The Google Nexus 7 is one of the most popular choices under the Google-owned and branded Nexus name. We know that the official factory image is available and the OTA’s are rolling out to devices notifications panels. That means a great deal of you are searching for how to root the new software update. We are about to show you how to do that and install a custom recovery. Our choice is ClockworkMod recovery, but the option is there for team Win’s TWRP recovery too if you prefer that method.

The first report told us that the Lollipop OTA for the Nexus 7 was coming November 3rd. That day came and went without any luck. The next report said November 12. The second report was bang on the money as the Mountain View company did release Lollipop for the 2013 Nexus 7 and 2013 Nexus over the air. Many people were witnessing the software update by the 13th of November.

Nexus 7 2013 Lollipop

The following steps work fine for models from both of the years that Google released them. They both came with the same OTA build number, therefore, there’s no reason we can’t use the guide for both variants. However, before we delve into the nitty-gritty, we must run through many bare essentials before starting.

Some reports suggest the new Lollipop official software is slow and lags for the older generation device from 2012. You may want to test yours out before you decide to unlock the system internals and follow through with gaining root access. We know that when bugs happen so do future updates and that means revoking the root access and having to search for another guide to unchain the OS on the new firmware version.

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.

Details of Note

  • The main point is making a note to back up the device. We do wipe the tablet data by following the steps. You must backup the tablet contacts, SMS messages, videos, market apps, pictures and all other data. Anything that you added to the tablet after the date of purchase is official vulnerable at this stage. Countless people prefer making copies of the Data using the native Google Drive service. That’s a great way to go. However, you should understand that there are many other ways to go about it too. Using applications from the Google Play Store such as Helium for Android, G Cloud backup, Holo and SMS Backup+ just to name a few. Take the initiative and go ahead with your own personal favorite method. It’s great practice for backing up on other occasions when you ;leave here. You should always get into good habits for storing the data so you aren’t left without essential information you can’t afford to lose.
  • You must stopover at the Developer Options menu and enable USB Debugging Mode. The Developer Options menu is found from the original Settings menu after turning the device on and browsing the apps. The Developer options menu is hidden in earlier version of Android software such as 4.2 Jelly Bean. Nevertheless, we know that’s not an issue here today since you must be running the latest candy variant before using the guide. If you are not on Lollipop this is not the guide for you today. You risk soft-bricking the tablet if you don’t follow my advice. You can check the software version by turning the tablet on and navigating to the settings application followed by checking the About Device option.
  • Check the device’s battery charge level exceeds 50%. We know these comes with USB charging as a stock and default feature. However, sometimes the feature doesn’t work and we can’t risk shutting down before the operation is complete. If you know the USB charging feature isn’t working it’s imperative to charge the battery before starting the steps.
  • If you want to lock the bootloader once again after finishing with the steps, you must boot the device in Fastboot, open the command line from a computer and type “fastboot oem lock”. Confirm the command and reboot. Similarly, if you get stuck in a boot loop since the installment didn’t go as planned, you want to boot it in recovery mode and wipe the cache options.
  • Only use the guide if you have experience with Android SDK. We don’t teach you how to set up and install SDK. You must search for an advanced Android users to help you with starting up the guide if you don’t have enough experience yourself.
  • Some of our favorite apps you can use after finishing the steps include Full!screen, Children tracker, BBQ Screen remote control, FPS meter, Experience pro and Unicon.

How To root The Nexus 7 running Android 5.0 Lollipop LRX21P

1. Download the Android SDK here.

2. Download Fastboot for your computer:

3. Download the ClockworkMod recovery here.
– copy the file to the it in the android-sdk-windows\platform-tools  directory.

4. Download SuperSU 2.16 here.

5. Turn the nexus 7 on and copy the SuperSu over to the devices SD card.

6. Power off the tablet once again.

7. Boot the nexus 7 in Fastboot and Bootloader mode by holding the Power + Volume Down.

8. Go to the directory where you placed the CWM and press Shift + Right-click.

9. Wait for the command prompt to open. Now we are typing a commend. Insert:

fastboot flash recovery recovery-clockwork-touch-6.0.4.3-grouper.img and press Enter to confirm the command.

10. Pick the recovery option from the Fastboot menu.

11. Pick the flash zip from SD card” option.

12. Pick the “choose zip from sdcard” option.

13. Choose the UPDATE-SuperSU-v2.16.zip file from the SD card.

14. Go back to the main recovery screen and select “reboot system now”.

15. Wait for the tablet to reboot itself.

That’s all.