the troubleshoot section to see some of the problems you could be facing.
12. One the update has been installed, you’ll see the counter hit 100% and you can now boot up your device. Voila! KitKat chocolaty goodness for your Nexus tablet!
Remember that you will lose root by using this method. Also remember that the update does not bring the new Google launcher with “Ok Google” and swipe left for Google Now functionality.
UPDATE: Here are the links for the rest of the Nexus devices eligible to get the Android 4.4 update.
Android 4.4 KRT16S from Android 4.3 JWR66Y
Android 4.4 KRT16S from Android 4.4 KRT16O
Android 4.4 KRT16S from Android 4.3 JWR66Y
Android 4.4 KRT16S from Android 4.4 KRT16O
Android 4.4 KRT16S from Android 4.3 JLS36I
Just choose the correct zip file for your respective device and download it, and then continue with the instructions already provided. Just like the other links, this method won’t make you lose any data. Also, for those of you who were asking, this method differs from the factory images method as it doesn’t require you to have your bootloader unlocked, and it won’t lose any data. It’s also a little easier than the factory images method for the same reasons.
Have you used ADB sideload to push the Android 4.4 KitKat update to your Nexus tablet or are you waiting for the official OTA? What do you think of Android 4.4 KitKat?
Hat tip to James for the tip regarding going into fastboot mode on the Nexus 10!
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I have a problem, it’s saying varification failed.. Aborted. Why? I have stock 4.3.1. No root, no custom whatever..? :(
Yep me too…anybody know a way around this?
I think the links are broken they files are not signed I downloaded it from a separate source and it worked
Links are definitely not broken. Did it with these links and it worked. Not sure what’s happening. Which device are you using?
Android 4.3.1? The WiFi versions of the Nexus 7 (2012/2013) both only have updates up to Android 4.3. The only device to receive an Android 4.3.1 update was the LTE variant of the Nexus 7. Unfortunately, this guide won’t work on the LTE Nexus 7 (2013) or the 3G Nexus 7 (2012).
Can’t I just download the update and manually flash it on recovery (not using adb sideload) ?
Yes that’s what I did last night
Why haven’t you upgraded to Windows 8.1?
My laptop is incompatible with Windows 8.1. It has VGA issues.
It’s not my PC (I use a Chromebook) I borrowed it off a friend and I have no idea why he hasn’t upgraded to 8.1.
adb command not found?
you’re in a directory that does not contain the adb. if you’re in the platform-tools folders try ./adb sideload
-bash: ./adb: No such file or directory
no Dylan there’s no such directory if you haven’t downloaded the platform-tools after installing the SDK. The ADT bundle has platform-tools and you’ll find adb.exe in there.
also make sure you cd into the correct folder
This fixed “adb not found” for me:
Unfortunately verification fails on the file when I send it over.
Which device are you using?
Nexus 7 2012, but I noticed my build JWR66V rather than JWR66Y. I don’t know how to deal with that.
That’s probably the reason. You should’ve received that (JWR66Y) update a long time ago. Out of ideas, sorry. Best to wait for OTA for this.
I had the same prob found out you need to type, ./adb sideload KitKat.zip
Find and run “SDK Manager.exe” in android-sdk-windows folder you unzipped. Unselect everything except “Android SK Platform-tools.
Now you have Platform-tools folder. Follow the instructions from above from now starting from Step 9.
the padnet works quite well!!! google usb driver sucks!
7. home button?
I also don´t understand this point. Should be volume button down first?????
Power button, not home button. Sorry for the brain fade. Updated!
Major D’oh moment on my part! Brain fade I guess. As other commentors have said it’s the power button. Sorry for the error will update!
No problem! :) got it running, thanks Adam!
When typed into cmd, nothing happens to the tablet.
How do i install the driver?
it didnt do anything for me
you guys should make a simple video on how to do this
I tried everything for the error: device not found problem and the pdanet method worked.. Excellent!
Where is tha pdanet method???
http://pdanet.co/a/ Follow the instructions given and it should install the correct drivers :)
im stuck at the home button part….. btw home button??
….. help i guess….
Yeah, I am with you. What home button?!
It is power and volume up. Just press them both together. Don’t hold anything down.
thanks u so much
home is actually the power button. Then you have to watch if you have windows 8. it does not want to use the adb driver. You have to after you plug in the tablet when in recovery goto your devices and update driver…. select manually then select one that is already installed. Android should be on top of that list then say yes windows I know what I am doing. Next continue with the adb sideload.
Windows 8 is super annoying with the ADB driver. Took me ages to figure that one out. That method you listed didn’t work for me, so I just used PDAnet and it worked. I recommend that method when all other methods have been exhausted.
Thanks for all your help Adam…can u please explain how to do this using pdanet??
I’m getting all the steps down but when i finally get to the command prompt part, and type it in , it says “Android Debug Bridge version 1.0.31″ and then a lot of stuff comes up and suddenly stops coming up and nothing has happened. No reaction from the nexus 7. Please help. Im lost here.
same here, did everything correctly and even updated drivers with the google ones and it still does not push via adb. just a bunch of cmd jargon and no response from tablet….this update sucks!
