How to Unroot Nexus S! [i9020T][i9020A][i9023]

Need to return your Nexus S back to T-Mobile your any other carrier for any reason?  Well, you can unroot your Nexus S completely back to stock, very easy to do by following the step-by-step guide outlined here.

(For Nexus S 4G, please see How to Unroot Nexus S 4G.)

Step 1. Download the appropriate stock OTA zip file for your Nexus S.

Download this zip for i9020T and i9023 models:


Download this zip for i9020A:

Step 2. Copy the zip file to internal storage of your Nexus S.

Step 3. Power off your Nexus S then boot into bootloader by holding down both Volume Up and Power buttons.  Choose “Recovery” and hit the Power button.

Step 4. You should be in ClockworkMod Recovery now, choose “install zip from sdcard” using Volume buttons then hit the Power button.

Step 5. Choose “choose zip from sdcard” then hit the Power button.

Step 6. Choose “” OR “” (depending on which file you copied over earlier) and hit the Power button.

Step 7. Choose “Yes” and hit the Power button.

Step 8. Your phone now should be updating itself with the stock OTA ROM.

Step 9. When install is complete, choose “Go Back” and hit Power button.

Step 10. Choose “Reboot system now” and hit the Power button to reboot.

Step 11. Turn off your Nexus S again and go back into bootloader by holding down Volume Up and Power button together.  Then choose “recovery” and hit the Power button.

Step 12. Once you get the Android guy with exclamation mark, hit Volume Up and Power button at the same time until you get blue menus.

Step 13. Choose “wipe data/factory reset” and hit the Power button, this will erase all your personal data/apps/settings.

Step 14. Choose “Yes” and hit the Power button.

Step 15. Next, reboot your phone into bootloader by turning it off then holding down Volume Up and Power button together.

Step 16. Download and unzip to your hard disk.


Then type:

For Windows:

cd \fastboot

For Linux or Mac:

cd /fastboot

Then type:

For Windows:

fastboot oem lock

For Mac:

./fastboot-mac oem lock

For Linux:

./fastboot-linux oem lock

You should see that the LOCK STATE on the Nexus S screen change from UNLOCKED to LOCKED.

That’s it, you’ve fully unrooted your Nexus S!  Now, there might still be your files on the internal storage such as your photos, videos, and other personal files, just make sure you back them up before you return your phone.

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Categories: Nexus S Hacks.

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108 Responses to How to Unroot Nexus S! [i9020T][i9020A][i9023]

  1. Shivam says:

    I have a stock 19020A Nexus S unrooted. Its just that…by bootloader is still unlocked……I want to lock it back. If I do, just lock it back, will it wipe my phone?

  2. KyoKeun says:

    Thanks a lot man! I sent to my carrier and everything! They made it to factory reset but never locked it! Oh, God bless 😉

  3. Mac says:

    Hi, I rooted my nexus s successfully, short after my earpiece stopped working.

    I unrooted it so i can send it in to get repaired, but in the process the nexus s got stuck in a CWM reboot loop, and

    whenever i try to flash a rom it gives a status 7 error.

    Please help me get back my nexus…

    • Lukas says:

      I had the same problem with the error 7.
      That’s how I solved it:
      -root your phone again. also install the clockworkmode recovery again.
      -after that just unroot your phone again. and fore guarantee usage lock the bootloader.
      now everything should work fine.

  4. Mac says:

    When I try to root it again on the cmd screen , it says it’s searching but never does nothing. I can’t root the phone.

    It just goes back to the CWM screen as soon as i reboot it.

    • Lukas says:

      Oh thats jerky.. than i unfornatley have no idea how to solve the problem. By the way i have rootet my SNS with one click root software. I’d like to post you the link aubout the software but i didn’t fint that page again. :/

  5. Steve says:

    I have nexus s I9023 i had rooted it and has flashed ICS on it now i am trying unroot it to stock, i had initially my mistake had flashed nexus s 4G stock. Now i have rooted it again and trying to flash nexus s stock & i am following the procedure mentioned above to unroot nexus s stock. When i try to install the above zip file (Download it says signature cannot be verified and it aboreds installation….need help.

    • Lukas says:

      Could it be, that you have but your phone back to stock with 1-click software? If so, I had the same issue. Luckily i had made a backup before installing the wrong rom. So i just had to root the phone again, installed CWM recovery and set the phone with the backup back! After that, i used the instructions on this page to set my phone back to stock.

  6. Joe Albert says:

    I locked my bootloader and for some reason CWM did not install. I want to go back to stock what do I do?

