How to downgrade to Android 12 from Android 13 on the Google Pixel 6 series?

How to downgrade to Android 12 from Android 13 on the Google Pixel 6 series: The Google Pixel 6 series has recently come out with Android 12. Unfortunately, this version of the operating system is not compatible with all of the features and options of Android 13. If you want to downgrade to Android 12, you’ll need to do so manually. This guide will teach you how to do just that. By following these simple steps, you’ll be able to downgrade your phone back to Android 12 without any problems. So if you’re looking to save yourself some trouble and want to downgrade your phone to the older version of Android, read on!

Since a long ago, Android 13 has been available. It’s enticing to join the bandwagon as a significant version upgrade, especially for Google Pixel owners. However, what if you recently updated to Android 13 but don’t really like it? Can you downgrade your Pixel smartphone, including the most recent Pixel 6 range, from Android 13 to 12? That is the big question.

Google maintains a specific firmware download portal for their smartphones, in contrast to several Android OEMs. You should be able to manually unlock the bootloader of any Pixel phone that is a non-carrier (commonly known as “unlocked”) variation in order to roll back to an earlier version of Android 12. For the Pixel 6 series of devices, which are powered by Google Tensor, the situation is a little bit different.

How to downgrade to Android 12 from Android 13 on the Google Pixel 6 series?

If you’re looking to go back to an older version of Android, you can do so on your phone using the Settings app. Downgrading is a pretty straightforward process, but be sure to follow the instructions carefully to avoid any complications. If you’re on a Google Pixel 6 series phone, there’s a good chance that it runs Android 13 – the latest version of Android. If that’s the case, be sure to upgrade to Android 12 before downgrading to Android 13. However, if you’re not on a Google Pixel 6 series phone and want to downgrade to Android 12, you can do so using the Settings app on your phone. Have fun downgrading and upgrading to Android versions.

New bootloader updates came with the stable Android 13 update for the Google Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, and Pixel 6a. Anti-rollback protection prevents you from flashing an outdated bootloader after an upgrade. As a result, these devices won’t be able to downgrade to Android 12 using the standard procedure. The updated bootloader can still be used to boot Android 12 though. We can assist you if you want to downgrade your Pixel 6/6 Pro/6a from Android 13 to Android 12.

How to downgrade to Android 12 from Android 13 on the Google Pixel 6 series

How to downgrade to Android 12 from Android 13 on the Google Pixel 6 series Details

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What’s inside the Android 13’s bootloader update for the Google Pixel 6/6 Pro/6a?

An Android device’s bootloader is a fairly sophisticated piece of software. It is in charge of initiating the boot chain’s restart following each new boot from the powered-off state. A bootloader image contains numerous low-level parts that are closely connected with the target device’s SoC. In a nutshell, fiddling with a modern consumer device’s bootloader is a very challenging task.

There is no known way to flash the new bootloader update for the Google Pixel 6, 6 Pro, or 6a without bricking your phone, even if you are able to crack the code and patch the anti-rollback protection procedures. This is because the OEM-signed programming and cryptographic keys required to carry out such activities are not available to us.

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How can I downgrade to Android 12 from Android 13 on the Google Pixel 6/6 Pro/6a?

We must stress that you shouldn’t do this unless Android 13 is actually your least favourite version or certain apps don’t work with it. Android 13 is far better than earlier Android versions in many respects because to its great new features, particularly those that deal with privacy and security. It also will be the most up-to-date when it comes to security patches.

If you are aware of all this and decide to return to Android 12, the procedures are not difficult. However, you must backup your apps, photographs, movies, and other data beforehand because downgrading will entirely erase your phone. Additionally, confirm that your PC is running the most recent ADB and Fast boot binaries.

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By skipping the bootloader flashing