See my response to original commentor’s comment.
sorry to bother again, but I also get a bunch of cmd jargon. When i put adb devices it recognizes the device, but then adb sideload only gives what is in the pic. what should I do now? thanks!
1. Did you place the kitkat.zip in the same folder as adb.exe (platform-tools) 2. Have you checked the Device Manager to see if you have Android ADB Interface under Android Phone 3. (After confirming the previous 2 points) Run adb kill-server, then run adb start-server, the run adb devices. You should see your attached device. If not, try another USB cable and another USB port. Things should proceed smoothly from here.
UPDATE: Also, if you only downloaded the SDK installer, you still need to install the platform-tools once the SDK tool opens. Your best bet is to download the complete ADT bundle and uncompress it before going ahead with the update. I don’t know how familiar you are with these terms and tools but if you’re a newbie then don’t fret too much. This stuff boggled me the first time too. It’s actually quite simple if you just follow the instructions that many other like Adam have put out there, to help people like us get by in a very coded world. All the best.
I was getting the same thing, here’s what worked…. In the instructions under step 10 where it says “In the command window type the following command “adb sideload Android KitKat”, without the quotation marks and substituting Android KitKat for whatever you named the zip file containing Android 4.4 for your device” you need to add the .zip extension to the filename. Running Win7 Pro, worked for me.
As Andy said remember to add the .zip extension. What I’d like you to do is open a new command prompt (ensure your device is in recovery mode) and then type in the following command “adb devices”. If a serial number comes up it means the computer is reading your device if it leaves it blank then it means your computer isn’t reading your device in recovery mode (usually happens in Windows 8).
For this I recommend you to go to the troubleshooting section of the article and follow one of the three methods I left to ensuring that both your Nexus 7 and ADB drivers are installed correctly. Hope this helps!
I just got done doing the update. I had some problems getting the drive for my device installed, but the suggestion to use PdaNet did the trick for me. I now have all the goodness of Kit Kat. Now I am going to try and install the launch and see how it goes. Will update to let you guys know how it went for me.
I actually skipped Fastboot mode in step 5 and went straight to Recovery mode by holding power + volume up.
Also, users (like here) are reporting they cannot get beyond using “ADB sideload” when using their Nexi in Recovery mode with ADB in Windows. (Something about hardware IDs switching or something while the Nexus goes into Recovery mode; I’m not a huge propellerhead on this matter.)
This is rectified by modifying the “android_winusb.inf” file to reflect the hardware driver ID. An example of this is posted at: http://stackoverflow.com/a/13954146
Make sure you modify the right block. ([Google.NTx86] if your’e on a 32-bit system; [Google.NTamd64] if you’re on a 64-bit system.) Save it and then try to install the driver again when Windows asks you to.
Thanks! Got it working with my Nexus 4. ADB sideload wasn’t recognized at first, but with that hack it worked. Great.
Well.. now on to the next problem. E: signature verification failed.
Got it working using the scripts that was bundled with the zip-file. Just executed flash-all.bat, with the phone in recovery mode.
Thanks Adam. Just managed to flash my device using adb and by following your guide meticulously. I’ve now got 4.4 running on my nexus 7 (2013). Just an update though, the whole transparent notification bar thing doesn’t happen by default. Don’t know if it needs to be enabled somewhere so it pretty much looks like 4.3 but I’m looking forward to all the other optimised sweetness that 4.4 is supposed to bring with it. Appreciation goes out to you once again for the great instruction set.
Currently the transparent notification bar is a Nexus 5 only feature :( however, you can install Nova launcher beta and then get a transparent home/notification bar.
Thanks for the tip, Adam. I think I’m going to stay loyal to the plain vanilla Android experience though. I’m a sucker for simplicity and there’s nothing simpler. On my non-Google devices, though I’ve got Nova Launcher Prime running but that’s only because none of them perform like a Nexus device and I don’t mind mucking around with them. My Nexus 5 arrives in 2 weeks and it’s unlikely that I’ll be using Nova on that either.
Yep, found that to be the truth as well. I don’t quite know why, but the GEL seems to enable the feature. It’s as if the feature is there, but Google was too lazy to enable it. Wierd. Only problem with the GEL is that the search bar will overlap with the first row of icons in horizontal mode on the home screen. Other than that, works like a charm!
Oh! How right you are! That’s really strange. I hardly ever use the homescreen in landscape mode so this major detail skipped my attention entirely. Fortunately, I use the DashClock widget for the homescreen so it only overlays on the top end of the time widget. Still…it’s bloody ugly isn’t it?
Well technically it isn’t made for the Nexus 7 yet, so I can sort of understand. However, Google did resolve a few issues (voice search force close, keyboard popping up for tablets) in the latest Search update. Hoping the next one resolves all of the problems.