    • Steve says:

      what you can do is root your phone again then got market download ROM MANAGER update the bootloader to latest version then shut down your phone then open the bootloader it should be in blue color. Now try to install the zip file ( before that wipe your data & cache it will work. Thatz how it worked for me.

  7. ALHinai says:


    how can i know my mobile is [i9020T] or [i9020A]???????

  8. rob says:

    installed sdk manager and avd manager….extracted fastboot into c: drive ….named the map ´´fastboot´´’.
    But when i do these steps to lock the bootloader it just says .
    i have a i9023 with stock 2.6
    ..iv tryed evrything..

  9. ALHinai says:

    please help how can i know my mobile is [i9020T] or [i9020A]???????

  10. rob says:

    Srry..i typed wrong , i was tired. Correction:” But when i do these steps to lock the bootloader it just says “.

  11. Crs says:

    Hey after you did this did you get the normal recovery set up, or didi you have to re download rom mananger to use it?

    • Nexus S Hacks says:

      You have to redownload ROM manager but your Clockwork Recovery is still there, just use Volume Up and Power button after powering down.

      • Crs says:

        yea i was asking because i didi this but once i tried to access my recovery option it only showed the android guy with the ! triangle… is there anyways to fix this?

        • Nexus S Hacks says:

          Sorry you have to reinstall ClockworkMod Recovery. You can access stock recovery by pressing Volume Up and Down when you see the triangle.

          • Crs says:

            oh man, do you have a guide for that too? im clueless when it comes to this stuff. btw thanks for guides and stuff , their great

  12. jdavet says:

    Thanks for the guide. Successfully unrooted, relocked bootloader, then updated to ICS. 🙂

  13. Laurent says:

    Hi guys, I’m stuck with a problem…
    I tried to unroot my nexus s in order to install the ICS update.. I connected my phone to my computer to make a last back up, turned off my phone and since then i cannot do anything with my phone anymore :s

    When i try to turn it on again i got the google icon (with the unlock) and then my phone crashes in the appearing X (x appears forever).

    If i try to open it in recoverymode i got a message “no boot or recovery img” and i am stuck in my bootloader. I am unable to connect my phone to my computer again because it’s turned off and i cant go in recovery..

    Please help me, i don’t have a clue of what i should do :s

  14. mike says:

    Hey, I took your advise on updating clockwork with rom manager but when Im in bootloader it says thats it not installed. How do I get this working again?

  15. Dorian says:

    Superuser is still there! Why?!?!

  16. geo says:

    thanks a lot. it work for me.I had the same problem with the error 7 and it solved with reinstal the clockworkmode recovery. my question is: shold i see the clockworkmod when my phone is conect to usb on the computer? i think i need to see the stock recovery. sorry for my english

  17. Bogdan says:

    If I want to downgrade from Ice Cream to Gingerbread on Nexus S I9020 how I have to proceed? Thanks! 🙂

  18. raj says:

    hey in command promt after oem lock command it waits for device and says failed

  19. Colin Tudor says:

    Cannot get my bootloader to lock. Ive downloaded the fastboot and have extracted it to my c drive but when I go through to the last bit Type in astboot oem lock, it just says waiting for device. Nothing happens and my bootloader remains unlocked. Help

  20. Mmk_m says:

    Thanks Alot …!!! :)…god bless u, u r are working for us may god help u….u resolved a big issue of mine..thanx again.:)

  21. mmkm says:

    Will I be able to receive ics 4.0.3 update on my phone by Google..after doing the above procedure.??

  22. Bogdan says:

    Does the zip archive include stock radio?

  23. Hussani says:

    I have this error:
    assert failed: getprop(“ro.product.device”) == “crespo” || getprop(“”) == “crespo”

    How do resolve this problem?


  24. Ovidiu says:

    After step 3 I get a blank screen. I have Android 4.0.3, and I want to make a backup before I root it.
    Model: i9023.

  25. leonardo says:

    HI Nexus Hacks, canzona tour helpme please.after i haved do this in my Nexus s i9023 but when i go in fastboot is this version
    Bootloader version i9020xxKA3
    Basebamd version I9020XXKF1
    is Normale or not?
    Help me please

  26. romio says:

    I have a problem nexhack
    Evrytime i start phone without plugin bettry
    It stuck on “Downloading do not turn off the target”
    Then i have to pull out battry
    Plug in charger
    And put in bettry while pluged in power
    Then start normal.
    Please help me

  27. Kitch says:

    Hi. Just thought i’d offer an update based on my experience in case it may help.

