How to Uninstall an Android Update

Android updates are quite a common occurrence, with new versions of the operating system rolling out nearly every year. But even though they’re generally considered to be an improvement, sometimes a new system update might actually slow your device down or cause other issues, or you simply might not like how the new system looks and operates. Any of these reasons could potentially lead you to make the decision of going back to your old Android version.

Unfortunately, system updates can’t be uninstalled on Android, not even by reverting your device back to its factory settings, as the new files that were installed on your device tend to overwrite and ultimately delete the old system files.

However, there might be a way to work around this issue. Here are some explanations:

Downgrading your Android OS

While it isn’t possible to uninstall new updates, you might be able to downgrade your Android by reinstalling an older version of the operating system. However, keep in mind that this process will certainly void your warranty and should always be done with caution, in an effort to avoid creating more serious issues.

If you still want to proceed, though, here is how you can downgrade your device:

  1. Firstly, it might be a good idea to back up your device, to ensure you won’t lose any important files or data. You can do this with a cloud service, an external device like a computer or a hard drive, or even a dedicated backup application.
  2. Next, you’ll need to download a Stock Android version (usually a ROM) that is compatible with your specific device. You might be able to find it on your manufacturer’s website, or an XDA developer site.
  3. Now, you will have to root your device and unlock the bootloader. The process for doing this can vary depending on the manufacturer and the model, which is why it might be a good idea to perform a Google search in order to find out how to root your specific Android device.
  4. Once your device has been rooted, it’s time to install the ROM file you’ve previously downloaded, which can be done by simply following the instructions on the website you got the file from. Usually, this would involve going to the ‘Install’ or ‘Apply Update from SD Card’ section, and then locating the downloaded ROM file. Then, you would simply click on this file to flash it, and wait for the process to finish.
  5. If the process was successful, your Android device should now be reverted back to its older OS version.

Uninstalling app updates

If you only wish to uninstall any new updates that were made to the applications on your Android device, however, then just follow the steps below:

  1. Load the Settings application (gear icon) on your device.
  2. Here, locate the Apps section.
  3. Scroll through the provided list until you find the application for which you’d like to uninstall updates.
  4. Then, press on the specific application in order to open the App Info section.
  5. Here, press the 3 circles in the top-right corner, and click on the Uninstall Updates option to complete the process.

And there you have it! Even though Android doesn’t exactly offer an ‘Uninstall’ button, you might still be able to revert your device back to an older version of the operating system, as long as you are willing to go through a couple of additional, slightly risky steps.