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Leaving the Android 13 Beta May Brick Your Pixel Phone

Google Pixel 6 Pro camera sensors vs Pixel 5
Justin Duino

You should never install an unstable beta OS on your main smartphone. And if you’re wondering why that’s the case, take a stroll through the Android Beta forum on Reddit. A shocking number of users report that their Pixel phone “bricked” after trying to downgrade from the buggy Android 13 Beta.

Now, this is obviously a frustrating situation, but it’s not much of a surprise. Beta versions of Android are notoriously buggy, and the Android 13 Beta doesn’t reach “platform stability” until Beta 3 arrives sometime this June.

The good news is that Pixel phones aren’t becoming permanently bricked. If you’ve somehow found yourself in this pickle, you can probably recover your phone. The recovery process is just a pain in the butt, and unfortunately, it includes a factory reset. You may also need a computer to sideload a working version of Android to your phone (though this last step may be unnecessary in some cases).

“Hi, I have a problem with my Pixel 6; I opted out from the android 13 beta, and during the installation/download of the downgrade (after some seconds) the device rebooted, and now it’s in a boot loop with the boot loader locked.”

First, enter Fastboot Mode by holding your Pixel’s “power” and “volume down” keys. Your touchscreen won’t work here, so use the volume keys to select “Recovery Mode” and press the power button.

If your phone shows a “No Command” error, simply press the “power” and “volume up” keys. You should now be in Recovery Mode. Use your volume keys to select “Wipe Data/Factory Reset” and press the power button. (This will clear all the data from your phone!)

A simple factory reset could fix your Pixel phone. But if it’s still stuck in a boot loop, you need to sideload the latest version of Android 12 (or the Android 13 Beta, if you still want it). That means installing Android Debug Bridge (ADB) on your computer and downloading the latest Android 12 OTA update available for your device.

Instructions for sideloading the Android 12 OTA are available at Google’s website. Unfortunately, if you never toggled OEM Unlocking or USB Debugging, you may not be able to complete this process. We’ve reached out to Google for more information, and it seems that some customers need to do the same.

If your Pixel phone is “bricked” and you can’t get it fixed, Google can service the device by mail. But I suggest using a backup phone if you go down this route, as it can take a while for Google to return your phone.

Source: r/Android_Beta (1, 2, 3, 4)

Andrew Heinzman Andrew Heinzman
Andrew is the News Editor for Review Geek, where he covers breaking stories and manages the news team. He joined Life Savvy Media as a freelance writer in 2018 and has experience in a number of topics, including mobile hardware, audio, and IoT. Read Full Bio »