Recently Google released the first Android 12 Developer Preview for supported Google Pixel phones. The Android 12 DP targets developers and enthusiasts who want to test the upcoming Android update before others. Also, it is fairly easy to install Android 12 Developer Preview on Google Pixel phones. And if you have also updated your phone to Android 12 and want to roll back for any reason. Then here you will know how to downgrade Android 12 Developer Preview to Android 11 on Google Pixel.
If you have a Google Pixel phone then you always have an advantage over any other Android phones as Google allows Pixel users to easily install Android developer previews. And you already know it takes many months for other OEMs to provide the same Android update to their phones. Not only the installation, but Google also lets you roll back to the previous Android version.
The upcoming Android 12 update is available for Pixel 3 and newer Pixel phones. And if you have any of these Pixel phones and want to try the latest Android 12 Developer Preview then check out our installation guide. But if you want to downgrade to Android 11 then you can follow this guide.
How to Roll Back from Android 12 to Android 11
The Android 12 is in early build and so we don’t recommend installing it on your primary Pixel device. But if you already did and are facing issues or bugs then you will be happy to know that you can go back to Android 11 on your Pixel phone. It is a difficult process but if you follow it carefully you will find it easy.
First of all, take a full backup of your phone as the downgrade process will wipe all data from the phone. Google Pixel phones are easy to take backup and you can find a guide about it on the Google support page.
We will split the method into different sections to make the process easier for you. This guide requires unlocking bootloader of the Google Pixel phone and if you already unlocked the bootloader then skip the bootloader section. Let’s start with the requirements.
- Download Android SDK Platform Tools on your PC
- You need a Pixel phone running Android 12 DP
- Windows PC (macOS will also work but commands can vary)
- Make sure you are following this at your own risk
Step 1: Collect required files (Factory Images)
- Copy the Platform Tools on your computer and extract it.
- Now download the correct Android 11 Factory Image for your Pixel Device.
- Extract the downloaded Factory Image on your PC.
- Copy the extracted files and paste them into the Platform Tools folder.
- Make sure Factory Images files are in the correct location. It should be under Platform Tools > platform tools.
Step 2: Enable OEM Unlocking and USB Debugging
- Open Settings on your Google Pixel and go to About Phone.
- Look for Build Number and tap on it about 7-8 times and it will give a message ‘You are now a developer’.
- Now go to Settings > System > Advanced > Developer Options.
- First enable the USB Debugging and then also enable OEM Unlocking which will prompt a message where you need to click on Enable.
- Connect your phone to PC and it will ask for Authorization on your phone so make sure to Allow USB Debugging.
Step 3: Unlock Bootloader of Pixel Phone
To flash the factory image, you need to unlock bootloader of your device. You can skip this step if you have already unlocked the bootloader.
- Open the Platform Tools folder and enter CMD on the address bar.
- It will open the command window on your PC.
- Connect your phone to your computer.
- Now boot your phone into the fastboot mode using the below command.
adb reboot bootloader
- After booting into Fastboot mode enter the below command to trigger the bootloader unlocking process.
fastboot flashing unlock
- You will get a warning message on your phone, ignore it. Use the Volume keys to navigate and press the power key to select ‘unlock the bootloader’.
- It will wipe all data from your phone and unlock the bootloader.
- Restart your device and skip the setup part and enable USB Debugging.
Step 4: Flash Factory Image to downgrade from Android 12 to Android 11
- Connect your phone to your computer and boot the device into Fastboot mode using the adb command mentioned in the bootloader step.
- Open the Platform Tools folder and enter CMD in the address bar to open the command window. Make sure extracted factory image files are there.
- Now enter the below command to flash Factory Image to your Pixel phone.
- It will flash the Factory Image and downgrade your Pixel phone from Android 12 Developer Preview to Android 11.
- You will see a completion message on the command window.
That’s it, you now have the stable Android 11 running on your Google Pixel phone. Restart your phone and enjoy a stable experience.
If you want to relock the Bootloader of your Google Pixel then you can follow the below method. It is optional if you don’t want to relock then you can skip it.
Step 5: Relock the Bootloader
- To relock the Bootloader of your phone, enable USB Debugging and reboot into Fastboot Mode.
- Connect your phone to your computer when the device is in Fastboot Mode.
- Now open the CMD from the Platform Tools folder.
- Then enter the below command to relock the Bootloader.
fastboot flashing lock
- The same way you locked the bootloader, navigate to ‘lock the bootloader’ using Volume keys and then press the power key to select it.
- It will wipe all the data and relock the bootloader of your Pixel phone.
- Restart your phone and set up the device to enjoy the stable build.
The downgrade process is not a safe process as some users may face security issues. So it’s always recommended to use a secondary phone for testing developer previews.
So, there you have it, the guide on how to downgrade from Android 12 Developer Preview to Android 11. In case if you have any queries then let us know in the comment section.