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5 easy ways to make your AT&T Nexus 6 mostly pure again



So you’ve gotten your AT&T Nexus 6 and the carrier’s extra bit of customization doesn’t sit well with you. If you don’t know, AT&T’s  model comes with their classic logo on the back, an AT&T boot animation and other things Ma Bell decided to put their hands on.

Well, as the development community often reminds us, almost anything is entirely reversible with a bit of root and elbow grease. Below we list a few of the device’s impurities, as well as possible solutions (many courtesy of the fine folks at XDA) should you feel the need to do away with any of it. Let’s go!  (Disclaimer: you may void your warranty by doing any of this, so know that you proceed at your own discretion.)


AT&T bloatware is installed at setup

This one is actually quite simple and straight forward. We touched on it yesterday, but here’s a quick recap: you can avoid having AT&T’s apps pre-installed by first setting your device up without a SIM card, and then inserting the SIM after you have gotten to the home screen. Already have the apps installed? Thankfully they came straight from Google Play, so you can uninstall them just as you would any app if you so wish.

AT&T’s Nexus 6 is SIM locked

Nothing much we can do here, yet. You can request an unlock code from AT&T after your contract expires or device is paid off in full, and they’ll most likely be more than happy to oblige. They probably won’t give you a hand if those conditions aren’t met, though, so you may have to look to a third-party unlock service for your needs (as long as you know you do so at your own discretion).

The AT&T Nexus 6 has the company’s logo on the back

Thankfully Motorola didn’t use any tough paint to slap AT&T’s logo on the back. If, for whatever reason, this visual impurity is affecting your ability to enjoy an otherwise perfectly fine device, we hear you can take it off with the light scraping of a knife, credit card or some other tool with a thin, sturdy and/or sharp edge.

AT&T’s boot animation shows when booting the Nexus 6

If you want to remove the boot animation you’ll need to root your Nexus 6, and download a file manager that can handle root operations. From there, follow these simple instructions:

  1. Open /oem/media
  2. Mount r/w.
  3. Remove or rename the file bootanimation.zip
  4. Reboot

You can likely replace that animation with a custom one if you so wish, but you’ll need to look around for one that’s suitable for the Nexus 6’s display size and resolution.

Nexus 6 Data tethering requires an AT&T subscription

Edit your build.prop file with the following line:


Reboot the device, and you should now be able to use Lollipop’s built-in data tethering without the need to check for a subscription. This step may require root.


And now you have a mostly pure Nexus 6! Getting carrier-branded phones will almost always come with a few quirks that you’ll have to put up with, but the versatility of Nexus devices makes it easy for you to pretend AT&T never had their grubby paws on the thing. Let us know if you’ll be looking to do any of this to make your Nexus 6 feel “right” again.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. I can guarantee this wont be so easy on the Verizon model

    1. I’m waiting to see what Verizon does to it, and if they offer the 64 GB version, to make my final decision of Note 4 vs Nexus.

      1. Currently my Verizon account lists my Nexus 6 as “Non-VZW Device”. They’re not even acknowledging it’s existence, but I wouldn’t doubt they’re just looking for ways to mess with it as I type this.

        1. Can you use your Nexus 6 on Verizon? If so is the phone and 4g working? I should be getting mine Tuesday

          1. Yup. It works perfectly on vzw, LTE and all. I had a moto x with a nano Sim already so activation was as easy as adding my nano Sim to the nexus. No issues at all. It’s just funny to me how my account shows the nexus as nonvzw device. In sure they know what I’m using lol

          2. I had to manually cut my micro sim down to nano sim size (had been using a Galaxy S3 previously), but it was pretty easy, and once I did that I’ve been rocking Verizon LTE (go unlimited data plan!) ever since.

            Oh, and BTW, that trick to using data tethering works on Verizon’s network as well. Once again, a pretty easy fix, although I believe you have to be rooted for it to work.

          3. I should do that for my wife when she moves from the gs3 to the moto x. Is cutting it down difficult?

          4. Somehow I missed the part about tethering. I found out you had to fix it yesterday and fixed it. I’m good to go on that front.

          5. How did you get your LTE to work on it? I’m also using the AT&T model on Verizon and I am only able to get calls through.
            Edit: Nevermind, I assumed you had a AT&T edition, not a play edition.

          6. Sorry wish I could help. Wish all versions worked right out the box. Maybe try manually seeing your apn

  2. You definitely don’t need a knife or anything sharp. Just use a sugarcube. I have done this for years on my devices. A sugarcube will do just the right level of abrasion to remove that unsightly carrier logo without damaging more.


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