New OS updates for your Android phones are supposed to bring new features and bug fixes. But this is not always the case. Sometimes an update can lead to more bugs than the previous version. Or worse, the update might even break features that worked great in previous versions of Android on your device.
These are some of the times when you might decide to downgrade your device to an older version of the OS, especially when that older version worked great on your device.
Unlike iOS devices, it is quite possible to revert an Android device to an older OS version. Many manufacturers have their own tools to help you with this.
Downgrade Samsung Android Phones using Odin
If you have a Samsung Android phone that you want to downgrade, you’re in luck. Samsung phones are one of the few phones that can easily run an older version of the operating system.
All you need is access to a computer and you can upgrade to an earlier version of your device.
Download the old standard firmware for your device and save it to your computer. A simple Google search will help you find it. Also download the Odin flash tool to your computer.
Extract files from both stock firmware and Odin and run the Odin tool. Press the PDA button in the tool and select the extracted firmware file.
Uncheck the Repartition box in the tool. Check the tool’s Auto Reboot and F. Reset Time options.
Turn off your device. Press and hold the Volume Down, Home Screen and Power buttons at the same time for a few seconds. When prompted, press the volume up button and your phone will reboot into download mode.
Connect your phone to your computer using a USB cable. Then press “Start” in Odin and your phone will start flashing the standard firmware file.
Once the file is flashed, your device will reboot. When the phone boots up, you will be using an older version of the Android operating system
Downgrade Google Pixel Phones using Fastboot
Google provides you with factory images for your Nexus and Pixel devices. You can flash these images on your device to revert to an older version of Android OS.
Remember that the following procedure will erase all data on your device.
Download the factory image of the desired version to your device from Google. Extract the file when it’s downloaded. Alternatively, download Fastboot and extract its files to the same folder where you extracted the image files.
On your phone, go to Settings> System> Developer Options and enable OEM Unlocking and USB Debugging.
Connect your phone to your computer using a USB cable. Open the folder where the image files are located, hold down the Shift key, right-click anywhere in an empty space and select “Open Command Window Here”.
Type the following command into the window and press Enter. This will reboot your device into bootloader mode.
adb reboot bootloader
Now run the following command to unlock the phone bootloader. A corresponding message will appear on the phone, accept it.
Fast Boot Unlock
After unlocking the bootloader, enter the following command to start flashing the stock firmware on your phone. It will take a few minutes.
Re-lock the bootloader by running the following command.
fastboot firmware lock
Turn on your phone and you will be using your chosen Android OS version on your device.
Downgrade Sony Android phones using Flashtool
Sony phones are also easy to downgrade with Flashtool This allows you to install stock firmware on the device, which will downgrade the device to the version you choose.
Download the stock firmware for Sony phone and Flashtool to your computer. Install Flashtool on your computer.
Copy the firmware file .ftf and paste it into the C: Flashtool firmwares folder.
Launch Flashtool, click the thunder icon at the top and select Flashmode.
Select the firmware file on the next screen, check all the options in the Wipe section and click “Flash” at the bottom.
Turn off your phone. While holding down the volume down button, use a cable to connect your phone to your computer. The tool will automatically start the firmware procedure.
Reboot your phone when it has been flashed with the tool.
Downgrade to LG Android Phones using LG Flash Tool
If you are downgrading to an earlier version of LG phone, you don’t need to run any commands or the like. Just download the stock firmware and tool and you’re done.
Download stock firmware for your preferred Android version and LG Flash Tool to your computer.
Turn off your phone. Connect your phone to your computer while holding the volume up button on your phone. Your phone will reboot into download mode.
Launch LG Flash Tool on your computer and select the following options. Then click on the CSE Flash option.
Select type – CDMA
PhoneMode – DIAG
Select KDZ file – select standard ROM file on your computer
On the next screen click “Start”.
When asked to select your country and language, do not select anything and click OK.
After flashing the standard ROM, your phone will revert to an older version of Android OS.
Downgrade from other Android devices
As you can see in the methods above, downgrading to an older version of Android usually requires you to download a stock ROM and a tool to flash the ROM on your device. And when the ROM is flashed, you will completely revert to the Android version of your choice.
For phones that we have not listed above, you can easily get the standard firmware files and flashing tools from Google. Then just load the ROM file into the tool and you are ready to install it on your phone.
Downgrading your Android phone means that your device has an older version of Android OS. Once it is up and running, you can launch apps that don’t work in newer versions, as well as use anything else that is out of order and no longer works in new Android builds.