Tutorial: Root Shield Tablet (Lollipop)

This root process should work for all Lollipop based Shield Tablets from OTA 2.1 to 3.1.


Note: Unlocking the bootloader will ERASE EVERYTHING internally (not on your external SD card if present).  Make sure you have everything saved off and backed up.  You’ll have to resign into Google – so if you use two-step authentication, be sure to have your Google Authenticator app ready.


  1. Install Minimal ADB and Fastboot if you do not already have it installed.
  2. Ensure the Shield Family drivers are extracted somewhere on your system and you know where they are.
  3. Make sure you know how to get to Device Manager on your PC.
  4. Extract TWRP Recovery image (and do yourself a favor and rename it to something easy like twrprecovery.img). Put this in your Minimal ADB and Fastboot folder (usually c:\program files(x86)\Minimal ADB and Fastboot\).
  5. Copy supersu.zip into your Minimal ADB and Fastboot folder
  6. Plug your Shield Tablet into the PC with USB cable.
  7. Confirm drivers for ADB are installed:
    1. On your PC, go to Device Manager.  Find the yellow (!) ADB device.  If none exist, you probably already have drivers.  Skip to step 8.
    2. Right click the device and select Update Driver.
    3. When offered, browse your computer for the driver and point it to the Shield Family Drivers folder you extracted in Preparation Step 2 above.
    4. When finished with the driver install, the (!) yellow device should be gone.
  8. Enable Developer mode on Shield Tablet
    1. On the Shield Tablet, go to Settings->About->Build (tap 7 times on the BUILD to unlock developer mode)
  9. Enable USB Debugging on Shield TV
    1. Settings -> Developer -> Debugging; set to On
    2. A popup should appear asking for this PC’s authorization.  Check the Don’t ask again for this PC box and select Allow.  If it doesn’t show up now, it will later.

Root Procedure

  1. Reboot into Bootloader on Shield Tablet
    1. Launch Minimal ADB and Fastboot from the Start Menu or icon.  This puts you in a black DOS box.
    2. Type “adb devices” and make sure your Shield Tablet appears.  Note: If you didn’t have a popup on your Shield Tablet screen in Step 9.2 above, it probably will appear now.  You’ll have to authorize the PC before it will show up under adb devices.
    3. Once you see your Shield Tablet when you run “adb devices” you’re ready to proceed.
    4. Type “adb reboot bootloader” and hit enter.  The Shield Tablet should reboot into the bootloader screen.
  2. Verify Fastboot Drivers are installed:
    1. On your PC, go to Device Manager.
    2. See if a yellow (!) exists that mentions FASTBOOT.  If not, continue to Step 3 to unlock bootloader.
    3. Right click the device and select Update Driver.
    4. When offered, browse your computer for the driver and point it to the Shield Family Drivers folder you extracted in Preparation Step 2 above.
    5. When finished with the driver install, the (!) yellow device should be gone.
    6. Type “fastboot devices” and make sure your Shield Tablet is visible.
  3. Unlock Bootloader
    1. Type in “fastboot oem unlock” and hit enter.
    2. You will see a prompt on the Shield Tablet.
    3. Confirm to unlock the bootloader. Do not be impatient!  Let it finish.
  4. Reboot to Shield Tablet Interface
    1. Once the bootloader is unlocked, reboot the Shield Tablet and return to the Shield tablet main interface.
  5. Repeat Preparation Steps 8 and 9 above to re-enable Developer/USB Debugging.  Note: at some point you will have to re-authorize your PC again; if an ADB command fails, be sure to look at your Shield Tablet screen for the authorization prompt.
  6. Push supersu.zip to the Shield
    1. In the Minimal ADB and Fastboot DOS window, type: “adb push supersu.zip /sdcard/”
    2. You should see text indicating the file was copied over correctly.
  7. Reboot to Bootloader
    1. Type “adb reboot bootloader” and hit enter. The Shield Tablet should reboot into the bootloader screen.
  8. Fastboot with TWRP
    1. Type “fastboot devices” and make sure your Shield tablet is visible.
    2. If your Shield Tablet is listed, type “fastboot flash recovery twrp-” (or whatever you named it) and hit enter.
    3. On the tablet, use the volume rocker to select RECOVERY MODE and tap the power button to select.
    4. After about 15 seconds, you should see the TWRP Recovery screen.
    5. You may be prompted to leave the system READ ONLY.  I recommend selecting this option.
  9. Install SuperSU
    1. Select INSTALL.
    2. Navigate and select supersu.zip.
    3. Follow the instructions to Swipe to Flash
    4. SuperSU will install.
  10. Reboot to System
    1. Select REBOOT then SYSTEM from the TWRP menu
    2. Answer NO if asked anything about fixing or restoring ROOT
  11. Run SuperSU application and apply any updates
    1. Once you are back up and running (first boot can take a little longer) find the SuperSU app installed on the Shield Tablet.  Run it and perform any upgrades (select “Use Normal” if asked).
  12. You are now rooted!

