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Nexus 9 Android 5.0.2 Update Problems & Fixes



Earlier this week an update finally arrived for Google’s famed Nexus 9 tablet, although it wasn’t the update most users wanted or were expecting. Rather than deliver Android 5.1.1 Lollipop like other devices recently received, Google pushed Android 5.0.2 out to the Nexus 9, and it’s causing problems for lots of owners.

Announced back in October and released on November 3rd the Nexus 9 was supposed to be Google’s latest and greatest tablet. However, for whatever reason, it hasn’t received much attention and this week received its first update in over 5 months. All while almost every other Nexus has seen Android 5.0.2, 5.1, and now some are even getting Android 5.1.1 Lollipop.

Read: Nexus 9 Android 5.1.1 Lollipop Update Arrives

The Nexus 9 has been stuck on Android 5.0.1 since November while all other devices have received at least 2 other updates, and this week it finally received Android 5.0.2 Lollipop. However, the update is failing to complete for many, bricking tablets, and making some users Nexus 9 completely unusable. Read on for more details.


Explained in more detail over at Android Police, is a big problem with the Nexus 9 update that no one wanted. All owner were expecting Android 5.1.1 Lollipop to arrive this week, not Android 5.0.2, which rolled out back in November.

And while Google has announced Android 5.1.1 Lollipop is also headed to the Nexus 9 as of yesterday, May 7th, most users will need to accept the Android 5.0.2 Lollipop update first, an update that is causing issues for many.

Just one day after Google started pushing out the Nexus 9 Android update and we’re seeing a flood of user complaints. There are countless reports of issues over in the Google product forums, Android Central forums, XDA, and more. Basically, a lot of Nexus 9 owners are experiencing issues.


It appears that the Nexus 9 Android 5.0.2 Lollipop update either fails to complete, and users get a device that reboots back to an Android figurine next to a red exclamation mark, or the update is soft-bricking devices and making them unusable.

Nexus 9 Problems & Fixes

This doesn’t sound too widespread, but there are enough complaints to make it something owners need to be aware of before accepting the update. It looks like the most mentioned complaint is the update just fails to finish, for whatever reason, and the device goes back to an Android figure with a red exclamation point. If this happens a long-press (over 10 seconds) of the power button will reboot your tablet, but you’ll be back to 5.0.1 as you were before you tried the update. Google’s forums are loaded with suggestions, none which are working.

Read: Android 5.1 vs Android 5.0 Lollipop: What’s New

Users are told to try clearing cache in recovery, then trying to complete the update again. For some it completes with no problems, but for others the tablet appears to no longer be functional. For an update that is 5 months late we shouldn’t have these problems, but sadly, this is the situation.

Another problem is the update has completed but users tablets are stuck in what’s known as a bootloop, where it just keeps rebooting and rebooting and rebooting, or shuts off completely. If this is a problem try holding down power and volume down at the same time and boot into recovery. Now look for the Recovery option scroll down with the volume keys, and tap the power button one more time to select it. It will now reboot to a green Android logo, hold down the power button once more, then hit volume up at the same time. Scroll down to Wipe cache partition, and hit power to do so, and hopefully this fixes your problem. It should clear the cache, then reboot your Nexus 9 tablet and all should be fine.

This fixes it for most, but some are still having problems. If so, we’d recommend a factory data reset by going through the same steps above, but selecting “wipe data/factory reset” instead. This will erase all user data and information on the tablet, but is your only option if you’re stuck in a bootloop.

Factory Image

Another option, and one that’s probably the best at this point, is to download and install the Android 5.0.2 Lollipop update using Google’s factory image. This erases the tablet as well, back to “factory” out of the box state, and will have you on the latest Android 5.0.2 software and with a clean slate ready to receive the Android 5.1.1 Lollipop update later this week.

Read: How to Install Android 5.1.1 Lollipop Right Now

To install a factory image on your Nexus 9 follow the steps in the link above, only instead of it being the Nexus 7, just download the latest factory image for the Nexus 9, and follow all the steps. It’s rather easy, and shouldn’t take more than 10-15 minutes.

At the moment it appears the Nexus 9 Android 5.0.2 Lollipop update is causing issues for some, but not everyone. Our own tablet updated without a single problem, and now we’re waiting for the just announced Android 5.1.1 Lollipop update to arrive.

If you haven’t updated yet, just wait a few more days as Android 5.1.1 should start hitting all Nexus 9’s as soon as this weekend, and an updated factory image will be released by Google as well. We’ll keep an eye out for more details, and update once we know more. Did the 5.0.2 update brick your Nexus 9? Drop us a comment below and let us know how the update worked out for you.



  1. James willis

    05/09/2015 at 10:42 pm

    It is hard to judge the true incidence of this problem but it affected me and what looks like an avalanche of people on the forums. Fortunately I bought mine directly from Google Play Store and after a 25 minute telephone call from England to California we failed to wake my machine up and they say they are arranging for a replacement to be sent!!
    Apart from anything else, how on earth will I stop the same thing happening to a new one? It seems incredible that there is no soft fix for this fiasco. It looks like doing massive damage to confidence in Android. The world really needed a viable alternative to Apple.

  2. Mike Hoerig

    05/18/2015 at 11:55 am

    Use Wugs nexus root toolkit 2.0.5. on your PC. Unlock bootloader using toolkit. Then use the flash stock/ unroot button. Drop down will give you the option to reset to 5.1.1 even if you are currently running 5.0.1 and not rooted. Toolkit will download,extract, and flash in a few clicks. Very simple even for the novice user.

  3. Karen S

    05/23/2015 at 12:19 pm

    I still get the error message and cannot update to 5.0.2. I have not seen any 5.1 1 updates. Do I just keep waiting?

  4. gemma

    06/19/2015 at 4:56 pm

    I’m confused, my nexus table says it is on 5.0 and the update is for 5.0., and updating results in yes the red exclamation point. The device was not bricked, it restarted fine, but obvious there are some update issues. I would love for an update to say 5.0.1 or 5.0.2 or even a 5.1 update, and not say it’s updating to the version it is currently on.

  5. Jim

    08/13/2015 at 4:53 pm

    My Nexus 9 got stuck in the bootloop screen ie red yellow green blue balloons spinning around the screen forever (until the battery ran out) after downloading the 5.0.2 update. Tried all the power / volume button combinations to wipe the cache and reset to factory conditions but to no avail. Finally took the tablet back to my supplier, John Lewis, who very kindly gave me a new one. This came with the first 5.0.0. Lollipop software and just after starting to re set-up all my apps a 5.0.1 download arrived. I have just ( with some trepidation!) Installed this satisfactorily and immediately afterwards was informed that the 5.0.2 download had arrived. I am presently holding off installing this again. When 5.1.1 comes can I just miss the 5.0.2 stage? I am concerned that I will be left with another broken Nexus 9 and my supplier may have run out of replacements and patience with disgruntled owners!

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