Manually Update from Stock Android 4.2.2 to Android 4.3 on Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4 [Guide]

5 min read

We don’t really need to tell you that Android 4.3, the latest flavor of Jelly Bean and the newest version of Android, has been officially announced (you can see a list of new features in Android 4.3 here). If you own a Galaxy Nexus or Nexus 4, you’re either already on Android 4.3 or waiting for the OTA (over-the-air) update to arrive on your device. Well, this post is for those in the latter category, as we’ve got the links to the OTA update and a guide to manually update to Android 4.3 for you folks.

The OTA update can be manually installed only on devices that are running on completely stock Android 4.2.2 and and no system files have been modified. It is okay if you’re rooted (though you will lose root access after the update), but if you’ve deleted, changed or otherwise made any changes to system files, the update will fail to install.

NOTE: If you’ve modified your system files or are on a custom ROM, then you should follow this guide to update to Android 4.3, which will wipe all your data (you can backup and restore later on) but allow you to update without issues.

So, without wasting any more time, let’s look at the procedure to update to Android 4.3 from stock Android 4.2.2 on the Galaxy Nexus/Nexus 4.


  1. For Galaxy Nexus users: The OTA update is only available for the takju and yakju variants of the Galaxy Nexus. Takju is the variant available directly from the Play Store, while yakju is the international GSM model. To check your phone’s variant, install the Nexus Update Checker from the Play Store and check the “Product Code” in the app. Do not try this update if your product code is yakjuw or something else.
  2. Your phone must be running a totally stock version of Android, without any modifications made to the system files (it’s okay if you’re rooted). It doesn’t matter if you’ve unlocked the bootloader or not.
  3. The update needs your phone to be on build number JDQ39. Check the build number in Settings » About phone. If it’s not JDQ39, then the update will fail to install.
  4. Download and install the Android SDK → from here. This will install the necessary drivers for your Nexus 4 on your computer. Remember that even though your device’s storage shows up on the computer when you connect it, the Android SDK drivers are separate and are required for the update process.
    For the Galaxy Nexus, download the drivers from here, as the Android SDK doesn’t include drivers for it.


  1. Download the OTA update file for your device from the links below. See step 1 of the Requirements section to find out which Galaxy Nexus file you need to download.
    Galaxy Nexus (takju) | Galaxy Nexus (yakju) | Nexus 4
  2. Download the Fastboot files from the link below. Extract the “” file to obtain four files named AdbWinApi, AdbWinUsbApi, fastboot, and adb.
    Download Fastboot | Filename:
  3. Then, copy the OTA update file (copy, don’t extract) to the folder where you have those four files from the previous step.

Install Android 4.3

  1. Turn off your device, then boot it into fastboot mode (also called bootloader mode, you’ll see Start written on the screen in this mode, see screenshot below). To do that, follow the key combinations given below.
    • Galaxy Nexus: Press and hold both Volume Up and Volume Down, then press and hold Power
    • Nexus 4: Press and hold Volume Down, then press and hold Power.
  2. Once you see the fastboot menu and “Start,” press Volume Up/Down to navigate to “Recovery mode” and press the power button to boot into recovery.
  3. You will then see an Android with a red exclamation point. Now hold down the Power button then press the Volume Up key to see the recovery menu.
  4. Select the apply update from adb option in recovery by scrolling to it using the volume buttons and selecting it with the power button.
  5. Connect your phone to the computer now. Wait for the fastboot drivers to finish installing if this is the first time you’re connecting your device to the PC in recovery. For reliability, ensure that you use a USB port at the back if you are using a desktop computer, as the front panel ports can be loose and cause problems.
  6. Now, open that folder where you have the fastboot files, hold down the SHIFT key on keyboard and right-click on an empty area while holding SHIFT, then click on “Open command prompt here” from the right-click menu.
  7. Now, type in this command in the command prompt window that has opened to flash the update: adb sideload *name of file* (where *name of file* is to be replaced by the update file’s name, like for the Galaxy Nexus takju. If you don’t wish to enter the full name, just enter the first few letters then press the Tab button on keyboard, which will auto complete the file name)
  8. After you enter the above command, you will see the “sending: sideload” message in the command prompt, and once it reaches 100%, the update will start installing on your phone.
  9. Once the update finishes installing, select reboot system now on the phone to reboot it and boot up into Android 4.3. Enjoy!

Written by

Android Telegraph Staff

We are a bunch of avid Android lovers from USA, with an aim to provide you news on Android updates, phones and tablets, and occasional round-up pieces on Apps and Games.

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