How to update Nexus S I9023 to Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.3

Google seems to have released a combined update for all Nexus S GSM owners, which includes the Super AMOLED version as well as Super Clear LCD version. It was confirmed by several of our readers, who updated their Nexus S GT-i9023 to Android 4.0.3 using the same build that was said to be released for I9020T only.

An OTA version will be on its way shortly, but if don’t want to wait for OTA; you can update your Nexus S I9023 right way using the following guide.

  • Download the Update from here
  • Rename the downloaded file to (although not necessary but helps)
  • Copy to the root of your internal storage
  • Switch off your Nexus S
  • Hold Volume Up and Power to reboot into the bootloader
  • Select “Recovery,” then press power button
  • Once the triangle with exclamation mark appears, press power button and volume up at the same time to enter recovery menu
  • Select “Apply update from /sdcard”.
  • Once the process is finished, reboot your phone and your Nexus S is updated to Android 4.0.3.

Do let us know about your experience with ICS after the update.

Thanks Abhinav for the sceeenshot

Post Author: Gaurav Shukla

Gaurav Shukla is the editor of If you'd like to reach him, drop an email at '' or connect with him on Twitter (@gauravshukla).

48 thoughts on “How to update Nexus S I9023 to Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.3


    (April 22, 2012 - 11:12 pm)

    My nexus s I9023 was updated with ICS 4.0.4 through OTA. After updating ICS Google sync and Yahoo sync working fine but my exchange sync and Face book sync not working and rest other sync also not working. In ICS i was expecting application sharing, file manager and lot more that was not their in the update and many feature like HD video playing… lot more


    (March 15, 2012 - 8:51 pm)

    i updated my nexus gt-i9023 but there is no network pllzzz help me out of this
    what to do????
    it says error while searching mobile networks

    Federico C

    (March 14, 2012 - 11:48 pm)

    Updated my I9023 yesterday (Italy), and everything works fine. The battery _seems_ to be draining a little more than before but nothing that terrible. Only nag is the old mms issue (they keep on having a SENDING status and never get to the recipient), but i don’t use them a lot.


    (March 8, 2012 - 3:04 am)

    Attempted to update a brand new (out-the-box) i9023 from DOCOMO, didn’t work.


    (March 7, 2012 - 11:14 pm)

    Wow Android 4.0.3 rocks all the apps r working at my phone

    Sudheesh B

    (February 29, 2012 - 5:18 pm)

    Its working in My Samsung Nexus S.(INDIA)
    Wifi is also working.

    guruprasad chavan

    (February 21, 2012 - 1:28 pm)

    Hi, I am using the same method but my phone is not accepting this zip folder provided by this site so please suggest me from where i can get proper update.

    my id is



    lou lou

    (February 15, 2012 - 6:23 pm)

    updated my uk sim free nexus s i9023 to 4.0.3. no problems at all. works like a dream. no lag, battery time no different. force closes issues are the same as gingerbread. the huge positive is that you can diasable stock apps like google maps earth and google+. these run in the background and use battery and pull data – not nooo more! ha ha

    however the software is a huge update and we have to remember that it is still currently unavailable ota due to a few glitches. it was pulled before christmas. The only glitches ive encountered are minor ones. the most annoying being that sometimes phone numbers and texts come in with the uk prefix attached so the phone doesnt recognise them. but unlike other people my phone is completely functioning with no other issues. been testing for a week now.

    i use juice defender from market and my battery life has actually gone from 1.89 to 2.09 so only slight increase. but any increase is better than a decrease!


    (February 12, 2012 - 4:41 pm)

    updated my nexus s i9023 to 4.0.3 and everything O.K.


      (February 16, 2012 - 1:31 am)

      Hi, I am using the same method but my phone is not accepting this zip folder provided by this site so please suggest me from where i can get proper update.

      my id is



    (February 10, 2012 - 11:14 am)

    updated my nexus s i9023 from 2.3.4 to 4.0.3 with this method with the 160MB file and everything was sweet,until i realized i have no 3G ! only edge!


    (January 28, 2012 - 5:45 am)

    Waiting is over 🙂

    the do it yourself update from 2.3.6 (stock, no root) as mentioned above worked like a charm for my Nexus S (wifi OK, no battery issues etc.) – Phone: Nexus S I9023 – android rulez!!

    Thomas Jacob

    (January 12, 2012 - 12:16 am)

    Today after a full recharge i got 25 hours and 14% left with only wifi and very minimum usage on data.

