+ Tuesday July 23rd, 2019

  1. Download the appropriate system image for your device below, then unzip it to a safe directory.
  2. Connect your device to your computer over USB.
  3. Start the device in fastboot mode with one of the following methods:
    • Using the adb tool: With the device powered on, execute:
      adb reboot bootloader
    • Using a key combo: Turn the device off, then turn it on and immediately hold down the relevant key combination for your device.
  4. If necessary, unlock the device’s bootloader using one of the following methods:
    • If you are updating a Nexus or Pixel device that is manufactured in 2015 or later (for example, a Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL device), run this command:
      fastboot flashing unlock
    • For Pixel 2 XL only: the critical partitions may also need to be unlocked before flashing. The unlock can be performed with this command, and should NOT be done on other devices:
      fastboot flashing unlock_critical
    • If you are updating an older device, run this command:
      fastboot oem unlock

    The target device will show you a confirmation screen. (This erases all data on the target device.)

    See Unlocking the bootloader for more detailed instructions.

  5. Open a terminal and navigate to the unzipped system image directory.
  6. Execute the flash-all script. This script installs the necessary bootloader, baseband firmware(s), and operating system.

Once the script finishes, your device reboots. You should now lock the bootloader for security:

  1. Start the device in fastboot mode again, as described above.
  2. Execute:
    fastboot flashing lock

    or, for older devices, run:
    fastboot oem lock

Locking bootloader will wipe the data on some devices. After locking the bootloader, if you want to flash the device again, you must run fastboot oem unlock again, which will wipe the data.

Chris Rowland   Managing Editor

Chris Rowland

Chris has been at the forefront of smartphone reporting in Australia since smartphones were a thing, and has used mobile phones since they came with giant lead-acid batteries that were "transportable" and were carried in a shoulder bag.

Today, Chris publishes one of Australia's most popular technology websites, Ausdroid. His interests include mobile (of course), as well as connected technology and how it can make all our lives easier.

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