How to Unroot Nexus S 4G!

For those of you who want to return your Nexus S 4G to completely stock state, you can by flashing stock files in fastboot.

This method works on Windows, Mac, or Linux.

*Warning – This unroot method is ONLY for Nexus S 4G and will erase all your personal data/apps/settings.

Step 1. Put your Nexus S 4G into fastboot mode by turning off your phone then rebooting into bootloader by holding down Volume Up and Power button together.

Step 2. Download and unzip it to the root folder of your hard disk:


Step 3. For Windows, you will need to make sure to install the Nexus S 4G drivers.  (See video for detailed howto.)  The Nexus S 4G drivers are included in the zip file under usb_driver folder.  For Mac and Linux, you don’t need to install drivers so skip this step.

Step 4. Open up a command prompt or terminal and browse to the directory where you unzipped the files.

For Windows:

cd \nexuss4gunroot

For Linux and Mac:

cd /nexuss4gunroot

Next, yype each of the following lines and hit Enter.

fastboot flash  boot boot.img

fastboot flash system sytem.img

fastboot flash recovery recovery.img

Step 5. Also type the following and hit Enter after every line:

fastboot flash userdata userdata.img

fastboot erase cache

fastboot oem lock

Step 6. You should be fully unrooted, back to a stock ROM with your personal data erased.

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38 Responses to How to Unroot Nexus S 4G!

  1. Flo says:

    Whats the option for the normal nexus s? Is there a way by flashing stock files in fastboot too?

    • Nexus S Hacks says:

      Will have one for Nexus S soon!

      • Scott says:

        You’re awesome! Your nexus s root method is by far one of the cleanest to date, and it worked perfectly with 2.3.6.
        I look forward the unroot method for the nexus s, just in case.

        Any ROM suggestions? I looking for a stable and fast, bare bones system. 🙂

  2. Curtis says:

    Thanks for streamlining this it was very hard to find the stock files. I had to do this a month ago and mix information I found in different places. Mostly due to only having a Mac. My only concern is if it works with Sprint.

  3. ErlyD says:

    Did everything in the guide as well as on other guides that say the same, Using your recovery.img file then others.

    Each time the phone appears stock until you try and load recovery. Stock recovery isnt installed.

    I just get the exclamation mark! What am I missing?

    • Nexus S Hacks says:

      That IS the stock recovery, hit Volume up and down at the same time and you will get blue stock menus.

      • ErlyD says:

        What? The image under step one is fastboot. Selecting recovery on that same list gives me error.

        • Nexus S Hacks says:

          you said u r getting an exclamation mark? That is stock recovery. That’s not an error. You just need to hit some buttons to get into stock recovery from exclamation mark, hit Volume Up and Down together.

  4. Peter Louie says:

    So i got to step 4 where i had to enter into the cd /nexuss4gunroot folder. next it says to enter a series of codes.
    fastboot flash ….etc. but it comes back as command not found. what am i missing here. Im on mac. Thanks any help please.

    • Nexus S Hacks says:

      add “./” in front and use fastboot-mac so: ./fastboot-mac

      • Kyle says:

        after I do the ./fastboot-mac it show a ton of stuff. Then i type the fastboot flash boot boot.img
        fastboot flash system sytem.img but it still says that the file is not found. I don’t know what else to do

        • Courtney says:

          just type ./fastboot-mac flash boot boot.img etc. I did that too at first. you have to take out the “fastboot” and just use the “./fastboot-mac”

  5. Michael Palacios says:


  6. justin says:

    Oh wow that was easy. the “./fastboot-mac” had me hung up for a few minutes. but were stock! thanks guys.

  7. Dan says:

    Thank you so much for this. My phone was messing up somehow and not letting me flash anything or even update to new sprint approved updates.

  8. tatyana says:

    after typing in “fastboot flash system system.img i keep getting “error: cannot load system img” help please?

  9. David H says:

    Every time I run the commands in command prompt it always comes up with — ‘fastboot’ is not a recognized as an internal or external command…….

  10. Tyler Barron says:

    i did everything but now my wifi says error and wont turn on and i cant update to the new firmware, it keeps saying installation aborted, please help

  11. aaa says:

    it’s all fucked up
    same prob’ after typing in “fastboot flash system system.img i keep getting “error: cannot load system img”

  12. Justin says:

    I’ve bought a Nexus 4G with a bad ESN and planning to use it as a pda/mp3 player
    But I was prompted for a password on the lockscreen
    So I was thinking, if I flashed only the userdata.img, the phone’s current data would be wiped
    Then, would the phone ask me to activate after since all data was wiped?

