Instructions on how to downgrade your Google Pixel from Android 12 Beta 3 to Android 11.
For those who are not satisfied with the most current Android 12 Developer Preview or Beta build on their Google Pixel, the knowledge that they may downgrade their operating system to a stable version of Google Android 11 if they find any serious issues is likely to be music to their ears.
Considering that we’ve already demonstrated how to install the Android 12 Beta or Developer Preview phase, it’s only fair that we also demonstrate how to downgrade from this experimental Android release. You could have checked out the first Developer Preview, and because it isn’t quite ready to be released as a public beta, it may contain problems and issues that you aren’t thrilled about having to work with. The good news is that upgrading from the Android 12 Beta 2 release back to a stable Android 11 build is both doable and not too difficult.
There are a few things you’ll need to do before you can restore to a stable Android 11 version, though. First and foremost, make a complete backup of all of your data before ever considering trying this. This approach will result in the loss of your device data because it needs a device wipe, and your device will be wiped multiple times throughout the process.
It’s simple: just choose to opt out of the Android 12 Beta program on the official Android 12 Beta page, and your device will be restored to Android 11. This will, however, erase your device, so make sure you have backed up all of your critical data on your smartphone using services such as Google Photos or Google Drive before proceeding.
1. Download and install the Android SDK Platform-Tools package from the Android SDK website.
To downgrade your current Android 12 build to a previous version, you’ll need to utilize ADB, also known as the Android Debug Bridge. We recommend that you save the unzipped platform-tools package to your desktop so that you can access it quickly when you need to run commands. You may get the most recent platform-tools zip file by visiting this page.
2. Enable USB debugging and OEM unlocking on your computer.
First and foremost, make certain that Developer Options are enabled on your Pixel. You may accomplish this by navigating to your device. Settings > About phone, then touch on “Build number” until you see a message confirming that you have Developer options enabled on your device.
You’ll need to navigate to Settings > System > Advanced > Developer settings at this point (you may need to expand a hidden menu for this). It is essential that you activate “OEM unlocking” before proceeding with the rest of the procedure. Now, scroll down a little farther to the “Debugging” area and choose the “Allow USB debugging” option from the drop-down menu.
3. Download the Factory Image for your device from the manufacturer’s website.
This is required in order to complete the Android 12 downgrading procedure. You’ll need to download the Factory Image that corresponds to your device model. A clean slate for your smartphone, or a snapshot of that particular Android build at the moment, is essentially what you’re getting here. You may download it from Google’s Factory Image OTA hosting site, which also hosts all other Factory Images for Pixel smartphones and tablets.
You will need to copy this file and unzip its contents to the platform-tools folder in order to have access to them later on in the procedure.
Note: Do not extract into a sub-folder within the platform-tool folder; instead, extract all files into the platform-tool folder.
4. Enter the device bootloader by using the F4 key.
There are a handful of approaches that may be used to accomplish this. The quickest and most straightforward method is to connect your device to your Windows PC and enter the platform-tools folder by typing “cmd” into the address bar of your file manager. This will bring up a Command Prompt window in the appropriate location. To start the adb daemon, type the following command into your terminal:
After that, your Pixel smartphone will begin to load into the bootloader, which is where we’ll be needing to be in order to send some instructions.
As an alternative, you may press and hold the Power button while simultaneously pressing the volume down key until you see the Android figure lying down. You will now need to press and hold the power button as well as the volume up button for a short period of time before releasing the volume up button. You may navigate through the options by pressing the up and down volume keys simultaneously.
5. Disable the bootloader’s protection.
Due to the fact that you can’t flash a Factory Image and downgrade your Android version using the slightly simpler ADB sideloading technique, unlocking the bootloader is required for the flashing procedure. This, on the other hand, is a very straightforward procedure. In your command-line interface, type the following command: Enter the following command:
When you unlock the bootloader, you will see a somewhat intimidating notice on your display warning you that doing so may cause device instability. Select the “Unlock the bootloader” option using the physical volume keys, and then confirm your selection by hitting the power button on your keyboard. Restart your Pixel, since this procedure will erase all of the data on your smartphone.
In addition, we will need to skip the device starting phase in order to re-enable USB Debugging in preparation for the next procedure. Once you’ve completed this, make sure your Pixel is connected to your computer, as you’ll need to enter the bootloader on your device using the following command once more:
6. Type the flash command into the console.
With all of your Factory Image files extracted into the platform-tools folder and easily accessible, you can start building your platform. You may now perform the following command (while still in the Command Prompt/PowerShell window that you previously opened):
In a few minutes, the Google Pixel will begin the process of upgrading from Android 12 to Android 11, which should take a few minutes. Keep the Command Prompt window open, and when the procedure is complete, you will get a notification indicating that it has been completed.
7. Reset the bootloader’s security settings (optional)
Even though this is an optional step, it is required in order to receive future OTA updates. A warning message will appear on the screen each time you restart your device if you don’t do it in this manner.
You will have to go through the device configuration procedure again, which you may bypass if you buy in bulk. Re-enable USB debugging from step No. 2 at this point – your bootloader has been unlocked, thus OEM unlocking should be grayed out at this point as well.
Connect your device to your Windows PC again, and then enter the platform-tools folder and reopen a Command Prompt window by typing “cmd” in the address bar. To rapidly load the following command into your device’s bootloader, type it in as follows:
By typing the following commands, we may re-lock the bootloader once more:
Using the volume keys on your Pixel, navigate to the “lock the bootloader” option and press the power button to confirm your selection. When the confirmation is received, the word “locked” will show on the screen within the bootloader menu. Please keep in mind that after you reboot your Pixel, this operation will erase your device once more.
8. Restart your smartphone.
Now that you have successfully downgraded from the Android 12 developer preview or beta to Android 11, you may unplug your smartphone and reset it. It should now be loaded into the device setup process, allowing you to sign up and enjoy your stable Android build as soon as it is available.
It’s also worth mentioning that this approach will work if you want to downgrade from Android 12 to Android 11 on smartphones such as the Google Pixel 3 and Google Pixel 4, as well. However, we do not advocate doing so because it introduces a number of security concerns to the device as well as additional possible difficulties. Having said that, if you choose to downgrade from one Android version to another, you do so entirely at your own risk and responsibility. When you downgrade from Android 11 to Android 10, the Pixel 4 will also lose access to Face Unlocking on previous releases of the operating system.