Nexus 5 ClockworkMod Recovery (CWM) with One Click Installer

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Well well, the LG made Google Nexus 5 already has the ClockworkMod recovery, aka CWM, available for download and installation. And it’s come hot on the heels of Nexus 5 Root that was released by Chainfire yesterday.

You would need to unlock the bootloader of Nexus 5 first in order to install the CWM recovery via fastboot, which we have covered in detail below. But be sure to backup your Nexus 5 fully — even if you have used it for not more than a couple of days right now since it was launched only 2 days ago, as of writing this — as the process of unlocking bootloader deletes everything on phone.

CWM recovery is a must have for pro users of Android devices, as it lets you install you install Custom ROMs, mods, themes, apps, etc. and create very safe and very secure Nandroid backups, restore (in part or full) those backups to fix a soft-bricked device. All of which is a regular if you are into the game of trying our different cool custom ROMs and Mods.

So, if you are looking to install custom ROMs like Cyanogenmod, AOKP, ParanoidAndroid, etc. on your Nexus 5 as and when these ROMs become available, install the recovery now and be prepared.

Anyway, let’s see how one can the famous ClockworkMod recovery on Nexus 5, aka Hammerhead!


Warranty may be void of your device if you follow the procedures given on this page.

You only are responsible for your device. We won’t be liable if any damage occurs to your device and/or its components.


You must do this pre-installation stuff before attempting to install CWM recovery on your Nexus 5 in order to avoid any complications later, and have a smooth and successful process.


Back up important data and stuff before you start playing around here as there are chances you might lose your apps and app-data (app settings, game progress, etc.), and in rare case, files on the internal memory, too.

For help on Backup and Restore, check out our exclusive page on that linked right below.



You must have proper and working driver installed on your windows computer to be able to successfully install a firmware on your Google Nexus 5. In case you’re not sure, follow the link below for a definitive guide for installing driver for your Nexus 5 on your computer.



You must unlock the bootloader on your Nexus 5 to be able to flash CWM recovery on your Nexus 5.



If your android device powers off due to lack of battery while the process is underway, it could damage the device.

So, make sure your device is adequately charged — at least 50% battery of the device.



Download the files given below and save them in a separate folder on your computer.

  • Nexus 5 CWM Recovery installer   |  DOWNLOAD LINK (see the note below in red)
    File name: | Size: 10.8 MB)

Download Link removed as the CWM recovery wasn’t working as it should. Link will be updated as and when new and fully working CWM recovery is available. 

Sorry for inconvenience!

But, the GOOD NEWS is that TWRP recovery is available and is fully working for the Nexus 5. So, go ahead and install the TWRP recovery in place of CWM recovery, as whatever you were planning to fo with CWM, TWRP too can do. Maybe even better.

Get TWRP Recovery for NEXUS 5


NOTE: You must unlock bootloader on your Nexus 5 before trying to install a custom recovery on your phone. And know that, unlocking bootloader would completely wipe (delete everything) on your Nexus 5, so take make sure to backup your phone adequately before attempting to unlock bootloader and install custom recover.

  1. Extract the file you downloaded above (using 7-zip, preferably). You’ll get the following files:
    • api (folder)
    • 1-click-cwm-recovery-installer.bat
    • adb.exe
    • AdbWinApi.dll
    • AdbWinUsbApi.dll
    • fastboot.exe
    • hammerhead-cwm-
  2. Double-click/Run the ‘1-click-CWM-recovery-installer.bat’ file and follow the simple on-screen instructions like ‘Press any key to continue..’ to install CWM recovery on your Nexus 5.
  3. Once the CWM recovery is flashed successfully on your Nexus 5, it will reboot automatically.
    └ In case the script gets stuck on < waiting for device > (see image below) for more than a minute or so, then it means you don’t have proper drivers installed on your computer for your Nexus 5. Follow the drivers installation guide provided above in ‘Before you begin..‘ section for troubleshooting driver and other connectivity issues.
    Device not found 'waiting for device'
  4. Try booting into recovery to verify if CWM recovery has been installed successfully:
    • Switch off your Nexus 5
    • Press and hold ‘Volume Down + Power’ button together to boot into bootloader/fastboot mode
    • Navigate to ‘Recovery mode’ using Volume Up and Down buttons and select ‘Recovery mode’ by pressing Power button. Your phone should boot into CWM recovery.

That’s all!


Let us know how the installation of very popular CWM recovery went for you? What do you plan next, custom ROMs?

Your suggestions are welcomed!

Via XDA (Shimp208)

Kapil still loves his Galaxy S2 i9100! No, really. And Galaxy Nexus! Need we say more what kind of guy he is? And he's also a die-hard Liverpool FC fan. Email:
  • dnard

    need to make sure you tell people to allow factory reset to occur after bootloader unlock and not to flash cwm straight away or you get a brick.

  • dnard

    doesn’t work

  • Steve

    This CWM experimental build does not work. The original author has taken it down and requests that people wait for the official CWM release for Nexus 5. I would recommend you update this article.

    • Link removed. As CWM is not working right now, we suggest you to install the all new TWRP recovery (see the link at downloads section above). New TWRP recovery,, works fine with Android 4.4, KitKat.

  • tillmany

    Yes, misleading title, this was not the official CWM recovery and that should have been stated in the title.