Hot topics

How to root the Nexus 5 on Android Marshmallow

AndroidPIT Nexus 5 TWRP flashing
© nextpit

If you've updated your Nexus 5 to Android 6.0 Marshmallow and want to root it, we have the tutorial for you below. The tutorial is for a Nexus running Android 6.0 and will work for any of the most recent builds (regardless of the monthly security patch number). We're rooting a Nexus 5 on build number MRA58N, and we'll also be installing a custom recovery to do it.


There are a few things you need before we get started: an unlocked bootloader, USB Debugging enabled and ADB Tools installed on your computer. Please note that unlocking the bootloader will wipe your device, so please back up your data first.

androidpit nexus5 problems 1
Marshmallow gets even better with root. / © ANDROIDPIT

How to install a custom recovery on the Nexus 5

Because we're not rooted at this point, we'll need to flash a custom recovery without root. The steps below will take you through installing a custom recovery, flashing a rootable kernel (I'll be using ElementalX but there are others you can substitute) and then rooting your Nexus 5 with SuperSU installed.

1. On your computer, download TWRP for the Nexus 5.

2. Rename the file you just downloaded to recovery.img (if your computer doesn't show the .img extension just rename the file to recovery) and move it to the ADB Tools folder where the ADB and Fastboot files are located.

3. Grab your Nexus 5 and reboot to the bootloader. To do this turn it off, then press and hold Power and Volume Down until you see the menu with Start written in green. This is Fastboot mode, also known as the bootloader.

4. Connect your Nexus 5 to your computer with a USB cable.

samrtphone usb laptop
It's so nice to be able to connect a Nexus wth a regular USB cable... / © ANDROIDPIT

5. If you followed the tutorial above, you should have an unlocked bootloader at this stage. If you don't, you can do it now, but be reminded that the process wipes your device, so again, make sure you have a backup of your data. If your bootloader is already unlocked, skip the next two steps and continue with flashing TWRP (step 8).

6. To unlock the bootloader, navigate to the ADB Tools folder on your computer, hold the Shift button and right-click the mouse, and select Open command window here. Type: adb devices to ensure your Nexus 5 is recognized. If it isn't, make sure you have the correct drivers installed on your computer and try again.

AndroidPIT ADB devices Nexus 5x
This is the command window. / © ANDROIDPIT

7. In the command window, type: fastboot oem unlock

8. Now we can flash a custom recovery (TWRP) via Fastboot. In the command window, type: fastboot flash recovery recovery.img

9. Disconnect the USB cable once the recovery file has finished writing.

10. On your Nexus 5, use the volume buttons to highlight recovery and press the Power button to select it.

11. On the TWRP screen, swipe the slider to the right to make TWRP your default recovery.

12. In TWRP, tap Reboot > System but do not let TWRP try to root your phone.

AndroidPIT Nexus5 Custom Recovery
You can download CWM recovery instead if you don't like TWRP. / © ANDROIDPIT

How to root the Nexus 5 on Marshmallow

Now you can download a rootable kernel and SuperSU for your Nexus 5, which you can now flash through custom recovery on your phone. As mentioned above, I'm flashing ElementalX kernel but you can substitute another if you wish.

1. On your Nexus 5, download ElementalX kernel and SuperSU 2.52.

2. Once you've downloaded both files, reboot your Nexus 5 to the bootloader again (turn it off, press and hold Volume Down and Power).

3. Now, use the volume buttons to highlight recovery and press Power to enter TWRP.

4. Tap Install and navigate to the kernel you downloaded (unless you moved it, it should be in your Downloads folder).

AndroidPIT Nexus 5 TWRP downloads
Your files should be in the Downloads folder. / © ANDROIDPIT

5. Tap the kernel file and slide the slider to flash it.

6. Once the kernel has been flashed, tap the home button.

7. Tap Install and navigate to the SuperSU file (which should also be in your Downloads folder).

8. Tap the SuperSU file and slide the slider to flash it.

AndroidPIT Nexus 5 TWRP reboot system
Once you've flashed both the kernel and SuperSU you can reboot your Nexus 5. / © ANDROIDPIT

9. Once it has completed, tap the Reboot System button.

10. Once your Nexus 5 has rebooted, go to the Play Store and install Root Checker to verify you now have root. When you get a green pass message, you're done (just be sure to grant Root Checker's superuser request when you launch the app).