If Something Goes Wrong

First, don’t panic.  It is pretty hard to permanently “brick” the Shield Tablet just by trying to root it.

No matter what may go wrong, flashing a stock image should put you back in working order.

Follow the instructions in our Tutorial: Restore to Stock Image


80 Responses to Tutorial: Root Shield Tablet (Lollipop)

  1. Tx! Only had a little trouble with CWM. It didnt stick.
    So had to go into recovery immediatly to install supersu.

    • Jiemin Xi says:

      Followed the instruction exactly.

      adb devices showed:
      0424415804601004f80a device

      adb reboot bootloader showed:
      the entire reboot screen(bootloader screen)

      Under Device Manager->Update driver, it says:
      “Windows has finished installing….. Android Bootloader Interface”

      fastboot devices showed:
      0424415804601004f80a fastboot

      fastboot oem unlock showed:(the device is still showing bootloader screen)

      FAILED (command write failed (Unknown error))
      finished. total time: 5.002s

      Any help is appreciated..

      • Gyurn says:

        After you type “fastboot oem bootloader”, your tablet screen should change very slightly, giving you the option to unlock your device, select unlock, and continue the instructions

  2. Cory says:

    You can actually use this guide, but instead of “fastboot flash recovery recovery.img” You can use “fastboot boot recovery.img”.

    This will keep the original bootloader intack, but you will still be unlocked. I did this for my Shield on 5.0.1 today. I had troubles getting ADB Sideload to work so I just stuck the supersu.zip file on my mSD card.

  3. chad says:

    says cannot read suersu.zip

  4. Same here. Getting cannot read supersu.zip. this is a stupid question, but does “installation from unknown sources” have to be enabled?

  5. matuchodeca says:

    The reason it can’t read supersu.zip is probably that the name is actually supersu.zip.zip. The second .zip is the file termination, hidden by default on windows.

  6. Rutger says:

    I don’t get what i have to do at step 11 and 12 in the guide. after typing “fastboot flash recovery recovery.img” “recovery reboot” doesn’t show up on the tablet. The only two settings I can select are recovery mode and reboot. What am i doing wrong at this point?

  7. Stefano says:

    also work with 2.2.1 upgrade?

  8. works with 2.2.1, thanks 🙂

  9. cameron says:

    Has anyone ever experienced failure with the touch sensor after this recovery?

  10. Wait! How did you get the img?! can you get the 4.4.4 KitKat img for me?!

  11. natz89 says:

    Thanks for the guide, i have a Shield Tablet 32 Gb WiFi+LTE Lollipop 5.0.1
    can i follow this guide? i mean the CWM is the same for both versions of the tablet? (wifi only / wifi+lte) thanks.

  12. Can someone please help Me?… I AM ABOUT TO DESTROY MY SISTERS COMPUTER, i AM completely at the end of My rope… i cannot for the life of Me, get adb minimal to load the recovery image… I have tried EVERY THING such as typing fastboot flash recovery recovery.img and fastboot flash recovery recovery img.img and fastboot boot recovery.img, put the file in the same folder (program files x86), i deleted the AV, when i click on it, its corrupted it says, ive tried using the sfc command to fix anything thats wrong and it couldnt, this is giving Me a headache… i have unlocked the bootloader and everything, i just cant flash the recovery image file in the command prompt… i even compressed and unzipped it, and nothing seems to work… omg

  13. everywhere i go to download the recovery img, its a little (i guess corrupted) piece of paper with a disc image and i cant seem to fix it or “extract” it

  14. Dave says:

    Which path should I follow for a launch device, which originally came with Kit Kat? I’m installed all OTA updates since I’ve had it, so I’m currently on Lollipop. Do I just follow “New Device w/5.0.1”?

  15. AM i supposed to download the US LTE NVIDIA GAMEWORKS recovery image (2GB) or the CWM one? The CWM recovery is STILL broken/corrupted for Me… wut AM i doing wrong? T~T

  16. Gege says:

    Hey can anyone help me … Just bought à 16 gb 5.0.1… Anyone know or have links to vidéos on how to root? Im à noob at this… Ive cracked ans whatnot but never rooted à Android device’n scared ill brick it

