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

  1. 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).
  2. Right-click the exe that you just downloaded and select Run As Administrator and install it.
  3. 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

  1. On the phone, head to Settings > About and then continuously tap on Build Number until it says you are a developer.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. 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

  1. Click the Unlock button in the toolkit under the Unlock Bootloader section.
  2. 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.
  3. When the device reboots, go through the normal setup process until you get to the home screen.
  4. 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

  1. In the toolkit, check Custom Recovery under the Root section, then click the Root button.
  2. When it tells you to, look at the phone and you can Swipe to Allow Modifications.
  3. Tap Install.
  4. Tap Ready to Flash.
  5. Tap Root Files.
  6. Tap perm-recovery-signed.zip then tap Add More Zips.
  7. Tap the SuperSU zip file then tap Add More Zips.
  8. Tap busybox-signed.zip and then Swipe to Confirm Flash and wait for it to flash those three files.
  9. Tap Wipe Cache/Dalvik then Swipe to Confirm.
  10. 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!

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  • PotatoMaster

    You must allow oem unlocking in the developer settings for this to work.

    • Correct. As it says in step 2 of Section III above.

  • Arik J

    You’re the kings!! :p
    Works like a charm on Nexus 5X!!!
    Build: MHC19J
    Thanks, you’re amazing!!!

    • Thanks so much! Glad it worked and thanks for reporting that it still works!

  • abbie

    this isnt working. i cant unlock it because it says there is no connectivity . even though i have the usb in and usb debugging enabled and everything.. what do i do? :/

  • Max

    I did not have the perm-recovery-signed.zip file within the root files after following all the steps, supersu and busyboy were there. What does it do and is it a problem?

  • Guest

    me too

    • Do you still have a recovery after? If so then the developer just changed the files in the toolkit but so long as it still works…

  • Neem Sutantio

    Is “ready to flash” folder and the files inside it will automaticly added(in internal storage) when I want to root with the toolkit? Or I must download it by myself? Thanks

    • Toolkit should do it for you 🙂 Just follow the video really.

  • Sheng Rui Li

    HI, I’m stuck, time 4:30, after the implementation, I have no access to the system, what to do ??

    • I don’t understand what you’re saying. You have a custom recovery and are trying to flash SuperSU right now? And getting an error saying no system access? Ot what exactly is happening?

      • Sheng Rui Li

        Thank you very much!!
        I put my nesux device to factory images.( https://developers.google.com/android/nexus/images )
        Already root, and success.
        The current version can have a button to complete the installation, not the same as with video, repeat the installation zip.

  • Daryle Edmond Dakis

    I tried this but got stuck in the Root part where it’s asking me for a decryption password. How do I get past this? Thank you.

    • Ah that makes sense. Glad you got it to work and thanks for reporting back with the solution so others can learn from it.

      • Daryle Edmond Dakis

        Surely. Thanks for posting this guide. All is well now.

      • Daryle Edmond Dakis

        Actually, not all is well. The device is rooted, but I’m not sure TWRP is installed. When I turn off the device then power it on, I get the message “Your device is corrupt. It cannot be trusted.” The phone gets powered on normally after that. What could have gone wrong? These are the differences with your guide and my experience:
        1) No perm-recovery-signed.zip file
        2) After doing “Swipe to Allow Modifications” and I do nothing (basically I was making sure I choose the correct zips which took some time), it reboots automatically then proceeds to do the root process by itself.
        3) So I tried doing it fast. I flashed the SuperSu zip file, busybox-signed zip file, and the quick reboot zip file in that order. Swiped to confirm and they get flashed. But it rebooted afterwards and I had no chance to do the “Wipe Cache/Dalvik then Swipe to Confirm” step.
        4) After that, it still went to the automatic rooting I described in #3.

        What’s happened here?

      • Daryle Edmond Dakis

        Actually, I’m having an warning message when it boots up. It said “Your device is corrupt. It can’t be trusted and may not work properly.” Although it’s already rooted and has TWRP already. What’s going on? These are the differences of your guide to my experience:
        1) The file perm-recovery-signed.zip wasn’t there.
        2) It took time for me looking for the file, and then it automatically went to the rooting procedure and flashed the necessary files. I wasn’t able to add the zip files.
        3) The next time I added the zip files quickly and surely they were flashed. But after that, it still went to automatic rooting I described in #3.
        4) After those steps, the warning message changed to, “Your device software can’t be checked for corruption. Please lock the bootloader.”

        While it still boots normally after the message, I need to know if there’s something I could do to get rid of this. Is the the normal behavior now that I’ve rooted my device and flashed a custom recovery?

  • Torrey wright

    Same here. Anybody?