  13. redheadedweirdo says:

    I can’t seem to get the commands to work at all. i type cd \nexxuss4gunroot and get “The system cannot find the path specified.” the entire command line reads C:\Users\rac> i even treid to elevate (run as admin) and got C:\Windows\system32>cd \nexxuss4gunroot. and still get this error. The files are in the C:\Users\rac. what am i doing wrong? I have been working at this for a day now. Please help.

  14. Lee says:

    You Rock!!!!! My husband was jonesing for ICS and mucked up his Nexus S 4g, went to work with instructions for me to “Fix It.” He was sure that he could now get a NEW phone. I fixed it, all because of your absolutely AMAZING tutorial. He will use this phone until it starts birthing kittens if I have anything to do with it. Bless you for your knowledge and the ability to post such easy to follow instructions.

  15. Luis says:

    Thanks for the instructions, Max! BTW, have you tried the new ClockworkMod Touch recovery for the Nexus S and S 4G? I believe it’s fairly new but I have been messing around with it and it seems to be pretty stable. Maybe it could be an alternative you can add to this tutorial for users who would rather use the touch screen instead of the volume up/down and on/off buttons??

  16. Nebraska PhoneHacskers says:

    Thank you SOOOOO much for your tutorial. I screwed up my Nexus S by trying to put updated google apps and it deleted my keyboard and messed up everything. Then I tried doing a factory reset (including deleting my back up). You saved me a phone.


  17. Clarence says:

    After doing this and getting confirmation that it has been completed, I am still stuck on the boot screen. All I see is Google and it has been that way for 30 minutes. What is the issues?

  18. David Raps says:

    About a month ago I put ICS 4.0.4 on the Nexus S 4G..At that time I was unaware that an unlocked bootloader does not allow root access..You need to physically root the phone. There for my question is can I use the Root method for the Nexus S 4G on this site without the posibility of a brick? Due to the fact that it’s running a different software than the one in the video.

    I’m running:
    ICS 4.0.4
    Kerner version 3.0.8-gd373d58

  19. Justin says:

    Thanks for the guide, Zedomax. You helped me root and now unroot . I had a question, though. My phone went into a forever hang at the “write system.img” stage. I just unplugged it and started over and everything went fine. Do you have any idea why that may have happened?

  20. Redheadedweirdo says:

    I am still trying to unroot my Nexus. I use win7 64 bit and even though I installed the zip on my computer cmd still says “The system cannot find the path specified.” I have a new computer and the cmd line now reads “C:\Users\Redheadedweirdo>” using cd \nexuss4gunroot” will not find the file. I need help and have needed help since January.

  21. Johnny Richards says:

    the cd \nexuss4gunroot will not work i need help

    • Matthew K says:

      J, you need to have these files in your root directory. It needs to be right on the C drive….so it would look like C: , with nexuss4gunroot as a main directory (not a sub of anything), right on C drive. This is because command prompt starts at C: as its base point. (You could put it somewhere else but then its a hassle to add more info to get to it). It is standard DOS commands.

  22. Larry Crew Jr. says:

    everything worked ( though did not realize that i would be returned to stock gingerbread.) Also you have a miss spelling in one of your commands fastboot flash system sytem.img should read fastboot flash system system.img. for a while i was getting an error every time i used that command but once i corrected the misspelling everything else went smooth

  23. Quinn says:

    Video for unroot can no longer be watched

  24. Matthew K says:

    Excellent. Great resource. Thank you very much. It reminded me a bit of jockeying around in DOS with the old PC’s. I was trying to update rooted phones (my kid), and this was the only way I could get it done. Worked like a charm. Thanks.

  25. Quito says:

    This worked great – but you may want to edit it to show that Mac users should type “./flashboot-mac” (ignore quotes) instead of “flashboot”. Otherwise, thanks for writing this up – I’ve bookmarked it and return here every time I need to restore to stock. Well done!

  26. joas xarin says:

    como le hago para descargar no entiendo

    me ayudan a rootear mi nexus s 4G por favor

  27. Justin says:

    I Followed All The Steps To Unroot My Nexus S 4G. The Locked State Is “Locked” But I Still Have Android Version 4.1.1 And My Codename Android ROM Is Still Active On My Phone Please Help!!!

  28. Kaelyn says:

    I followed every instruction exactly as you said, and I’ve been stuck at the start up screen for over an hour. I don’t understand what’s going on.

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