  17. It’s kinda dead nao… I still haven’t been able to download a nonbroken cwm recovery image file…

  18. AMmf says:

    Ok… i AM downloading the official drivers, plugging My tablet in with debugging and unknown sources turned on, right clicking on “Computer” in the file explorer on win7 (cwm file was broken on win8 for Me) and clicking “Manage” then finding the adb driver, then a msg pops up on My Shield Tablet asking if i trust this source, then i copy the LTE image, the cwm recovery image, and supersu.zip to tablet’s sd card, go into cmd panel and type everything and it all works except “fastboot flash recovery recovery.img (even tried “fastboot flash recovery recovery.img.img and fastboot boot recovery.img) and it never finds it, tried puting it all in one place, putting all files on the tablet, even the adb mini, etc… Is it supposed to be able to see My tablet after reboot into recovery because it doesnt and it can never load the recovery file, the only time it seems to something is when its not in recovery and I’m on the homscreen, then i press “fastboot flash recovery recovery.img” then it says “waiting for device” but i cant do anything, and even tho its unlocked and has cwm recovery and supersu.zip on sd card, when i boot to recovery, it is not cwm recovery… Also, recovery file seems to be a disc image and cannot be made into a zip or anything, only burned to a disc? What AM i supposed to do?

  19. AMmf says:

    I DL’ed the ADB Fastboot and Mini files, tell Me what needs to go into My tablet’s sd card (or internal storage) I will try to check Device Manager while in Fastboot. Some1 also said to use the wifi file for the LTE version as well. I can find TWRP on xda I’m sure so i’ll try that out too… This is ridiculous, one dead end after the other, this has been the most time wasting and frustrating root EVER, if i never used anything that needed root access, I’d just forget it…

    • Okay, so once you put the Tablet in Fastboot, check Device Manager. You’ll see an entry under USB devices that is yellow exclamation marked. Select that, update driver, choose from list. You should see NVIDIA listed as a vendor. Under there should be an entry for BOOTLOADER or FASTBOOT. You can PROBABLY use the Google entry too.

      LMK how much further you get.

  20. DrJones says:

    As nVidia just did a press release saying the battery can overheat, they are issuing new tablets for anyone affected by it – And you don’t have to return it beforehand.

    They are going to deactivate the device, which as far as my research tells me means this is an additional function they added in the last update – I would like to root my old tablet to use as a console or connect it to my TV, do anyone have the knowledge to check out the detailed changes in the update they issued?

    I realize I could probably root it now and it wouldn’t be a problem but, just in case I’d like to keep it original until my replacement arrives – would there be a problem attempting a root after it’s been deactivated?

  21. OK, guess what? I actually got rooted with kingroot and got twrp on My device and then i decided to wipe everything along with dalvik and cache (except sd card) because i figured i could do that and ppl always say its good to wipe dalvik and cache but I somehow deleted My partition i guess and My devices is still recognized by My pc and adb when in TWRP but no matter what I cant get past that… I downloaded the 3.1 os recovery image and tried to extract it, moved it to My internal storage and then sd at 1 point, and of course it keeps Failing… i cant believe i had everything working and i decided to be smart and delete the partition… i should have just checked the dalvik and cache boxes… what do i do?

    • administrator says:

      I hope you have a nice backup somewhere because you’re going to need to dust off and nuke the device from orbit. Get the FULL recovery image (use the XDA’s collection on Mega to get that – or I can try to get it here). You want a FULL recovery. This will be an ODIN install. It will essentially put it back to out-of-the-box factory.

      KingRoot isn’t necessary and should be avoided. Use the Odin-based custom recovery method, injecting SU from recovery and you’ll be fine.

  22. Dude… I think I’m SOL nao… I kept messing with it and nao i cant even boot into TWRP or Download Mode… Before i had a chance but now i totally screwed Myself and have a $400 brick, I cannot get ANY PC to recognize it in Fastboot @ all… Idk if there are seperate drivers to configure in the “Manage” part when you right click on the PC in the File Explorer (ADB Drivers and Fastboot drivers too?) If theres any way i can save it, I’d really appreciate a video or a link to ANYTHING… I kno u r probly tired of trying to help Me but i appreciate the help… Idk y i deleted everything instead of jus Dalvik and cache and nao i cant even get into TWRP, DL Mode, have no OS, and i think i have everything right, it jus cant be recognized in fastboot… I was done man, had kingroot & TWRP setup, all i had to do was reboot My tablet and i had to go and do something stupid… I have no backups because i wanted to start clean and none of the OS images were working… I cant believe this right nao…

  23. administrator says:

    There is really no way to PERMANENTLY brick the thing. You can always recover somehow.

    When you plug it into the PC and boot to fastboot manually – check DEVICE MANAGER. You should see something with a yellow ! (ADB FASTBOOT probably).

    Select that, choose new driver, choose from list; look for GOOGLE or NVIDIA as the manufacturer on the left, then find something related to FASTBOOT on the right.

    That should get you back to the point where you can use ODIN to flash the full image back to your device and you’re at least back to square one.

  24. I actually ended up being able to reboot the bootloader which couldn’t happen before so progress I guess…

  25. Africa Man says:

    Many thanks for this. I’ve spent hours trying to root the Shield (with the latest 3.1.1 update) with this and another guide and finally done it!

