Ice Cream Sandwich on the Nexus S

Want Ice Cream Sandwich on your Samsung Nexus S but down't want to wait on the update to push out over the air? The dowload location has been found, and we've got your update instructions. We've already updated our Nexus S, and it takes just a couple minutes.

Again, folks, this is the GSM verison. And, specifically, the T-Mobile version. If that's not your phone, keep out. Now, instructions:

  • Grab the OTA package here
  • Rename it to  This isn't needed for the Nexus S bootloader, but it makes things easy, if that's how you prefer them.
  • Copy it over to the internal storage on your Nexus S.
  • Power off, then hold volume up and power to reboot to the bootloader.
  • Using the volume key to navigate, select recovery, then use the power button to confirm
  • When you see the warning triangle and arrow, hold the power button and tap volume up.  You'll see a menu.
  • From the menu, select "apply update from /sdcard", and choose from the list.
  • Let it do its thing and update your system, radio, and other partitions.  When finished, choose "reboot system now"
  • Enjoy!

That simple! Now you've got the all new Android 4.0.3.

More: Nexus S forums
Big ups to Koush and Beezy for the download location!


Reader comments

How to manually update your GSM Nexus S to Ice Cream Sandwich


Can i update with an unlocked bootloader???? Someone please help before i do it and get into trouble. I just dont want to lock it again and loose all my data

how come mine keeps aborting? It says "failed to verify whole-file signature"
"signature verification failed"
"Installation aborted"

Someone help? pls

I had the same problem on my mac. When I would download the zip file my mac would open it for me. Then I compressed the file again and tried using it. That was causing the error. I downloaded the file on a windows box and then moved it over to my mac. That seemed to do the trick since the windows box wasn't decompressing the file for me.

And where is Sprint's update?! O well, the source is going up; and, at least one Nexus S is getting it; so, better "port" than from the GN for us NS4G people. (Assuming it doesn't come shortly, soon.)

Sorry for the dumb question. but how do I downgrade it back to original version? I got "baseband unknown" and I do have the version mentioned above.

having the same problem as dissector13... tells me "signature verification failed". i'm on rogers (canada). can anyone help? i would appreciate it very much. thanks!

having the same problem as dissector13... tells me "signature verification failed". i'm on rogers (canada). can anyone help? i would appreciate it very much. thanks!

Same here. The same problem as dissector13. Running stock os with bootloader locked running on T-mobile.

Update: Fixed. Redownloaded the file and tried again and it worked.

Works perfectly on my 9023(slcd version)

Initial Impression:

Keyboard's much better
Browser better and smoother
The phone is a bit faster
The UI is very nice.
I'm happy with the update(:

it has worked for me on

baseband version: I9020XXFK1
build number: GRK39F
android version 2.3.6

everything works on 4.0.3 including wifi

Thanks kamran193!
Just updated my Videotron (Canada) Nexus S with the same specs:

baseband version: I9020XXFK1
build number : GRK39F
android version : 2.3.6

The update was smooth, just followed the instructions. No problems, everything works fine. Now running:

baseband version: I9020XXKI1
build number : IML74K
android version : 4.0.3
kernel version : 3.0.8-gb55e9ac android-build@apa28 #1

So I guess it's a green light for Videotron users ;-)

After playing with ICS 4.0.3 for some time can also confirm (as some other users here) that there is no "Face Unlock" option in screen lock settings... but who cares ;-).

Brilliant. Update flashed without any problems. Btw - Swype works fine. I was worried when I saw an earlier comment but I decided to go ahead anyway even though I'm a huge fan of Swype. I've tested it on an email or two and texts and it works flawlessly. I have the latest version of Swype where they actually notify you of updates. Perhaps visit their site and pull down the latest.

LOVING ICS so far...and will likely play with it for hours tonight!

was able to get this official update on at&t i9020a after 2 hours of booting an rebooting and tinkering. will post some intructions on how to for those impatient at&t nexus s lovers!

Yes! I tried it and it did not work. My phone loaded back up normally. Anyone know why this didn`t work

Works wonderfully, only this is that it gets a but laggy when you first turn on your phone but over a while the laggy disappears and face unlock is not available

Sorry for the dumb question. but how do I downgrade it back to original version? I got "baseband unknown" and I do have the version mentioned above.