    The guides are really excellent by the way.
    Only problem i had putting back to stock is that the version of clockwork mod in the old post to root (3101.img), wouldn’t allow me to flash std ROM. I got error – assert failed: getprop(“ro.product.device”) == “crespo” || getprop(“”) == “crespo”

    I had to install clockwork- to get it to flash back. Also ROM manager wouldn’t flash new recovery – gave a permissions error.

  28. ROCKING.HMZ says:

    When i go in the recovery mode it dosen’t comes. i have my phone unlocked but i dont have clockwork mod recovery & i want to update to ICS please help me wht to do.
    I have NEXUS S I9023

  29. Mitchell Goudie says:

    Please help me, one day I woke up and turned on my phone. I took it out half an hour later to find it was still at the bootloader. Followed steps to unroot but when went to turn on x logo came up forever. HELP please!!!!!

  30. Mitchell Goudie says:

    NVM. For anyone that has this problem, wipe all data and then reboot. LOL nearly died

  31. Noah says:

    After I select the update and select yes it says “installation aborted”. Help please!!

  32. Rohan says:

    how do i lock the bootloader with a broken power button ?

  33. RB says:

    I have i920A
    Can I just unroot to stock and stop there as I want keep my phone unlocked. Will this allow me to get OTA

  34. Max says:


    I am trying to Unroot my Nexus S.
    I am stuck after step 2.
    I copied the to my internal storage.
    Then boot into bootloader by holding down both Volume Up and Power buttons.
    Then I chose “Recovery”, then it gets stuck at the first Google screen!

    Please help me!


  35. Ed says:

    I cant seem to get command prompt to locate fastboot when I type cd\ fastboot I get the following message “The system cannot find the path specified”. What am I doing wrong?

  36. Ed says:

    This is not working for me now that I have been able to get to cd\ fastboot when I type fastboot oem lock all I get is “waiting for device”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  37. jheck says:

    hei max im just wondering if stock can make video call i want to use that one or any rom with videocall im running blackcm9 of brainmaster with matrix19

  38. Rido says:

    some one please reply to my problem plz plz plz
    i have nexus s
    after updating it is on a triangle ” Downloading Do not turn off the target”
    i pulled out battery plugged in and battry recharge came on screen and i pressed power button it started normal.
    but again without plugged in charging it show that triangle
    means i need to plug in my phone to restart it.
    please tell me what to do ?

  39. karan says:

    hey when i select the file then it displays this:
    –Installing: /sdcard/
    Finding update package…
    opening update package…
    E:Can’t open /sdcard/
    Installation aborted.

    please help

  40. Karen says:

    Hi…I’m having some problems with my nexus s right now.. please help me ?

    I’m having the i9023 version , successfully rooted last time, and after rooted this phone when I wanted to unroot it I thought of deleting it will do.. then instead of deleting the Superuser I’ve disabled it . .. Only realized after like few weeks that I can enable it back. I’m such a noob.. sorry. Then when I’ve enabled it back its like somewhere goes wrong. I cant proceed to root access. Every apps that needed superuser isn’t working anymore.

    Then I went online to check whether is there any methods from nexushacks to unroot my phone back ? Then I see this thread. I wanted to unroot it back so badly but its not working. I’ve went to bootloader > recovery mode but its not the clockworkmod. ( Then only I realize it is something to be flash to the phone but I dont understand the articles ) I’ve entered to install updates there. But then the installation failed and aborted, why?

    Before this please understand that I think It probably not because of the guide got mistake but my phone. My phone started to be like, cannot detect from my PC BEFORE I STARTED TO TRY TO UNROOT MY PHONE. But its fine to charge with using USB cable plug. Just that I got no ways to access to my mass storage from my PC.

    I thought a Factory reset might help. I did that. Nothing happen. It remains the same…

    Can you guys please help me to solve this problem? Thankyou very very much. 🙁

  41. GSaltar says:

    I tried your instructions. It went back to a 2.6.5 version of android and it would indicate emergency calls only even when it actually could make phone calls, and receive data trough my provider network. I did not like it and decided to root my phone again. Unfortunately this time around, after unlocking it, it would not allow me to flash the recovery image. All I would get is ” error: cannot load recovery3101″

    Any idea what to do next? Please help!

  42. Zokki says:

    Does this also work for my ICSNexus S ? I want it to downgrade how it was when i first got it.

  43. Petter says:

    Thank you very much from Sweden, finally something that works! :D:D:D

  44. Chintan Udani says:

    Hey I had rooted my phone some 7-8 months ago. I have 2.3.3 version and now i am trying to use this guide to unroot but when i say it to install the i9023 version it just says installation aborted. what do i do?

