How to install Android 4.4 KitKat on Nexus 4?

Marius Mailat

Google just launched the proprietary binaries and factory images for the Nexus 4, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10 on These are great news for custom ROM developers but also for the ones waiting for the OTA updates. The bellow steps will help you install manually the Android 4.4 KitKat KRT160 on Nexus 4. The same method can be used for the install on Nexus 5, Nexus 7 or Nexus 10.

Observations before start:

  • You need a copy of Android SDK installed, download and installation instruction can be retrieve from official website.
  • Go into the Menu -> Settings -> About screen and tapp “Build number” for 8 times and the system will reveal the Developer options menu. Go to Menu -> Developer options and activate the option “USB debugging”.
  • You need also a MicroUSB cable to have a connection between the Nexus 4 phone and computer.
  • If your bootloader is locked, your data will be wiped. It is a good idea to back what you want manually.

Unlock the bootloader

  • In the Android SDK launch the command: adb reboot bootloader .
  • Once the phone is restarted type in command line fastboot oem unlock. Select Yes on device using Volume Up and then Power.

Flash the Nexus 4 image of Android 4.4 KitKat

  • Download the right image from, for the Nexus 4 the image is located here (447 Mb). The archive includes the full system, bootloader, recovery, kernel (boot.img), and radio (radio not included for Wi-Fi-only variants).
  • Unpack the tgz (tar/gz) archive into a directory. Go in command prompt only and cd to the new directory.
  • If your bootloader is already unlocked, you have the option of skipping the data wipe during the factory image flashing procedure. This is done by removing the -w parameter in the file or flash-all.bat ( depending on your OS version ).
  • Run from command line the on Linux or flash-all.bat on the Windows.
  • If you want to use the new Google Experience from Nexus 5, download and install the APK from here.
  • Enjoy.
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