How To: Root the Nook Color (AutoNooter Method)

I. Before You Begin – IMPORTANT!

1. You MUST have an external SD card reader, do NOT use the NOOKColor instead.

2. You must have a Gmail account and a YouTube account that is linked to that Gmail account (furthermore, if you used the gmail email to create your Barnes & Noble account, it must be the same Gmail that is linked to the YouTube account as well).

3. You MUST be on firmware version 1.0.1 or 1.1.0 (1.0.0 will not work). Check your firmware version by clicking on the Arrow button then Settings then Device Info then About Your NOOKColor and you’ll see software version. If it says 1.0.1 or 1.1.0 you can continue, just use the appropriate file for your firmware version

Thanks to GabrialDestruir for all his awesome work on creating the AutoNooter program. Please donate to him or just let him know if you appreciate his work!
Here is his original post on the Autonooter app!

Thanks to GMPower for AutoNooter 3.0.0. Please donate to him or just let him know if you appreciate his work!
Here is his original post on the Autonooter app!

II. Root the Nook Using AutoNooter

1. Download the AutoNooter file for your software version -

1.0.1AutoNooter 2.12.25

1.1.1AutoNooter 3.0.0

2. Unzip/Extract it somewhere on your computer.

3. Download WinImage (the program we will use to write the img file to the sd card) from here.

4. Take your MicroSD card and put it into an external sd card reader then plug that into your computer.

5. Open WinImage and select Disk > Restore Virtual Hard Disk Image on Physical Drive and select the SD Card/SD Card Reader and then select the AutoNooter .img file that we unzipped earlier and wait for it to finish.

6. Turn off the Nook Color.

7. Once it is off, take out the MicroSD card and put it into the NOOKColor, don’t turn on the NOOKColor.

8. Plug the NOOKColor into the computer via the USB cable (this will cause it to boot up).

9. Wait and your NOOKColor will reboot when it is finished.

III. Setup the NOOKColor

1. Once it boots up, follow the prompts BUT select Skip for Sign In.

2. After you do that, select Enable Location Services and then continue.

3. Once at the home screen, connect to WiFi and then launch YouTube from the Extras tab.

4. Click Menu (the button to the right of the Up Arrow) then select My Channel and login with your GMail account (see the Before You Begin for more details).

5. Exit YouTube and go to GMail in the Extras tab.

6. Sign in to GMail and sync your Google account (again using the same GMail that you used for YouTube) then exit (it’s ok if it failed to sync).

7. Now open the Market and accept the terms and conditions. If that works, download an app and see if it works.

IV. Reformat the SD Card Back to Normal

1. On the NOOKColor, go to Settings then Device Info then SD Card then click Unmount and then Format. Once it is done, it will remount the SD card and you will be good to go!

V. (Optional) Load a Custom Recovery Image and/or Custom ROM

1. After you have finished this procedure, head over to our How To: Load a Custom ROM on the Nook Color procedure to flash a custom recovery image and then learn how to flash ROMs.

If this procedure helped you, please consider donating to the original developer or at least sending them a thank you.

Now that you are rooted, head here to learn some of the fun things you can do!

For all the devices we have rooting procedures for, head here.


Something Wrong? If you notice an issue with the procedure (broken link, steps out of date, etc.), use this form to let us know! Otherwise, if you just are having trouble with the procedure, reach out to us on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+.

  • Puddynose

    I rooted my NC using your instructions with no problems. After a while, had trouble connecting to Wi-Fi so I decided to go back to stock, again using your instructions. Everything went fine until the end when it rebooted back into Clockwork RecoveryMod. I turned the NC off, restarted and it was back to stock.
    Now I want to re-root but when I put the auto-nooter sd into the nook and plug in the cable, it loads Clockwork.
    What now?

    • http://twitter.com/lishevita Lisha Sterling

      Sounds like you are still rooted to me.

