How to downgrade Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 from Android L to KitKat

By | July 31, 2014

Android L is the main focus for every Android users, at Google I/O, the Android L has been introduced with all new material design, performance improvements. It is still in testing phase and the developer preview is officially available for developers having Nexus 5 and Nexus 7. But after making few tweaks the developer preview of Android L is also available for few high-end devices like HTC One M7, Nexus 4.


As this is is in development phase, users sometimes come across to the bugs that might annoy them, so to overcome those issues, of you want to downgrade your Nexus 5 or Nexus 7 from Android L to KitKat 4.4. Read this article to check out the step-by-step guide on how to uninstall Android L and switch your Nexus devices back to KitKat.

How to downgrade Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 from Android L to KitKat

Step 1: Get the KitKat Image file

Before getting into the steps to downgrade, you first have to get the appropriate KitKat image file so that you can flash it in your device. Here is the Google Developer Websitehere you can get the KitKat ROM image file. The will be in .tgz file format, and also make sure that you have deleted all the Android L files from the Computer and from your device before extracting the Kitkat image file. Use WinRAR or 7-zip to extract the files to the same folder that contains the Android ADB and Fastboot tools.

Step 2: Enable Fastboot mode

In the next steps are the same as the ones you followed to get the Android L on your device. First of all, you just need to put your device in fastboot mode. Power it off, while your device must be connected to the computer and either press volume up + volume down + power buttons simultaneously, or in the command prompt, type ‘adb reboot-bootloader’ — without the quotation marks.

Step 3: Unlock Bootloader

In order to downgrade to Kitkat, you must have to unlock the bootloader of your device. In the command prompt which is opened in your PC, type the command ‘fastbook oem unlock’ (without quotations) and in the confirmation page use the volume key to move the option to ‘Yes’ and then press the power button to select the highlighted option.

Step 4: Installing Kitkat

Now that the device is ready to downgrade the Android L to KitKat, in the command prompt simply type the flash-all command and you are done. This will begin the installation Android KitKat onto your Nexus smartphone or tablet.

If you face any kind of issues during the installation process, you might refer to the official Google website.