How to root a Nexus 5 Running KitKat 4.4.2

The tutorial uses CF-Auto-Root file by a well recognized XDA developer, chainfire.  Download for the Nexus 5 from the following link, and consider donating a small amount to the developer:

This is the best tool for rooting beginners, and is the quickest and easiest root method commonly available.  CF-Auto-Root supports Windows, Linux and Mac.  Once you’ve downloaded the CF-Auto-Root file, use the following process to root your Nexus 5. 


Note that if your device had not been unlocked before, this procedure will wipe all your data!  So back up what you need to save before you proceed!


  1. Make sure you have USB drivers installed on your computer.  If you are able to connect your Nexus 5 to your computer and browse the files on your phone, you are okay.  If you don’t have a USB driver installed, the easiest solution is to install the Universal ADB Driver for Windows.  Just click here to download and install the driver – it works for most all reasonably popular Android devices (including the Nexus 5 of course).
  2. Make sure you backup any files you need BEFORE you root.  For instance, most people will want to save their pictures.  Do this by connecting your phone to your computer via USB, and browsing to Nexus 5\Internal storage\DCIM\Camera folder, and copying everything in that folder.  If you want to preserve your text messages and phone logs, etc, you can find a lot of apps on Google Play store that will back them up and you can restore after you root. 
  3. Ensure that USB Debugging Mode is enabled on your phone.   This requires that you enable Developer Options.  To do this, go to Settings > About Phone > Build Number, then tap the build number (at the bottom) 7 times.  Next, go to Settings > { } Developer Options and tap the box next to USB debugging to enable this feature. 


How to root Nexus 5 running Android 4.4.2 KitKat :

Step 1:  Extract the CF-Auto-Root ZIP file (downloaded above) to a directory on your PC

Step 2:  Turn off the Nexus 5.  Enter Bootloader/Fastboot Mode.  To do this, turn the phone on by pressing and holding Volume Up, Volume Down and Power buttons together until you see a large Start button at the top of the screen.  There will also be a picture of an Android undergoing surgery, and some text info at the bottom.  

Step 3:  Connect the Nexus 5 to the computer using a USB cable  

Step 4:  From the directory you created in step 1:
    Windows:  Run root-windows.bat
    Linux:   chmod +x then run
    Mac OS X:  chmod +x then run
and follow the onscreen instructions.  If you are stuck at “Waiting for Device”, make sure you installed the Universal ADB driver discussed at the top of this post. 

Your phone will go through several restarts.  Don’t be alarmed, it will take several minutes for the phone to completely wipe out your data and restart.  When you finally do get restarted, your phone will be rooted and ready to initialize. 

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