How to root Nokia X and install Google Play Apps


We had unboxed the Nokia X a while back, right after it launched in India. Only a few weeks back, Espoo’s first bold entry into the low end Android smartphone segment was revealed at MWC. The phone might be running Android, a Google owned entity, but is completely devoid of anything that resembles Google services. Nokia completely forked the open source variant of Android, just like Amazon did, by choosing not to include Google services and apps, which are obviously a conflict of interests for the company. But being open source, the malleable Android is always willing to bend to our will, and soon enough, enterprising developers who got their hands on the Nokia X, devised a way to install Google apps and services onto this neat little device. We followed their path, and made a video, so that willing users can take advantage of it too –


As you can see from the video above, the process is pretty simple, and we owe it all to a thread from XDA, which nicely details the steps to root, as well as install Google Play Services on your Nokia X. Anyways, this is what we did –

How to get Google Play Services and apps on the Nokia X

Step 1 – Root your Nokia X

You have to select SuperSU in order to root the phone. It is a simple one-click process and does nothing other than enabling root on your phone, without the need of a custom recovery. However, for the newbie, it is to be mentioned that rooting voids warranty, but if you want to unroot the phone, you can do the same from inside this app later, when you decide to give the phone for service or repair.

Step 1.1 – Root your Nokia X v11.1.1

Apparently Nokia have fixed the security exploit that we had used for the earlier rooting method, but again, hackers have found yet another way. According to this guide, the steps are really simple, and we made it work by doing this –

  • Download this package
  • Connect the Nokia X to a Windows PC and install the ADB drivers – Select “Update driver” from device manager on the unknown Nokia device shown
  • Run KingoRoot app to root your device

This straight forward process install the SuperSU app which you can then use to grant root privileges. Here’s a video explaining the same –



Step 2 – Download a file explorer to make changes in the root directory

Step 3 – Copy Google services APKs to system

Note: It will automatically change the permissions of those files by asking you for a prompt. Note: Just copy the APKs to this folder, DO NOT install them.


Step 3 – Install Google Apps


Step 4 – Enter Google account in settings

And you are done. Nokia X will now happily work with all the Google services and apps. You can install anything you want now, just like your Android phone, everything except the Google+ app works for us. But we think it will be a lesser preference, when other things work perfectly well.

It is a reasonably simple process to perform, and things go smoothly for the most part, but please do not mess up the steps because we, or the XDA folks, will not be responsible for any kind of damage to your phone. With that said, this painless process has a high success rate, so don’t worry and if you are craving for Google apps on your Nokia X, this is the easiest way to do it.

Credits to this XDA thread for serving as our only reference.

Author: Bharadwaj Chandramouli

Bharadwaj is a content creator who has been obsessed with technology since the early days of smartphones. He loves talking about tech, is a fan of good design and photography. You can follow him on Twitter @gadgetbuff_ to know what he's upto!