How-To Geek

How to Skip the Wait and Upgrade Your Nexus to Android Nougat Now

2016-08-23 00.03.43

Android Nougat is here, but it’s rolling out to Nexus devices slowly. If you still haven’t gotten the upgrade notification, here’s a little trick to upgrade sooner.

My Nexus 5X hadn’t gotten the update notification today, but after performing these simple steps, I’m up and running Android 7.0 with no hassle. You don’t even need an unlocked bootloader.

It turns out, users enrolled in the Android Beta program are getting priority with this update. If you aren’t in the beta program, though, you can enroll now–and if the update has started to roll out for your device, you’ll get the final version of Nougat right away. When it’s done installing, you can just unenroll from the beta program without any consequences. (Hat tip to -TheReal- on Reddit and @jmcountryman on Twitter for pointing this out!)

This only works for Nexus devices that are currently slated to get the update, which means Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, and Nexus 9, as well as the Nexus Player, Pixel C and General Mobile 4G. In addition, it won’t work just yet for some devices–Google has started rolling out to the 6P, 5X, and Pixel C first, and this trick should work right away. Nexus 6 and 9 users are reporting that it isn’t working yet, but once Google starts that rollout, it should work there too.

Step One: Enroll in the Android Beta Program

This could not be simpler. First, head to this page in a web browser. If you’re logged into your Google account, you should see eligible devices in a list further down the page. Just click the “Enroll Device” button to enroll in the beta.

NOTE: The page claims your data will be wiped when you opt out, but as long as you’re downloading a final build and not a preview build, you’ll be fine–your device won’t be wiped. But it couldn’t hurt to make a backup of your important data first, just in case.

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Step Two: Download and Install the Update

You should soon see an update notification on your phone (mine came almost immediately). Tap it, and you’ll get more information about the update.

androidfinal androidbeta

If you see the screen on the left, that means Google is serving a final release for your device, and you can tap the Download button to continue. If you see the screen on the right, however–which notes that the update is a preview build–do not tap the Download button. The final version isn’t rolling out to your model yet, so try again later.

Give your phone time to download and install the update, and soon you should be running Android Nougat, fresh from Google’s official update mechanism.

Step Three: Unenroll in the Beta Program

Now that you have the update, head back to the beta enrollment page and click the “Unenroll Device” button for your phone. Now that you have the update, you don’t need the beta program anymore (unless you want to keep it). Again, the page warns that your device will be wiped, but as long as you installed a final build and not a preview build, your device should be fine.

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That’s it! Enjoy all the new features of Android Nougat, and go brag to all your friends that you got the update first.

Whitson Gordon is is the editor-in-chief of How-To Geek. He is also a Windows user, PC builder, metalhead, chopstick-using potato chip eater, and Midwest-to-Southern California transplant. You can follow his nerdy exploits on Twitter and Facebook.

  • Published 08/23/16

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