How to Install Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow Right Now

This morning Google officially released Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow with over 200 new emojis, software changes, security patches and more for all new Nexus smartphones and tablets. Over the air updates will begin today, but as we all know, those never arrive as fast as some would like. So instead, below are a few instructions to install it right now, rather than waiting for the slow update process to complete.

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Google teased a new update last week, claiming that over 200 emoji characters from Unicode 8 would be coming to Android. Things like tacos, unicorns, hands, smiley faces, poop emojis and much much more. Those are just a small portion of the update, and this morning the factory images have been posted for anyone that would like to manually update.

Read: Nexus Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow: What to Expect

As we all know, over the air software updates don’t all arrive at once like iOS. In fact, Google rolls them out in slow waves starting with 20% of users, then 30-50%, then up to 80% and eventually everyone within a few weeks. Below we’ll explain how to get it right now.  The Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow System Image is a download that contains all the files needed to install a stock version of Marshmallow on the below mentioned devices. This is essentially everything that you would download as an OTA update for regular Android updates. Read on for all the details.

Android6-marshmallow-L

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Google has just released this update for the Nexus 5, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6, Nexus 6P, Nexus 7 (2013 and mobile version) as well as the Nexus 9 and Nexus Player. The factory images are live for all devices, and over the air update should begin today, and continue for the next few weeks.

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This guide will show you how to install the new Nexus Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow software. This is something you can do from Windows, Mac, Linux or ChromeOS. There are multiple ways this can be done, and lots of things that can go wrong, but below are the easiest steps without spending hours setting up all of Google’s developer software.

How to Install ADB on Windows, Mac, Ubuntu & ChromeOS

Before you can install Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow on the Nexus 5x, Nexus 6, Nexus 9 or others you will need to install ADB and Fastboot to your computer. This is a program that runs on your PC/Mac to connect to your Android device through a USB cable and flash the Android software to your device.

Installing ADB and Fastboot is one of the most difficult parts of installing Android factory images, but several simple tools make it incredibly easy. Our tools below bypass all the trouble and streamline the process.

How to Install ADB on Windows

Use this tool to install ADB and Fastboot on Windows in seconds.

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If you are using a Windows machine, including up to Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 you can use the 15 second adb installer to streamline the process.

Download the ADB installer for Windows. Find the file, right-click on it and choose Run as Administrator. When prompted you need to give the app access to run as an administrator. After the app launches type a Y and enter to select yes to Install ADB & Fastboot, to intsll ADB/Fastboot systemwide and to install Drivers. When a new window pops up follow the steps to install the drivers.

After this is installed you should be ready to install the Android 6.0.1 on a supported Nexus device.

How to Install ADB on Mac, Linux & ChromeOS

This tool installs ADB on Mac, Linux and ChromeOS easily.Nexus Tools makes it easy to install ADB on a Mac, Linux or even ChromeOS. All you need to do is open Terminal on your computer and past in the code from xda. Open terminal by going to search, and simply typing Terminal and opening the program.

This will install ADB and Fastboot on Mac, Linux and Chrome OS without the need to do anything else. It’s extremely easy, and avoids all the ADB package mess that typically takes hours to complete.

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After the script completes you can type ADB or Fastboot to start running either program. This is where you’ll need to be to flash the new Android 6.0.1 system images provided by Google onto your device. Remember to head into settings > developer options and enable USB Debugging first.

How to Install Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow Right Now

The first thing you need to do is download the just released Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow System Image (Factory image) for your device. You can find them at the links below. You’ll have to agree to the terms, and then proceed. Make sure you download the right one, especially for mobile tablets.

You will need to unzip these files to a folder you can access, we just unzipped it to our Mac desktop. After you have the Android 6.0.1 system image unzipped you will need to find this folder and type cmd into the address bar on Windows, or open terminal and change the folder to this folder on Mac, Linux or Chrome OS. Reminder, if you’re on a MAC you need to make sure terminal is running inside the folder you just unzipped.

If your Nexus is not bootloader unlocked you should do that first. We could not install any Android M images and update with the device locked. This will wipe your device and erase all user data, settings, pictures, etc. Repeat, this will erase everything!

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Open a Terminal in the adb folder and type the command below then hit enter.

adb reboot bootloader

In Fastboot type:

fastboot oem unlock

Then hit enter. Follow the on-screen instructions and choose to erase the device. Wait a minute or so for it to unlock. This removes everything on your device.

You can install the Android L Beta using these directions.

Flash Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow Images

Now open the folder containing the unzipped Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow System Image file you just downloaded. Type cmd in the address bar. Type the following commands posted below and hit enter. On a Mac you can open Terminal in the folder by enabling terminal shortcuts in settings. This is key for Mac users. Head to System Preferences and select Keyboard > Shortcuts > Services. Find “New Terminal at Folder” in the settings and click the box. Now when you’re in Finder, just right-click a folder and you’re shown the open to open Terminal. Or just do it from the desktop where you unzipped the Factory image as shown below.

Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 1.46.08 PM

Once in terminal simply copy and paste the commands below to install Android 6.0.1 to your Nexus 5, Nexus 6P, Nexus 7, Nexus 9, or even the Nexus Player.

flash-all.bat

This will flash all of the needed files. If you are on a Mac or other computer you will need to type;

sudo ./flash-all.sh

This will push all of the files and update your device to the just released Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. The files will start pushing and installing and your Nexus device may reboot and you will see an Android figure and then a moving Android logo. The logo screen may stay for a long time. Don’t unplug the device. You may run into an issue, which we did and will explain below.

Read: Android 5.0 Tap N Go Restores Your Phone in Minutes

Update: Many users may experience a “missing system.img” error and the installation will be aborted. This is because the way you’re trying to flash the update. Instructions on how to get around this can be found right here. Essentially users will need to unzip the update.zip folder and move all the images to the original folder we mentioned above, then manually flash them one by one starting with the bootloader, then the radio, vs the flash-all command mentioned above. Only do this if you run into issues.

Once done you’ll be on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow running the latest December security patches, notice some changes to the do-not-disturb and volume controls, over 200 new emoji options, and likely some other small changes here and there. As soon as we know what’s new, we’ll be sure and confirm.

For those who’d rather not mess with all the scary codes and flashing of software above, the update is rolling out as a typical (over-the-air) software update today. This can be accepted once it arrives, it won’t delete anything, and is the easiest way to proceed. Only do the above steps if you’re ok with erasing your device and want the latest software now. Otherwise, stay put, and the update will hit your device in the coming days or the next week or so at the latest.

Those without a Nexus device, stay tuned for more details from Samsung, Motorola, LG and other manufacturers, as they should make making announcements soon, or at least start the initial Android 6.0 update.