How to install Android 12 Developer Preview

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Today, Google released the first developer preview of Android 12 for owners of devices ranging from the Pixel 3 up to the Pixel 5. With traditional software updates, you would be able to install new software simply by using the Software Update Features in the Settings app. 

However, with developer previews, things are a bit different as you will need to “install” Android 12 on your Pixel. We’ve put together a walkthrough on the various ways you can install the first Android 12 developer preview today.

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Back up your data

Installing the Android device preview will not erase the data, but it is always a good idea to create a backup before starting. Should anything go wrong during the Android 12 Developer Preview installation process, a backup will ensure that you won’t lose any of your photos, videos, text messages, or other data that you have stored on your phone. How to backup Android

Required files/links

Install Android 12 Developer Preview via the SDK

Prepare your PC

  1. Open the SDK Platform Tools on Google’s developer website if you don’t already have it on your computer.
  2. Select the file for your operating system, accept the terms of service, and then hit the download button.
  3. Open the ZIP file and extract the folder inside. You can extract the folder anywhere you want, just make sure you remember where you put it for future reference.
  4. When the platform-tools folder is extracted, double-click on it to open it.
  5. Open Google’s Android 12 Developer Preview Device OTA Files page
  6. Click on the file for your specific Pixel smartphone, accept the terms of service, and then hit the download button.
  7. Open the folder where you download the zip file, copy the zip file and paste it into the platform-tools folder we left open

Prepare your Pixel

  1. On your Pixel smartphone go to Settings> About phone and scroll to the bottom
  2. Tap Build number 7 times to enable Developer Mode
  3. Go to Settings> System> Advanced> Developer options and turn on USB debugging
  4. Long press the power button and tap Restart
  5. Press and hold the Volume Down key while the phone restarts
  6. When the phone restarts in Fastboot mode, use the volume rocker to enter recovery mode and press the power button to select
  7. On the next screen (Android on the back), hold down the power and volume up buttons
  8. Press and hold the buttons for five seconds, then release the Volume Up button to enter the recovery mode menu
  9. Use the volume rocker to highlight Apply Update from ADB
  10. Press the power button to make your selection
  11. Connect your Pixel smartphone to PC with a USB-C cable

Install Android 12 from your PC

  1. On your computer, click on the zip file we copied to the platform-tools folder
  2. Highlight the filename and zip extension and press Ctrl + C to copy the filename
  3. Click in the folder navigation bar, type CMD and then press Enter
  4. In the command prompt window that opens, type adb devices and hit enter to verify that your phone is connected correctly
  5. Type adb sideload and press Ctrl + V to paste the zip file name
  6. Press Enter to start installing Android 12 Developer Preview.

Use Android Flash Tool

Required files

Install Android 12

  1. Open Chrome on your computer.
  2. Switch to the Android Flash tool in Chrome.
  3. Connect your compatible Pixel phone to your PC with a USB-C cable (preferably the Google USB-C cable).
  4. Select your Pixel from the list of connected devices.
  5. Select the software version you want to install.
    • Build ID: 7145137
  6. Choose if you want to wipe the device and/or lock the bootloader.
  7. Click the Install button.
  8. Click Confirm.
  9. Follow the onscreen instructions.

Once complete, Android 12 will be installed on your device and you can start tinkering with the interface or developing new apps for the next version of Android.

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