We are reader supported. External links may earn us a commission.


How to Root Your Galaxy Nexus Without Unlocking the Bootloader (Video)

By Joe Levi October 10, 2012, 2:43 pm

Root is one of those Android Power User things lets you do all kinds of cool things. Unfortunately it usually involves unlocking the bootloader and installing an SU hack. This can mean wiping your device in the process. If you've got a Galaxy Nexus, some attention to detail, and are willing to take the risk, you can root your smartphone without OEM unlocking it (and wiping it in the process).

This comes to us from Efrant, Bin4ry, and some other talented folks at XDA Developers.


  1. Assume the risk that this could break things

  2. Download the files from the XDA article to your computer and unzip them

  3. Open a command prompt with administrative privileges in that same directory

  4. Copy the root files to your device:

    adb push su /data/local/tmp/su adb push Superuser.apk /data/local/tmp/Superuser.apk
  5. Restore the fake "backup".

    Note: do not click restore on your device. Just enter the command into the command prompt on your PC and press the enter key.

    adb restore fakebackup.ab

  6. Run the "exploit"

    adb shell "while ! ln -s /data/local.prop /data/data/com.android.settings/a/file99; do :; done"

  7. Now that the "exploit" is running, click restore on your device.

  8. Once it finishes, reboot your device. Note: Don't use your phone yet, this exploit reboots your phone into emulator mode which will be laggy with a flickering screen (or no display at all). This is normal.

    adb reboot

  9. Once rebooted, open a shell

    adb shell

    Check: Once you do step 8, your should have a root shell (your prompt should be #, not $). If it's not #, start again from step 4.

  10. Mount the system partition as r/w

    mount -o remount,rw -t ext4 /dev/block/mmcblk0p1 /system

  11. Copy su to /system

    cat /data/local/tmp/su > /system/bin/su

  12. Change permissions on su

    chmod 06755 /system/bin/su

  13. Symlink su to /xbin/su

    ln -s /system/bin/su /system/xbin/su

  14. Copy Superuser.apk to /system

    cat /data/local/tmp/Superuser.apk > /system/app/Superuser.apk

  15. Change permissions on Superuser.apk

    chmod 0644 /system/app/Superuser.apk

  16. Remove the file that the exploit created

    rm /data/local.prop

  17. Exit the ADB shell ( You may have to type exit twice to get back to your command prompt.)


  18. Type the following

    adb shell "sync; sync; sync;"

  19. Reboot

    adb reboot

  20. Fire up your Terminal Emulator and type "su" to see if you're asked to allow superuser permissions. If you are, you're all done!

    Note: If you still do not have root access after doing these steps, redo them and add this step between 10 and 11:

  21. Change the owner of su

    chown 0.0 /system/bin/su


(Note: in this video I messed up somewhere with one of the Superuser.apk steps. I used adb to re-push it, then picked up at step 13 again. This was cut from the video for clarity and time, but if you have a good eye and see my mistake, that's what happened, and how I corrected it.)

Source: XDA



Latest Articles


Here's how the Apple iPod changed the world in 21 years

iPod was an industry-changing device at its time, and it had a massive impact on modern smartphones, and the way we listen to music. We take a last look at the now-discontinued Apple iPod and the history it leaves behind.

By Roland Udvarlaki May 11, 2022, 10:00 am

How to use Mic Modes in VOIP and FaceTime Calls

This guide will go over the steps you need to follow to activate one of the available Mic Mode settings on Apple Devices to begin using the feature and improve your calling experience.

By Aryan Suren May 10, 2022, 10:00 am

This iPhone 14 feature might urge users to upgrade

Until now, it appeared that iPhone 14 would only be a minor upgrade over the iPhone 13 series. However, a new leak suggests that the iPhone 14 will come with one feature that might urge users to upgrade.

By Sanuj Bhatia May 9, 2022, 5:00 am