The Google Nexus 5 Hammerhead smartphone is now getting another Android 5.1.1 Lollipop update which users can install over the air. Once complete, you will be updated to the official LMY48B firmware build. However, you won’t have root access if you had it before which is why you need this guide below. Likewise, those who didn’t have root access before need to open the internal; hardware for the first time.

If you want to hit Google Play for some of the best root apps, install some of the best custom ROMS from third-party sources, or just check out what the fuss is about with taking a NANDroid backup, you can do all three after completing this guide. Even though Android M is now out as a developer preview and people are rooting that build, we also know Android 5.1.1. is still rolling and menu users are preferring it until the real Android M comes out.

Android 5.1.1 Nexus 5

In that way you should not be discouraged by rooting the Android 5.1.1 Lollipop as it’s still really popular. You need to take all the usual precautions before starting the guide which we’ll run you through quickly after the drop.

If you want an easy backup without root I suggest installing Helium from Google Play. Understand that no one single app works as well as a NANDroid backup, though — which is what you have available after you flash your Nexus 5 with root access. Until then you must use third-party apps from Google Play.

You can, of course, skip the apps and just use the built-in backup options. Each modern-day smartphone such as the nexus range from Google come with a build-in feature that lets you store the data such as phone contacts and more.

You can verify the current root method is working by installing the best root checker app for Android. After you’ve installed the app you can enter and check what it says. Those looking for future reading might be interested in reading about what things to do with a rooted Android.

How to root the Google Nexus 5 running Android 5.1.1 Lollipop and LMY48B firmware, plus install TWRP recovery

  1. Firstly, you must install Android SDK with ADB and Fastboot on Windows. Use one of our three different methods. You don’t need to install ADB again if you already have it on your computer. This is for first-time installers only.
  2. There are many ways to install ADB and Fastboot on Windows so don’t get confused. With time they’ve often become easier and our ways are some of the easier ways on the internet that you’ll find.
  3. Download the TWRP Recovery file here. Transfer the TWRP recovery file over to the same folder where you have the ADB and Fastboot.
  4. Download the Super SU 2.46 here. Download the 2.46 version of SuperSU direct to the Windows computer desktop. Now connect the Google nexus 5 to the same desktop PC that has the file and transfer the zip file over to the root of the internal SD card storage. Do not unzip the SuperSU file.
  5. Note: You can install ClockworkMod Recovery on Nexus 5 instead of the TWRP recovery file if you prefer doing that. However, we think TWRP is the best custom recovery and many of our readers are telling us to include Team Win’s recovery in our guides instead. Therefore, we are doing that. Follow the same steps but with your CWM file instead of the TWRP file if you prefer Clockwork.
  6. Completely power off the nexus 5 by holding down the Power key for 10 seconds and then letting go.
  7. Boot the Nexus 5 into Bootloader Mode ( the same thing as fastboot mode) by holding down the Power + Volume Down keys at the same time and waiting for the display to change.
  8. Now use the Volume Keys to hover over the fastboot option from the menu and wait until it loads.
  9. Open the same folder that you have fastboot on the Windows PC already and right-click the mouse where there’s no file and hold down the Shift key at the same time. Now you’ll get a new menu that’s appearing. One of the options from the new menu should say “open command window here.” Click that options and get ready to type your first command.
  10. Now it’s time to flash your recovery by typing “fastboot flash recovery recovery-twrp-”
  11. You’ll see a new menu on the Nexus 5 display, choose RECOVERY from the menu.
  12. Now that you are inside the recovery mode it’s business as usual: Navigate to “Flash zip” followed by “choose zip” and browse the SD card for the SuperSU file you transferred. Confirm the installation of SuperSU and you’re complete.
  13. Navigate back out of the and wait at the normal recovery main menu.
  14. Choose to reboot the system now and the Nexus 5 will reboot into the normal OS mode. Now you can start flashing custom ROMs and install root-requiring apps.