How to Downgrade Your Android Phone to a Previous Version

The Software information menu on a Samsung Galaxy S9 running Android 9

Not everyone appreciates the changes when new Android versions hit devices. If you want to switch back, it’s sometimes possible to downgrade your Android device to a previous version. Here’s how you do it.

Before we begin, it’s important to mention the risks. Downgrading your Android phone isn’t generally supported, it isn’t an easy process, and it will almost certainly result in you losing data on your device. Make sure you back up your phone before you begin.

Additionally, this process might void your device’s warranty or potentially brick it, making your phone nothing more than e-waste. As such, we do NOT recommend that you continue unless you have experience modifying your device’s firmware and completely understand the risks involved.

Before Flashing Your Phone

How easy it is for you to downgrade your Android phone depends on the manufacturer. Some manufacturers make it extremely easy for users to “flash” firmware images onto their devices while others make it nearly impossible.

The typical process for flashing requires you to unlock your bootloader first. Not all Android phones allow this, so you’ll check for yourself whether your device manufacturer offers an official method for unlocking the bootloader, or whether you’ll need to find an alternative method.

Keep in mind that unlocking your bootloader will wipe your device’s internal storage. Make sure you have backed up your phone or else your data will be lost forever.

RELATED: How to Unlock Your Android Phone’s Bootloader, the Official Way

With the bootloader unlocked, you can then flash your device to an older version of Android. Be warned, as unlocking your bootloader will probably invalidate your warranty.

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