How to install Jelly Bean 4.1.1 on your Samsung Galaxy Nexus

Sara Carter walks you through the steps for updating Jelly Bean 4.1.1 on your Verizon-branded Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

This information is intended for updating Jelly Bean 4.1.1 on your Verizon-branded Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Before you begin, please be aware that rooting your device will void the warranty. In the past, a few problems have occurred, but in the majority of instances, most users are able to update Jelly Bean seamlessly. However, TechRepublic is not responsible for any damages to your device, so continue at your own risk.

If you still decide to update your phone, first fully charge your battery so that your device doesn't turn off in the middle of the updating process. Also, you should make a backup of all your important messages, contact numbers, and other important information that's stored on the device so that you can restore the data in the unlikely event that the system becomes inoperable.

Next, turn on the USB debugging application. Here's how:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Tap Application settings
  3. Select Development
  4. Make sure the green check appears next to USB debugging (Figure A)
Figure A

Note: Turn USB debugging off once you're finished updating your device.

Turn off any programs that may interfere with your download, such as virus scanners, firewalls, or any other security applications you've installed on the system. After everything is shut down, download the Galaxy Nexus Root Toolkit, Google Apps, and Jelly Bean 4.1.1 Build 1 (this is the zip file that you'll use to update to 4.1.1 Jelly Bean). Copy all of these files onto your SD card, so that you can transfer them later.

Now, turn off the mobile and set it to restart in fastboot mode. This is done by simultaneously holding down the volume up and down buttons on the side and then pressing the power button (Figure B). Figure B

Set your device to restart in fastboot mode.

Once your device restarts in fastboot mode, extract the toolkit to the device directory. When this finishes, locate the file in the directory and execute the toolkit file. This program contains all the files necessary to unlock and root your device. You can use it to restore the system to factory settings, restore previously backed up data, set file permissions, install apps, and many other commands.

Select the root option for the Nexus Galaxy model. From the menu that appears with numbered options, choose 9 (extract and flash) and then 1. This will pull up a list of guidelines for systematically completing the root. Follow the instructions carefully to finish the process.

Once again, hold down the volume up and down buttons, and then press the power button to restart in fastboot mode. Select the Recovery mode (Figure C). Figure C

Recovery mode on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

From the set of options that appear on your screen, follow these steps:

  1. Select the Wipe data/factory reset option
  2. Tap Wipe cache partition
  3. Install ZIP from SD card, and choose the ZIP files, one by one, in order

The procedure will take six minutes to complete. When prompted, select Go back | Reboot system now to reboot the device in normal mode.

Once the system is back up, you can check the firmware by tapping Settings | About phone. It should show that the Jelly Bean 4.1.1 firmware was successfully updated.

Next, install the zip from your SD card, extracting it back into the directory. From the extracted folder, select the Jelly Bean 4.1.1 firmware package and the Google Apps package, which were downloaded in the first step.

Once these programs have been selected, they'll begin the recovery process. This may take up to 20 minutes, so don't worry that something has gone wrong. After the installation is complete, you'll need to reboot the system. You'll now have Jelly Bean 4.1.1 on your Verizon-branded Samsung Galaxy Nexus.


Sara Carter specializes in computer repair, tech support, social marketing, computer and mobile apps, web design, and consulting. She likes, Google Android, psychology, traveling, and skiing.


My Galaxy Nexus on Verizon does not have an SD card, and I understood that was normal for these phones.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

No need for all the extra steps of downloading separate .zip files or clicking around your fastboot menu to install from sdcard. The latest Wug's Nexus Root Tool does everything including downloading the correct firmware image. It also supports the Asus Nexus7 tablet. Samsung Galaxy Nexus - Unlocked, Rooted, Jellybean 4.11 (no thanks to negligent Samsung) Asus Nexus 7 - Unlocked, Rooted, Multi-User'd Jellybean has undocumented early support for multiple users (or profiles if you like). If interested, look at Appaholics User Management GUI app for adding/removing profiles. My Nexus7 has a guest profile to keep my settings and data separate from the kid's Angry Birds high score. If you are rooting, note that you can have the device rooted by Wug's tool without flashing the Clockwork mod; do not check "permanently flash CWD" under the Root button. This should mean that future updates won't brake the device when they don't find the stock Fastboot.


Hello Ahuka12, You are correct, there isn't a removable card on these phones! You are also correct that this is normal! I didn't care for it because it made it a little harder for my PC to want to read or copy the files on the phone, but you just have to be persistent & keep highlighting the phone in the files tree, so it will branch out, as it reads your phone. Unfortunately, it doesn't read it as fast as an external SD card. One benefit I guess is that you don't need to concern yourself with space management! The phone takes care of that! There is no such thing as "moving app to SD card"! Those apps are pointless with this phone! Good Luck!

Sonja Thompson
Sonja Thompson

Thanks for posting this comment. Greatly appreciated!

Editor's Picks