  1. Once you have your backup all sorted, you’re going to need to check the bootloader version of Google Pixel 6/6 Pro/6a. To avoid a hard-brick scenario, make sure both slots of the target device have the same Android 13 bootloader version. If you need help, then take a look at our tutorial to determine the bootloader version of the Google Pixel 6 series devices for anti-rollback protection.
  2. On your PC/Mac/Chromebook, download the factory image corresponding to the Android 12 release of your choice for the target device.
  3. Extract the contents of the factory image ZIP file and locate the bootloader image in the extracted files. It should be named as “bootloader-[device codename]-[platform codename]-[major version]-[minor version].img.”
    • For the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, the platform codename is “slider,” whereas for the Pixel 6a, it’s “bluejay.”
  4. Delete the bootloader image from the extracted folder
  5. Modify the flashing script like the following:
    • If you’re on Windows, then open the file named “flash-all.bat” with Notepad (or your favorite text editor), delete the bootloader flashing related portion, add “–force” (without quotes) between “-w” and “update” arguments in the system image flashing segment, and save the file.
    • Linux and macOS users, open the file named “flash-all.sh” with your favorite text editor, delete the bootloader flashing related portion, add “–force” (without quotes) between “-w” and “update” arguments in the system image flashing segment, and save the file.
  6. Now that we have modified the script, we can continue the flashing job. Notably, you need an unlocked bootloader to flash via Fast boot, so perform the bootloader unlocking if not done already.
  7. Reboot the Pixel 6/6 Pro/6a to bootloader mode and connect to the PC/Mac/Chromebook using a USB cable.
  8. Open a terminal window on your computer, navigate to the location where you extracted the Android 12 factory image, and run the flashing script.
    • For Windows:
      .\flash-all.bat
    • For macOS and Linux:
      ./flash-all.sh
  9. Wait for the flash to happen, the device to reboot, and for Android 12 to boot. The first boot can take a very long time, so be patient.

Remember that since we can’t replace the new bootloader with an older one, this isn’t a true downgrade. The updated bootloader does not impose any restrictions on the Android version, thus we may install Android 12 on top of it on the Google Pixel 6/6 Pro/6a. Simply put, the new bootloader works with both Android 13 and Android 12, making it possible to continue using an older version of Android 12 on these devices even after increasing the rollback index count.

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By using official Developer Support Images

For the Pixel 6 series, Google provides customized Android 12 system images that are based on the latest stable and public releases of Android 12 and Android 12L. The bootloader in these “Developer Support Images” has been upgraded with fresh security updates and an increased anti-rollback counter.

For reference, the Developer Support Images are shipped with the following bootloader builds:

Device, Device Forums, Codename Android 12 Developer Support Image bootloader version Android 12L Developer Support Image bootloader version
Google Pixel 6 (oriole) slider-1.0-8844048 slider-1.2-8831283
Google Pixel 6 Pro (raven) slider-1.0-8844048 slider-1.2-8831283
Google Pixel 6a (bluejay) N/A bluejay-1.1-8927508

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Is there any downside of staying at Android 12?

The end product will effectively be a hybrid of the bootloader and firmware for the sixth generation Google Pixel, regardless of the technique you use. Except for the Developer Support Images, which are not really designed for average users, there is no official support for this combination of components, thus it might function for the time being. Since Android 12 no longer receives monthly security updates, you must upgrade to Android 13 in order to keep getting the patches. How to downgrade to Android 12 from Android 13 on the Google Pixel 6 series.

The bootloader also includes a number of low-level firmware images for different hardware parts. You will cause a number of internal incompatibilities by sticking with Android 12; these flaws could have an impact on how well your Pixel 6, 6 Pro, or 6a performs in everyday situations. Consider this a proof of concept, but switching back to Android 12 will cause more harm than good. You do it at your own risk if you decide to downgrade from one version of Android to another.

Conclusion

If you are on the Google Pixel 6 series and want to downgrade to Android 12 from Android 13, our guide will help you out. By following our simple steps, you’ll be able to downgrade with no issues. So, if you’re looking to switch back to the older Android version, make sure to check out our guide.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I downgrade to Android 12?

To enable developers to downgrade to Android 12, Google has published Developer Support photos. Android 13 may be downgraded to Android 12 by Google. With the Pixel 6a, Pixel 6, and Pixel 6 Pro, there is a downgrade option. Only Android 12 and 12L will be accessible to developers.

How do I downgrade Google Pixel 6?

Unfortunately, there is no way back for those who already own a Pixel 6a, 6, or 6 Pro. Google warns that you will no longer be able to flash an earlier version of the OS on your new Pixel phone after you upgrade it to Android 13. The bootloader, as well as the operating system, is updated.

How Can you downgrade Android version?

It is possible to go back to an earlier version of Android on your phone, but it is not always straightforward. It all depends on the maker of the app, as well as any updates you've already gotten.

Does Android 12 have problems?

After installing Android 12, several Samsung Forum members reported that they were unable to view their phone Contacts or Recent Call Log from their car when connected via Bluetooth. This limits their ability to make voice calls or redial phone numbers they've dialed recently.

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