How to Unlock Bootloader and Install Custom Recovery on Google Nexus 4

Google Nexus 4 is an amazing Android Smartphone, manufactured by LG and it is also known by the code name, ‘E960‘. If you owned this device, you must think of your device OS, and Android is very generous, unlike other Mobile OS, to let you modify your device OS. When talk about modify, we probably mean, Root and Custom Recoveries, which lets you install Custom ROM’s and kernels. For it, it is necessary, that you first Unlock Bootloader and Install Custom Recovery on your Google Nexus 4.

Google Nexus 4 - Unlock Bootloader and Install Custom Recovery

Nexus 4

Before we move on, I would recommend you, to read the guidelines and prerequisites, so that you’re able to successfully Unlock Bootloader and Install Custom Recovery on your Nexus 4 Smartphone.

  • The most important of all, you need to properly configure, Android SDK, or ADB Fastboot on your PC.

If you don’t know, how to do it – Learn Here

  • Also, Enable USB Debugging from your Nexus 4, Settings->Developers Options. Don’t know?
  • Remember, Unlocking Bootloader, Wipe/Erases all data from your device, therefore it is recommended that you Backup your Data using these Backup Apps for Android.
  • Another important guideline, You must at least have 60% Charge on your device.

Once you have fulfilled and followed the above mentioned guidelines, You’re ready to go further.

Unlock Bootloader – Google Nexus 4

To Unlock Bootloader on your Nexus 4, Follow the step by step instructions below:

Note: I hereby assumes that you’ve successfully setup ADB Fastboot on your PC.

Step 1. Open RUN from Windows START Menu or Hit Windows logo+R from your Keyboard. Then type ‘CMD‘ and hit Enter to open the command window.

Step 2. Now to boot Nexus 4 into Bootloader mode, If you want to do it manually then, First Switch-Off your device, then Hold Volume Down+Power Button at the same time or if you want to do it automatically then in the command window type,

adb reboot bootloader

Step 3. Now connect your Nexus 4, to PC.

Step 4. Now to make sure, you’ve successfully configured ADB&Fastboot or device drivers, in the command window, type;

fastboot devices

Step 5. After entering the command in step 4, you should see your device ID, if not then make sure you have properly configured Android SDK on your PC.

Step 6. Now , the main step starts here, Unlocking Bootloader on your Nexus 4, in the command window, type the following;

fastboot oem unlock

Step 7. Now you will be given a warning message on your device screen, use your volume Up/Down keys to navigate through the different options and power button to select your choice, probably you want to unlock bootloader, so choose yes.

Step 8. By now your Google Nexus 4 should be unlocked and you’re ready to Install Custom Recovery, ROM’s and above all Root your device.

Installing Custom Recovery on Nexus 4 – ClockworkMod or TWRP

After you’ve successfully unlocked Bootloader, now you’re ready to go further and Install Custom Recovery, You must be aware of 2 most popular recoveries for Android devices, which are;

  • ClockworkMod (CWM supports both Touch and classic)
  • TWRP ( Only Touch based)

Now it’s up to you, which one to use on your device.

Step 1. Now like before, Boot your device into Bootloader mode manually or type the following commands in the command window;

adb reboot bootloader

Step 2. Download the latest version of your choice of Custom Recoveries;

If you want to install ClockworkMode then download image file: Click Here

If you want to install TWRP then download the image file: Click Here

Step 3. Now save the downloaded recovery image file on your desktop.

Step 4. Now go back to your command window and type the following;

cd Desktop

Step 5.  Now here, it depends on your type of Recovery you want to Install;

  • If you want to Install ClockworkMode Non-Touch, then in your command windows, type the following;
fastboot flash recovery recovery-clockwork-x.x.x.x-mako.img

Note: You need to change x.x.x.x with your recovery image build number, like at the present I have “recovery-clockwork-“.

  • To flash ClockworkMod Touch recovery image file, then in the command windows type the following;
fastboot flash recovery recovery-clockwork-touch-x.x.x.x-mako.img

Note: Again you're supposed to change the value of x.x.x.x with the
recovery image build number.
  • Or if you desired to flash TWRP Recovery image file, then type the following;
fastboot flash recovery openrecovery-twrp-x.x.x.x-mako.img

Step 6. Once your desired Recovery is successfully flashed on your device, the command window will confirm it, after this you can reboot your device.

After you’ve unlocked Bootloader on your Nexus 4, you might be also interested to Root your Nexus 4.

At last, hopefully the process of Unlocking Bootloader and Installing Custom Recovery on your Nexus 4, has went good for you, without any errors and confusion at any step, If in case, you’re confused at any step, let us in the comment section.

[source: XDA Developers]