How To Root the Samsung Galaxy Nexus (One Click Method) (LTE and GSM Versions)

Thanks to Wugfresh over at XDA, Galaxy Nexus users now have an even easier way to unlock their bootloaders, gain root access, and even flash a custom recovery image all with a neat little program. So, ready to set your Nexus free? Here’s how.

I. Before You Begin

1. This will erase all data on your device so please make sure to back everything up before beginning.

2. This program only works for Windows.

II. Setup Drivers

1. Download the program from the developer’s page and save it to your computer.

Wugfresh Galaxy Nexus Toolkit (download link under Downloads in the first post on that page)

2. Right click the program and select Run as Administrator and wait for it to open.

3. On your device, under Settings > Developer Options turn ON USB debugging.

4. In the program select which device you are using, LTE/Verizon Nexus, or GSM/HSPA+ Nexus.

5. Click on Drivers under Initial Setup and follow the prompts to install the drivers for your device.6. When it tells you to plug in your device, plug in your device via USB cable.

*If it doesn’t install the drivers or freezes, hit Control + Alt + Delete on your computer keyboard, then Task Manager and then click on the Gnex program and close it. After that reopen it and then install the drivers manually, by going to the folder that was created by the Gnex program (C: > Wugs_GnexRootToolkit and clicking on data and then Verizon Galaxy Nexus Drivers at the bottom of the folder.**If it still doesn’t install the drivers, go to our How To Setup ADB procedure and using that and/or PDANet there. Once you see a serial number after clicking on List Devices under Quick Tools in the program, you can continue.

III. Unlock the Bootloader and Root the Device

1. Once drivers are installed, check to make sure your device can be seen by the program by clicking on List Devices under Quick Tools. So long as it shows a serial number you are ready to go to the next step.

2. Now, click Unlock under Unlock + Root and wait for your device to prompt you. When it does, select Yes using the volume buttons and wait for it to reboot.

3. Once, it has unlocked the bootloader, click on Root under Unlock + Root and wait for it to finish.

4. Done, you now have an unlocked bootloader, root access, and a custom recovery image, you can now go on to flashing custom ROMs if you want.

IV. Load a Custom ROM (Optional)

1. Head to our How To Flash a Custom ROM on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus procedure.

Thanks to Wugfresh for creating this awesome program! If you feel this program has helped you please thank and/or donate to him here!

Reported Issues:

Issue: Can’t get Fastboot drivers to install.

Solution: Plug in your device while in Fastboot mode (turn off, hold down volume up, volume down, and power at the same time until it boots into fastboot). Then go to your computer’s Device Manager in Control Panel. Look for an Android device in there with an exclamation point on it. Double click that and then select Browse Computer for drivers, then select Choose from List and scroll down and fine Samsung Android driver and select that. Keep hitting OK until the drivers install.

Issue: ROM Manager says I don’t have root.

Solution: Download the Nexus Tool kit and run it. Choose your device then put your device into fastboot mode (turn off, hold down volume up, volume down, and power at the same time until it boots into fastboot) then plug it in and select Root Your Phone option. Wait for it to finish. Once done, select Flash Custom Recovery then select to flash Clockworkmod. Now, reboot to recovery via the fastboot screen using the volume buttons and power to select and you should be presented with Clockworkmod touch recovery. Now, select install zip from sd card and select the su.zip file that should be on your device from the original rooting procedure. Once done, reboot the device.

  • Agenereux5

    hey guys, im all new to this. and realy want my device rooted.
    was just wonderring does windows xp work for this? and can i break my device by doing this?

  • Anonymous

    Should work fine on XP. There is always the chance of messing up your phone but per Wug, there is a way to restore even if you do mess something up: 

    Then whenever you need to go back to square one just use the “Flash stock + Unroot” and “OEM lock” features.Remember that this option can also be used if you completely brick.This should bring you back to a fully locked stock factory state.

