How to Root Your Nexus 7 in Less Than Two Minutes—Without a Computer

Rooting your Nexus 7 tablet is now easier than ever. Previous rooting methods required connecting your tablet to a computer and using any one of a number of programs and/or ADB commands. Now, it's as easy as downloading an app on your phone and tapping one button.

Who can we thank for this simple root method? George Hotz, better known as Geohot, the infamous hacker known for jailbreaking iOS and being sued by Sony after rooting a PS3. All hyperbole aside, he has literally made rooting easier than ever with Towelroot.

You no longer need to deal with a PC or Mac, special rooting programs, or ADB commands. If you've ever wanted to root but thought it was too difficult or confusing, this is your guide.

The video guide above shows this method using the Samsung Galaxy S5, but the exact same steps will apply to the Nexus 7 (for now, only 2013 models work), as Towelroot is nearly universal for all Android devices. For a detailed explanation of how Towelroot works, check out the full detailed guide from Dallas.

Step 1: Enable Unknown Sources

In order to acquire the application, enable "Unknown sources" on your Nexus 7. This will allow you to install an application from a source other than the Google Play Store.

Step 2: Download & Install Towelroot

Install the Towelroot APK from here onto your Nexus. Because of the way this exploit functions, you'll receive an intimidating warning when installing Towelroot, so make certain you understand the risks, then select Install anyway.

Step 3: Run TowelRoot

Open the application and tap the huge make it ra1n button. Your device will automatically reboot and be rooted!

Step 4: Verify Root

After it reboots, confirm root with an application like Root Checker.

Step 5: Install SuperSU

Although Roottowel will root your device, it will not install a root manager, which will prevent malicious applications from gaining root access, so install SuperSU off the Play Store from developer Chainfire.

You're now rooted and ready to roll. Geohot has rendered computers obsolete in the rooting process, and has made it so anyone can easily root their device and enjoy its true potential.

81 Comments

Does not appear to work with a 2012 Nexus 7 16GB Wifi edition running 4.4.3 with a Kernel from March 13 2014.

What issue did you run in to?

I have the same problem than Michael ( Nexus 7 2012 16gb Android 4.4.3), when I click "Make it rain" the button freezes for 3-4 seconds and then the device reboots. After that when I open the Root Checker says I have no root.

Can you help please?

Yes, unfortunately, this does not work with the 2012 Nexus 7 model. Sorry. Try our other root guide.

Dumb question....how does one UNroot with Nexus 7 2013 and Towelroot? After my rooting (used two different methods on two different devices, the other Nexus 7 2012) my wifi speeds took a huge hit.

After unrooting the other 2012 Nexus where I didn't use towelroot, my wifi speeds are once again normal.

Hi I have a question
What do I do if I put an administrativee password on my tablet but forgot the password what do I do

It does say it won't work with the first gen n7. Sorry bro

Worked! Thanks Neil, nice work around for my computer not recognizing my tablet. Any suggestions of what i should do next now that i'm rooted. This is my first device i've rooted so i don't know where to really go from here. btw I'll try to spread the word on this solution in other forums, thx again!

I appreciate that! Also, now that you're rooted, you'll want to install XposedFramework. You can then checkout any f the countless mods or root required apps we have on the site.

Hi :-)
Worked great on 2 Nexus 7 (2013)

Then tried on Nexus 7 (2012) and failed, exactly the same signs as "when I click "Make it rain" the button freezes for 3-4 seconds and then the device reboots. After that when I open the Root Checker says I have no root."

Has anyone been able to get this to work on the Nexus 7 2012? After I click make it ra1n my tablet reboots and when I run root checker it states that I'm not rooted. I tried 4 times now and still no root access.

My security (namely Lookout) apps tell me "towel root is a malicious app.

If it is not, how can I tell my security system not to worry.

Technically, this app is malware—that's how it achieves root. You can temporarily disable Lookout if it blocks you from from running the app.

hey i saw on net somwhere rooting through this method makes google ota updates available is it true??

Yes, because it does not unlock your bootloader, so you can still receive OTA updates.

i have rooted nexus 7 2012 v4.4.2 so if i lock my bootloader again then can i receive google OTA update ??

OTA update are stopped due to instalation of custom recovery or root??
if it is due to custom recovery than how to remove custom recovery keeping root and bootloader unlocked??

is superuser 's survival mode be able to recieve OTA update on my nexus 7 properly?? i rooted my phone using wugfresh kit & guide provided on this site

Have a nexus 7, build version KTU84P, with updated kitkat 4.4.4. and when I run towelroot it tells me "phone is currently not supported." Any ideas folks? Should mention, it's the first gen Nexus 7

I have exactly the same problem with my 2012 Nexus 7. Too bad this won't work.

Currently issues with the first gen, 2012 model. We'll update you when it's working, but until then you can use the fallback method.

Thanks for your reply. I am already familiar with the method you mentioned, but the one in this article is so much easier/faster that I thought I would give it a try.

Ivan, puduste hacer el root con este metodo al final con el 4.4.4??

Si usted tiene un Nexus modelo 2013, usted puede hacer esto.

Do you lose your data with this root method???

Worked perfectly on a 4.4.3 Nexus 7 2013. Very cool, thanks.

Not gonna attempt 4.4.4

No, no this was way to easy I think this might be a scam

The page towelroot is currently unavailable to access, then how to get that apk?

The site is working fine, try the direct download link here.

