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How to download and install Google's April security OTA update on Nexus devices

Google has unleashed the Android 6.0 Marshmallow update for Nexus devices, which means it will eventually hit all devices as an over-the-air (OTA) update. Unfortunately, that could take several weeks, which can feel like an eternity. The good news is that you can download the official OTA update straight from Google and manually install it yourself.

This might seem like a daunting task, so that’s why we put together this complete guide explaining exactly how it’s done. Just follow the steps outlined below, and you will be enjoying Marshmallow goodness in no time. You can even follow the same steps to install subsequent Android Marshmallow updates when they come out. We will add those update links as they get released, so be sure to bookmark this page for future reference.

Updated on 04-12-2016 by Robert Nazarian: Added in OTA links for the April 2016 security update for most Nexus devices.

There are actually two ways to manually update your Nexus device. The first option is to flash the factory image, which is like installing the complete Android software and firmware from scratch. This isn’t a bad way to go, but it requires a factory reset if your bootloader isn’t unlocked. You can check out our complete instructions for flashing the factory image here.

The second method is installing the OTA update, which is what this guide is about. This is the same exact update that Google will automatically send to your device at some point in the future. The only difference is that you will get it right away if you follow the steps below. We like this method, since a factory reset isn’t required. This means that you won’t lose your data, but we cannot stress enough how important it is that you back up all your important data in case something goes wrong. So please make sure everything is backed up before proceeding.

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