  45. kumar says:


    I did OTA ICS update, it worked fine for a couple of weeks. the phone battery completely drained and after charging, it is in boot loop.

    I tried factory reset, wiping the cache partition, but still no success. I downloaded the official images from google website and i need to unlock the boot loader.

    In order to install the recovery and system images , i tried fast oem unlock first.

    It gives me error and mentions failed.
    I get error that bootloader is locked and to use fastboot oem unlock.

    I tried this command to unlock bootloader
    fastboot oem unlock
    The message i get is
    FAILED (remote: Erase Fail)
    finished. total time: 5.391s

    Can anyone help me with this. Could this be a software or hardware issue.

    Thank you

  46. Ru says:

    I find your blog very helpful.
    I followed your instruction to root my nexus s
    and now i want it back unrooted. But i got a few questions tho;

    1. i have the clockworkMod recovery v., but i have no os. so everytime i reboot it will just go back to the recovery page. Is it possible for me to unroot my phone and later after unrooting it, install the official ics release? or the unrooting will disable any os installation?

    i really need your insight. it would be so super and kind of you to help me figuring this out. ^_^
    thank you very much,


  47. George says:

    Hi, please help me. I did downgrade to GB everything work fine but I can’t launch android market. It says Application Market(proces com. android.vending) has stopped unexpectedly. please try again….. PLEASE help me!!:(

  48. Jon says:

    What about if we want to install the stock factory image for the Nexus S that you can download from the Google dev site? Will it work if you just use the soju zip file from Google?

    • Nexus S Hacks says:

      yes that works!

      • Jon says:

        Hey thanks for the quick reply! I tried doing the same procedure with the factory soju image provided by google on their dev site (GRK39F), but it keep saying installation aborted :s

        • Jon says:

          This was the zip file that I was trying to install “soju-grk39f-factory-5ab09c98.tgz”… Now I unzipped that and found “” within that tgz file. But when I try to install the “” within CWM, the installation fails :s…

          • Nexus S Hacks says:

            you cannot install it in CWM you have to use fastboot, open the script files and try it one by one.

            • Jon says:

              Ooooh :s… Would you mind helping me on that? Or are there any fastboot procedures that are easy to follow? You have THE BEST tutorial by the way. Great job!

              • Nexus S Hacks says:

                Shoot, I don’t really have time today but probably next week? Sorry man, my schedule is really booked up this whole week but let me see what I can do. If nothing gets updated, hit me up next week at I can surely do it then.

                • Jon says:

                  Hey, no worries man, you’re a hero lol! I can’t find any simple procedures in English for how to do a complete (and I mean COMPLETE) wipe and clean install using Fastboot for my Nexus S. I am using a Mac and I’ve downloaded the Android SDK as well as the IMM76D factory 4.0.4 Soju image. Everything is ready for your magic :D.

                  It’s fun learning how everything works with the Nexus S and I’m beginning to feel a lot more comfortable using it 😀

                  Thanks again!

  49. Jon says:

    Okay, so I used the i9020t zip file that you provided and it reimaged successfully… But, When looking under the Wireless and Network Settings, I can not enable NFC anymore. It is displaying “An error occurred” underneath “NFC” and the checkbox will not activate… Help please 😀

    • Nexus S Hacks says:

      Not sure on this, did u try updating to the latest OTA after unroot? That might fix.

      • Jon says:

        Latest OTA update provided is the 4.0.4 update, which I don’t want to go back to :). GB 2.3.6 feels much better for the Nexus S as battery life on 4.0.4 was giving me anxiety lol.

  50. Karen says:

    Errmm.. Can’t see the “install zip from sd card” but only updates,clear cache & factory reset.. Can i ask what should I do?

  51. Tarush says:

    Hey can some please help!!….I did everything step by step and successfully unrooted the phone .Now its on 2.3.6 and it says ‘locked’. The problem I am not getting the signal of the network my phone is on. Its on roaming and I’ve tried many times by switching it off, though there is full signal strength on my rooted galaxy S2. Someone please help asap as I have to send this phone!!!…

  52. Alex says:

    If i am on a rom (aokp) did i will get the update of google for 4.1.1 even if im on a rom or i need to go back stock to have the 4.1.1 update? i know i can have jelly bean rom but not working for me!! so did i will get the update if im on a rom???