The links in the article have been updated.

Here you go: TowelRoot. Click the big red symbol and you'll be good to go, compadre!

Any update about rooting Nexus 7 2012? I still get the "phone is currently not supported" message

In my nexus 7 2012 model says as "phone is currently not supported.", please help

Sorry, I know this claims it works for the 2012 Nexus, but it actually only works for the 2013 model. You may want to check out this guide for your 2012 model.

I finally gone it. Sorry about the lousy post. this apk worked really well.

Why would you need to pay? The apk is freely available, though, you can donate if desired.

Sorry, finally got it to download. Great apk

how do you tell if it is a 2012,2013," wireless ", or what model kernal ect. bought used with no packaging?

The 2012 model has the headphone port located at the bottom near the charging port. Also, the 2012 model has Nexus positioned horizontally on the back. The 2013 model says Nexus vertically.

I noticed you've been checking out a lot of Nexus guides, so thanks for the Kudos. Remember to also take a look at the Nexus 5 world as many of the same apps, mods, or hacks apply to the Nexus 7 and vice versa.

Dumb question....how does one UNroot with Nexus 7 2013 and Towelroot? After my rooting (used two different methods on two different devices, the other Nexus 7 2012) my wifi speeds took a huge hit.

After unrooting the other 2012 Nexus where I didn't use towelroot, my wifi speeds are once again normal.

This unroot guide should do the trick, but let me tell you, TowelRoot will not work with the 2012 Nexus model unfortunately. I know, it sucks.

How to unroot my Nexus 7 2013, after rooting with towelroot?

Your TowelRook link doesn't work it keeps saying donate. Are you sure this rooting process is legit it sounds a little to good to be true? :\

You have to tap the actual large red symbol. Give that a try then let me know how it works out.

OK sorry about that it worked but when I tried to root my device it said it wasn't supported and I have a Nexus 7

Do I need to connect to a computer for this method?

Does this work on nexus 7 2013 wifi - 4.4.4?

I cant download the apk ??

I go to the link... Preso on Red symbol and only open tabs on Chrome

do you have "Unknown Sources" enabled ?

Got same problem when I click on red symbol keeps opening new tabs
But found app elsewhere downloaded pressed make it rain nexus didn't reboot msg was U should have root no reboot req
Used rootchecker msg was sorry ur device not rooted
Yes its a nexu7(2013) runn kit Kat 4.4.4
Any ideas pls

Silly me didn't grant access to root checker afterdownload

I was about to suggest that. I'm glad you figured it out. Enjoy!

2013 Nexus 7... used Chrome... got about 200 tabs automatically opened before I could force quite the application. More of a malware than a root app. No thanks.

see this multiple tab malware might be from one of the sites offering the download. I used a towelroot.tr. something... STAY AWAY FROM IT.

Is there an opposite app to this? I'd like to un-root and return to the factory settings.

For those having trouble getting the page to load , use a different browser and it will download. I used the one with the squirrel I don't remember the name of it. This isn't malware, chrome just won't let you download it. I used it on my 2013 Nexus seven and it's working great . Update, the browser I used the download was called UC browser it has a picture of a squirrel on it. Again, this is not malicious software nor is it a virus. I watched the video and did as instructed.

i have root already but is using an older version of kitkat. will this root work for android lollipop when it comes out? will rooting delete my apps?

I'd assume that it would eventually work for Lollipop once it is officially released, depending on the carrier or device. And no, it does not delete apps.

Yeah, when I click on the lambda with Firefox, it opens a tab full of gibberish. When I open it in Chrome, it opens an infinite amount of windows.

Using the UC Browser (The icon is an orange squirrel) allowed it to be downloaded. For anyone else who had this problem.

  • Masan Nerk, Nexus 7 2013 Android ver. 4.4.4

Tried it on a Lollipop 7/2013, but received a message saying my 'phone' isn't supported.

Same here. Wish I wouldn't have updated from KitKat. My tablet runs slow and closes apps unexpectedly.

it didn't work for my nexus 7 2013 lollipop .. wish therell be other easy way to root my device.

it didn't work for nexus 7 with lollipop installed on it :-(

Hi, I have a 2013 nexus 7 WiFi android version 4.4.4, I towelrooted it in 2014 i now have a system upgrade available to 5.0.2. I have tried to update twice but get an error message. Any suggestions re upgrade would be appreciated. I do not want to try another upgrade in case

The machine locks. Thanks.

Well, because you are rooted, the OTA is not possible. So, you will need to unroot to get the upgrade or find the update file and flash it through the WugFresh Rootkit.

To unroot, check out this guide under the heading Restoring to Factory Stock with Toolkit

To simply flash the update, try our update guide. It's the same process but you'll need to locate the proper Nexus 7 (2013) WiFi Android factory image.

Let us know how it goes, or if you need further assistance.

Hi, thanks Neil, I will try your options.
After unrooting and the OTA downloaded is it possible
To re "Towelroot" The Nexus 7 ?

Towelroot is not compatible with Lollipop, but you can root through the Rootkit provided.

I have a google nexus 7 lollipop 5.0.2 when I try run towelroot and press
Make it rain it said do sent support my nexus. Help

Okay. So iim thinking about rooting my nexus 7 2013. But I need ota updates. Will I be able to get them?

How do you use the rootkit? I have a nexus 7 2013 running 5.1.1 and is like to root it.

Share Your Thoughts

  • Hot
  • Latest