How to Downgrade to an Older Version of Android

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How to Downgrade to an Older Version of Android

In general, it’s always a good idea to keep your gadgets up to date. However, over-the-air upgrades may sometimes destroy software, modify functionality in unexpected ways, or create flaws that the manufacturer may or may not patch.

In such circumstances, you might think about reverting the update that is generating serious issues in your phone. It is typically not suggested to revert to an earlier version of Android, although it is not impossible.

Here’s how to effortlessly downgrade your phone’s Android version.

Before Downgrading Your Device

Manufacturers do not formally endorse the process of downgrading. It is not simple, it may violate your warranty, and it may brick your device. You should not do this unless you have prior expertise altering the software on your device.

The ability to unlock the bootloader determines whether you can downgrade your smartphone at all. Unlocking devices from Google or OnePlus is simple, however unlocking devices from Huawei, Samsung, or Nokia may be complex or impossible.

You’ll need to do some study on your own device, particularly if you purchased it via a carrier. Some carriers demand you to first get an unlock token from them or do not permit bootloader unlocking at all.

When you unlock the bootloader, all of your data and internal storage are erased. So, before you begin, create a backup of all of your info!

Things You’ll Need Before You Can Downgrade

After backing up all of your data, you’ll need to download an Android factory image of the version you wish to restore, which must be particularly created for your device. Google gives a collection of factory images to Pixel and Nexus customers. Other phone manufacturers will need you to locate an authentic factory image for your handset.

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If you can’t locate factory photos on the manufacturer’s website, the XDA Developers forums are a fantastic place to search.

To utilize the ADB and fastboot utilities, you’ll also need to download and install the SDK Platform Tools. You may become acquainted with ADB and fastboot by reading our guides. Finally, you must connect your phone to your PC through USB, so use the original USB cord. If you don’t have the original, a high-quality cable will suffice.

How to Downgrade Your Android Phone

To illustrate, we’re utilizing a Pixel phone. The procedure should work on the majority of phones that can be reduced, but each handset is unique. Some need a distinct set of instructions or other tools.

Before you continue, be sure that this is the case for your device. The previously stated XDA Developers forum is a fantastic location to seek for this information.

Step 1: Enable USB Debugging

The first step is to enable Developer Options on your phone by heading to Settings, selecting the About phone section, and then touching the Build number until you get the message You are now a developer!.

Then, under Developer Options, turn on USB debugging and OEM unlocking.

Step 2: Connect Your Phone to Your Computer

Connect your phone to your PC with a USB cable.

Navigate to the SDK Platform Tools folder on your PC and place the Android factory image you downloaded there. Factory images are often sent in ZIP files that include IMG files; unzip the factory image in the Platform Tools folder.

Hold Shift and right-click within the window, then choose Open PowerShell window here while still in the Platform Tools folder.

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Type adb devices in the PowerShell box that appears to see whether your phone is being recognized. If it is, its serial number should be mentioned. If this does not work, try a different USB cable.

You must now reboot your device into fastboot mode. In PowerShell, enter the following command:

adb reboot bootloader

Step 3: Unlock the Bootloader

Now that your device is in fastboot mode, you may unlock your phone’s bootloader. This is an important step since you cannot install the previous version of Android on your phone until you unlock the bootloader.

Enter fastboot oem unlock depending on your device, and if that doesn’t work, type fastboot flashing unlock instead. If everything goes as planned, you should get a notification on your smartphone indicating that the bootloader has been unlocked. This will also erase your device.

Step 4: Install the Older Version of Android

As part of the downloaded factory image, some manufacturers will offer a “flash-all” script that will automatically flash everything for you. If this is the case, the script, along with the IMG files you extracted, should be in the SDK Platform Tools folder.

Double-click the flash-all.bat script to run it. A box should appear, displaying the flashing process as it occurs. Please do not disconnect your phone throughout this procedure!

If you don’t see a flash-all script, you’ll have to flash everything manually. To do this, enter the following instructions in the following order:

fastboot flash bootloader [bootloader file name].img
fastboot reboot-bootloader
fastboot flash radio [radio file name].img
fastboot reboot-bootloader
fastboot flash -w update [image file name].zip

Your phone should restart immediately. If everything went as planned, you should now be running an older version of Android. You’ll have to start again with your phone.

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Alternatives to Downgrading You Should Consider

Because unlocking your device’s bootloader entails erasing all of your data, you may want to try doing a factory reset instead.

It’s a lot less complex and riskier than downgrading, and any bugs or performance problems you may have had will usually go away following a factory reset. You may also continue to use all of the new Android features.

If you’re dead bent on going back to a previous version of Android, you may try installing a custom ROM. Custom ROMs provide enhancements over your device’s official software, and developers may keep older versions updated with security updates.

If your phone’s manufacturer does not release pictures of previous Android OS, this is an option worth considering. LineageOS is one of the greatest custom ROMs for Android and is highly recommended.

Roll Back Your Android Update

While a factory reset should typically enough to address any difficulties, if the only choice available is to restore to a previous version, you now know how.

Please keep in mind that the approach we outlined may not work with your device. This technique always has the danger of bricking your phone, so make a backup of everything beforehand!

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