How-To: Install Android 4.4 KitKat On Your Nexus 4

Don’t want to wait for the official Android 4.4 KitKat update for your Nexus 4? Not a problem, as you can manually install the latest and greatest version of Android yourself,  and we’re going to show you how!

To achieve the sweetness that is Android 4.4, your Nexus 4 will need to be rooted. If you’re phone isn’t rooted, go check out one of the easy rootkit tools and come back here.

*NOTE: It looks like the 4.4 ROM won’t install with the stock TWRP custom recovery, so be sure to have either the modified TWRP recovery or Clockwork Mod (CWM) recovery installed before you continue. We’re using Clockwork Mod, so the installation process will be based off of this recovery.

Keep in mind that this ROM may not be perfect and is likely best used just to try KitKat out and not a daily driver. You are to assume responsibility if something goes wrong in the process of the installation. Don’t shoot the messenger.

Let’s get started, shall we?

  • Download the ROM from this XDA thread here. Try the old version if you can’t download the latest.
  • Connect your Nexus 4 to your computer with a microUSB cord, go to File Explorer, and open up the internal storage folder of your Nexus 4.
  • Drag the Android 4.4 KitKat ROM you just downloaded into the root of the storage (inside no folders)
  • Power down the Nexus 4.
  • Boot into recovery mode by holding the Power and Volume down buttons at the same time.
  • When in recovery, use the volume up and volume down buttons to move and the power button to execute.
  • You should see an Android laying down, with the word START above it. Press the Volume Down button until it says Recovery Mode and press the Power Button. You’ll then be booted into the recovery.
  • First we’re going to backup your device. You will lose everything on your phone when you wipe the device later, so backup your phone in the Backup and Restore section of the recovery first.
  • After the backup is completed,  go to wipe data/factory reset and follow the prompts until the phone has been reset.
  • Go to wipe cache partition and follow the prompts.
  • Go to advanced and select wipe Dalvik cache and follow the prompts.

Now let’s install your ROM.

  • Go down to Install Zip > Install Zip From /sdcard > 0/ and then select the ROM. ( or something similar)
  • Wait until the installation is completed and reboot your device. The initial boot will take some time, so be patient.

Congratulations, you’re now on Android 4.4 KitKat. Enjoy playing around.

Check out the screenshot gallery below!

  • swag

    my nexus 4 seems to be stuck on bootlogo. D:

    • Joseph Kreifels II

      try using nexus toolkit to undo your “Soft Brick”, and start from the top

      • blakestimac

        I ran into the bootloop issue and just started over. It worked just fine the second time through. My biggest issue, though unrelated to the ROM, was installing CWM. ROM Manager didn’t work, so just use the fastboot flash method if you have an issue installing it.

  • AftabAkaDevil

    Okay, so who else managed successfully flashing their Nexus4 to 4.4?

    • Joseph Kreifels II

      Me, it only took 3 minutes

  • Patrick Cavanaugh

    I been using this ROM for 2 days and no issues what so ever!

    • Santhosh

      Is the Location Services working fine for u ???

      • Patrick Cavanaugh

        Yes it’s working fine for me, I used the GPS last night and it worked fine.

  • ziplock9000

    Bad advice. The N4 has no hardware for the always on Google Now so the CPU has to work all the time. This reduces battery life

    • Joseph Kreifels II

      Do you have the statistics for this or is this your opinion? Kitkat was made for lower end phones and uses very little RAM. Not to mention, Google is releasing Kitkat for Nexus 4 and Galaxy Nexus in a few weeks.

      • ziplock9000

        Always on voice recognition was not even developed when the Nexus 4 was released as it was pre-KitKat. KitKat was not developed FOR lower end devices, it’s just been streamlined so that it CAN. Yes Google is releasing it for those devices, but it might be a cut down version due to a hardware limitation. Similar to how HTC launched cut down versions of sense for phones with different hardware.

  • Joseph Kreifels II

    Thank you, I am now running Android 4.4 on my Nexus 4 untill I get money for Nexus 5

  • Cristiano de Paula

    Works fine for me. Thanks

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