Here’s my million dollar question and I suppose the best answer would be to wait and watch but….now that I’ve updated to 4.4, when Google officially releases the update for the Nexus 7 will I be able to use the OTA update or do you suppose it will show me that I’m already “Up to Date”? Don’t bother to answer if my question is too much of a shot in the dark.
Wait, do you want to receive the same update you just manually installed? Or do you wish to continue receiving updates in the future (for e.g. Android 4.4.1)? If the former, the answer is no, if it’s the latter the answer is yes. You can still update OTA.
Well, no, receiving the same update would just be silly wouldn’t it :) I was kinda hoping that Google would push the OTA once they’ve looked into these little problems with the update but so long as it happens somewhere down the line (which it will, I’m sure) that’s all I need.
Are you referring to the issues with the Google Experience Launcher? That would come as an update to the regular Google Search application via Play Store or an APK. This is because the Google Launcher is actually a part of the Search app. Unless you were referring to issues with the actual update (P.S. If you’re having issues with Android 4.4 could you expand upon them)?
No, you’re absolutely right. I’m referring to the GEL issues. So far 4.4 makes project butter look like project quicksand. It runs like a dream. The battery optimisations are pretty mind-blowing and I know that most people look for gimicky add-ons but the OS itself leaves very little wanting. I’m especially in love with the RAM optimisation at this point. Looks like they’ve managed to cut back on as much as 18-20% of the original requirement based on my 4.3 – 4.4 transition.
Overall good instructions. For step #7 (at least on the 2013 Nexus 7), you hold down the power button and then PRESS the volume up button (but don’t hold it down). When I did step #10, the command prompt window came up with an error message something like “no device found” and I finally ran installed the PdaNet program as suggested in the Troubleshoot section above, and then it all worked.
Step by step this is NOT working. I get to the point to sideload the file the command promt say “cannot read AndroidKitkat” what am I doing wrong. Drivers check, SDK check and extracted, 4.4 placed within the correct file. I literally followed the direction verbatim. Help.
Okay, remember to add the file extension “.zip” to the end of the file name in command prompt. Tell me what happens after that. Hope this helps!
My mistake. I named the file “AndroidKitkat.zip” thus when in the command prompt it did recognize the file. I renamed it “AndroidKitkat” then in command prompt it typedtyped “adb sideload “AndroidKitkat.zip” it appears to be working now… But slowly.
e:signature verification failed
Which device are you installing it on?
got the same error, on Nexus 4.
This update method only works for the Nexus 7 WiFi and the Nexus 10. Sorry!
Got it working using the scripts that was bundled with the zip-file.
Just executed flash-all.bat, with the phone in recovery mode.
Now running Kitkat on N4. :)
Really? Which Zip did you download? Notice anything wrong?
Downloaded the zip for Nexus 4 from https://developers.google.com/android/nexus/images#occam. Unzipped it in the same folder as the adb.exe and fastboot.exe. Executed the flash-all.bat. Phone in recovery mode. Easy.
Ah ok. Thought you were using the Nexus 7 zip. I’m guessing you already had an unlocked bootloader?
Yes. Already unlocked.
I use the adb sideload method and using the flashall.bat, but both of them not working.
Using the flashall.bat, it say bootloader version not same.
Using adb sideload, it say signature verification failed.
Can anyone help?
I tried with flashall.bat and got 4.4 But I hope there are no bugs.. Last I did it for 4.3 my battery began draining like heck and I had to do antoher factory install (I gave it to the LG guys who did it for me) to correct the problem.
Read the rest of the comments in this thread. This guide is for the Nexus 7, Nexus 10 WiFi variants.
However, if you’ve got a Nexus 4, and an unlocked bootloader (and you’re up to the part where you need to use adb sideload), you can simply download the factory images from Google and while in Recovery mode, execute “flash.all.bat” (for Windows) in the Command Prompt. That should work!
Not Working showing this error message
Does I lost my apps and data when install this factory image?
Using this method and the links provided you should not lose any data.
I can confirm that I did not lose any of my settings, data or apps while updating to 4.4. Proceed without fear.
Holy crap I finally did it. Those USB drivers had me stuck.
adb not recognized
What device are you using? Try the troubleshooting methods listed above.
Nexus 7 2013 wifi
Did you try the troubleshooting methods?
What I’d like you to do is open a new command prompt (ensure your device is in recovery mode) and then type in the following command “adb devices”. If a serial number comes up it means the computer is reading your device if it leaves it blank then it means your computer isn’t reading your device in recovery mode (usually happens in Windows 8).
For this I recommend you to go to the troubleshooting section of the article and follow one of the three methods I left to ensure that both your Nexus 7 and ADB drivers are installed correctly. Hope this helps!
I think it could be a driver problem, I’m using Vista ultimate and it just won’t recognise the drivers i’ve downloaded
Yup, in this case, I’ve found the PDAnet method the best way to go.
installed pdnanet and tried the adb devices command, it recognised the device in recovery mode but not when you “apply update”
Okay, I think I know your problem. Rename the “Kitkat.zip” as just “Kitkat” then type in “adb sideload Kitkat.zip”. You forgot the zip extension. Let me know how that helps.
