Google has begun rolling out Android 5.1 Lollipop to its suite of Nexus devices. The problem is, not everyone has received the OTA just yet. If you're getting impatient, there's actually a very easy way to get Google's new software up and running on your device. The best part? You'll still receive future updates, just as long as you're not rooted or you haven't flashed your device with a custom ROM.

We've used this method on both the Nexus 5 and Nexus 6 without issue. Just make sure you download the correct files, and you'll be good to go. For the purpose of this video, we'll include instructions for installing the software using a Mac. If you want to use Windows, there's an article over on XDA that has all the proper steps. Both methods are very simple, so you should be updated in no time.

Check out the video to get a more comprehensive look at the entire update process; I've also included the instructions below, as well as all the necessary file links. There are always risks involved when side-loading on your Android device, so proceed with caution, and happy updating.

Step 1: Make sure you've installed the ADB drivers for your Mac or Windows machine.

  • Download the zip file which you can find in the video description.
  • Extract the zip file and place the Android folder on your Desktop.
  • Open up Terminal and type: cd desktop/Android (just like how you're seeing it on screen)
  • Next up, is to install ADB and Fastboot: ./
  • Let the script run and you should be all set.
  • If you're on Windows, there's an article over on the XDA forums with the proper steps (

Step 2: Download the OTA update file and the ADB/Fasboot files.

  • Extract the ADB folder on your desktop and change the name to 'nexus.'
  • Move the OTA update zip file within the 'nexus' folder and also change the name to '' to make things easier.

Step 3: Make sure your 'nexus' folders have these three files inside (show three files)

  • Open up command prompt or Terminal and navigate to that 'nexus' folder on your desktop
  • Type: cd desktop/nexus and you should be inside that folder now.
  • Minimize the terminal window for now and move on

Step 4: Make sure you have USB debugging enabled on your device.

  • To turn that feature on.
  • Go to About Phone > Tap the Build number 7 Times
  • You should now get the developer option to turn USB debugging on.

Step 5: Turn off your device and boot it back up into fastboot mode.

  • Hold down the volume down and power button
  • Once it's in fastboot mode select recovery and press the power key to confirm.

Step 6: Once it reboots into the stock Android recovery, you'll be greeted with an Android logo and an exclamation mark.

  • Don't panic and think your device is bricked. It's not!
  • Hold down the volume down button and power button at the same time until the recovery window pops up.
  • Scroll up or down until you see 'apply update from ADB' and press the power button.
  • Plug in your device and go back to your computer.

Step 7: Go back to that terminal window you minimized in Step 3.

  • Type in "./adb sideload"
  • Press enter and you should start seeing on your terminal window and on your phone that a script is running.
  • It'll take a few to install everything
  • Once the installation is complete, select "reboot system now" to manually reboot your Nexus.
  • After that, it'll take its time to update apps and everything inside Android.
  • It'll take about 5-10 minutes max.

Android 5.1 OTA .zips



Windows (Alternative link)


Download ADB/Fastboot files: