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Install Android 4.3 on the 2012 Nexus 7: walkthrough and video

Authored by: Kris Carlon — Jul 31, 2013

Google introduced the new Nexus 7 last week, which will run on the new version of the operating system: Android 4.3. While the OTA update should be available on older Nexus devices, if this does not happen or you just can't wait, here's how to do it manually. 

nexus 7 android 4 3 update teaser
© AndroidPIT

Simple Method

First of all, try the method given in this tutorial in the forum: Install Android 4.3 on the Nexus 7, simple method. If it does not work, you can flash the offcial Google firmware as explained below.


Flashing a ROM, even an official one, involves risk. If you do not follow the procedure properly, you can end up with an unusable device. Neither AndroidPIT or myself will be held responsible for anything bad that comes your way, so proceed at your own risk.

Be warned: this method results in the loss of all your data, so back up all your data first.

Get the new Android 4.3 Jelly Bean OS on your old Nexus 7. / © AndroidPIT


Firmware Android 4.3 for Nexus 7 WiFi (nakasi)

Firmware Android 4.3 for Nexus 7 3G (nakasig)

Fastboot + ADB drivers


  • Charge the Nexus 7 to at least 80%
  • Make sure the drivers are installed before flashing (see following steps)
  • Save data

Flashing Android 4.3 on the Nexus 7 via Fastboot

  1. Download the correct firmware for your model, make no mistakes here!
  2. Unzip the contents of the firmware in a folder named for example ''AndroidNexus7''.
  3. Download Fastboot + ADB drivers and unzip the contents to the same folder in Windows.
  4. Put your Nexus 7 in Fastboot mode, to do this turn it off and press the volume up button, volume down and power simultaneously.
  5. Connect your Nexus 7 in Fastboot mode to your PC via USB.
  6. <<If you haven't unlocked your bootloader already, press Shift key and right-click in the fastboot folder, then select ''Open Command Prompt.'' Once the Command Prompt is open, enter the command ''fastboot oem unlock'' and exit Command Prompt. Your tablet will ask if you want to unlock, select ''Yes'' and let it do its thing.>>
  7. In ''AndroidNexus7'' folder, launch ''flash-all''.
  8. A window will open, from this moment, leave your PC alone. Do not disconnect your tablet. You may feel that the system is blocked, but this is not the case. Some phases are long, so just don't touch anything and wait till the process is complete. If you have any questions or issues you can join the forum discussion for this tutorial here.
nexus 7 android 4 3 update fastboot
If it looks like the process has frozen, don't panic. Just wait. / © AndroidPIT

The New Android 4.3 Walkthrough

Ok, so now you're all set up with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean on your 2012 Nexus 7. What's new? Not much, mostly performance enhancements and a couple nifty features we can't show you, like Bluetooth Smart v4.0 for connecting to low-power Bluetooth devices, Open GL ES3.0 accelerated graphics as standard for enhanced gaming and real-time image rendering.

As for what we can show you, there's the main feature of Android 4.3 which is of course, the multi-user feature with restricted profile options. Check out the video below for a quick walkthrough of the new-look OS and there's some screenshots too to demonstrate the new features if video is not your thing.

Multi-User Restricted Profiles

First of all you can see the lock screen is different for each user. You have the multi-user buttons at the bottom of the screen, and depending on what settings have been put in place the interaction is entirely different. For example, in our 'owner' profile, you have the screen-lock PIN pattern, in the other profiles you simply swipe to unlock.

The owner gets a PIN lock to protect their profile, restricted users can simply open by swiping. / © AndroidPIT

If you're in 'owner' mode, you can add new users and set different options for the restrictions that will apply to their profile. There's everything from access to Chrome and Google Earth, to File Managers and the Photo Gallery, and you can limit access to Google services like Hangouts, the Play Store and Wallet. You simply flick on/off switches for the restrictions you want to activate.

There are plenty of options for setting up restricted profiles in Android 4.3  / © AndroidPIT

Once you've made the restrictions, the tablet responds differently depending on which user is in control. For example, you can see the limited app options in the restricted profile compared to the owner profile. The background and other preferences are all different too. However, we did note you can't change language options between users, something that would be handy in our multi-lingual office.

There's also some changes to the Daydream screensaver and the Notifications pull-down tab. / © AndroidPIT

Have you installed the new Android 4.3 update on your Nexus 7? What do you think of the minor changes to the operating system?

Kris Carlon comes to the AndroidPIT Editorial Team via a lengthy period spent traveling and relying on technology to keep him in touch with the outside world. He joined the Android community while resurfacing in civilization back in 2010 and has never looked back, using technology to replace his actual presence in other people's lives ever since. He can usually be found juggling three phones at once and poring over G+ posts, Reddit and RSS feeds.


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  • Alain Bellare 7 months ago Link to comment

    Hey Kris, I have a question my nexus 7 2012 WIFI is on android 4.2 JOP40C, not the 4.2.2 is it possible for me to update it directly to 4.3 or do I have to update it first to 4.2.2?

  • Justin Elliott Nov 11, 2013 Link to comment

    Thank you so much for making this! I accidentally deleted the OS from my Nexus and I was distraught and thought I had bricked this. But with this guide I easily reinstalled the OS and now my tablet works again! I cannot thank you enough!

  • Kris Carlon
    • Admin
    • Staff
    Nov 6, 2013 Link to comment

    Ah yes! You ALWAYS have to back up first! Glad your lesson didn't cause you any major loss of data.

  • Jackson Murphy Nov 1, 2013 Link to comment

    Yep working like normal, just re rooted it and got all my apps back, this time im going to back-up (iv learnt my lesson)

  • Kris Carlon
    • Admin
    • Staff
    Nov 1, 2013 Link to comment

    Ah, perfect, I love XDA. So you got 4.3 working fine now?

  • Jackson Murphy Oct 31, 2013 Link to comment

    KRIS!!! i found something so easy that its amazing!!

    thats all i ever wanted! mery xmas to meh :D

    my device now works (except lost all dta but id only had it for a week so :P)

  • Jackson Murphy Oct 31, 2013 Link to comment

    im in Bootlocker made, so how do i get to fast boot? and im most certainly unlocked (when it boots up, under google is a little unlock thing) im using "flash all.bat" and thats when i get "fastboot" is not recognized as an internal or external command.

  • Kris Carlon
    • Admin
    • Staff
    Oct 31, 2013 Link to comment

    Do you mean the ''fastboot oem unlock'' command? Is your bootloader locked? Are you in fastboot mode? The system above worked fine for us. Just double check you're in fastboot mode (press the volume up button, volume down and power at the same time) and then connect and try the fastboot command again.

  • Jackson Murphy Oct 31, 2013 Link to comment

    "fastboot" is not recognized as an internal or external commend, operab;le program or batch file

    its ays this when i click "flash-all" my nexus is in bootlocker (looks like the andriod opened up) iv tried a few times but same result, can u please chack the file is working? or am i doing somthing wrong?

  • Kris Carlon
    • Admin
    • Staff
    Aug 5, 2013 Link to comment

    Hi John, I asked a developer here about your apps being linked somehow to the app centre they came from and he said the following:
    ''You have two kinds of update notifications. You can write code in your own app to check your own server for updates and let the user know that there are updates and redirect him to a store. Or... The app store that the user has, usually has a background process running that checks for updates and notifies the user.
    If an app doesn't work anymore because it loses access to the app store it came from it's probably because there is code in the app to make it dependent on it in order to run. Which is strange, but I've never used the Amazon store...''
    Unfortunately neither have I, but it might be worth contacting the Amazon customer support to get some more answers to this problem.

  • John A Aug 5, 2013 Link to comment

    hi Kris, yes, when you have restricted access to the Amazon Store, I have been unable to open apps from that store. I receive an error telling me that the store is not available and I should reinstall it

  • Kris Carlon
    • Admin
    • Staff
    Aug 2, 2013 Link to comment

    That's an interesting flaw John. Can you just clarify for me though: do you mean that anything downloaded previously from Amazon Market won't open in the restricted profiles?

  • John A Aug 1, 2013 Link to comment

    tested the restricted user tonight, found a big flaw, anything downloaded from Amazon Market opens and complains that you must have uninstalled the Amazon market. And then you click OK the close the app.

    testing more as I'm hoping I can use it to safely provide games.