Well, it seems this topic “How to Revert to an Old Android Update” is kind of strange, right? I mean, who will want to revert to an older version of Android? But you see, many users find the old version of Android fun.
And also, there are things that they want to access in the old Android that is not available in the latest version. So you should keep on reading.
How to Revert to an Old Android Update
Generally, it’s always best for you to keep your devices up to date. But unfortunately, over-the-air updates can sometimes break software, change features in unwanted ways, or simply introduce bugs that the manufacturer may not fix.
So, in such cases, you should then consider rolling back the update that’s causing severe bugs in your phone. Switching back to a previous version of Android is also generally not recommended, but it isn’t impossible.
Before Reverting Your Device
Downgrading or reverting is not just a process that is officially supported by manufacturers. It is also not easy to do. It may void your warranty, and you could also potentially brick your device. You should not try this unless you have experience modifying your device’s software.
Whether you can simply revert or downgrade your device at all depends on whether you can unlock the bootloader. Devices from Google or OnePlus can simply be unlocked, while those from Huawei, Samsung, or Nokia may be difficult or outright impossible to unlock.
You will also have to research your own device, especially if you bought it from a carrier. Some carriers simply require you to get an unlock token from them first or don’t allow bootloader unlocking at all.
Unlocking the bootloader will then erase all of your data and also wipe your internal storage. So, make sure to back up all of your data before you begin.
Things You Will Need Before You Can Revert
Once you have backed up all of your data, you will also need to download an Android factory image of the version you want to go back to, and it has to be specifically designed for your device. Google simply provides Pixel and Nexus users with a list of factory images. For other phone manufacturers, you will just have to find an official factory image for your device.
You will even need to download and install the SDK Platform Tools to then use the ADB and Fastboot tools. You can also check out the guide to ADB and Fastboot to familiarise yourself with these. Lastly, you will also need to connect your phone to your PC via USB, so make sure to use the original USB cable. If you do not have the original, use a high-quality cable instead.
Step 1: Enable USB Debugging
The first thing you need to do is turn on Developer Options on your phone by going to Settings, finding the About Phone section, and then tapping the Build number until you get a message that says You are now a developer.
Next, you should go into Developer Options and enable USB debugging and OEM unlocking.
Step 2: Connect Your Phone to Your Computer
Connect your phone to your PC with a USB cable.
On your PC, navigate to the location where the SDK Platform Tools folder is saved, and also put the Android factory image you downloaded there. Factory images usually come in ZIP files that then contain IMG files; unzip the factory image right there in the Platform Tools folder.
Now, while still in the Platform Tools folder, you should hold Shift and right-click inside the window, and then select Open PowerShell window here.
In the PowerShell window that opens, you should type ADB devices to check if your phone is being detected. If it is, you should see its serial number listed. If not, try using a different USB cable.
Now you just have to boot your device into Fastboot mode. To do this, type the below command in PowerShell:
ADB reboot bootloader
Step 3: Unlock the Bootloader
Once your device is in Fastboot mode, it is now time to unlock your phone’s bootloader. This is also a crucial step, as without unlocking the bootloader, you cannot then install the previous version of Android on your phone.
Depending on your device, you should type “Fastboot OEM unlock,” and if this doesn’t work, then you should type “Fastboot flashing unlock.” If everything goes well, then you should see a confirmation on your device that the bootloader is now unlocked. This step will also wipe your device.
Step 4: Install the Older Version of the Android
Some manufacturers will then include a “flash-all” script as part of the downloaded factory image that will automatically flash everything for you. If this is the case, the script should then be in the SDK Platform Tools folder along with the IMG files you have extracted.
Now, you should double-click on the flash-all.bat script. A box should then pop up showing you the flashing process as it happens. Please do not unplug your phone during this process.
If you do not see a flash-all script, then you will have to manually flash everything. To do this, type the following commands in order:
Fastboot flash bootloader [bootloader file name] image
Fastboot flash radio [radio file name].img
Fastboot flash -w update [image file name].zip
Your phone should now restart. If everything went well, you should now be running a downgraded version of Android as well. You will then need to set your phone up again from scratch.
If you somehow brick your phone, then take a look at some effective ways to simply help you unbrick your Android phone.
Alternatives to Downgrading/Reverting You Should Consider
Since unlocking the bootloader of your device simply involves wiping all of your data, you might then want to consider doing a factory reset instead.
It’s a lot less complicated and also less risky than downgrading, and any bugs or performance issues you may have encountered will often disappear after a factory reset. Plus, you can still enjoy all the features of the new Android version.
If you are still dead set on downgrading to an older version of Android, though, you could try installing a custom ROM. Custom ROMs come with improvements over the official software of your device, and developers sometimes keep older versions updated with security fixes.
It’s an alternative worth checking out if your phone’s manufacturer does not provide you with images of older Android software. LineageOS is also one of the best custom ROMs for Android and is well worth checking out.