Making An Old Nexus 7(2012) Useful In 2020

Justin Schreiber,blog_post

If for some reason you are holding on to this old tablet, and refuse to upgrade to an iPad like a normal person, here are some steps you can take to my make your old tablet more useful. The Nexus 7 was unfortunately left with a slow unusable version of Android Lollipop (5.1.1) before it was discontinued but, there is an easy way to fix that and even run Android Nougat



  1. Make sure usb debugging is enabled. If it is not already go in to Setting About and press the Build Number 5 Times until it says you are a developer. Then In your developer options settings make sure USB debuggin is also turned on. This will look slightly different from these screenshots. [Put Screenshots here]

settings developer_options

  1. Make sure you are open a terminal or command prompt in the directory of the adb platform-tools. run

     abd reboot bootloader 
     fastboot oem unlock
  2. Flash TWRP (the guide from XDA says to use CWM (clockwork mod) but it should make no difference until later) then run

     fastboot flash recovery path-to-img/twrp-grouper-recovery.img
  3. Enter recovery

     adb reboot recovery
  4. Mount /system


  1. Type in Terminal

     adb shell
     cd /system
     mv recovery-from-boot.p recovery-from-boot.bak
  2. If you want to stop here install SuperSU from the link above and reboot into android 5.1.1. Otherwise, proceed to the next section.



  1. Factory reset through TWRP

  2. Install the newest version of the AOSP. I recommend the one linked above as it includes built in optimizations that have made my tablet run smoother than how it ran on an older cutom rom.

  3. (Optional if you don't want GAPPS aka playstore, etc) Reboot to Recovery and install the linked GAPPs package

  4. (Optional if you don't want root) download Magisk from the link above and install it with TWRP