    Peter Issa

    (January 9, 2012 - 6:44 am)

    Ok, so It’s been off the charger after a full charge for 5 hours.. now it’s sitting at 49%
    So I should be getting a good 10 hours out of it.

    Take note, this is after minimal use, I browsed over 3G for a bit, visited the Facebook app a few times,
    and played music for about 1 hour altogether. I have no animations turned on, I have a static wallpaper, brightness is fixed on the lowest, and all mobile and location services are turned off except for 3G. Screen locks and turns off after 10 seconds of use.

    I really should be getting more out of this.. since yesterday the Android OS went down to 12% CPU usage from around 30%. It looks like the battery munching thing now is Media Server which has been running at 30% usage since last night. I had almost nothing running except google services and the keyboard, yet Media Service insists on chewing up CPU usage time and battery.

    Hope Google fixes this soon. But for now it looks like their update works for the I9023’s.

    Peter Issa

    (January 8, 2012 - 5:21 pm)

    I just manually updated to ICS 4.0.3 using the instructions and files provided here..

    It worked PERFECTLY!! Wi-fi works, all mobile data works, browsers are fine, phone is faster than ever. Although, I do see the Android System using 20-30% battery.. but we’ll see how that goes after a full discharge and charge.

    For all you guys wanting to update, I’m using the Nexus S from Vodafone AU, Nexus S I9023, (running on GSM/CDMA auto – PRL),
    ***This is the Nexus S with the Super Clear LCD screen***
    I have never rooted it or flashed it, never had any problems except with some glitches earlier on in 2011 which 2.3.6 fixed.

    After a full discharge and charge I’ll also report back on how long the battery lasts, and if any other problems surface.

    My specs before the update:
    Device: Nexus S
    Carrier: Vodafone AU
    Country: Australia
    Android: 2.3.6
    Baseband version: I9023XXKI1
    Build Number: GRK39F

    and AFTER:
    Device: Nexus S
    Carrier: Vodafone AU
    Country: Australia
    Android: 4.0.3
    Baseband version: I9023XXKI1
    Build Number: IML74K


    (January 6, 2012 - 12:06 am)

    After Upgrading on nexus s 4.0 wi fi is death. But when i downgrade it till 2.3.4 it start work normal

    Thomas Jacob

    (January 3, 2012 - 11:50 pm)

    Today my Nexus S ICS work for 16 hours Battery after a full recharge with normal usage with WIFI emails and calls only

    Thomas Jacob

    (January 3, 2012 - 11:48 pm)

    I have updated my Nexus S which I bought from Eros Elect. Dubai, UAE.
    The above method was very smooth and no issues
    Wi-Fi, 3G, works fine.
    No issues with battery.
    First I got 8 hours and the 12 hours on full recharge.
    I didn’t lose any settings with emails, contacts, messages, Wi-Fi password or apps after the update except G+, but when I went to market it ask for an update and it start working fine. The GUI navigation experience is marvelous.
    Camera focusing is quick as mentioned it can be used as sniper. Panorama was an added feature.
    Another important thing which I like was some email widgets and on Home screen you can group icons to a folder and name it as you like. I had this feature before in IPHONE 4 but this looks better. The home button hold brings all open tasks as small window which looks cute but no way to close it from there.
    Google Map still don’t have voice. I didn’t feel much difference in performance except while dialing or while choosing Dialer and Phone calls. Over all I give 8 marks out of 10 for this update.


    (January 3, 2012 - 9:17 pm)

    It’s perfectly, the wi-fi works with no problem


    (January 3, 2012 - 8:24 pm)

    cant use packet data after this update on i9023


    (January 1, 2012 - 12:03 pm)

    My phone (i9023) got bricked after doing this update. 🙁


    (December 23, 2011 - 9:42 am)

    After doing this update I cant now boot into recovery mood? How do i fix this?


    (December 21, 2011 - 5:21 pm)

    I have updated my Nexus S using the above method in India … and didn’t face any issue ..

    Wi-Fi, 3G, Edge .. all works fine.
    No reboots, no crash till now….its been 7 hours 🙂
    I didnt loose any contact, msgs, wifi settings or apps after the update.. everything is there, intact
    Browser seems to be faster and even the overall UI navigation experience is fast (atleast I felt so)
    Voice typing is simple amazing, accurate and fast 🙂
    Camera has just got the panorama feature added. No face Unlock ..

