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Denying OTA because it is a SPL downgrade [Fixed]

In this guide, we will show you the steps to fix the “Denying OTA because it is a SPL downgrade” error. While most developers tend to pack in all the required partition files along with their ROM, there are a few others who just release their ROM and recommend using the rest of the files, such as boot, vendor_boot, vbmeta, and dtbo from the ROM on which it is based.

For instance, if a ROM is based on LineageOS, then it will just provide you with their ROM ZIP file and suggest you use the rest of the files from LineageOS. While in most cases this shouldn’t be a major cause of concern, but if the developer is not active in releasing his ROM, then the errors such as the one listed above are on the cards. Talking about which, the complete error will be something along the following lines:

E: Current SPL: <new_date> Target SPL: <old_date> this is considered a downgrade
E: Denying OTA because it's a SPL downgrade

Denying OTA because it is a SPL downgrade

Let’s further understand this issue. First off, remember that the official LineageOS site only hosts the last 4-5 builds, which usually spans a month. At the time of writing [end of November], they only have the November builds but don’t have any older versions of their ROM or the partition files. On the other hand, the ROM that I wish to flash [I wouldn’t be naming it] has not been updated for over a month, so their last build is for the month of October.

Now, I am sideloading the October build of the ROM using the rest of the partition files from LineageOS which belongs to the November build, and hence it is considered a downgrade. So when you try to sideload the ROM, you will be greeted with the “Denying OTA because it is a SPL downgrade” error. So how to address this issue? Let’s find out.

Fix Denying OTA because it is a SPL downgrade

Denying OTA because it is a SPL downgrade

It is recommended that you try out each of the below-mentioned workarounds and then see which one spells out success. So with that in mind, let’s get started. Droidwin and its members wouldn’t be held responsible in case of a thermonuclear war, your alarm doesn’t wake you up, or if anything happens to your device and data by performing the below steps.

FIX 1: Closest to the Date!

First off, you should try finding an older version of the partition files that you have flashed in the Fastboot Mode from the base ROM [such as LineageOS]. If you cannot find the same version that is in sync with your ROM, then at least try to get hold of the ROM that is closest to that date. So in my case, if I cannot find the partition files from the October build [of LineageOS for my ROM], then using the files from the first week of November will be my best bet.

FIX 2: Find the Latest ROM

Apart from that, you should reach out to your ROM developer and kindly request them to update their ROM package to the latest version. Not only because it will rectify the underlying issue but also due to the fact that it is never recommended to use an older build from the security point of view.

FIX 3: All Partition Files of Same Date

Last but not least, make sure that all the partition files that you are using belong to the same release date. Using boot and vendor_boot from 27th November but vbmeta and dtbo from 21st November is not allowed and will show you the downgrade error message.

Denying OTA because it is a SPL downgrade

So try out the aforementioned tweaks and it should help you fix the “Denying OTA because it is a SPL downgrade” error. If you have any queries concerning the aforementioned steps, do let us know in the comments. We will get back to you with a solution at the earliest.