install stock firmware on Google Pixel 2

Google Pixel series is loved by the Android community as it is the first one to get the latest update of Android operating system. Google Pixel series is known for its pure Android experience that offers no lag whatsoever. Although, Pixel 2 software experience is said to be flawless, sometimes even it comes across problems or issues. Mostly it happens when you get into some trouble while installing a custom firmware or ROM. If you have somehow corrupted your operating system and it fails to boot. The solution is to install stock firmware on Pixel 2. This process is also called applying a resue OTA to fix Pixel 2 stuck at bootloop or on Google Logo.

A great number of people who ever used Android had a modified Android OS on their smartphone. For example, Huawei and Samsung have a modified version of Android on their phones. That spoils the overall image of the Android that it lags and it is slow. 

Install stock firmware on Pixel 2 by applying rescue OTA

This guide is for users with Windows Operating system on their machines, you can also perform the same steps according to your operating system. Just don’t forget to change c:\ to ~/ on Linux and MAC machines.

In this guide, we will look into the whole process on how to install stock firmware on Pixel 2 step by step. We will be performing steps on the computer as well as your pixel device concurrently.


First on your Computer:

You will have to install ADB and FASTBOOT in order to configure the proper functionality of these utilities.

Now open Command Prompt on your Computer. (For Linux and MAX just open the terminal window)

Next step is to open device manager. (right click on the windows icon on the bottom left of your screen 

Now on your Pixel:

Boot the Pixel into Fastboot Mode.

  • This can be done by first powering off the Pixel.
  • pressing and holding both Power and Volume Down simultaneously.
  • You should see a green android on his back and Start in green with an arrow pointing toward the Power button.

Now let’s move on to the guide on how to install stock firmware on Pixel 2:

  1. At this point do a test to see if drivers are properly installed in the Computer. Attach the USB cable between the Computer and the Pixel. Device Manager should now show an entry of Android Phone with a sub-entry of Android Bootloader Interface (Not applicable to MAC
    and Linux).
  2. In the command prompt on the Computer from step 2, enter the command fastboot devices. If you see a response with the serial number of your Pixel, then all is good and proceed.
  3. If it doensot shows you the serial number of your phone then further work is required in the Computer to get the required drivers installed, so do not proceed further and ask for assistance.
  4. Remove the USB cable between the Computer and the Pixel.
  5. Tap Volume Down until you see “Recovery Mode” in the arrow, then tap Power once to select it.
  6. You will see the Google logo for a few seconds followed by a green android on his back with “No command” underneath. Press and hold Power, then tap Volume Up once, then release Power.
    NOTE: If your device starts rebooting at this point, your only recourse is to contact your place of purchase about a warranty replacement or repair.
  7. You are now on the Android Recovery screen. On the third line at the top of the screen you
    will see something that looks like this: 7.1 / NDE63V / 3389651
  8. The middle one is your current Build Number. Make note of this as the Rescue OTA you need corresponds to this one or a more recent one. (NOTE: You cannot install an older one than your current Build Number.)
  9. Tap Volume Down until the entry “Apply Update from ADB” is highlighted, then tap Power to select it. Your Pixel is now waiting to receive the OTA file.
  10. Attach the USB cable between the Computer and the Pixel. Device Manager should now show an entry of Android Phone with a sub-entry of Android ADB Interface (Not applicable to MAC and Linux).
  11. In the command prompt on the Computer from step 2, enter the command adb devices. If you see a response with the serial number of your Pixel, then all is good and proceed. If you do not see this then further work is required in the Computer to get the required drivers
    installed, so do not proceed further and ask for assistance.

On the Computer:

  1. On your Computer, create the folder c:\MyPixel (on a MAC or Linux ~/MyPixel).
  2. Download the OTA for the Build Number you want to use from here.
    • Note: There are several release streams for Pixel phones. Ensure you pick the correct one based on your situation:
    • install stock firmware on Pixel 2
  3. When the download finishes, click on “Open Folder” at the bottom of the browser window. This will open Windows File Explorer. Right click on the highlighted file that was just downloaded, click Cut, then select the folder c:\MyPixel, right click again and click Paste to move the OTA zip file into c:\MyPixel (For MAC and Linux move the file to ~/MyPixel).
  4. If the Pixel Apply Update from ADB timed out (step 12), then re-initiate it.
  5. Enter a command similar to the following (this example is for Everywhere Else), but the highlighted filename will be the one you pasted into the MyPixel directory in step 16 (don’t forget the .zip extension in the command):
    For a Pixel:
    adb sideload c:\MyPixel\ sailfish-ota-ppr2.180905.006-18857afc.zip

    For a Pixel XL:

    adb sideload c:\MyPixel\ marlin-ota-ppr2.180905.006-809f6887.zip

    (NOTE: For MAC or Linux change c:\ to ~/ and \ to /)

Progress messages should now appear on both the Computer and the Pixel. Be patient as there can be several minutes before any progress messages appear. If there are any errors, do not proceed further and ask for assistance. That is all you have to do on your computer while trying to install stock firmware on Pixel 2.

On the Pixel

When the update finishes the line “Reboot system now” should be highlighted. Tap Power
once to initiate a reboot. After the reboot, your Pixel should be back in operation.

That’s all on how to install stock firmware on Pixel 2. Which is also called installing a rescue firmware. If you have any questions regarding the guide above, feel free to ask me in the comments.

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