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How to install Android 6.0 Marshmallow on your Nexus phone or tablet

Update: Android 6.0 Marshmallow has arrived!

The Android 6.0 Marshmallow update is currently rolling out for Nexus devices. It's a very exciting time, and though it may take a while for it to arrive to your handset, you can find out how to install Android 6.0 Marshmallow on your Nexus device right now below.

Nexus 5X vs Nexus 5 1
You don't need a Nexus 5X (right) to get Android Marshmallow. / © ANDROIDPIT

How to install Marshmallow on a Nexus

If you want to install Android Marshmallow on your Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 7 (2013), Nexus 9 or Nexus Player, we've got you covered. Do not try to flash the firmware on any device other than those listed above or you could damage it. In addition, make sure you download the correct firmware for your device (see below), and back up all you Android data before you proceed.

Flashing Android Marshmallow couldn't be simpler. The current Android Marshmallow version, which has build number MRA58K, works just like any other Nexus factory image – you simply download the file and flash it. 

Prerequisites

Get the Android 6.0 Marshmallow update on your Nexus now

1. Turn your Nexus off.

2. Press and hold Power and Volume Down to restart your Nexus to the bootloader (see image below).

androidpit nexus 5 bootloader 25
This is the Nexus 5 bootloader. / © ANDROIDPIT

3. Connect your Nexus to your computer with a USB cable.

4. Open a Windows Explorer window and find the unpacked firmware you downloaded to the ADB Tools folder.

5. Double click the flash-all.bat file and let it do its thing.

6. Your Nexus will reboot and should now be running Android Marshmallow. If it doesn't, check the troubleshooting section below.

androidpit how to install marshmallow on nexus
Flash-all.bat does the work for you: you can just sit back wait to enjoy Android Marshmallow. / © ANDROIDPIT

Troubleshooting

If you have a problem before installation, make sure you have USB Debugging enabled and an unlocked bootloader, as described in the linked guide above.

Bootloop

If you get stuck in a bootloop (your Nexus sticks on the loading screen at startup), you can try to clear the cache partition first by going back to the bootloader and using the volume keys to enter Recovery Mode (use the Power button to confirm your selection). Once you've wiped the cache partition you can try to reboot.

If you still don't get past the boot screen, go back to Recovery and select Wipe data/Factory reset and press the Power button to confirm. This should clear things right up.

ADB problems

If you get an error message in the command prompt window telling you you're missing the system.img file, do the following: unpack the image.zip file as well and copy and paste those files into the same place as the rest of the unpacked files (this should be the ADB Tools folder alongside the as adb.exe and fastboot.exe). 

Then, open a command window (hold Shift and right click, select 'Open command window here') and enter the following commands:

  • fastboot flash bootloader <bootloader-filename>.img
  • fastboot reboot-bootloader
  • fastboot flash recovery recovery.img
  • fastboot flash boot boot.img
  • fastboot flash system system.img
  • fastboot flash cache cache.img
  • fastboot flash vendor vendor.img

Have you installed Android Marshmallow yet? What are your thoughts on it? Let us know in the comments.

73 comments

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  • The step # 6 stop at the middle of the job and the cmd frizzed saying "waiting for device". Now my nexus is dead at all. no one signal of life :-( Anny suggestions?

  • steve 2 months ago Link to comment

    Big old chunky phone.

  • Android 6 Marshmallow worked with vivo y28 or not ?

  • I'm missing files?. it won't accept the img files?? plz help. :-)

  • Prassanth 7 months ago Link to comment

    Worked like a charm! Thanks!

  • Works Fine! and Thank You for the link

  • Thank you.. worked just like described.

  • With my Nexus Android M 9 has been reborn! Faster and without lag, really good! And only thing that I can not set the unlock pattern that crashes settings.

  • mhacky Nov 29, 2015 Link to comment

    i have a problem flashing the system.img. it is always failed. other files need to be flashed are okay but with the system.img it does not want to flashed. it says "writing 'system'... FAILED <remote: unknown chunk type>"
    can anyone help me please?

  • Hey everyone i hvav found an easy way to install android 6 on any supported nexus devices just with one click.if u wanna know more about it contact me on my gmail or hangouts

  • Solved!! androidpolice.com /2014/11/12/running-into-the-dreaded-missing-system-img-error-flashing-android-5-0-factory-images-heres-how-to-get-around-it/ this page has a much clearer version of solution. Same but lot clearer, in laymen terms. Thank You. (Am not allowed to post other websites! so cant paste the link to the perticular page on android police site, sorry )

  • archive does not contain 'boot.sig'
    archive does not contain 'recovery.sig'
    failed to allocate 1043719364 bytes
    error: update package missing system.img
    Press any key to exit...

    Thats where am stuck, help plz

    • Please let me know if anyone figured this one out yet as I have the same issue.

      I'm also getting Device product is 'Grouper'
      Update requires 'flo'.

  • I was not able to flash the vendor img. Will this negatively effect my phone?

  • Maybe I'm crazy, but when I download marshmallow using your Nexus 6 link, I get a .tgz file. Your instructions state to unpack it in the ADB Tools folder, however I cannot unpack this file type. Is there a step that I'm missing in the process? It's a bit disheartening to read that this process "couldn't be simpler" yet I can't get past the second step. I sideloaded my Nexus 5 with Lollipop last year using commands, and it worked just fine. I am not new to this type of thing at all, it just seems the instructions might be missing a step?

    • You're not crazy. You need to "unpack" that .tgz file (which is like unzipping it, but the Windows default zip program won't work) - I used the freeware 7 Zip. Then, I had to unpack it again because the first unpacking just created a .tar file. After unpacking the .tar file, I had what I needed to get going.

      Another thing that threw me is you have to have USB debugging enabled before you can install the Google drivers for your device on your computer. Hope this helps!

      • I did end up figuring it out, but I decided to keep the comment posted in case anyone else ran into similar issues. I forgot to comment as a reply to it with my findings because I was busy exploring the new features of Marshmallow.
        Thank you for your reply!

  • If, like me windows 10 doesn't recognise the device once in ADB mode even though it did before you rebooted try this -
    [unable to post link to android central due to me being a new user]
    Until I found this I was completely stuck and getting nowhere. To quote the helpful post -

    "I too ran into this issue and here's the solution:
    Like rhrmn said, reinstall the Android driver while you're in recovery mode. Even though you installed it while the device was booted and it was recognized, now that you're in recovery mode it won't be recognized anymore. And you can't make it automatically find the Android driver in the driver folder-- you have to select it manually.

    1) On your Windows desktop, Go to your Control Panel then Device Manager.
    2) You should see Android Phone under Other Devices with a Yellow ! mark on it.
    3) Right click on it and choose "Update Driver Software"
    4) Choose "Browse my computer", then "Let me pick from a list."
    5) If you see categories, select "Android Device", then select "Android ADB Interface".
    6) The driver will install and you can now run the update with ADB."

    Everything worked a treat once I'd done the above.
    Hope this helps anyone having problems.

  • I now have the new marshmallow update, however my battery doesn't even last 4 hours. I work outside and my phone is an emergency life line...please fix ASAP or fins lots more complaints.

    I run a nexus 5 less than a year old.

    Sam

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