  53. Mitchell Goudie says:

    HI, I am on MIUI and hate it, I flashed the OTA 4.0.4 file and can use it and it is amazing, but I want jelly bean, but when I try to install it from OTA , it says status 7 error, I have also tried downloading JB ROMS for my version and they still dont work, will unrooting and installing the JB ROM and rooting again fix this?

  54. Mitchell Goudie says:

    Hi, I ended up Unrooting and rooting again, now i am trying to get everything backs as I copied the CMD and TB folders to my desktop, but I have no access even though the bootloader status is unlocked, going to try to install 4.0.4 and do your method again.

  55. sserhat says:

    I have I9020T, but I have updated I9020a regardless.
    Now I cannot update any rom (I tried to root again but I couldn’t. there is a problem with driver. it shows Android 1.0 and I couldn’t find any driver for it).
    Is there anyone has any suggestion?

  56. Nexus s user 44 says:

    Need help. Every time i entre fastboot oem lock it tells me waiting for device but doesn’t do anything else after words

  57. hichem says:

    whene I go to rom manager and i click in resoudre les problemes de permission it says erreur pour lancer une commande avec les permission root because whene i like to patch some app it says go to titanuim backup and the titanuim backup it says acces root echec ans the message of super utilisateur not displayed in any app even in list superuser app nothing is displayed ..
    help me pleas

  58. Andrej Sarman says:


    I use your nexus S root some time ago. It work perfect. After that my phone update 2-3 times to 4.1.x.
    After first update to 4.0 the root stop working, i know i have to root it again. But didnt take the time for backup all my stuff on phone and didnt root it again. The superuser program was on my phone but when i start root checker it says it is not rooted.
    So i try to root it with your new tutorial for ICS. I did all what was in tutorial. After that i try root checker and it still say that the phone is not root-ed. After that I try to unroot phone with unroot nexus S tutorial. I have instaled i9020 rom i downloaded from begining of this tutorial. Now I have on my phone 2.3.6 and when I try to update phone to 4.x it says that the latest version of ROM is on system. What to do now to upgrade phone to 4.x and after that to root phone ??

    Tnx for help.

  59. Maryam says:

    So I did this and at the last step it says what should I do?

  60. Pingback: how to flash samsung i9020t [nexus] - GSM-Forum

  61. JD says:


    one question to root resp. unroot. Could I see if the NXS was rooted? Is there a log for those information and could I delete these logfile (of course it is possible to delete).
    Or are this information that the world do not need ..?? (´casue i want to buy a NXS – therefore the question)

  62. sajeel says:

    how do i know its i9020a or i9020t….when i go to settings/about phone/ it says I9020XXKI1….i m using CM RC4-crespo ROM.


    • sajeel says:

      now i am having a bigger problem

      I m using CM10 rom 4.2.2,,all of a sudden my phone doesnt boot and it also wont go into recovery mode from fastboot…..

      also when i connect phone in fastboot mode it shows as Samsung Android phone in device manager, but when i go into download mode it shows nothing in device manager list
      please help…

  63. Asad says:

    on step 16: When i execute “fastboot oem lock” through “cmd” it went on saying ?
    P.S: Device is properly connected through usb.

    • Asad says:

      on step 16: When i execute “fastboot oem lock” through “cmd” it went on saying (waiting for device) and no response.. pls help ?
      P.S: Device is properly connected through usb.

  64. Anant A Nuke says:

    Can someone tell me how to root my nexus s- gt-i9020?

  65. Anil says:

    great work.

    But i have a problem.
    when i try to unlock, it say FAILED (remote: Erase Fail)

    actually my phone stuck on google logo(white). it can go to recovery mode. i tried to make a wipe data/factory restore but it says:
    e:format_volume: make_extf4fs failed on /dev/block/platform/s3c-sdhci.0/by-name/userdata

    but it formats the cache. and then it says Data Wipe complete.
    please help.

  66. Joao says:

    Hi everyone!

    The power button of my phone doesn’t work.
    It was rooted and I have used the adb, but after I flashed the stock rom I can’t go to the recovery to wipe/reset factory, because when I boot the phone I always get errors and it’s impossible to connect the phone by adb.

    What I can do to go to the recovery without power button and adb?

    Thanks and forgive me because my english isn’t the best

  67. Steve says:

    I have followed these instructions exactly, and now I can’t connect to my carrier – says “emergency calls only”. When I search for networks it can’t find my Carrier (Wind Mobile). Since this has happened, I have also flashed the LATEST stock rom from google’s factory images (4.1.2) and still have the same problem of not finding my carrier. Is there a way to fix this?

  68. Azher says:

    Thanks bro your method perfectly works for me

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