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PSA: Once you update to Android 13 on Pixel 6, you can't go back

Before you hit that update button, make sure you're ready.
By
August 15, 2022
Android 13 stock photos 10 1200x675 1
TL;DR
  • Google is rolling out Android 13 for Pixel phones today.
  • The update affects the bootloader’s anti-rollback on Pixel 6 phones.
  • In other words, if you update to Android 13 on a Pixel 6, 6 Pro, or 6a, you won’t be able to go back to Android 12.

When your Pixel 6 phone asks you to update to Android 13 today, make sure you’re ready to update because you won’t be able to go back to Android 12.

According to a warning found on the factory images page for Pixels and Nexus devices (h/t Droid-Life), the Android 13 update will change the bootloader responsible for anti-rollback. The warning states:

Warning: The Android 13 update for Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, and the Pixel 6a contains a bootloader update that increments the anti-roll back version. After flashing an Android 13 build on these devices you will not be able to flash older Android 12 builds.

What this means is if you have one of these Pixel 6 handsets and you update to Android 13, it will be impossible for you to go back to Android 12. This is something that we confirmed ourselves while installing the update. As far as we know, this is something that only affects Pixel 6, 6 Pro, and 6a devices, so other Pixel devices should be safe.

Although you’ll lose your ability to go back to Android 12, you don’t need to panic as there aren’t really any reasons to go back. But if you’re worried about a bug in the new update or having an annoying feature added, you may want to hold off on updating.