Many Nexus 6 users have reported that the forced encryption feature is negatively affecting the smartphones performance. Forced Encryption has been a feature of Android since version 3.0 Honeycomb although has not been active by default until the release of Android 5.0 Lollipop which is of course what the Nexus 6 is running.
What is Android Forced Encryption?
When you have forced encryption enabled on your Android device it will encrypt all information as it is written to disk. What this also creates is a need to decrypt that same information every time you read it as well. This creates the need for added tasks on your Nexus 6 when installing, opening, closing app and just about every action you complete. In turn it takes away from the performance and creates added processing time that you can get away from.
Motorola has however released a build on Android to disable the forced encryption feature. If your Nexus 6 is showing signs of lag and slow transitions then you may be in need of removing the feature. The following instructions will show you how to disable forced encryption but be sure to follow each step in order and to the word.
Pre-requisites: Make sure you have at least 75% battery although personally I would take the additional few minutes and fully charge your phone to be safe. Also be sure to backup any data that you are worried about losing (process wipes the phone clean).
How to Disable Nexus 6 Forced Encryption
- Unlock the Nexus 6 Bootloader (Nexus 6 Bootloader Unlock Instructions)
- Turn off your Nexus 6
- Hold the power and volume down buttons simultaneously to boot into bootloader mode
- plug your Nexus 6 into your PC via USB
- Download the boot_noforceencrypt.img file for your build (find build from phone “settings -> about phone” at the bottom)
- Put the boot_noforceencrypt.img file into your fastboot folder (was setup for bootloader unlock in step 1)
- Open a command prompt and navigate to your fastboot directory
- Type “fastboot flash boot boot_noforceencryption.img”, press enter
- Wait for your phone to flash the boot_noforceencrypt.img
- Once the process is complete you can restart your phone
- When in Android navigate to your “settings -> backup & reset” to perform a factory reset (required to remove the encryption)
- Congrats your Nexus 6 no longer has forced encryption enabled!
While this process will remove the encryption please keep in mind that when running an OTA update on the device forced encryption will turn itself back on and you will need to complete the process again. If you have any issues with the process I first recommend trying to complete it again to be sure no steps were missed then you can always flash the Nexus 6 back to its stock ROM following the instructions here (available shortly).
If you have any questions about the process or run into issues feel free to leave us a comment below and we will do our best to walk you through it. This said we are giving you the tools but aren’t responsible in the event something goes wrong.