Nexus 5 TWRP Recovery v2.8.7.1 Installation Guide

Lots of customization on Android devices like custom ROMs, themes, utility mods and a heck lot more cool tweaks; they all come packed in a zipped file, which can only be flashed/installed using a custom recovery. And only custom recovery. You can’t use the stock Android 3e recovery that comes pre-installed on your device because it only allows you to flash signed official updates, not custom made zips.

TWRP recovery is the most advanced custom recovery for Android devices with more features and speedy performance than CWM. Follow the guide below to install TWRP recovery on your Nexus 5.

Google Nexus 5 TWRP Recovery


Find the latest version available of the TWRP recovery file here.

Supported devices

  • Google LG Nexus 5, model no. D820 and D821
  • Don’t try on any other Android device!

Tip: Check the model no. in Settings > About phone. Or, you could also find the model no. on the packaging box of the device.

Installation Instructions

Warning: 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.

Important Note: Backup important files (music, photos, documents, videos, etc.) stored on your device before proceeding with the steps below.

  1. Unlock bootloader of Nexus 5. That’s a must, as without this, device remains locked and you cannot install TWRP recovery. You will also get to install ADB and LG drivers in that guide, so we will skip drivers part here.
  2. Download Nexus 5 TWRP recovery file from above.
  3. Install ADB drivers.
  4. Open the folder on your PC where you have the TWRP recovery’s file.
  5. Rename the recovery’s filename from to n5twrp (keep the .img extension of course).
  6. Connect Nexus 5 to PC.
  7. Transfer the n5twrp.img file to Nexus 5. Remember its location.
  8. Open the command window in the folder where you have the TWRP recovery:
    1. While holding shift key, right click from mouse on the white space inside the folder. You’ll get a pop-up as shown below.
    2. Select the option: Open command window here
  9. Reboot Nexus 5 into fastboot mode. Copy the command below and paste it in command window. Then hit enter key.
    adb reboot bootloader
  10. Boot TWRP recovery on Nexus 5. For this again, copy paste the command below to cmd window and then hit enter key. Yay! You’ll boot into TWRP recovery. This is not permanent installation, but we will get that in next steps.
    fastboot boot n5twrp.img
  11. In TWRP recovery on nexus 5, tap on Install.
  12. The tap on Images… button at bottom right. Now select the n5twrp.img file you transferred to phone in step 7 above.
  13. Be careful now, on next screen, select Recovery option under ‘Select Partition to Flash Image’. Don’t the select Boot, which is the only other option.
  14. Then use the ‘Swipe to Confirm Flash’ option at bottom to swipe and install TWRP recovery on your Nexus 5.
  15. You will get [IMAGE FLASH COMPLETE] in blue color on next screen. Tap on Back. Now, you have the TWRP installed on your Nexus 5.
  16. Tap on Home button at bottom left. Now tap on Reboot, and then on System, to restart the device normally. If you want root, you can use the ‘Swipe to Install’ option at bottom on next screen, otherwise simply tap on ‘Do Not Install’ option. We would prefer you to select ‘Do Not Install’, as it’s better to use latest SuperSU file to root device, for which, look at our Nexus 5 Root post.
  17. Optional: Take a backup now. With TWRP installed, the first thing you should do is take backup. It’s really a must-have thing. Boot into recovery mode (in cmd window, type adb reboot recovery) and then tap on Backup. Select all or your choice of partitions you want to backup, and then swipe at bottom to begin creating a nandroid backup — a mirror copy of current status of your phone, that when restored, will bring the phone back to current status, no matter what changes you did, willingly or unwillingly.

Happy flashing!

If you need any help with download and installing TWRP recovery for nexus 5, let us know via comments section below and we will be sure to help you.

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  • mark

    for me i needed to have usb debugging enabled before win7 and adb saw my device

  • Mo Pages

    Quickest ever custom recovery install – that took 0.029 seconds to install TWRP on my Nexus 5!

  • Curtis Scafe

    This doesn’t work for the L preview

  • Carlos Menendez

    Yeah that didn’t work for me either!

  • Jordan Angelucci

    Nope didn’t work for me either (usb debugging enabled). Any updated info? Would love to root this preview!

  • Not working for me. I get the android with red ! when booting into recovery.

  • Montaillou

    Shift-RightClick in the external device’s folder doesn’t bring up command prompt as an option (just the same, standard menu that comes up without Shift). It works on my PC’s harddrive, but not in the folder on my Nexus 5 where I transferred the img file to. Any ideas?

    • Krishna

      Then transfer the whole folder to PC from external device. Or try this, with folder open, go to address bar in that window, delete the address of that folder, type cmd and hit enter. That should open cmd to that location. If not, then use PC folder.

  • syphax

    thank you for the tuto. I have a problem when i boot TWRP recovery. the message error is “cannot load ‘n5twrp.img’: no such file or directory”. i don’t understand where i have to copy the n5twrp.img?
    can you help me ??
    thank’s in advance.