  • Njdolfan65

    does rooting affect reading books on the nook?

    • http://twitter.com/lishevita Lisha Sterling

      Not if you keep the stock operating system. Root so that you have additional control, but don’t flash it with Honeycomb or another custom ROM.

  • XwshfulthinkgX

    I did everything as the video displayed and I plugged in the SD card then plugged in the nook and it won’t go past the black screen with the silver N on it. I left it plugged in for 45 minutes what do I do?! Please help

  • John Villar

    Help. I have NOT been seccessful in rooting my Nook. The Nook is running firmware 1.1.0 and I used AutoNooker 3.0.0. I have a new 4GB Class 6 Micro SD Card with external reader. I have gone through all the rooting steps 4 times (downloading AutoNooker, using WinImage to transfer image to SD Card). Howerever, when I connect the Nook ( turned off and with SD card) back to the computer, it comes on running the Nook firmware. I can leave it connected for 6 hours and it does not reboot. I noticed that the file size of auto-nooker 3.0.0 downloaded on the computer is 124,672 KB but the 4 files on the SD Card only total 7,790 KB. Could this be the problem and if so what is the cause??

  • John Villar

    Help. I have NOT been seccessful in rooting my Nook. The Nook is running firmware 1.1.0 and I used AutoNooker 3.0.0. I have a new 4GB Class 6 Micro SD Card with external reader. I have gone through all the rooting steps 4 times (downloading AutoNooker, using WinImage to transfer image to SD Card). Howerever, when I connect the Nook ( turned off and with SD card) back to the computer, it comes on running the Nook firmware. I can leave it connected for 6 hours and it does not reboot. I noticed that the file size of auto-nooker 3.0.0 downloaded on the computer is 124,672 KB but the 4 files on the SD Card only total 7,790 KB. Could this be the problem and if so what is the cause??

  • John Villar

    Help. I have NOT been seccessful in rooting my Nook. The Nook is running firmware 1.1.0 and I used AutoNooker 3.0.0. I have a new 4GB Class 6 Micro SD Card with external reader. I have gone through all the rooting steps 4 times (downloading AutoNooker, using WinImage to transfer image to SD Card). Howerever, when I connect the Nook ( turned off and with SD card) back to the computer, it comes on running the Nook firmware. I can leave it connected for 6 hours and it does not reboot. I noticed that the file size of auto-nooker 3.0.0 downloaded on the computer is 124,672 KB but the 4 files on the SD Card only total 7,790 KB. Could this be the problem and if so what is the cause??

    • Hswahra

      I am having a same problem. I did everything as specified in the video. It does not restart and see the SD card

    • Hswahra

      I am having a same problem. I did everything as specified in the video. It does not restart and see the SD card

    • http://profiles.google.com/zugesindcool Steven Harrell

      I have the exact same problem, word-for-word.

      I write the AutoNooker 3.0.0.img to my SD card with WinImage. After that, I have 4 files on my SD card.

      I Turn off the NC, pop in the card, plug in to my computer… and the NC reboots to firmware.

      I suspect that my problem is that WinImage doesn’t list my SD card when I want to restore VHD from physical drive. I have to select “Use Removable Disk D:” (my SD drive) in the “disk” menu, and then select “Write disk”. That results in the 4 files on my SD card (MLO, u-boot, uImage and uRamdisk). After rebooting, the NC just adds three file folders which, I suspect, it would do on any SD drive.

      Unless someone on this forum knows otherwise (i.e. they know whether I need to do more than simply “write disk” in WinImage), I think I’ll have to retry with a different computer that will do the whole “restore virtual hard drive from physical drive” thing.

      • http://profiles.google.com/zugesindcool Steven Harrell

        I got this to work on someone else’s computer. BTW… you can’t just write (even though it looks exactly the same on the SD card), you have to restore virtual hard drive from physical drive.

