If you’ve ever thought about rooting your Nexus 5X, here’s the easiest way. Utilizing a toolkit from developer WugFresh (that coupled with the fact that Google has a pretty lax attitude about you rooting their phones), it’s pretty painless.
In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to root the Nexus 5X by unlocking the bootloader, then flashing a custom recovery and gaining root access by flashing SuperSU from that recovery all while using his toolkit.
If you aren’t familiar with rooting, it’s the process of gaining full administrative rights on an Android device (think Jailbreaking for iOS but for Android). After doing so we can remove bloatware, change the OS to different versions using custom ROMs we can flash, and more.
If any of that sounds appealing to you, here’s how to get started:
I. Before You Begin
This will only work on Windows as it requires a toolkit to make it a lot easier that requires Windows.
This will wipe your device so please back it up before beginning.
II. Download & Install the Toolkit
- Head to the toolkit developer’s site here and download the latest version of the toolkit and save it to your desktop (donate to him if, after all of this, you find this toolkit helpful).
- Right-click the exe that you just downloaded and select Run As Administrator and install it.
- When it opens select your model and build number and click Apply (you can find this info in the Settings > About section of your device).
III. Enable USB Debugging
- On the phone, head to Settings > About and then continuously tap on Build Number until it says you are a developer.
- Tap Back then tap the new Developer Options menu that appeared and scroll down to USB Debugging and enable that, then enable OEM Unlock as well.
- Plug the Nexus in via the USB cable to your computer (for this phone, since it didn’t come with one, you will most likely need to buy a USB C to USB Male adapter in order to connect it to your computer. You can get one of those for around $9.99 here if you need it).
- A dialog should pop up on your phone at this point saying “Allow USB Debugging?”. When it does check Always Allow and tap OK.
If that dialog didn’t pop up, head to my How To Setup ADB tutorial and follow those instructions to get the drivers working, then return here when that’s done to continue.
After that, the toolkit will tell you need to download some files, click “Download + Update All File Dependencies” and wait for that.
IV. Unlock the Nexus 5X Bootloader
- Click the Unlock button in the toolkit under the Unlock Bootloader section.
- The phone will reboot into bootloader mode and have a dialog on it asking you to confirm you want to unlock the bootloader. Using the volume buttons to navigate and the power button to select, choose Yes.
- When the device reboots, go through the normal setup process until you get to the home screen.
- After that, you will need to reenable USB Debugging, so repeat Section III above and then continue from here after it is enabled again.
You might need to unplug the phone and plug it back in after you enable ADB Debugging this time to get the RSA Key dialog to pop up again.
V. Root the Nexus 5X
- In the toolkit, check Custom Recovery under the Root section, then click the Root button.
- When it tells you to, look at the phone and you can Swipe to Allow Modifications.
- Tap Install.
- Tap Ready to Flash.
- Tap Root Files.
- Tap perm-recovery-signed.zip then tap Add More Zips.
- Tap the SuperSU zip file then tap Add More Zips.
- Tap busybox-signed.zip and then Swipe to Confirm Flash and wait for it to flash those three files.
- Tap Wipe Cache/Dalvik then Swipe to Confirm.
- Tap Reboot System.
That’s it. You should have SuperSU now in your app drawer, you’re rooted and have a custom recovery. Next, I’d recommend heading to my ROM repository to check out some custom ROMs to flash on the phone should that tickle your fancy.
If you need to undo all of this, head to my how to unroot the Nexus 5X tutorial.
Let me know how it went for you!