Thanks man. the “.zip” in the file name was the problem
Great article, thanks! The troubleshooting section was particularly handy; my Nexus 7 (2012, Wifi) would connect to ADB while operating normally but when in recovery mode Windows (7, x64) couldn’t see the device. I installed the PdaNet driver and it all worked. Going to have a play with my freshly KitKat-ed N7 now…
Got “Device Not Found” problem while executing this code :
adb sideload Android KitKat.zip
but fixed it using daNet
also i tell u don’t rename the zip file as “Android Kitkat.zip”….instead use a single word name like “KitKat.zip”
how did you fix the “device not found” problem? Please share.
i have a Nexus 7 2013
install this software on your pc [http://pdanet.co/a/]
check once if this connects your device with pc via this software…if it is a success…
continue with the given steps…
do you know if this will work with other android tablets?
Nope, only Nexus tablets I’m afraid.
Thank you AA, I now have the 4.4 KitKat Update :D
Thank you — very useful. You’d do well to change the instructions so people aren’t renaming the file to a name with a space in it though.
I know that I`m off topic but still I wonder how much money did Google received from Nestle(Kit Kat) for associating this version of android with Kit Kat.
None. no money changed hands for this deal.
my N7(2012) doesn’t have ART mode…WHY!!!….
if i am installing it ,
the data on my internal memory is wiped out or the data has to be backed up
“Make sure that if you’re using a laptop it is connected to a POWERPOINT or at the very least fully charged. Ensure your tablet is also fully charged” :) :) :) Until now I don’t even know POWERPOINT was necessary to flash android!
Painless update, clear instructions, everything went as planned. Nexus 7 2013. Thanks, Jeff
I’m stuck at “Android is Upgrading… Finishing boot.”
error: device not found I have the adb driver installed, also all the sdk tools
I have done everything, however the KitKat boot animation is stuck, and has been playing over and over again for around half an hour. Anyone have any suggestions? Help appreciated.
Look at the troubleshooting section.
I keep getting this and where it says the adb sideload Android KitKat.zip is what i put in. The file is in the platform-tools folder and i have connected my device after using PdaNet. Still is not working, please help me! Oh and sorry for it being so long… =
6_64-20131030sdkplatform-tools>adb sideload Android KitKat.zip
Android Debug Bridge version 1.0.31
-a – directs adb to listen on all interfaces for a c
-d – directs command to the only connected USB devic
returns an error if more than one USB device is
-e – directs command to the only running emulator.
returns an error if more than one emulator is r
-s – directs command to the device or emulator with
serial number or qualifier. Overrides ANDROID_S
-p – simple product name like ‘sooner’, or
a relative/absolute path to a product
out directory like ‘out/target/product/sooner’.
If -p is not specified, the ANDROID_PRODUCT_OUT
environment variable is used, which must
be an absolute path.
-H – Name of adb server host (default: localhost)
-P – Port of adb server (default: 5037)
devices [-l] – list all connected devices
(‘-l’ will also list device qualifiers)
connect [:] – connect to a device via TCP/IP
Port 5555 is used by default if no port number
disconnect [[:]] – disconnect from a TCP/IP device.
Using this command with no additional arguments
will disconnect from all connected TCP/IP devic
adb push – copy file/dir to device
adb pull  – copy file/dir from device
adb sync [ ] – copy host->device only if changed
(-l means list but don’t copy)
(see ‘adb help all’)
adb shell – run remote shell interactively
adb shell – run remote shell command
adb emu – run emulator console command
adb logcat [ ] – View device log
adb forward –list – list all forward socket connections.
the format is a list of lines with the followin
” ” ” ” “n”
adb forward – forward socket connections
forward specs are one of:
jdwp: (remote only)
adb forward –no-rebind
– same as ‘adb forward ‘ but fail
if is already forwarded
adb forward –remove – remove a specific forward socket connection
adb forward –remove-all – remove all forward socket connections
adb jdwp – list PIDs of processes hosting a JDWP transport
adb install [-l] [-r] [-s] [--algo --key --
– push this package file to the device and instal
(‘-l’ means forward-lock the app)
(‘-r’ means reinstall the app, keeping its data
(‘-s’ means install on SD card instead of inter
(‘–algo’, ‘–key’, and ‘–iv’ mean the file is
adb uninstall [-k] – remove this app package from the device
(‘-k’ means keep the data and cache directories
adb bugreport – return all information from the device
that should be included in a bug report.
adb backup [-f ] [-apk|-noapk] [-obb|-noobb] [-shared|-noshared] [-all]
– write an archive of the device’s data to
If no -f option is supplied then the data is wr
to “backup.ab” in the current directory.
(-apk|-noapk enable/disable backup of the .apks
in the archive; the default is noapk.)
(-obb|-noobb enable/disable backup of any insta
lled apk expansion
(aka .obb) files associated with each applic
ation; the default
(-shared|-noshared enable/disable backup of the
shared storage / SD card contents; the defau
lt is noshared.)