  • Joey_W

    Hi i got my wife the Samsung Galaxy Nexus for my wifes birthday.  Its got the 4g LTE.  She loves the phone but our service here is horrible…………..My question is, is it possible to flash this phone over to straight talk, or if not straight talk then are there any other prepaid services that it would be possible to do it to?  Also is there somewhere that you know of that has the information on how to do it.  I really need your help.  The phone gets shut off on monday.  If the process is difficult i would be more than happy to make a donation for your effort.  If you need it, our email is:  jazznjoeywebb@yahoo. Thank you so much.!!-Joey

  • Alain Lafond

    Hi,
    the procedure seem very easy, and is a lot different of the one I used to unlock my Nexus One.
    But now as my Galaxy Nexus ir NEW (less than 1 week).
    Is there a way to go back to locked and root, in the case of a hardware malfunction, as for I will the warranty.
    Or should I say ciao to warranty.
    Thanks

  • Ryan Johnson

    Just to clarify, this method applies to the current update of ICS, correct?

  • Jack

    I am getting the Google Galaxy Nexus unlocked HSPA+ GSM phone from Google. My question is will the one click method for rooting be appropriate for this phone since it comes unlocked from Google? Are there any other considerations I need to make for an unlocked version, besides rooting before installing an backup or clockwork software or new roms?

    • Noriega713

      Not sure…i can get the phone Unlocked but i cant seem to flash rom manager (or super user for that matter)… I got mine from Google also.

  • bvi8370

    This method worked for unlocking, but the su.zip didn’t give root access for 4.04. I downloaded the su.zip from here: http://www.droid-life.com/2012/02/06/how-to-root-android-4-0-4-on-the-galaxy-nexus/ and replaced the older one in the wug directory; reran root – voila root!

    • Steve

      thanks, I’ll try that. I also got mine from google. I ran Wugs toolkit and all seemed well except no wipe occured and no root. I noticed in fastboot that I was unlocked but not sure if that was how it came.

  • sammy

    why i download the toolkit and try to install by running as administrator is just says cannot create GnexRootToolkit.v1.3.exe

    what is wrong? and what should i do?

  • afraaa

    in the movie u checked boot temporary , and in site u have picture that checked permanent , which one should be done ?

    i have unlocked my phone accidentially using odin method(isntalling 4.0.4) and after install that i have my phone unlocked .

    i installed driver and then first time it copies su.zip on my phone its done successfully and my phone booting on fastboot , but then in next level (that my phone is on fast boot ) it doesnt show my device serial number and can proceed ./

    is it because i didnt unlocked it by this toolkit , or there is universal unlock for galaxy nexus ! appreciate if u help

    • afraaa

      it doesnt show my device serial number and can NOT proceed *

  • matt

    so i wasnt paying attention and forgot to unplug my phone when installing drivers now it wont work at the fastboot start… how do i erase all the drivers and start fresh ive tried device manager and usbdveiw and eraased all of the ones that resemble anything to do with the phone but it still says my drivers are messed up

  • Purian23

    Thank you very much!! Perfect Tutorial on my Verizon Nexus!!!

  • shasha

    Will this work for the Sprint Nexus too??

  • shihab

    i try it all and download rom manager press Flash Clockworkmod recovery but my device is not rooted :( because room manager give me an error :(

    • http://theunlockr.com David Cogen

      Start over and try again.

  • Ed Scott

    Between 1:50 and 1:55 the radio button changes from a GSM phone to a LTE phone and there is an obvious change in the video where the dialog box moves. Although you said you had a GSM phone. Just wondering why?

    • http://theunlockr.com David Cogen

      No reason, just forgot to check off the GSM one when I started filming that section then had to change it before starting the process.

  • thenbt

    going through the steps and i get stuck at unlisted fastboot device but when i click on list devices my nexus comes up, any way of fixing it?

    • http://theunlockr.com David Cogen

      Added how to get fastboot drivers to work at the end of the procedure under Reported Issues. Hope that helps!

  • omar

    hello , i’m planning to root my device. I’m just wondering if this will still work on any sprint updates?
    Thank you.

  • Baumwolle

    Does this work on jelly bean 4.1?
    I forgot to flash the superuser fix ^^

  • TJ Donnell

    I have a problem. My phone is not set up in USB debugging mode after I did a wipe and install of TOROs JB earlier. Now I’m stuck on the ‘Google’ screen with the ‘unlocked’ lock icon below it. I can get into recovery mode but none of the current zip files I have on my device are working when I try to install them. I’m hoping this is a soft brick. Have post this on XDA as well. Thanks for any help you can offer.