How to Downgrade to Older Version of Android

How to Revert to Older Android Versions.

By Abhishek Chandel
New Update
How to Downgrade to an Older Version of Android

How to Downgrade to an Older Version of Android

Downgrading to an older version of Android is appealing for some users who want to revert to a familiar interface or fix device issues. While the latest Android releases introduce new features and improvements, they also occasionally remove liked functionality or have compatibility problems. Downgrading allows going back to a preferred Android version. However, it requires technically challenging steps like unlocking the bootloader, wiping data, and flashing firmware.

This guide will outline methods and step-by-step instructions for downgrading Android versions. It covers using OTA packages, Fastboot, and ADB sideload. Take precautions as downgrading has risks like voided warranties and potential bricking.

What is the main advantage of downgrading an Android

There are several motivations for downgrading your Android phone or tablet to an older version:

  • Get desired features that were available in previous versions but removed in newer Android releases. For example, you may want to revert to Android 10 if you miss face unlock capabilities.

  • Fix compatibility issues with apps that don't work properly or crash on the latest Android version. Downgrading to a version that the app supports can resolve crashing or performance problems.

  • Revert to a more stable or bug-free version of Android if you are experiencing frequent crashes, lag, or bugs on a newer release. The older version may run smoother.

  • Prefer the UI design and aesthetics of the older version over newer releases. Some users simply like the look and feel of older Android compared to the latest versions.

  • Improved performance on an older device that struggles with the resource demands of newer Android versions. Less powered devices can benefit from downgrading.

Things to Know Before Downgrading!

Before attempting to downgrade your Android OS, there are some important considerations:

  • Downgrading requires unlocking the bootloader on most devices, which will wipe all data. So make sure to back up any important files or info first.

  • Unlocking the bootloader can void your warranty and disable security features like device encryption. Downgrading is best done on older devices.

  • Downgrading carries certain security risks, like potential vulnerabilities that have been patched in newer versions. Only downgrade if you have a strong reason to.

  • Some manufacturers intentionally block downgrading to older Android. So research if your specific device model supports it.

How to Downgrade to an Older Version of Android

Downgrading Android requires flashing an older firmware version which can be technically challenging. Follow these steps carefully for different downgrade approaches.

Method 1: Using an OTA Package

1. Identify your target Android version and search online for the corresponding OTA package. OTA packages contain the firmware images needed to downgrade.

2. Verify the package is specifically for your phone model by checking forums or the XDA developer's site. Using the wrong package can brick your device.

3. Copy the OTA package .zip file to your phone's internal storage or SD card.

4. Power off your phone completely.

5. Hold the Volume Down + Power buttons together to boot into stock recovery mode. Keep holding until you see the recovery menu.

6. Use the volume buttons to navigate and select the "Apply update from SD card" or "Apply update from external storage" option.

7. Find and select the OTA package .zip file you copied earlier.

8. Swipe the on-screen button to confirm installation and flash the firmware.

9. Wait patiently as the flashing process can take 5-10 minutes. Do not interrupt it.

10. Once done, use the volume buttons to select "Reboot system now" to restart your device. It will now boot up and downgraded to the older Android version.

Method 2: Fastboot Method

Fastboot (Poco F3) : r/PocoPhones

1. Enable USB debugging in developer options and install ADB / Fastboot tools on your computer.

2. Boot into fastboot mode - turn off the phone, and hold Volume Down + Power. Select fastboot option using the volume keys.

3. Connect phone to PC via USB. Open a command prompt/terminal and type `fastboot devices` to verify the connection.

4. For Samsung, type `fastboot oem unlock` to unlock the bootloader. This will wipe data so backup first. For other phones, unlock the bootloader through a specific key combo.

5. Download the firmware files for your target Android version - system.img, boot.img, recovery.img etc. Verify files are for your phone model.

6. Use fastboot commands to flash each image. For example:

fastboot flash boot boot.img
fastboot flash system system.img
fastboot flash recovery recovery.img

7. Once all images are flashed, type `fastboot reboot` to restart the device. It will now boot up with the downgraded Android version.

Method 3: ADB Sideload Method

1. Enable USB debugging in the Developer options on your Android device.

2. On your computer, install ADB tools and drivers if not already present.

3. Obtain the firmware ROM .zip file for the older Android version you wish to downgrade to. Verify it is specifically for your device model.

4. Connect your Android device to the computer via USB and reboot it into recovery mode. To enter recovery - turn off the phone, then press and hold the Volume Up + Power buttons together until the recovery menu appears.

5. On the computer, open a command prompt or terminal window. Type adb devices and ensure your connected Android device is listed (with serial number).

6. Navigate to the folder where your ROM .zip file is located.

7. Type the adb sideload command along with the file name. For example: adb sideload

8. On the Android device, you will see a message about applying the update from ADB. Swipe the slider on the screen to confirm the flash. 9. The sideloading process will now start with a progress bar. Do not interrupt or disconnect ADB until it reaches 100%.

9. Once finished, select "Reboot system now" on your Android device to restart it. It will now boot up with the older downgraded OS version.

10. To verify downgrade success, go to Settings > About phone and check the Android version.

Troubleshooting Issues

When downgrading Android, some common issues include:

  • Bootloader unlocking problems - Enable OEM to unlock in developer options if available.

  • Flashing errors - Try different USB ports, cables, and external power supply. Re-download the firmware package if corrupted.

  • Boot loops - Wipe cache and Dalvik cache partitions before downgrading.

  • Bricked device - Follow unbricking guide specific to your device make and model.

  • Re-locking bootloader - Relock the bootloader using fastboot oem lock command.


While downgrading Android has its benefits in some cases, it also carries significant risks. Make sure to thoroughly research the downgrade process for your specific device and have all important data backed up. With some technical caution, you can revert to an older Android version to get preferred features or performance. Just be prepared for potential issues.

Explore more topics:

Latest Stories