(-all means to back up all installed applicatio
(-system|-nosystem toggles whether -all automat
system applications; the default is to inclu
de system apps)
( is the list of applications to b
e backed up. If
the -all or -shared flags are passed, then t
list is optional. Applications explicitly g
iven on the
command line will be included even if -nosys
ordinarily cause them to be omitted.)
adb restore – restore device contents from the backup
adb help – show this help message
adb version – show version num
adb wait-for-device – block until device is online
adb start-server – ensure that there is a server running
adb kill-server – kill the server if it is running
adb get-state – prints: offline | bootloader | device
adb get-serialno – prints:
adb get-devpath – prints:
adb status-window – continuously print device status for a specifie
adb remount – remounts the /system partition on the device re
adb reboot [bootloader|recovery] – reboots the device, optionally into the boo
tloader or recovery program
adb reboot-bootloader – reboots the device into the bootloader
adb root – restarts the adbd daemon with root permissions
adb usb – restarts the adbd daemon listening on USB
adb tcpip – restarts the adbd daemon listening on TCP on th
e specified port
adb ppp [parameters] – Run PPP over USB.
Note: you should not automatically start a PPP connection.
refers to the tty for PPP stream. Eg. dev:/dev/omap_csmi_tty1
[parameters] – Eg. defaultroute debug dump local notty usepeerdns
adb sync notes: adb sync [ ]
can be interpreted in several ways:
– If is not specified, both /system and /data partitions will be u
– If it is “system” or “data”, only the corresponding partition
ADB_TRACE – Print debug information. A comma separated list
of the following values
1 or all, adb, sockets, packets, rwx, usb, sync
, sysdeps, transport, jdwp
ANDROID_SERIAL – The serial number to connect to. -s takes prior
ity over this if given.
ANDROID_LOG_TAGS – When used with the logcat option, only these de
bug tags are printed.
I got this error once. Best method of attack was to uninstall and reinstall drivers and if that’s not the case then you’ve typed it in wrong. Can you tell me the command that you typed in?
I put in: “adb sideload Android KitKat.zip” If I try it without the .zip which would then just be the name of the file that i extracted and changed the name it does the same thing. Any ideas what I’m doing wrong?
What did you name the original folder? Rename it simply “Kitkat” (NO ZIP EXTENSION NAME) and then when you type in the command add the zip extension at the end so that would be “Kitkat.zip”
I named it “Android KitKat” and when I put it in I added the .zip
Try it the way I previously said if it sill is not working here’s anotheranother troubleshoot method. In the command prompt type in adb devices (while ur device is plugged into your computer and in recovery mode). If it shows up some sort of serial number then it’s connected, if not try uninstalling and reinstalling the drivers. Remember to try the method I said before trying this one.
Should I still put it into the thing to update from adb?
Now it says it cannot read Kitkat.zip I checked and it picks up my device but it wont install. Now what?
Glad I could help.
Every time I get to sending the .zip with side load it would just repeat the adb commands… But when i put the command adb devices it shows up… Makes no sense…I tried on both my Mac and my windows… I’m going crazy, any advice
The link you provided gives a 185MB file to download for my Nexus 7 2012, however this official link gibes a 385MB download(https://developers.google.com/android/nexus/images)…which one should I download?
PS: Im new to all this flashing/fastboot/adb stuff
Page not found error.
sorry, here’s the correct one http://goo.gl/v1Jwd
Your analyzation is correct. The link you gave is a factory image, which most people use to install a fresh boot after messing around with custom ROMs, that means it requires more files and is larger as people might not necessarily be running stock Android already.
I linked the OTA update, meaning people are already running stock Android and it can be smaller.
The second question is a little difficult to answer. Nexus devices don’t have locked bootloaders like in the original sense like carrier devices. My recommendation is that unlocking bootloader and rooting doesn’t void warranty, unless you go brick it while flashing a custom ROM or something. And my recommendation is that if you ever need to send it back just return to stock and relock your bootloader just in case. But generally, neither rooting or unlocking bootloader void warranty related to hardware faults on Nexus devices.
Where do i get the drivers after booting in recovery mode?
In my experience, the PDAnet method (in troubleshoot section) worked best.
I also have one last question. In what steps are the following supposed to be done? Rooting,Unlocking the Bootloader, Flashing another recovery eg TWRP Recovery?
Ok, so first things first make a backup of your device and the data. Then unlock bootloader, then root, then you can flash whatever custom ROM you’d like. My recommendation for Nexus devices is to use the WugFresh Toolkit. Works really well. Also if you’re installing CyanogenMod, there’s the new Cyanogen Installer which helps beginners install Cyanogenmod.
What application would you recommend to backup? And which ROM do you find the best? Also I’m inclined towards the AOKP ROM. Thanks once again.
Which backup application would you recommend? and which is the best ROM according to you? I like AOKP atleast in the videos i have seen.
Done man!! Thanks a ton!! :D and great guide by the way..
I dont have that – “Recovery mode”. Press the power button to accept. It will show the Google logo and then you’ll be greeted by an Android with an exclamation mark ” My nexus 7 shows up teamwin menu, this tutorial is shit, not enough explained everything..
