This guide will show you the steps to install the stock firmware on your Pixel 7A/7/Pro using ADB Sideload. Pixel devices are usually the first in the lineup when it comes to receiving timely OS updates. And the same would be the case with the newest addition to the Pixel family. These updates are rolled out via Over The Air [OTA] and your device would automatically get it once it is live. So all this begs an important question- why is there a need to manually flash the firmware?
Well, these updates are usually rolled out in batches and not everyone might end up receiving them at the same time. So if there is a crucial patch update being rolled out that is aimed at fixing a major issue but your Pixel 7A/7/Pro is yet to be blessed with the same, then you could manually grab hold of the update package and install it via ADB Sideload. And in this guide, we will show you how to do just that. Follow along.
Benefits and Risks of ADB Sideload
The biggest benefit of ADB Sideload is the fact that it does not require an unlocked bootloader, you could flash the firmware directly on the locked bootloader. On the flip side though, you might not be able to use this method if your device is in a bootloop or bricked state. Moreover, ADB Sideload doesn’t support downgrading.
So when your Pixel 7/Pro receives Android 14 next year, you would have to opt for Android Flash Tool or Fastboot Commands to downgrade to Android 13. With this, you would have got a decent idea regarding the perks and caveats of this method. Let’s now get started with the steps to install the stock firmware on your Pixel 7A/7/Pro using ADB Sideload.
How to Flash Firmware on Pixel 7A/7/Pro via ADB Sideload
The below instructions are listed under separate sections for ease of understanding. Make sure to follow the same sequence as mentioned. 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.
STEP 1: Install Android SDK
First and foremost, you will have to install the Android SDK Platform Tools on your PC. This is the official ADB and Fastboot binary provided by Google and is the only recommended one. So download it and then extract it to any convenient location on your PC. Doing so will give you the platform tools folder, which will be used throughout this guide.
STEP 2: Download Pixel 7A/7/Pro OTA Image
- Next up, download the OTA Image for your Pixel 7/Pro (and not the Factory Image).
- Once you have downloaded the firmware, transfer it to the platform-tools folder on your PC.
- Likewise, rename the file to update, so that the complete name becomes update.zip.
- This renaming is done just to make the file name easier to type in Command Prompt.
STEP 3: Enable USB Debugging
Next up, you will have to enable USB Debugging so that your device is recognizable by the PC in ADB mode. This will then allow you to boot your device to Recovery Mode. So head over to Settings > About Phone > Tap on Build Number 7 times > Go back to Settings > System > Advanced > Developer Options > Enable USB Debugging.
STEP 4: Boot to Stock Recovery
- Connect your device to the PC via a USB cable. Make sure USB Debugging is enabled.
- Then head over to the platform-tools folder, type in CMD in the address bar, and hit Enter. This will launch the Command Prompt.
- After that, type in the following command in the CMD window to boot your device to the stock recovery
adb reboot recovery
- Your Pixel 7/pro will now boot to the No Command screen.
- To exit this screen, press and hold the Power Button and while doing, so press and release the Volume Up key and then release the Power key as well. You will now be taken to the stock recovery.
STEP 5: Install Firmware on Pixel 7A/7/Pro Via ADB Sideload
- Use the Volume keys to highlight the “Apply Update from ADB” option and press the Power key to confirm it.
- You should now see a message along the following lines on your device.
- Now head over to the platform-tools folder, type in CMD in the address bar, and hit Enter. This will launch the Command Prompt.
- Type in the following command in the CMD window to verify the ADB Sideload connection:
- If you get the sideload keyword in the Command Prompt, then the connection stands successful and you may proceed ahead.
- So go to the CMD window (that you have opened inside platform-tools) and type in the below command to install the OTA file:
adb sideload update.zip
- The installation process will now begin and could take a few minutes. Once done, use the Volume keys to select the Reboot System Now option and press the Power key to confirm it.
These were the steps to install stock firmware on your Pixel 7A/7/Pro using ADB Sideload. 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.
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