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Home / Tips and Tricks / How to Downgrade from Android 9.0 Pie Back to Oreo on Your Pixel «Android :: Gadget Hacks

How to Downgrade from Android 9.0 Pie Back to Oreo on Your Pixel «Android :: Gadget Hacks



If you have Android 9.0 Pie installed, you may have enjoyed trying on some of the new features in the latest version of Google's operating system. Change is not always a good thing, so maybe you wish you could downgrade back to Oreo now. Good news – you can.

Unfortunately, the return to Oreo is not as easy as you might think. While you do not have to worry about rollback protection, which prevents the installation of the older version (at least for the moment), downgrading Android Pie takes some work. If you want to bring your pixel back to Oreo, you need to flick the images of the operating system with Fastboot on your phone.

Step 1
: Install ADB & Fastboot on Your Computer

First, make sure that you install ADB and Fastboot on your computer. These two utilities allow you to flash images using fastboot commands. You can find various "one-click" and "light" forms from ADB and third-party Fastboot, but they are not updated as often as the official versions, so you may not find them fully compatible with the latest version. That's why we do not recommend them.

You should install the Android SDK tools that include ADB and Fastboot, or simply download ADB and Fastboot directly from Google. Either way, rest assured that you will receive the complete package here. Read Method 1 for Windows, Mac, and Linux Installation Instructions

Step 2: Enable OEM Unlocking (OTA Method Only)

Flashing Images in Fastboot requires you to unlock the bootloader of your device. For those who have flashed Android Pie manually, your boot loader is already unlocked as part of Step 1, so you can skip this step. However, if you've received Android Pie as an OTA update, you'll probably need to unlock the bootloader now to flash Oreo.

However, before you can unlock your bootloader, you must first enable a setting. To find and enable this setting, enable the Developer Options menu on your Pixel. Then open the Developer Options menu and tap the switch to the right of "OEM Unlock".

Step 3: Call Bootloader Mode

Before you can perform fastboot commands, your device must be in Bootloader mode. Turn off your device completely. When the screen turns black, press and hold the volume buttons for about 10 seconds. Then you should see Android's Bootloader menu, which looks like this:

bootloader mode on the Pixel XL. Image of Dallas Thomas / Gadget Hacks

Once you see the bootloader menu, connect your device to your computer using a USB data cable. You can then put your device down, because the rest of this process is completely done on the computer.

Step 4: Open a Command Window on Your Computer

Go to directory on your computer for ADB and Fastboot installation. On Windows, this is usually found in C: Program Files (x86) Android android-sdk platform-tools . On Mac and Linux, it depends on where you put the ADB folder when the utility was installed. If you forget where it was, search your computer's hard drive for the folder platform-tools .

If you hold down the Shift key in Windows, right-click anywhere in the Platform Tools folder. Select "Open command window here". On Mac or Linux, open a new window in Terminal, and then use the cd command to change to the platform-tools folder in your ADB installation directory.

Step 5: Unlock the Bootloader (OTA Method Only)

The next step only needs to be done once. If your boot loader is already unlocked, you can proceed to step 6. If not, you must execute a single fastboot command. Note: This action deletes all data on your device .

This next part lists the Windows commands required to unlock the bootloader. If you are on the Mac, you probably need to add a period and a slash before each command ( ./ ), while Linux users only need to add a slash ( / ) [19659002WhenyouarereadytypethefollowingcommandfromtheADBshellandpressEnter

If you see a series of numbers and letters followed by "fastboot," your device is connected properly. If not, go back to step 1 to check your ADB and Fastboot installation. Make sure your device is in bootloader mode, as you see in step 3.

Now you can finally unlock the bootloader. Just enter the following command and press Enter:

Sending the Unload Bootloader command to a device that shipped with Marshmallow or later [19659027] Here, you should be greeted by a message on your pixel asking you if you are sure you want to unlock the bootloader. You should be sure that the option "Yes" is marked. If not, use your volume keys to select them. Once highlighted, press the power button. Your bootloader unlocks and your device boots back into fastboot mode.

Screen Bootloader Unlock on the Nexus 6P. Image of Dallas Thomas / Gadget Hacks

Step 6: Download the factory images

After unlocking the bootloader, you can start the Oreo factory images. But before you can do that, you have to download the pictures yourself. You can intercept the Oreo Factory images on the following page:

To use this page, look for your Pixel model in the list on the right and click it. Then click on the link next to the latest version starting with 8.xx .

Step 7: Flashing the Factory Images

Now you should do this first Extract the factory image archive that you downloaded from your manufacturer's website. For this we recommend using 7-Zip – not only is it free, it is also compatible with most archive formats.

Extract the Factory Images Archive

Next, take the contents of the archive and move it to the platform-tools folder in your ADB installation direction. Open an ADB Shell window here. If you need more context, look at step 4 above.

Factory image files are transferred to the platform-tools folder.

There are two ways to flash these images:

Option 1: Use the Flash All-Script

The easiest way to flash Oreo is to use Flash All – Script. This script applies all images in one action. On the other hand, the script could drop the ball on specific operating systems and setups, but since it does no harm if it works, you can try it just as well. To run this script, type the following at the command prompt and press Enter:

Sending the "flash-all" command

This may take Take a few minutes to complete the program, but once it's done, your device should automatically restart and run the floor's firmware.

Option 2: Extract the images and flash individually

If the Flash All-Script does not work, the system images may blink one by one. This method takes a little more time, but brings your phone back to Oreo.

First, unpack additional archives from the factory image package. Occasionally, factory image packages contain a series of three or four nested archives. So unpack them all. Next, copy all image files to the main folder platform-tools – basically, do not leave them in one of the subfolders.

All images extracted from the Factory Images package into the platform-tools folder.

Now you have to focus on six images: boot bootloader radio recovery system and vendor . These are the files that form the core of Android.

Some of these files may have longer names than, for example, bootloader.img . If this is the case, enter the full filename (and not the placeholder text in square brackets) when you send the following commands to flash the image:

First, you must view the bootloader image Interface that you use to flash images with fastboot commands. To downgrade the boot loader to the Oreo version, type the following:

  • fastboot flash bootloader .img

Next, reload the boot loader to continue displaying the images in the Oreo version. Enter the following:

  • fastboot reboot-bootloader

Next, there is the boot image containing the kernel. To flash it, type the following in the ADB shell window:

  • fastboot flash boot .img

After this command, there is the radio image. Tap this to blink it:

  • fastboot flash radio .img

Then we have recovery . Type:

  • fastboot flash recovery .img

The big one is the next one: the system . This contains all the files that make up Android OS. Type:

  • fastboot flash system .img

And finally there is the vendor image. This is an important part of the new Project Treble system, so it really is a key picture. Type:

  • fastboot flash vendor .img

Once you have sent one or all of these commands, you can restart your device and then boot to Android. Enter the following:

Flashing the factory pictures one at a time

Your device should now be completely downgraded to Oreo. And now that you know what each of the core system images really does in the operating system, you'll have a better idea of ​​how Android works now. Win win!

Cover photo of Jake Peterson / Gadget Hacks, screenshots of Dallas Thomas / Gadget Hacks

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