Below are very detailed instructions to manually backup your phone, unlock the bootloader, restore, root, and install Clockwork Mod Recovery. These instructions are as fool-proof as it gets. If you have any questions reach out on the forums, there will always be people there to help.
SPRINT USERS: You can unlock the bootloader and root with these instructions, however you cannot flash Clockwork Mod Recovery. I will update as soon as it's available.
1. Install Android SDK To Computer
2. Install Drivers To Computer
3. Backup Phone With ADB Backup
Unlocking the bootloader will wipe the Galaxy Nexus. If you have been using the phone for a while you may want to backup first. If you do not want to backup you can skip to step 4. Unlock The Bootloader
4. Unlock The Bootloader
5. Restore ADB Backup
If you did not make a backup in step 3. Backup Phone With ADB Backup, skip this step
6. Root & Setup Clockwork
7. Make a Backup of Stock
1st Driver Troubleshoot
2nd Driver Troubleshoot
Some experience driver issues. If this happens to you, the easiest solution is to install PDAnet. PDAnet is a tethering application. While we don’t need it to tether it does have a nice set of drivers that work perfect. PDAnet will install to your computer and to your phone. Once the drivers are installed you may uninstall the PDAnet app from your phone.