        • Kdeva

          I am stuck at the winImage “Restore Virtual Hard disk Image” step. The winImage85 does not show my uSD (I am using the uSD in a USB adaptor). Any idea what is wrong?

          • Janet

            I had the same issue until I used the first WinImage on the list like he did in the video. Then it saw my SD.

  • Prj44

    This is a very nicely done tutorial and a tidy bit of software. Thank you. But there is sustaining problem involving battery useage where Android is ‘monitoring the phone’ and using up energy uselessly. There are some indications of how to fix this, but they are most unhelpful when it comes to detail.
    Some attention to detail that matches the original work done in preparing this rooting would likely end the problem. I only know enough to recognize there is a problem and the earlier postings are not very helpful.
    Some help would be most welcome.

  • Luis

    So I was able to successfully root the nook color. The only problem I have is with battery life. It keeps saying that the device is trying to connect to a cellular network. It tells me to switch to airplane mode. I’ve been looking for an application that will allow me to do this but have not been able to find one. I realize there are others with the same problem. Would you kindly provide step by step instructions for a fix? thanks.

  • Luis

    So I was able to successfully root the nook color. The only problem I have is with battery life. It keeps saying that the device is trying to connect to a cellular network. It tells me to switch to airplane mode. I’ve been looking for an application that will allow me to do this but have not been able to find one. I realize there are others with the same problem. Would you kindly provide step by step instructions for a fix? thanks.

  • Bocephus

    Everything worked out fine, with one exception I do not have a softkeys button in the top corner. I have been able to do everything but I cannot exit programs or use anything from the softkeys any suggestions?

  • omar

    this guide works… make sure you have 1.1 software before doing this though. Thanks to david, this website, and all those software developers…. finally, a nook with angry birds.. i tried getting honeycomb and using the clockwork recover to root (good for restoring nook), but nothing worked until i used this guide….

  • Rbeal

    Does this work for a Pandigital reader?

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  • Hswahra

    I have same problem like John Villar had 6 days ago. I did everything as described in the video after plugging the cable, Nook screen automatically turns on and it say USB mode. SD card icon flashes few times but no rooting even if I remove the cable…
    PLEASE HELP….

  • Hswahra

    I have same problem like John Villar had 6 days ago. I did everything as described in the video after plugging the cable, Nook screen automatically turns on and it say USB mode. SD card icon flashes few times but no rooting even if I remove the cable…
    PLEASE HELP….

  • Jtlillie

    I have been wating for over an hour for my nook to boot. All I have is the grey N and nothing else. I have firmware 1.1.0 and downladed Autonooker 3.0.0. Should I turn off the machine and start over?

  • Ed Goldberger

    UNCLEAR: I have 1.1.0, does that mean I should use autonooter 2.12.25 or 3.0.0?

    Several people haave asked this question, but I have not seen anyone from unlocker give a definitive response

  • Karen in Colorado

    Hi! I tried to root my Nook Color several weeks ago and had some success – but couldn’t get some apps like Gmail to work properly and was disappointed. I then tried another rooting method that really messed things up. I figured I better restore my NC to stock settings (unroot it) and found this post by Nook Devs to be helpful: http://nookdevs.com/Flash_back_to_clean_stock_ROM. I then searched the web for an EASY and CLEAR way to root my Nook Color. So many directions are not easy or clear and you get half way done and don’t know how to proceed. Your directions above were very clear and easy to follow and I am now in LOVE with my rooted Nook Color. Just downloaded Angry Birds Rio from the Android Market and I’m happy to say that my Gmail works like a charm. Thank you so much for your clear directions.

  • Rainyroo23

    I have rooted my nook color but i cannot download anythign from the market cant get on my books or nothing. Obviously a network error, what have i done wrong?

  • Chik123

    I have the solution to all of your problems….

    DO NOT ROOT THE NOOK COLOR!!!!

    • http://twitter.com/gemmaintl Gemma International

      If BN would open market with real app prices then noone would ever root NC!