Last Updated: February 25, 2016
· fdamilola

Fixing Nexus 4 OTA update error on custom recovery "set_metadata_recursive: some changes failed"

Updating Android Devices with the Latest Android OS as soon as possible has always been the bane of the Nexus Line.

The Google Nexus 4 recently had the OTA upgrade to KitKat (Android 4.4) released of recent and for those with rooted devices who after trying to update via their custom recovery and failed got stuck at boot, here is a fix that worked for me. All these is based on the assumption that your device has previously been rooted and has custom recovery (ClockWork) installed. If not you should visit this link : Link

What you need:

1. A Linux O.S (In my case ubuntu).
2. The Android SDK (adb specifically) installed on the OS.
3. The .zip containing the update Link : **WARNING : THIS IS SPECIFICALLY FOR THE NEXUS 4** [Link]( (Copy this file and put it in the root directory of your device)
4. Fastboot : This can be installed using **sudo apt-get install android-tools-fastboot** on Ubuntu.
5. ClockWork Touch : [Link](


1. Boot your device into the Fastboot menu. (Pressing the Volume Down and Power Button)
2. Once in the Fastboot menu, run **fastboot flash recovery recovery-clockwork-touch-**
3. Then run **fastboot reboot-bootloader**
4. Once in the recovery, use the **install update from zip** option and select the downloaded zip OTA. This should install the update. 
5. Restart your device. There is a probability that you would lose root access after this, that can be fixed by checking out [Link](

Voila!! Let me know if you have any issues in the comment box.

4 Responses
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Thanks for posting this, I had the same exact issue and this worked and saved me from wiping and restoring a stock image, thanks!

over 1 year ago ·

@maraujop You are most welcome sir. :D

over 1 year ago ·

Thanks. This was what I really wanted - a short and to-the-point guide.
I got the same error during upgrade to 4.4 and 4.4.2 also.
Looks like OTA is not for people with Rooted phone.
I used the same process to upgrade from ROOTED-4.4 to 4.4.2

over 1 year ago ·

@vijay_bhaskar My pleasure. :)

over 1 year ago ·