How to install Android 4.4.3 onto any Nexus device without wiping data

get the Nexus 5

Let’s face it, Android 4.4 wasn’t really the most perfect update from Google as it still had a lot of kinks and security flaws that needed to be worked out. In any case after a few updates, it seemed as if Google had the whole thing under control but as it turns out Android 4.4.3 (the third update, for those of you who are counting) appeared brining more “bug fixes” and “security enhancements”. Of course, as always the Nexus devices got the taste of the new update first hand as the factory images were made available for the public.

If you’re a Nexus device owner and want to flash in the new Android 4.4.3 onto your device with ease without having to wipe any of your data, just follow our simple guide below to get started.

Disclaimer: We take no responsibility for any damages that might be done to your device either during or after the process. So proceed at your own risk.

Prerequisites: You will require some computer know how as to how to open files in a text editor such as a notepad etc. This isn’t really Computer 101 here people. Oh and you will also require a file that is able to extract .tar and .gz files. We suggest that you try 7zip.

Guide:

  • Download the full factory image for your device from here
  • Unpack the downloaded .tar/.gz file into its own directory
  • If you want to keep your data intact: Open the flash-all.bat file (if you’re using Windows) in a text editor such as Notepad or flash-all.sh (if you’re a Mac user) and remove “-w” from the fastboot update command. E.g. if it read fastboot -w update image-razor-jss15j.zip, it should now read fastboot update image-razor-jss15j.zip. The -w command basically instructs the script to do a full data wipe.
  • Now boot into the bootloader of your device either manually or through “adb reboot bootloader” and run the flash-all.bat or flash-all.sh file (depending on your OS).
  • That’s it, you will now have Android Kitkat 4.4.3 installed on your Nexus device. Have fun.
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