What's the first thing you're going to do with a rooted Nexus 5?

  nextpit recommendation Price tip Luxury version with handle Price tip with handle For Garmin fans Mid-range tip
Image Withings Body Smart Product Image Renpho Smart Body Fat Scale Product Image Withings Body Scan Product Image Lepulse Lescale P1 Product Image Garmin Index S2 Smart Scale Product Image eufy Smart Scale P3 Product Image
Go to comment (19)
Kris Carlon

Kris Carlon
Senior Editor

Kris is a former AndroidPIT Editor who came to the team via a lengthy period spent traveling and relying on technology to keep him in touch with the outside world. He can usually be found juggling three phones at once and poring over G+ posts, Reddit and RSS feeds.

To the author profile
Liked this article? Share now!
Recommended articles
Latest articles
Push notification Next article
Write new comment:
All changes will be saved. No drafts are saved when editing
Write new comment:
All changes will be saved. No drafts are saved when editing

  • 1
    Sam Charles Feb 25, 2017 Link to comment

    [RESOLVED] Stuck in a bootloop pls help!

    I tried a bunch of different methods to root my nexus 5, but I was unable to reach the final steps until these instructions. I did everything here, but with updated twrp, kernel, and SuperSU. Now I am stuck in a bootloop and I dont know what to do. Please help


    Solution: flash back to latest stock

  • 1
    Rob D Feb 8, 2017 Link to comment

    This works for me on 6.0.1, using the files described, however the USB no longer gets recognised after the elementalx kernel gets installed. I saw another post on upgraded files being used, but this also didnt work. The updated files I used are:
    - twrp-3.0.3-0-hammerhead.img
    - ElementalX-N5-6.27
    - SuperSU-v2.79-201612051815

    Any pointers? The wifi functionality appears to be broken using the new files, not sure, no networks are showing up now... :(

    • 1
      Rob D Feb 26, 2017 Link to comment

      So I got this working. I started again using a factory reset, then did the exact procedure but omitting the ElementalX step. Everything (inc USB, wifi etc) appears to be working fine now.

  • nugendar 1
    nugendar Dec 9, 2016 Link to comment

    followed everything on the list. surprise surprise! it doesn't work. avoid this instruction.

    • 1
      Sebastian Dec 12, 2016 Link to comment

      I'm pretty sure it is because of the old kernel for 6.0.0. If you have 6.0.1 then download the new kernel: [KERNEL] [Dec 7] ElementalX 6.27 (Marshmallow) on XDA
      Also, there is a new version of TWRP: twrp-3.0.2-0-hammerhead.img
      And SuperSU: [STABLE][2016.09.01] SuperSU v2.78 on XDA

  • Satish Kumar 1
    Satish Kumar Nov 13, 2016 Link to comment

    Its not working.

  • Dylan Cliff 1
    Dylan Cliff Aug 12, 2016 Link to comment

    Flashing the recovery on the device essentially doesn't work. Recovery is not an available tool on the adb tools bootloader. So whenever i try to apply get it to install the new recovery img it just gives me a list of commands and doesn't do anything.

  • Oscar Aguirre 1
    Oscar Aguirre Jul 17, 2016 Link to comment

    Please help my phone isnt loading android and i cant download kernel and/or su in the phone

    • David Turchak 1
      David Turchak Aug 2, 2016 Link to comment

      Same with me. Did you able finally to finish process?

  • 1
    Bilal Yaqoob Apr 13, 2016 Link to comment

    The first thing ill do is HIBERNATE GOOGLE APPS which are always running ever when your phone is off

  • Gabriel Romo 1
    Gabriel Romo Feb 7, 2016 Link to comment

    Muchas gracias al equipo androidpit, trabaja de maravilla, Excelente trabajo.
    thanks to androidpit team, works grat, good job

  • 2
    embedsol Jan 11, 2016 Link to comment

    works great !

    Omar Hamwi

  • 1
    Roman Turzák Dec 8, 2015 Link to comment

    Please ... I rooted my mobile with TWRP ... Is it a big problem?

    • 1
      Roman Turzák Dec 8, 2015 Link to comment

      Now it is loading screen all the time ...

  • 1
    Amin Behizad Dec 7, 2015 Link to comment

    Thank you so much for this tutorial!!!!!!!

  • 4
    lookgod88 Nov 27, 2015 Link to comment

    Will I still get OTA update notification after root?

  • 2
    Ronnie Dunn Nov 26, 2015 Link to comment

    You don't have to Miss Carli...but by rooting your phone (if your not hip to it) it allows you to not only customize it like you've never known,but you can also download certain REALLY COOL apps that you couldn't download unless your phone was rooted! Those are just a couple if you'd like to learn more...GOOGLE IT GIRL!!

  • Carlos Monroy 1
    Carlos Monroy Nov 26, 2015 Link to comment

    It works! :)

  • 2
    Marco Antônio Nov 24, 2015 Link to comment

    Any news about root Moto X 2014 on Marshmallow?

Write new comment:
All changes will be saved. No drafts are saved when editing