This is for stock recovery users. You have custom twrp recovery. There probably is an adb sideload option in twrp, you just have to use your brain and find it.
google is SHIT, why they don’t allow to update to new kitkat update ? it was releases in 2 weeks ago …
Finally successfully installed! Tip 1: be sure the drives are ok when connect and after activate USB debugging (different driver). Tip 2: install the correct java (32 or 64 bits) before running Android SDK.
how do u fix the error device not found? btw using a nexus 7 2012 with the latest version of android 4.3
For those that have that receive device not found with ADB trying to sideload the update, I’ve found a fix for that. (Windows 8, I don’t know if this works on Windows 7, but try it and let me know.)
Steps: Install the drivers that come with your SDK or download them here:
Get your device ready to receive update from ADB, then right click on “Computer”, Select Properties then device manager.
You should see your Nexus show up with a triangle, indicating that drivers have not been installed. Right click on Nexus 7 or which ever Nexus you have, click properties, select update driver, browse my computer for driver software, then click on let me pick from a list…, a Window will pop up with where you can select your device type, select ADB Interface, then click next, you’ll be taken to a screen where you can select a Model, click on ADB Interface (or ADB Testing Interface), click next, you’ll get a warning message from Windows, click yes anyway and your driver will be installed.
Test it by opening a shell and typing “adb get-serialno”, you should see your Nexus’ serial number.
Then proceed to sideload your update, enjoy!
Thank you! This worked perfectly.
adb interface not an option for me?
If you installed the drivers before you turned your tablet/phone off and tested if you could see your device with/in ADB running the “adb-get-serialno” command, you should get that option when you try to update the drivers manually, if you follow the above steps.
Thanks This worked for me too!
splendid mate… been breaking my head since morning for a slution… this one did it on my Win XP. am at sending my ota.zip at 75%:)
I keep getting a *cannot read ‘Kitkat.zip’ any ideas?
anyone have ideas on this one? I am getting “cannot read” no matter what I rename it and after many downloads from different sources (but it’s the same file).
When I type in the command prompt “adb sideload KitKat”, I get the response *cannot read ‘KitKat’*
yes, same here… I’ve tried downloading the file many times now and have renamed the file and still get “cannot read.” help?
help!!! the error message displays “cannot read KitKat” .. why????
help! the error message i have displayed is “cannot read Kitkat”..why??
says Cannot read *Kitkat.zip*
make sure you’re not using winRAR .. if that’s the case the filename will be .tgz. Right click the android update’s compressed file, go to properties and check under”Type of File” what the .xxx filename is. hope this heps.
Just a quick note for Linux desktop users, if you get the following error while running the adb command , you need to run it as a Root user.
error: insufficient permissions for device
Once you see this message you need to kill the adb server daemon that is now running, using the ‘kill’ command – you can find the process with ‘ps -ef | grep adb’
Run the command again as root, and all will be well, and you will get kitkat on your nexus 7.
Thanks for the write up, apart from this one point
How do I “kill” this daemon?
Never mind got it.
how to solve “device not found”?
Finally succeeded after multiple fail to verify errors. Skip the rename to “Kitkat” step and go with the real file name. That worked first time. Just copy/pate into terminal.
I used this method instead:
The methods listed here just didn’t work for me but this recovery/factory thing did wonders. After having “bricked” my phone, I recovered it last night. Got to thinking that maybe I can recover my phone to KitKat today :3
Try it out. It will save you time and frustration :)
Mac users, use Keka 7zip.
will I still receive OTA updates in future if I do this?
Is adb necessary? Can you update it without this? In previous os versions, I just download to my phone/tablet, go to recovery mode then flash it.
Followed the steps carefully and slided Kitkat. But it booted up with some error. Then I did a reboot and now it stacked at booting up. I reslided, same thing. Basically it is bricked.
Is there any way to fix it?
I did a factory restore and wiped out data. Luckily, Kitkat started and seems everything is working now, except I lost everything, which is ok for me as I only use this to read news.
error: device not found
I have already updated the drivers before trying this. Tried two different USB cables. What could be the problem?
Will this void the remaining warranty of the tab?
Does anyone know when KitKat will be fully made available through the conventional system update? I’ve been having trouble with this manual installation.
is there any update file for nexus 7 2013 mobile version?
Just added the links! Enjoy!
Will I be able to use this method on my nexus 4 with the n4 stock image.
Just added the link, enjoy!
I am getting error message saying..unable to read KitKat..any help
It’s a shame that you’re not near the top of the search results for this. This would have saved me several hours of headacheness :|. I just got the newsletter in my email, trust me, no other site is as comprehensive as you guys! Great work!
Can you still receive OTA updates in the future after doing this?