Guys, is this exactly the same thing as if I would have wait for the automatic OTA update? Will I still get the update notifications after that, if and when they will be available? I have the European version with SLCD. Does this work on it? Do I risk anything? Sorry if this a dumb question.

Later edit: Nevermind, I just noticed is says: "the T-Mobile version". I guess I will have to wait for the OTA. Any ideea how long this can take (maximum)?

I update my nexus S (Model: GT-I9020T) with this update and that seems to have bricked my unit completely. Anyone have any idea what could have gone wrong? Any suggestion on how i can recover my device? -Thanks

Hey there. I too have suffered the same fate. My Nexus S won't reboot. In case, you manage to get it working, please please do let me know. Thanks

I have a Nexus s 19023 in India. Will flashing this cause a problem? Also do i need to unlock my bootloader? Will i receive OTA updates later as this is the final build by Google itself. Sorry for the dumb questions. I am a noob at this :P

Confirmed to be working for Globe Telecom Nexus S in the Philippines. Upgrade went flawlessly with apps and data intact. Took about 10 minutes to do the upgrade. The update is official as it comes from the google servers.

saw some people had problems after updating it. would like to know if it is safe to update on my unlocked Nexus S (2.3.6 android atm) I9023XXKF1, build number GRK39F. thanks

Given that numerous people are having problems with the update, I think you guys should lay off this update for a couple days, until the devs have figured out what's up..

WIFI is not working on my Nexus S ( Baseband version I9020XXKI1 ) after the update ... any way to get back to 2.3.6 or to get it working ??

Completed the update, everything working fine but WIFI is now not working. Have rebooted, issue persists. Can turn wifi on and off. Occasionally it will see my network but not connect. Sometimes it says network out of range despite the fact I'm right here at the base station. Tried forgetting the network, still nothing. Same baseband version as jzmati (I8020XXKI1).

Anyone else facing this issue?

My Wifi is not working either. This seems to be a somewhat common bug. I hope they fix it ASAP... I'm screwed without it.

Works pretty well but I'm having problems with Kobo and Kindle. Kindle force closes and Kobo will no longer sync properly. The USB transfer from Mac OS Lion has not been smooth either. Most files are not recognized. Have had to disconnect and reconnect USB drive to get the phone to read the files.

Anyone else having the same issues?

I'm also getting the unknown baseband issue after updating my T-Mobile 9020T running stock 2.3.6. Wifi works but cell and data do not. Any solutions?

I was able to solve the baseband unknown issue by flashing the radio. The problem was the 4.0.3 update did not update the radio properly. In the bootloader it showed as version I9020XXXXX instead of I9020XXKI1. I unlocked the bootloader with 'fastboot oem unlock' and then flashed the radio from with 'fastboot flash radio radio-I9020XXKI1.img' and then the baseband was recognized and phone and data work properly.

One big downside though: if you haven't previously unlocked your boot loader you will lose everything. Apps, settings, everything on the SD card. So be sure to back up everything that matters.

There are multiple people with problems with this update...

so, whoever updated successfully, do I just flash this update as any other ROM?

wipe data/factory reset
wipe cache
wipe dalvik cache
install from recovery?

I competed the update coming from stock 2.3.6 and followed the steps given to update. Now my wifi works find but it tells me the baseband is unknown and my phone wont connect to the T-Mobile network...can anyone help?

I performed the manual install per the provided instructions to my stock T-Mobile NS 2.3.6 and everything is working perfectly; radio, wifi, bluetooth, gps, tethering.

Takes a little getting used to but overall a nice upgrade. Thanks Google for the timely update!

Okay folks. For those of us having the WiFi problem, I've figured something out. I scoured the Android forums to see who else is having the WiFi problem, and I did a (sort of) data study to figure out the similarities. From the names of the folks (who used actual names instead of "handles"), I started to see a trend of folks who were not necessarily in the U.S. (difficult, since the U.S. is so mixed in ethnicity). I then had a theory that most of the WiFi problems were with folks who were not on T-Mobile and in the U.S.

