This guide will show you how to download Android 5.0 Lollipop to Android 4.4 KitKat. This works for downgrading from Android 5.0.2 to Android 4.4 or Android 5.0 to Android 4.4 and walks you through the steps to downgrade to an older Android version on a Nexus device.
In this Android downgrade guide, we will focus on the Nexus device lineup, including the Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7, Nexus 9, and Nexus 10. Unless you’re using a Nexus device, this guide is not the way you want to downgrade. Older than Android Lollipop as you will need unlinked files and steps here.
If you are not satisfied with the performance of Android 5.0.2 update on Nexus 7 2012 or you are experiencing one of the many Android 5.0.2 issues that can affect performance and usability, then you should use this guide. Downgrade Android 5.0.2 to Android 4.4.4.
It is very important to remember that unlike an upgrade, this completely wipes the device. If you don’t back up your Nexus before downgrading, you will lose important information and data. Make sure you back up your Android phone.
How to Downgrade from Android 5.0 to Android 4.4.4
These steps show you how to download Android 5.0 to any version of Android 4.4 KitKat that Google offers as a download for your device. This assumes you’re not rooted, but can connect to a computer and run an unlock command and other commands to flash software onto your Nexus. Flashing is a term for installing software on your Nexus in a custom recovery mode while connected to a computer.
Download Factory Image
The first thing you need to do is download the file Android factory image from Google. Scroll through the Android Factory image page until you find your device and the correct download link. Click to download the Android 4.4.4 factory image for your device. This process will take a few minutes to complete.
You need to use ADB to downgrade Android 5.0 to Android 4.4.4. This is a tool that allows the computer to talk to the Nexus device. You cannot downgrade to Android 5.0 without this free tool. You don’t need to buy it, and it’s easy to install on Mac or Windows with utilities that take care of the tricky parts of setup.
Use ADB Installer for Windows To install ADB on Windows 8.1 and Windows 8 in about 15 seconds. The six-step process will install ADB, Fastboot, and the drivers you need to use the tool.
On Mac, you can use a similar tool called Nexus Tools to automatically install the latest version on your Apple computer. Open Terminal on your Mac, navigate to: XDA and copy the listed command into the terminal window and then hit enter. You may need to enter your computer password to complete the setup.
For this to work, you need to unlock the Nexus if it isn’t already done. This will delete everything on your Nexus so be sure to back it up before using these commands.
You will need to turn on USB Debugging mode in Developer Settings. If you haven’t enabled developer settings yet, you need to go to Then go back one page and tap on it. When you plug it into a computer, it will ask you to trust the computer -> .
Now you can and you should see your device connected. You should see if your device is listed in Windows.
With the terminal window or command window still open, type or paste the following command.
adb reboot bootloader
This will launch the Nexus to a bootloader menu and you can now type
fastboot oem unlock
You have to press the volume up button on the Nexus to agree and then turn it on to confirm. This will unlock the bootloader and wipe your data. And now we can move on to the actual Android 5.0 version.
Wipe Cache and Factory Reset
On your Nexus we now need to wipe the cache and do a factory reset. This prepares the Nexus for downgrade. You don’t need to be connected to the computer to do this.
- Necessary .
- enter the bootloader.
- You have to do it on this screen.
- After this boot, you will see a small Android logo with the No command underneath.
- Necessary .
- You will see several options on this screen and all you need to do is . Scroll with the volume buttons and select with the power.
- back then
Install Android 4.4 KitKat to downgrade Android 5.0
Now you can finally downgrade Android 5.0 to Android 4.4 KitKat. You will need to navigate to the folder where you downloaded the KitKat factory image.
As in the image above, the Nexus must be in bootloader mode for this to work. To get back there until you see that screen again.
You need to open a Terminal window here on Mac or a Command window on Windows.
You can on Mac. If you don’t see this option, you need to go to
On Windows just to start one there.
in Windows type
in Mac type
Then enter your password.
The commands will show on the screen and you will finally see it reboot and then complete in the Terminal or Command window. This lets you know it’s complete.
After a few moments the Nexus will reboot and you will now be on Android 4.4.4 KitKat instead of Android 5.0.1. You will still receive notifications for updates, just don’t choose to install them.