How to Unroot a Samsung Galaxy Nexus (CDMA) Without USB

This weekend the USB port on my Galaxy Nexus died. I could get it to charge, if I plugged it in about 10 times and wiggled it some, but no USB. Before I could take it back to Verizon, I needed to unroot it, reflash the stock ROM, and relock the boot loader. After digging around on various forums, here are the steps I used that worked for me.


  • You can brick your phone by doing this, so if you don’t know much about rooting, I don’t recommend these steps.
  • If USB works fine, follow these steps instead.
  • I’ve only tried this on a Verizon phone. You will certainly need a different tarball if you have a GSM device.
  • This will erase all files, texts, apps, pictures, EVERYTHING, from your phone.

Re-lock the Bootloader

If you skip this step, there is a tell-tale unlocked icon when the phone boots, so I considered this critical. Fortunately in late June 2012 there was an app published called BootUnlocker for the Galaxy Nexus posted in the app store (discussion thread).
So download and install the app, and run it. The options are simple, Lock and Unlock. You want to click Lock. Do NOT reboot at this point. I don’t know if the next steps will work if you reboot with a locked boot loader.

Install Mobile Odin Pro

From the Play Store on your phone, install Mobile Odin Pro. It costs $5, but a denied warranty on your Galaxy Nexus will cost far more.

Download the Tarball

You need to download the Mobile Odin compatible tar file. Use the PDA link for the tar file from this thread. The tar file is about 470 MB and is called VzW-PDA-ODIN-I515EL03_ICL53F_signed.tar. This tarball includes all the files you need to flash back to stock. Note: I could not get it to download directly from my phone, if this happens to you also, skip to “Wirelessly Copying ROM to Phone”

Wirelessly Copying Tarball to Phone

If you were able to download the ODIN ROM directly to your phone, you can skip this step.

Go into Settings->Developer Options and enable Remote ADB. You will need to be on wi-fi. Noting the IP of your phone, run this on your PC:

adb connect [IP of phone]

If it doesn’t connect, try a few more times. You may need to run adb kill-server and try to connect again if you still cannot connect. Once connected, you should be able to use adb push to copy the VzW tar file over. Note: It took over an hour for the copy to work for me.

There are other options for copying the file if this doesn’t work for you, uploading it to or Dropbox, samba, etc.

Flashing Back to Stock

Open Mobile ODIN Pro. Scroll down to “Open file…” and select the tarball you just copied over. It should then load a bunch of info for different components to be flashed. I also checked the Wipe Data and Wipe Dalvik cache options. You do NOT want everroot enabled! Then, just flick Flash Firmware. Your phone will flash itself back to stock. This takes about 5 minutes.

Note: “Open file…” is not shown on the screen shots

Final Update

Once the phone comes back up, sign-in and do setup as usual. Then go to Settings->About Phone->System Updates and check for an update. There is one system update you will be missing at this point (as of July 2012). I also went to the Play Store, signed-in, and retrieved my apps. While the apps were downloading the system update showed up. This was either due to a delay after checking for the system update or because I had not signed into Play. If the system update doesn’t start within 5 minutes of checking for updates, sign into the Play store, I think that will fix it. This final update takes about 5 more minutes to flash.


You now have an unrooted, stock, locked bootloader phone and are ready for warranty service.

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6 thoughts on “How to Unroot a Samsung Galaxy Nexus (CDMA) Without USB

  1. nichole says:

    Fantastic, I needed this. I know I’m a year late but I wanted you to know you’re appreciated. I’ve never had to use ODIN but it looks like it does the recovery too, fantastic fantastic fantastic.

    Also, the USB port breaking thing is totally under warranty even if your warranty is expired like mine. If anybody’s got this far they probably know this already, but PSA just in casesies. They appear to be aware of a defect in the original batch and have extended their warranty accordingly.

    • nichole says:

      aaaand didn’t work at all. I uninstalled superuser cuz i thought i was done and i am stuck on a custom rom without root, without a recovery, with a locked bootloader and a borked usb port. guess that’s how it’s going in to sammy :/

  2. John Lane says:

    I think it is worth mentioning that people need to install the proper radios EK05 ek02 as a flashable zip before doing this method… I had screwed up the first time but thankfully there are apps out there that let me get recovery back and get re unlocked.. so just to be safe i flashed old radios then flashed a rooted stock 4.0.2 image so worse case scenario would be relock phone and unroot using the 99 cent app in the play store.. but thankfully after doing the previous steps i was able to follow the instructions exactly and my phone is currently installing the vzw system update and all is good

  3. sean says:

    thank you good sir. This worked perfectly i had no problems.
    Only thing i wold add to help transfer the file to the nexus
    is using a wifi transfer app. Thank you again!

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