Over the past couple of days, we’ve found out the new Android M software update will be named Marshmallow. We had a strong belief it would be marshmallow since many of the other suggestions weren’t as popular internationally. Marshmallows are known in most countries, although the branding and overall taste will vary.

The guide below teaches you how to root the Google Nexus 5 on Android 6.0 marshmallow with build number MPA44G developer preview 3.

What Is Rooting the Android Operating System?

When you buy a new smartphone, you might not know it, but the Android operating system is in a “locked” state. For the most part, it will not make much difference to you: most apps are still available to use, and there are benefits to this locked state such as better security. When you root the Android operating system, you are gaining full administrative rights over the OS.

Why Would You Want to Root Android?

Gaining full administrative rights over the operating system has some perks to some people. For example, out of the millions of applications available on Google Play, some of them will not be able to run on your device unless it has root access. Until you have a specific need for wanting Android rooted, you probably want to leave Android as it comes out of the box. But if you need to unlock an app, then that is when you want to look into rooting methods. Using more apps is only one example of why you may want root access, here is the full list of benefits:

  • Unlock more applications. Some of the apps available for Android cannot run unless you have root access. This is because the app’s features cannot run without the root permissions because the features require the full system access before they can be useful.
  • Better battery life. Smartphones are great, but they have one caveat, which is each time you recharge the battery, it loses some of its overall lifespan. That means smartphones, in general, do not make great investments, and if your weekly paycheck is low, you will want to limit the number of smartphones you go through. One of the ways you can do that is by removing bloatware and creating a better battery life.
  • Bolster performance. If you are the budget-conscious shopper, you may want to increase the device’s performance. This can be done by removing the bloatware as well. The more processes you have running, the more memory that is used. By removing some of the apps, it can help lighten the load on your hardware.
  • Customize Android with themes. With root access, you can download and install any theme that’s at your disposal. That includes any customized theme you can find.

What Are the Risks of Rooting?

If you are buying a smartphone that is not running iOS, then it is probably the Android operating system that you want running as the ideal software to pair with your shiny new hardware. It is, in fact, the Android OS that offers you the chance to customize the OS considerably more than iOS: custom themes, run any app you know about, the works. For many users, the “openness” of an operating system is important, because it offers them more freedom which means running into fewer problems with their investments. But there is a reason iOS likes a far more locked approach: the ability to customize is not for everyone, and if you do not know what you are doing it can lead to a lot of problems which can define your time with the OS rather than freedom.

With power (full admin permissions) comes greater responsibility. Here are some of the main risk factors when it comes to rooting:

  • Malware becomes a larger threat. You might read the occasional news article about how new malware is wreaking havoc in parts of the world on Android. But the Android operating system with root access becomes considerably more vulnerable to exploits because applications are no longer prisoned off in their own sandbox environments. This means if you accidentally download malware, it can do more damage because it can spread throughout the operating system and even jump into other applications and potentially view sensitive data.
  • You can accidentally brick the smartphone. There is always a chance that you end up bricking the smartphone before you had the opportunity to use it with root access. That is because if you are going to brick it, it is going to happen during the rooting process.
  • You may void the warranty. Most manufacturers do not allow you to root the Android operating system and still get to bring it in for repairs under warranty. Whether they are legally meant to do that or not is another question, but it is now common knowledge that most do not want to help you if they find out you have unlocked the OS with root access.


  • The guide is only made for the Google Nexus 5. Don’t use this guide for any of the other Nexus devices.
  • Check you are running the build number MPA44G. The guide isn’t for the official Android 6.0 release destined for later this year.


  • Download the Google USB Drivers. Most of you developers would have that covered already, but if you don’t, make sure to reboot the PC after installing the drivers if you are having difficulties getting the guide working for you.
  • You are voiding the warranty. Following through with the guide will see the warranty revoked. That means you cannot send it away for free repairs.
  • You might need to unlock the hidden Developer Options menu if you forgot to do that already. After you turn on the Nexus 5, head to the Settings, followed by the About Device menu and tap the build number seven times. It should count you down with the required amount of taps on the display to go when you get closer to the total, so you don’t need to keep count.
  • Now it’s time to make use of that Developer Options menu you just unlocked. Go back to the Settings and tap to enter the Developer Options. Enable the USB Debugging Mode from inside the Settings.
  • The following guide is made for experienced Android users only. Do not follow this guide if you aren’t confident with the Android OS and getting out of potential soft-brick scenarios.


1. Download the Android SDK package from here.

2. Learn how to setup ADB and fastboot on Windows if you don’t have it already. You don’t need to install it a second time.

3. Download the ADB and fastboot drivers from this page.

4. Download the Despair kernel from here.

5. Download ClockworkMod recovery so you can have a custom recovery installed. Transfer the ClockworkMod recovery over to the same folder where you have ADB and Fastboot.

6. Download the SuperSU package here.

7. Transfer the Despair kernel and the SuperSU files from the computer (still zipped) over to the root of the SD card. Do not have them hidden in any sub-folder.

8. Turn off the Nexus 5 and reboot it to Bootloader Mode by holding the Volume Down + Power keys together.

9. Open the folder where you have ADB, fastboot and the CWM recovery and right-click the mouse over an empty area in the folder and press the Shift key. You’ll get a new menu presenting itself. Choose to open the command windows from the menu.

10. Now you are for it to type some commands.

11. Type the command: “fastboot flash recovery recovery-clockwork-touch-”.

12. Look at the Nexus 5 display and choose to enter the recovery from the menu.

13. Navigate to “flash zip from SD card” and choose the zip from the SD card.

14. Load the Despair kernel first and confirm the installation.

15. After the kernel is finished loading, do the same thing and browse the SD card for the SuperSU file.

16. Go back to the main recovery menu and choose to reboot the system.

You should now have root access with the custom recovery installed after the device reboots. Now you can start checking our custom ROMs and root-only apps.