I got “* cannot read kitkat.zip *”
i also recieved this
Got same thing. OS already recognizes .zip extension. Use “kitkat.zip.zip”
the factory image downloaded was not a zip file! its a .TGZ so you need to use this extension…
i’ve got nexus 7 2012 running on build no. JWR66Y, its rooted and CWM recovery installed, i selected “install zip from sideload” in CWM and then sent the update file from command prompt using “adb sideload kitkat.tgz” (as the file i downloaded was in tgz format instead of zip), the problem is that the command prompt is sending the file to my tablet but the tablet doesn’t read it or whatever, it gets stuck at “send the package u want to apply to the device with adb sideload “, what should i do ?
can it work on Nexus 4
Just added the links for the Nexus 4. Enjoy!
Your instructions were the best I found on several posts, very clear step-by-step. Thanks.
A couple of notes, I am running 8.1 and extracting the SDK download took an unbelievable amount of time. I finally got it done more than once and sometimes the pop-up to get into command mode worked, others didn’t. When it did I got the device not found error. I finally copied the platform-tools folder to my desktop and extracted it from there. That took no time at all. I still got device not found and then went to the PdaNet cure and success!
Thanks for the clear step-by-step, my extra steps were probably due to inexperience, this is the first time I’ve tried something like this.
I could never get this “Connect your tablet to your computer and a warning should pop up with the computers unique RSA number asking if you want to connect to the computer. Click “Always connect to computer” and accept. ”
to work …..
Does this void the warrenty?
cannot read kitkat.zip…anybody know why?
its not really a zip file…. when in CMD just start typing OCCAM then press tab to complete the file name. its a .TGZ extension.
i am having a problem with USB drivers….1) my windows cant find drivers online 2) i tried installing manually but still it says could not find….even i am specifying the path of the driver…but still it says couldn’t find! What to do ??????
Found working drivers here: http://download.clockworkmod.com/test/UniversalAdbDriverSetup6.msi
Would I be able to use this if I no longer have a previos version of an Android OS on my N7 (2012)…as of right now it only boots to the Google screen and I can get it to the CWM Recovery (version 18.104.22.168) screen.
is the Nexus 4 ADB file for update out yet?
Just added it!
What do you mean by “Remember that you will lose root by using this method. Also remember
that the update does not bring the new Google launcher with “Ok Google”
and swipe left for Google Now functionality.” This features does not come with this method or aren´t supported by device? If they should come how can I gain them ?
Google is keeping the Nexus 5′s new launcher strictly to the Nexus 5 at least for now. However, you can always grab the pulled APKs and install them. It works pretty well, only one issue with landscape mode. Here’s the link: http://www.androidauthority.com/download-nexus-5-hangouts-google-launcher-313292/ Remember to install the new search update, if you haven’t recieved it yet (different to the one in the article as it has since been updated)
Why there is no OTA update came? Had to manually update it.. Is this a legit Kitkat update?
yes its legit because you download the factory image from google!
To those with the CANNOT READ ‘xxxxx.ZIP’ issue –
I was able to successfully install by typing the full path after the adb sideload command (Note this is for Mac OSX Terminal):
/Users/ryan/Desktop/ADT/sdk/platform-tools/adb sideload /Users/ryan/Desktop/ADT/sdk/platform-tools/kitkat.zip
(all in one line / command)
Hope this helps anyone else having the same trouble…
do you lose root?
yep, it’s mentioned in article
kana punda hw to instal in xperia ZR……???????
ANS MUST DA SUNNI
ANY DISCUSS ABT ANDROID APP CONTACT Mr.KARTHIKEYAN.S & Bros
thanks guys for the tutorial KK 4.4 is the biz
Everything is fine until Step 7. I have tried holding the down power up, the power down and up and the down power and up. Nothing is getting me to the screen in 7. Any ideas?
Worked flawlessly! One oddity – after I did the reboot after the load was done, it went through the standard apps check and contact database update. When the OS loaded and the interface came up, it said that the OTA update was available to install and had been downloaded! I checked the “About Tablet” section and it did say 4.4, but I did not check the build. I applied the OTA update just to be thorough. Is anyone else seeing this? Did Google push and update to their update?
Yup, this was another update for the bug fixes. It went from KRT160 to KRT16S. Just minor bug fixes.
I got all steps done but when I do the adb sideloat KitKat.zip, on the command command prompt and press enter, a bunch of text fills down the page but it doesn’t install anything to my nexus 7 2013 wifi. So then I tried unplugging it and plugging it back in, but whenever I plug it back in and is powered off, in recovery mode, or the No Command screen, my device doesn’t connect to my computer. How do i fix this?
Was having so much trouble with this for hours thanks to God damn Windows drivers. Tried plugging it into my macbook, ran ./adb and pressto, 2 minutes.
I strongly urge if you have any OS X machine, do the smart thing and try it on that. Windows proving once again it’s a pile of crap to me.
thanks AA went smooth really easy it only took about 15mins and after installation i got a system update with the new bug fixes awesome!
In What You Need,
“JWR66Y” for the Nexus 7 (2013)
“JWR66Y” for the Nexus 7 (2012)
Yup, sorry about that. Fixed!
I’m having trouble doing this with my mac. Each time I try to do it it bashes me and just tells me it’s a directory and nothing happens.