    I can relax now 🙂

  26. Randy Marsh says:

    Hi, i just unlocket bootloader, but after that, pc doest recognize the tablet in bootloader mode. It does in normal tablet menu.
    SO i cant push supersu. I tried reinstalling drivers while conected in bootloader mode. The thing is, pc recognice the device, but adbFastboot doest do.


    • administrator says:

      There are TWO drivers for Windows; ADB drivers and Fastboot drivers. If you do an “ADB REBOOT BOOTLOADER” and that works – then driver #1 is ok. If you are at the bootloader screen and you type “fastboot devices” and nothing comes up? The second driver is missing. While in Fastboot mode – go to DEVICE MANAGER. Look for a failed (!) driver and point it to the Shield Family drivers.

  27. Randy Marsh says:

    Sorry, solved. I saw supersu has to be pushed while in tablet mode.

  28. Cannot load twrp- no such file or directory.

    wtf?! It is in the file with everything else. but it will not recognize it. been trying everything for over an hour. I AM BAFFLED!!!! and slightly annoyed… please help.

  29. Mahin Bashar says:

    Hey guys, the admin helped me so much with this. Use teamviewer with him and all your problems will be solved. He is a really helpful guy!

  30. k9d says:

    I have the Shield Tablet K1 (November 2015 new stock, Android 5.1.1) and after running the command in step “8. Fastboot with TWRP” my tablet is stuck on the bootloader screen with “Booting downloaded image” as a new line under the menu options. I know I’ve got to be patient but it’s been that way for half an hour. Any suggestions?

    • administrator says:

      I haven’t been able to test the tutorial on the new tablet. 🙁 It’s possible the TWRP is not compatible.

      Instead of BOOT … use FLASH. Boot probably doesn’t work anymore.

      • k9d says:

        My bad, I’d failed to unzip the img. After running ” fastboot boot twrp-” I was able to get supersu.zip installed.

        However on step “11. Run SuperSU application and apply any updates” I keep getting “SuperSU Installation failed ! Please reboot and try again.” I tried rebooting 3 times, don’t know if more than that should be necessary. Only path forward I can see is flashing TWRP and trying the “TWRP/CWM” install method of SuperSU, rather than the normal install method. Thoughts?

        • k9d says:

          Gave this a try with “fastboot flash recovery twrp-”, booth normally and run SuperSU, select “TWRP/CWM”, tablet didn’t reboot so I manually rebooted to recovery with “adb reboot recovery” but didn’t see SuperSU taking any action from that point. Rebooted, ran root checker, got the permission window, allowed, YOU HAVE ROOT ACCESS =)

  31. Jiemin Xi says:

    Followed the instruction exactly.

    adb devices showed:
    0424415804601004f80a device

    adb reboot bootloader showed:
    the entire reboot screen(bootloader screen)

    Under Device Manager->Update driver, it says:
    “Windows has finished installing….. Android Bootloader Interface”

    fastboot devices showed:
    0424415804601004f80a fastboot

    fastboot oem unlock showed:(the device is still showing bootloader screen)

    FAILED (command write failed (Unknown error))
    finished. total time: 5.002s

    Any help is appreciated..

  32. I think My WHOLE problem is that I can’t get adb to recognize My device, fastboot does but adb can never find it… How do i get it to see it, and then do i need to download the SHIELD Recovery or Android SDK? I have no os or recovery right now…

  33. Followed steps successfully up to this point:

    7. Reboot to Bootloader

    1. Type “adb reboot bootloader” and hit enter. The Shield Tablet K1 should reboot into the bootloader screen.

    Anyway to continue from here without flashing roms or anything like twrp I would like to keep everything original and don’t trust my tablet’s SD Card getting ruined.

  34. Does this work on the shield tablet k1 on lollipop 5.1.1

  35. Tim Goumans says:


    Everything went well untill the moment I installed SuperSu and rebooted the system. Now its stuck on the loading screen. Been there for a few hours. Should I flash the original recovery.img or is there an other solution?

  36. i am trying ti restore my shield to the stock image. when i try the flash all.bat command i get a error message that this command is not recognized. help please

  37. i cannot for the life of figure out why it isnt booting the twrp loader. i am running the latest on my shield tablet (android 6.0) if it is a problem with potentially outdated drivers please kindly link the downloads below and i will become a very happy person :))
    if this isnt the problem then i really do not know

  38. K Veihl says:

    Turned my rooted tab on today for the first time in quite awhile and saw I had an update. Went to install it and encountered an error which shut the tablet down, and now I cant boot or fastboot to reinstall the stock image. My guess is that its bricked but hoping for another solution!

  39. jcf4102 says:

    I followed all of your instructions, but when I selected recovery mode the shield just booted to the pre-desktop screen (anyone know if there is a specific name for that thing?) instead of the TWRP screen. Do you have any advice on how to fix this? Thanks!

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