    Overall its working like charm …. no issues till now
    Battery is not draining fast (not signed in google+ or latitude)


    (December 21, 2011 - 2:50 pm)

    I am sending my Nexus S to Samsung today to get flashed back to Gingerbread or to a working ICS.

    It been to much hassle trying to recover the phone blind


    (December 21, 2011 - 8:14 am)

    After official updated to Android 4.0.3 ICS don’t work wifi . *#*#checkin#*#* doesn’t solve this problem, need help


    (December 21, 2011 - 7:49 am)

    Apparently there are 2 versions of the released OTA update. there’s the 128mb posted above and the 160mb. I tried both already and both worked on my phone. No wifi problems or network signal problems. Only concern is the battery drain and the no backlight recovery menu. It appears as a blank screen but when you use a strong light, you can see the menu. My i9023 is unlocked and kept stock from the Philippines


    (December 21, 2011 - 5:03 am)

    As per Adam – my mobile network is connected (is blue and has 3G on it) but none of the apps (including the browser) can get any internet.

    That’s a big problem!!

    I am in Australia.

    Any ideas?


    (December 21, 2011 - 2:43 am)

    hi i just wanted to be sure is this an official update?


    (December 20, 2011 - 2:55 pm)

    Updated using this method, and works like a dream, but no mobile network! I’m in the UK maybe a country issue?


    (December 19, 2011 - 11:57 pm)

    Try to disable the Graphics and Transition effect and monitor the battery.. it will increase for sure… tried and tested…


    (December 19, 2011 - 7:25 pm)

    I got Android 4.0.3 ice cream sandwich official update on my Nexus S I9023 and it’s draining battery!! I mean a lot of battery. The battery widget is showing android system consuming more battery than the screen. Hope they fix it fast. I can’t even get 7 hours without a recharge.


    (December 19, 2011 - 2:53 pm)

    mY WIFI dont detect any network plz help…. any solution? factory reset can help?


    (December 19, 2011 - 9:51 am)

    Thanks Guys!!!

    Updated to ICS. Wifi, Mobile Data, etc..everything is working.. And new ICS is a breeze


    (December 19, 2011 - 3:51 am)


    (December 18, 2011 - 9:28 pm)

    Wifi not working. WTF.


    (December 18, 2011 - 7:58 pm)

    Hi Viktor, so far I found no issues with any ICS item (WiFi, Mobile Data, Gmail, Calendar, etc).


    (December 18, 2011 - 7:30 pm)

    just updated manually and checked the wifi.Its working correctly..!!


    (December 18, 2011 - 6:26 pm)

    Hi Mohit and Luciano

    You found any issues with Wifi and Mobile Data?


    (December 18, 2011 - 5:44 pm)

    There is a easiest way to update the Nexus S I9023 over-the-air :
    Just enable WiFi then, from the dialer, type *#*#checkin#*#* (that is *#*#2432546#*#*).
    No issues with ICS after one day using it !
    Thanks Google!

      Satish Medos

      (April 7, 2012 - 12:24 am)

      Hey Luciano,

      Thanks a lot for this one.. my nexus s (in India) started downloading ICS 🙂


    (December 18, 2011 - 5:00 pm)

    No.. No issues till now… followed above steps and it worked like charm….


    (December 18, 2011 - 1:06 pm)

    New update looks wonderful 🙂


    (December 18, 2011 - 12:25 pm)

    Hi. I have been hearing that WiFi doesnt work on Nexus S after updating to ICS. Could anyone please confirm this who has upgraded Nexus S to ICS?
    Are there any issues with Moblie Data and WiFi after ICS update?


    (December 18, 2011 - 11:34 am)

    Hi! will the update delete all my data(apps/phonebook/messages etc)
    Should i make a backup first???
    does the camera app have digital zoom

      Gaurav Shukla

      (December 18, 2011 - 11:44 am)

      @talha It should not delete apps and data, but it is always good to make backup in case anything goes wrong..

    Ishan P

    (December 18, 2011 - 1:54 am)

    I followed the instruction and it was a smooth as silk upgrade on my Nexus S I9023. Absolutely Ice Cream Sandwich flavored Android. Aesthetically the best Android, more intuitive UI and more fluid interaction. The WebOS inspired app switcher is the best of any mobile OS. Everything is so much better now, no eye sores anymore. The new camera is quicker to load and snappier.


    (December 18, 2011 - 12:46 am)

    Hi wifi not work in this version

    Hemanth Kumar

    (December 17, 2011 - 7:53 pm)

    can i update my i9020 (UK) with this update??

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