How to Downgrade from Android P to Android Oreo on Pixel/Pixel 2

Srivishnu Ramakrishnan

Android P Developer Preview is out and anyone who likes to test it can install it on their Pixel device. If you did not like the experience much and are looking for a way to downgrade from Android P to Android Oreo, we have just the right guide for you.

If you are one of the users who recently installed the Android P on your pixel, you might have already started to explore its new features and would be enjoying it. But this latest Google’s OS which released last week is essentially an alpha built. So if you are already wishing to downgrade your device to an official release like Oreo, this article is for you.

Before getting into the process of downgrading, you should know that it is not an easy process. It would be nice to boot from a previous Oreo built, but downgrading from Android P to Android oreo is a bit difficult. If you want to return back to Android Oreo from Android P you will have to flash the OS images by Fastboot onto your phone.

Downgrade From Android P to Android Oreo

For downgrading your device to Android Oreo from Android P, follow our step by step guide carefully. By the end of this article, you will have the Android Oreo’s sweetness back on your phone.

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Download Android 8.1 Oreo Factory images

Steps to downgrade Android P to Android Oreo on Pixel device

  1. First, you should make sure that you have installed ADB and Fastboot on your PC. With these, you will be able to flash images via Fastboot commands. You can either simply download ADB and Fastboot.
  2. One will have to unlock the device’s bootloader to flash images in Fastboot. For them who have manually flashed the Android P can skip the step as the bootloader is already unlocked for them as a part of step 1. But if you have got the Android P as an OTA update by the upcoming beta program, you have to unlock the bootloader to flash the Android Oreo. But before unlocking, turn on the Developer Options menu on your pixel device and then open it and click on the switch on the right of “OEM unlocking“.
  3. Your Pixel device should be in bootloader mode before you can run any fastboot commands. For this, first power down your device and when the screen goes completely black, press and hold both the volume down and power buttons at the same time for about 10 seconds. You will now see Android’s bootloader menu as shown in the image:Downgrade-Android-P-to-Android-Oreo
  4. Now connect your phone to your PC and go to ADB and Fastboot installation directory. If you are using Windows, press the shift key and right click anywhere there’s blank space. Open the terminal and change the directories to the platform-tools folder in ADB installation directory with the ” cd <folder location>” command.Downgrade-Android-P-to-Android-Oreo-1
  5. If your bootloader is unlocked already, just skip this step. If you are ready to start, type the following commands from the ABD shell and click enter:
    fastboot devices

    If you see a number of letters followed by “fastboot”, then the device is properly connected.

    Execute the below command to unlock the bootloader on your device:

    Pixel or Pixel XL: fastboot oem unlock
    Pixel 2: fastboot flashing unlock
    Pixel 2 XL: fastboot flashing unlock_critical

    And click ‘yes‘ if you want to unlock bootloader and press the power button. Your bootloader will then unlock and the device will reboot to fastboot mode.Downgrade-Android-P-to-Android-Oreo-4

  6. Now you can start flashing the Oreo factory images that you have downloaded from the downloads section above.
  7. Now extract the factory images archive after downloading it and move the contents to the platform-tools folder in ADB installation directory.  Downgrade-Android-P-to-Android-Oreo-5
  8. Make sure your device is still in bootloader mode and is still connected to your PC.
  9. Execute the below commands one by one in command prompt. Do not run them all together:
    fastboot flash bootloader <bootloader file name here>.img
    fastboot reboot-bootloader
    fastboot flash radio <radio file name here>.img
    fastboot reboot-bootloader
    fastboot flash -w update <image file name here>.zip
    fastboot reboot
  10. Your screen should now look something similar to this:Downgrade-Android-P-to-Android-Oreo-7
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You may lose data, so have an appropriate backup. The flashing will then start during this your phone may reboot multiple times. After this, you will get your phone back with Android oreo for good. The phone may take longer than usual to reboot, do not worry, this is normal. Once the device reboots, you will be presented with the setup wizard. Setup the device and start using it. In case you change your mind and want to go back to Android P, follow our guide on how to flash Android P.

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