I am presently in the Middle East. I have SIMs for many countries, and I shut off my phone and put in my U.S. T-Mobile SIM to see what would happen. With the T-Mobile SIM, the WiFi works! So the problem is with phones that have SIM cards other than U.S. T-Mobile.

At least the engineers have a clue as to where to look to fix the problem now!


Great find. My Nexus S was purchased at Best Buy for Tmobile but I use it in Angola with a Unitel SIM card. I threw out the original T-Mobile SIM that came with the phone without ever activating it. I was just in the US for Thanksgiving and picked up a temporary SIM card (H2O). I've put that one in the phone and sure enough the WIFI worked as soon as I turned it on. It connected to my network right away, no problems.

I tested with my Danish SIM card (One Mobile) and it connected to my network, no problem. I tested with my South African SIM Card (Vodacom) and it connected to my network again, no problem.

I put my normal SIM back in (Unitel) and it is now not connecting again. Going directly into my WIFI settings it looks like it is trying to connect to my network. Going into Advanced WIFI settings it shows I have an IP Address. Navigating web pages and monitoring my data usage clearly shows I am using 3G rather than WIFI.

I have tried testing the WIFI with the Unitel SIM in by using Tethering. That seems to work just fine.

confirm WiFi doesn't work on mine with middle east sim-card
what's this funny problem that we have ?!

I can confirm it works for the european version with the SLCD display - baseband version - I9023XXKI1 - I'm on Vodafone Romania. Everything works great!

I'm from Asia and I also have problems with the WiFi. I don't have a T-Mobile simcard like you guys do so this issue is driving me crazy. It says that it's "connected" to my net, but there's a blinking up arrow on the signal.

BTW I'm using static IP.

Any hints? :(

The "Automatically lock" after # minutes after sleep doesn't appear to work for me. With it set to 2 minutes, I enter my pattern to enter my phone, press the power button to sleep it, wait a few moments and press the power button again. I'm presented with the pattern entry screen again.

Shouldn't it wait # minutes before locking again?

I have an i9020T with an AT&T SIM. I followed the steps to upgrade, and I now have ICS running, but my cell connection no longer works. I can't make calls or send text messages. If I go to Settings > Security > SIM Lock, the "Lock SIM card" checkbox is checked, even though my SIM is not locked (I used it on another phone just fine). And I can't uncheck it. It says "Can't change SIM card lock state. Possibly incorrect PIN."

Is there any way to fix this? If not, is there a way to downgrade to GB again?

Has any1 w/a Nexus S on the Telus (Canada) wireless network tried 2 upd8 from GB 2 ICS? I was actually recommended 2 try this option by Telus store rep.

I tried following the steps listed above, but after the 7th step [From the menu, select "apply update from /sdcard", and choose from the list.], my phone just sits there idle, doing nothing but display the android logo/icon w/the warning triangle containing the exclamation mark; it doesn't continue to the final step [Let it do its thing and update your system, radio, and other partitions. When finished, choose "reboot system now].

Here are my phone's specs: (Android ver. 2.3.6/Baseband ver. I9020AUKF1/Kernal ver. android-build@apa28 #1/Build number: GRK39F)

When I try 2 select the [] from the "apply update from /sdcard", it just opens other sub-menus (sum of which contain even MORE sub-menus...), and when I try to select 1 of those, nothing happens other than it opening 2 a menu selection that only takes me bac 2 the previous menu/sub-menu selection...

othrwise, it just sits idle w/the android logo/icon & the warning triangle as I st8ted before.

Any help w/upd8ing 2 ICS wood B gr8ly appreci8ed.

Hi I have followed step by step process but when you start showing error that appears is the following:
- Install / sdcard …
Finding update package …
Opening update package …
Verifyng update package …
E: signature failed to verify wholefile
E: signature verification failed
Installation aborted.

The data from my smartphone are:
Model number: Nexus S
Android Version: 2.3.6
Baseband version: I9020AUCKF1
Kernel version: @ gf5f63ef apa28 # 1
Build number: GRK39F

please help me ….. cus i´ve try everything....

I copied the zip file to the sd card storage using my laptop. I then try to copy the zip file to the internal storage but it fails. It just doesn't move to the internal storage. help ASAP!!