Won’t work. On a mac. This is what I get.
-bash: /Users/(got rid of my name)/Documents/adt-bundle-mac-x86_64-20131030/sdk/platform-tools: is a directory
set_metadata_recursive: some changes failed
E: error in /tmp/update.zip
I”ve got the same error. I think when you translate it, it means “You have to factory reset, neener neener neener.”
And then PRAY that the factory reset unbricks the damn phone. It doesn’t always, from my research.
Where can I get the 4.4 file for nexus 4?
Just added the Nexus 4 and mobile data Nexus 7 links. Enjoy!
Will wait for the official update!
after typing the command prompt (adb sideload KitKat.zip) i get this:
* daemon not running. starting it now on port 5037 *
* daemon started successfully *
error: device not found
Is this a driver issue? How do I uninstall and reinstall all necessary drivers for my Nexus 7 (2012 WIFI)?
This was a fucking pain in the ass but I made it. it turns out that I’m not a complete tool :P
is there anything like this for the nexus 4?
Just added the Nexus 4 and 3G/4G Nexus 7 model links too!
Done that too thanks!
I’m getting an ERROR. Here is what is shown on my phone:
Now send the package you want to apply
To the devise with “adb sideload ”…
Finding update package…
Opening update package…
Verifying update package…
Verifying current system…
Removing uneeded files…
Patching system files…
Patching boot image…
Unpacking new files…
Unpacking new recovery…
Symlinks and permissions…
Set_metadate_recursive: some changes failed
E: Error in /tmp/update.zip
I’ve got exactly the same issue with my Nexus 4 after a failed OTA update to KitKat and later trying to fix it via this post.
I used this guide to factory reset. The best part is that the toolkit already has the KitKat update so when you’re done you’ll have a fresh and clean install of KitKat. Skip to the “Restoring to Factory Stock with Toolkit” section. Kind of wish I would have just done this anyway because I had some other issues that I thought a factory reset might resolve and it did, and it didn’t take that long to set up my home screens and apps again.
Thanks for the advice.
I have tried to use fastboot to flash the nexus 4, but could not get into proper fastboot mode, so it didn’t work. Since the toolkit requires fastboot as well, I cannot imagine any different result.
did you solve your problem ?
Great advice guys but still a real pain. Finally got it to load across to my Nexus 7 and then the verification failed. Enough is enough, I’ll sit on my hands for a while!!
I manually updated to KRT16O from JWR66Y using the above… as soon as I did, I received the over the air update from Google to KRT16S (only 1.5mb).
Yup, it’s a minor bug fixes update. Nothing major difference that I’ve noticed.
I’m getting a release key error (E:Error in /tmp/update.zip).
Before you ask my N7 (2012 wifi) is not rooted and i have not modified the zip in any way. For some reason it has the 4.3 release keys (but i am definitely running 4.3!).
Is there any other option than trying a factory reset, re-update and then go again?
Ok did the factory reset and updates. Still same problem.
in this manual update all data and apps are delete or keep as it is?
Amazing! Just did it here and everything worked. The only issue was the USB drivers; I installed them and the PC recognised them with the phone on, but when I turned it off (with debug activated) and started bootloader, the PC simply did not recognise it anymore. Then I installed PdaNet and the drivers issue was solved. The update ran smooth and solid and everything is working just fine so far. THANKS!!!
I found that .zip.zip works for people with the cannot read Kitkat.zip file error.
Just updated my Nexus 7 (2012) with the instructions above.. Had to use PDAnet to fix device not found error.Other than that,the instructions were very clear. Thanks for sharing !
E: Signature Verification Failed Error stucked Please help.
Can you plz tell me how to navigate in windows XP
cuz I have this path :
C:Documents and SettingsMSFuserDesktopadt-bundle-windows-x86-20131030sdkplatform-tools
Does this root and/or unlock the bootloader on the device??
how to navigate in command prompt? i put my sdk , kitkat files under C:Users }my name directory…but it said adb is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.
plzz help guys … version 4.3 is so bad
i have a lot of issues … battery gets exhausted fast , screen gets hotter, notification par dis responded, the side bar should be shown and hidden by the back arrow and doesn’t respond any, finally the WiFi having a problem connecting any wireless.
plz any other update or bring back my old OS.
I am a nexus 7 (2012 wifi) user. I flashed my device with custom rom several time. can download the ota update 4.4 but then i am getting error installing it. also i am facing problem with adb sideload. what is the solution ?
Help full post. 100 like for this post.
Please visit for free android apps
Folks, any idea how to update to Kitkat on a non-Nexus Tablet ( I have a local made tab which is having 4.0.4 android firmware)
How to root this kit Kat update?
Any solutions ?
I need some help on MacOSX, i’m stuck on the sideload section so how do i move the file to my phone
updated to 4.4.1 on my nexus 5 using this method :) thank you
my nexus 4 still have android 4.2.. how to go about updating it to 4.4?
Hi, I was wondering if these steps will work on another phone if im using the correct OTA files for my phone? Thanks!