It can be difficult to upgrade your phone to an older version of the operating system. The company that made it and the contents of any updates you've already received affect it all. If you want to be sure you can install any version you want on your phone, the best way to do that is to buy a newer phone and never accept any updates.

Phone getting an update

(Image credit: Android Central)

Most of the people here are updateaholics. When a new version of Android is announced, we start talking about when we'll get a chance to try it and see what's new. We are ready to install the update as soon as possible, because we look at all the leaks. It's not as much fun as owning an OS.

Some people feel this way.

It's a lot easier to not take an update than it is to roll one back.

You never want to upgrade to a new version. New versions of any software may not be supported by the enterprise software company. If you take an update, you may have equipment that won't work. It's not an issue for most people.

When someone wants to go back to an older version of the phone, it's usually because they don't like the new version. If an update brings one of the bugs you can't deal with, you may want to go back. It is not as simple as it seems.


Make sure you want to downgrade your Android

Google Pixel 6 Pro getting an Android update

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

It's not without its own set of headaches to move backwards and install an older version of the software. Security is one of the aspects of it all. Issues with version 2 are not likely to be addressed by the company that made it if your phone is tracked to be on version 3. You'll have to figure out how to change your mind. Some of the things you like might not work with an older version after that.

Sometimes the changes you like outweigh the ones you don't.

Every iteration of the mobile device's operating system brings with it a new set of tools for developers to use. These changes aren't compatible with the past. Some of the new things you won't get to use may be unimportant, but there's a chance that something you need or love won't work with an older version. Unless you want to install third-party software, there is no way to fix this.

Most of the time, there isn't a way to roll back to a previous version.

You can't downgrade most phones

Pixel 5a

(Image credit: Ara Wagoner / Android Central)

rolling back might be easy if you have a phone from a company that will let youunlock your phone's bootloader and give you a catalog of all the different versions of the phone's operating system. This isn't a new thing. Other companies have unlocked bootloaders and have archives of older versions that were sold unlocked.

It doesn't mean it will work. When a new version of the bootloader is installed, it won't flash older software or allow you to re-boot the older one. For reasons we listed above, companies try to get all products on the same version.

It is easy to do if you have a phone.

  • Back up everything you can to the cloud.
  • Download the version of the software you want to install and any utilities you need to install it.
  • Read, understand what you've read, then do it.

If you don't have root access, you won't be able to back up a lot of stuff. Third-party data that's not cloud-synced, such as game progress, message histories, photos, and videos, may be gone forever because of a full device wipe. Check into the various backup and restore apps and make sure to have your photos and videos with you when you click.

You will want to make sure you understand the process and have all the tools you need. You can't stop flashing the operating system to a phone at the halfway point.

Breaking your phone's security

Odin Software

(Image credit: Source: Android Central)

Most people don't use an unlocked device with factory images ready to flash. Companies don't like to share an installable version of their OS, and it can be hard to find something you can flash yourself. If you're looking for the same thing, visit online forums where other people with the same model are looking for it.

Finding an older version can be difficult, and most times that's the easiest part of it all.

Sometimes the hacks used to flash software to your model ofAndroid are easy to do correctly. Unfortunately, that's not always the case and you'll usually see a few people explain how they ruined their phone when things went bad.

You can make your phone unrecoverable by flashing an older version of the bootloader.

When you have to break in, you can't be careful enough.

I'm not trying to get you out of it, but you need to know that the five minutes it takes to flash your phone back to an older version could take hours and hours to read. Even if you just root your phone, rolling back to an older version is more difficult than just doing that.

It's not something we want to hear, but we're not allowed to install any software on the phone we paid for, even if it's one of the best. We don't really own it. It's a reality and not likely to change in the near future.