How to Sideload Android OTA Updates on Your Google Pixel

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Are you tired of waiting for your Google Pixel smartphone to receive the latest updates? If you’re a tech-savvy user who likes to take matters into your own hands, sideloading OTA updates may be the solution for you. In this tutorial, we will show you step-by-step how to sideload an OTA update on your Google Pixel.

Before we begin, it’s important to understand the different types of updates available for your Android phone. Monthly or regular updates are incremental, while full updates are reserved for major releases. When you apply an OTA update, it simply adds new files to your phone without resetting any of your app or system settings.

If you want to revert to a previous Android version or OTA update, you will need a factory image. The factory image allows you to downgrade your Pixel and is useful if you encounter any issues with the new update.

Now let’s explore the different methods to update your Pixel:

  1. OTA Notification Method: The most common way to update your Pixel is to wait for a notification on your phone. This method prompts you to download any available updates.

  2. Manual Check for Updates: To speed up the update process, you can manually check for updates by going to Settings > System > System Update. This method is slightly faster but may still require some waiting time.

  3. Sideloading an Official OTA File: The quickest method to get the latest update on your Google Pixel is to sideload an official OTA file. This method requires a PC or laptop, and access to the official OTA files for your specific device.

To sideload an OTA update on your Pixel, you will need to use ADB (Android Debug Bridge), a command-line tool that allows communication between your computer and Android device. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Enable Developer Options

Before you begin, make sure you have enabled Developer Options on your Pixel. Go to Settings > About Phone > Build Number and tap it multiple times until you see a message confirming that Developer Options are enabled.

Step 2: Enable USB Debugging

In Developer Options, scroll down to the Debugging section and tap “Allow USB Debugging”. This step is essential for sideloading OTA updates.

Step 3: Obtain the OTA Update

Download the official OTA update file specific to your Pixel device from the dedicated developer site. Make sure to choose the correct build for your phone, as installing the wrong build can result in failure.

Step 4: Boot into Recovery Mode

Fully power down your Pixel and hold the Power button and Volume Down button simultaneously until you reach the bootloader page. Using the volume buttons, scroll down to “Recovery Mode” and select it by tapping the Power button.

Step 5: Apply Update from ADB

In Recovery Mode, scroll down and select “Apply Update from ADB.” This option allows you to sideload the OTA update.

Step 6: Connect Pixel to Computer

Connect your Pixel to your computer using a USB cable. Open a command prompt or terminal window in the directory where the ADB tools are saved.

Step 7: Verify Connection

To verify that your Pixel is connected to the computer, enter the command adb devices or ./adb devices for Mac. A serial number or device details should appear, confirming the connection.

Step 8: Sideloading

Once the connection is established, use the command adb sideload [filename.zip] to initiate the sideloading process. Replace [filename.zip] with the name of the OTA update file you downloaded earlier. The sideloading process will begin.

Step 9: Reboot and Verify Update

After the sideloading process is complete, your Pixel will reboot. To confirm that the update was successful, go to Settings > About Phone > Android Version. It should show the exact patch you sideloaded.

Congratulations! You have successfully sideloaded an OTA update on your Google Pixel. Keep in mind that this process is similar for other Android devices as well.

In conclusion, sideloading OTA updates gives you the freedom to update your Google Pixel on your own terms. Whether you’re a tech nerd or just someone who wants the latest features, following these steps will ensure you stay up to date with the latest Android updates.

If you have any questions or need further assistance, feel free to leave a comment down below. While we can’t provide individual troubleshooting advice, we will do our best to help you. Thanks for watching this tutorial and happy updating!