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How to downgrade from the December patch on your Pixel 6

Unfortunately, the December 2021 update for the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro caused some notable issues, but you may have updated before the update was pulled. Due to signal issues and other issues, you may want to downgrade your Pixel 6 from the December 2021 update to the November 2021 patch, at least until the issues are resolved within weeks. to come.

You’re going to need to do a few things before you can revert to a previous stable version of Android 12. Before you even start, be sure to back up ALL your data before you even try. You WILL BE lose data from your device, as this method requires a FULL erase of the device, and it will be erased several times during this process.

This is just an unfortunate side effect of the downgrading process, but it is a necessary effect. That said, with the December 2021 security patch causing call issues and bugs that disabled some features, you may need a downgrade.

A patch at the end of January will be released to resolve the issues; Until then, you might just want to go back to the November 2021 update to make sure you can use your Pixel 6 or 6 Pro as intended. It is also important to note that this process is perfectly safe and that you will be able to extract future updates or load manually without a problem.

To note: This guide is also suitable for Windows users, which means the process may vary for those using MacOS or Linux.

  1. Download and install Android SDK Platform-tools
  2. Enable USB debugging and OEM unlocking
  3. Download the latest compatible factory image
  4. Boot into the device’s bootloader
  5. Unlock Bootloader
  6. Enter the flash command
  7. Relock bootloader (optional)
  8. Restart your phone

You will need to use Android Debug Bridge to downgrade your current version of Android 12 to an older version. We recommend that you install the unzipped platform-tools package on your desktop for quick access when running commands. You can download the latest Platform Tools zip file from here.

Alternately, Corbin Davenport Nexus Tools offers a very easy way to ensure that you have the latest version of Platform-Tools on your Windows, Mac or Linux machine at all times. Nexus Tools was written in Dart, so it can run on Linux, macOS, Windows, Windows Subsystem for Linux, and Chrome OS. Once Nexus Tools is finished, you can run adb, fastboot, and other commands without any problem.

2.Enable USB debugging and OEM unlocking

 Allow USB debugging to downgrade pixel 6

First, make sure Developer options are enabled on your Pixel. You can do this by going to your device’s settings> About phone, now tap on “Build number” until a message confirms that you have enabled developer options.

Now you need to head to Settings> System> Advanced> Developer options (you may need to expand a hidden menu for this). Before we’re ready to continue, you’ll need to scroll down and activate “OEM unlocking”, because it is an integral part of the following steps. Now scroll slightly down to “Debugging” section and press the “Allow USB debugging” option.

3. Download the factory image for your device

This is necessary for the Android downgrade process on your Pixel 6 – or any Google Pixel device. You will need to download the voucher Factory image for your device. It’s basically a blank slate for your smartphone or a snapshot of that particular Android version at that time. You can grab it from Google’s Factory Image OTA hosting site, which has all of the factory images for Pixel devices.

You will need to add this file and unzip its contents to the platform-tools folder to access it later.

To note: Don’t extract to an internal subfolder, just extract all files to the main platform tool folder.

4. Boot into the device’s bootloader

This can be done in several ways. The easiest way is to connect your device to your Windows PC and open the platform-tools folder and type “cmd” in the address bar of your file manager. This will open a Command Prompt window in the correct location. Now enter the following command to start the adb daemon:

adb reboot bootloader

Your Pixel device will now load into the bootloader, where we will need to be to send commands.

Alternatively, you can press and hold the power button and volume down key until you see the Android figure lying down. Now you will need to briefly press and hold the power button and the volume up button before releasing the volume up key. Using volume up and down buttons you can scroll to select “enter fastboot”.

5. Unlock the bootloader

downgrade Android 11

Unlocking the bootloader is necessary for the Pixel 6’s flash and downgrade process because unfortunately you cannot flash a factory image and downgrade your Android version using the ADB sideloading method. slightly simpler. It’s a fairly straightforward process, however. When using your command line interface, enter the following command:

fastboot flashing unlock

You will get a slightly intimidating message on your screen warning you that unlocking the bootloader may cause the device to instability. Using the physical volume keys, choose the option “Unlock bootloader” and confirm your selection by pressing the power button. Restart your Pixel, as this process will erase your smartphone.

We will also need to skip the device boot process to re-enable USB debugging for the next step. Once you’ve done that, make sure your Pixel is connected to your PC, and you’ll need to enter the bootloader on your device again with the following command:

adb reboot bootloader

6. Enter the flash command

With all of your Factory Image files checked out in the platform-tools folder and accessible, you can now run the following command (with your Command Prompt / PowerShell window open):


Your Pixel 6 or 6 Pro will now begin the process of downgrading the December 2021 update to an older version, which will take a few minutes. Leave the Command Prompt window open and when the process is complete, you will see a completion message.

7. Relock the bootloader (optional)

downgrade Android 11 and Pixel 6

This is an optional step as part of the Pixel 6’s downgrade process, but it is necessary if you want to get future OTA updates. Otherwise, you will see a pop-up splash screen with a warning every time you restart your device.

You’ll have to go through the device setup process again, which you can basically skip. From there, go back and re-enable USB debugging from step # 2 – your bootloader is unlocked, so OEM unlock should be grayed out.

Reconnect your device to your Windows PC and open your Platform Tools folder and reopen a command prompt window using the “cmd”. Enter the following command to quickly load into your device’s bootloader:

adb reboot bootloader

Now we can relock the bootloader by entering the following:

fastboot flashing lock

On your Pixel, using the volume keys, scroll to ‘lock bootloader’ and press the power button to accept. Once confirmed, “locked” will appear on the screen in the bootloader menu. To note: This process will wipe your device once more after you restart your Pixel.

8. Restart your phone

You can now disconnect your device and restart because you have successfully upgraded from the problematic December 2021 update on your Pixel 6 to an older version. It should now load in the device setup process, allowing you to register and enjoy your stable version of Android.

When the January patch arrives, you can manually upload the OTA file or wait for the update to go to Settings> System> System Updates and find the update package. For those hoping to go through this downgrade method using the Pixel Repair Tool, if you have the December 2021 update installed on your Pixel 6, you will need to follow the steps above.

Dylan Roussel and Kyle Bradshaw contributed to this guide.

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