How to Install Android N Preview on Nexus 6P/5X/6/9!

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For those of you who want to try out the latest Android N Preview, here’s how to do it easily.  This will work on all Nexus devices but as of today, Android N Preview is only available for Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6, and Nexus 9.

Before we begin, please BACKUP EVERYTHING as you may lose all your data when installing the firmware!!!

Also, you will need a rooted Nexus device with unlocked bootloader, so please don’t try this unless you have already rooted your Nexus device!

Step 1. Power off your phone or tablet then hold down Volume Down and Power buttons for about 5 seconds until  you enter the fastboot mode.

 

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Step 2. Once in fastboot mode, connect a USB cable from your Nexus device to your computer.

 

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Step 3. Download the latest Android N Preview for your Nexus device here.  Also, if you want to ever go back to regular Android Marshmallow, download the factory firmware for Marshmallow here. (You can use this guide to also go back to regular Marshmallow, instructions are exactly same for both Android N Preview and regular factory firmwares.)

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Step 4. Also download “usb_driver.zip” and “fastboot.zip” then unzip both files into “usb_driver” and “fastboot” folder like shown below:

Download:

Download usb_driver.zip

Download fastboot.zip

*Note – You don’t need drivers for Mac or Linux, so just download “fastboot.zip” only.

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Step 5. If using Windows, you will also need to install Android ADB drivers.  Go into “Device Manager” and install the drivers, you should see “Android ADB Interface”.

If you don’t know how to install the drivers, please see the video tutorial.

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Step 6. You will have to uncompress the firmware file so go ahead and unzip the firmware file until you get a folder with a bunch of files.

For Windows, you can use 7zip to uncompress.

For my particular Android N Preview firmware for Nexus 6P, I uncompressed the .tgz file:

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I got a new .tar file so I have to uncompress the .tar file to get to the actual firmware files:

 

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Step 7. Once factory firmware has been uncompressed down to the folder level, go into the folder and copy the 3 firmware files, one starting with “bootloader”, “image”, and “radio” into your fastboot folder.

These are bootloader, firmware, and radio files you will need to flash, respectively.

 

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You should see the 3 files copied into your fastboot folder like shown below:

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Step 8. Open up a command prompt or terminal and type:

For Windows:

cd Downloads
cd fastboot
fastboot flash bootloader bootloader-xxx
fastboot reboot-bootloader

*Note – Replace “bootloader-xxx” with the actual filename of your bootloader file.

For Mac OSX:

cd Downloads
cd fastboot
chmod 755 *
./fastboot-mac flash bootloader bootloader-xxx
./fastboot-mac reboot-bootloader

*Note – Replace “bootloader-xxx” with the actual filename of your bootloader file.

For Linux/Ubuntu:

cd Downloads
cd fastboot
sudo chmod 755 *
sudo ./fastboot-linux flash bootloader bootloader-xxx
sudo ./fastboot-linux reboot-bootloader
*Note – Replace “bootloader-xxx” with the actual filename of your bootloader file.
*Note – Replace “bootloader-xxx” with the actual filename of your bootloader file.

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Step 9. Next, we are going to flash the radio, type:

For Windows:

fastboot flash radio radio-xxx
fastboot reboot-bootloader

*Note – Replace “radio-xxx” with the actual filename of your radio file.

For Mac OSX:

./fastboot-mac flash radio radio-xxx
./fastboot-mac reboot-bootloader

*Note – Replace “radio-xxx” with the actual filename of your radio file.

For Linux/Ubuntu:

sudo ./fastboot-linux flash radio radio-xxx
sudo ./fastboot-linux reboot-bootloader

*Note – Replace “radio-xxx” with the actual filename of your radio file.

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Step 10. Next, we will flash the actual firmware files, type:

For Windows:

fastboot -w update image-xxx

For Mac OSX:

./fastboot-mac -w update image-xxx

For Linux/Ubuntu:

sudo ./fastboot-linux -w update image-xxx

*Note – Replace “image-xxx” with the actual filename of your image file.

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Step 11. Reboot your phone/tablet, you should boot into new Android N Preview.  If your device doesn’t boot in 10 minutes, you may need to do a factory reset.

To do this, hold down Volume Down and Power buttons together for about 15 seconds until your device reboots and goes back into fastboot mode like shown below:

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Step 12. Choose “Recovery mode” using the Volume keys then hit the Power button to enter stock recovery.

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Step 13. Choose “Wipe data/factory reset” and hit the Power button.

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Step 14. Reboot!

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Step 15. You should now finally have booted successfully into Android N Preview!  Congratulations!

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Q&A

If you end up in a bootloop even after factory reset OR if you updated OTA and end up in a bootloop, try this.

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Max Lee

Max Lee is the founder of HighOnAndroid.com. Max makes Android tutorials and review videos for people who want to get high on Android over at his YouTube channel and Korean YouTube channel.