The latest Android 13 Developer Preview is available for download. Here’s what you need to know


You can preview Android 13 on Google Pixel.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Last month, Google announced a preview version of Android 13 for developers, and the search giant has released its first developer preview update — Android 13 Developer Preview 2. This latest iteration will bring several new color themes, improved privacy and security features, targeted notifications, lock and home screen updates, and other features.

Google plans to release pre-release versions of Android 13 through much of 2021, with multiple developer previews in the winter, betas in the spring and summer, and the final release in the fall. While these preview builds of Android 13 are primarily for developers to try out upcoming features that are being worked on, even if you’re not a developer, you can still get your hands on this build. Android 13 right now.

As long as you have a compatible phone – which currently means it has to be one of many Google Pixel phones – you can connect your device to your computer and use Google’s Android Flash Tool to download and install Android 13 Developer Preview quite easily.

It’s important to note that, like all preview software, the Android 13 Developer Preview can be unstable at times, so if you still want to install it, it’s best to do so on a backup phone, if you have one available, not on your primary device. There might be bugs and other issues that break the functionality, so don’t try this on a phone you depend on.

If you agree, we can continue. Here’s how to download and install Android 13 developer preview on your phone.

To note: If you already have Android 13 Developer Preview 1, just go to Settings > System > System update and update over the air. If you don’t have Android 13, follow the steps below.


The Google Pixel 6 Pro is currently one of the only devices compatible with Android 13 Developer Preview.


For which phones is the Android 13 Developer Preview available?

Google is expected to release Android 13 this fall. At that time it will be available on a wide variety of Android phones, but for now you can only install the Android 13 developer preview on a select number of compatible Pixel devices:

  • Pixel 4
  • Pixel 4XL
  • Pixel 4A
  • Pixel 4A 5G
  • Pixel 5
  • Pixel 5A with 5G
  • Pixel 6
  • Pixel 6 Pro

If your device is not on this list, you will have to wait for later versions of Android 13, whether it is the public beta or the public version. It is also possible that other phones have access to the developer preview or a beta at a later date.

Back up your Android device first

So now that you have a compatible Android device, now you need to backup your phone. By default, your Pixel should automatically back up whenever you’re connected to Wi-Fi and your phone has been idle and charging for 2 hours, but you can still do it manually as well. Depending on the size of your phone backup, you may need a paid version of Google One for this method, but otherwise Google Drive it should be fine.

To back up your Pixel, go to Settings > google > Backup and press To safeguard now. Depending on the last backup and the number of applications and files to be backed up, this process may take several minutes. Once you have saved, you are ready to begin the Android 13 download and installation process.


Back up your phone before installing Android 13 Developer Preview.

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Now you need to enable USB debugging and OEM unlocking

To install Android 13 on your Pixel, you need to connect the phone to a computer via USB, which requires your Pixel to be unlocked and USB debugging enabled. Although unlocking your phone is quite simple, to enable USB debugging you need to unlock Developer Options first.

1. To unlock Developer Options, go to Settings > About the phone then press Build number Seven times. Enter your password when prompted and a new developer options menu will appear in your system settings.

2. Now enable USB debugging. Go to Settings > System > Developer Options and activate usb debugging. In the notification that appears, which briefly describes what USB debugging is for, tap Okay.

3. While you are still in Developer Options, enable OEM Unlock. This unlocks your device’s bootloader, which loads the operating system. Once unlocked, you’ll be able to choose a different operating system to boot into, in this case Android 13.


You must first enable USB debugging and OEM unlocking before you can connect your phone to your computer to install Android 13.

Nelson Aguilar/CNET

Flash your device using the Android Flash tool in Chrome

There are two ways to flash the Android 13 Developer Preview system image to your Pixel using your computer, but for the sake of simplicity, we’ll use the Android Flash tool, which only works with certain web browsers, such as Chrome. Also, your computer must have 10 GB of available storage for this to work.

If all is well, connect your Pixel to your computer via USB, unlock your device and go to the Android Flash Tool Website in Chrome and do the following:

1. First, click To start at the bottom of the site.

2. Then click on Allow access to ADB in the pop-up window that appears (if there are ad blockers, disable them).

3. Click now Add new devicechoose your device from the list and press Connect.

4. On your Pixel, check the box next to Always allow from this computer then press To permit to allow Android Flash Tool to access your phone.

5. Back on your computer, click Developer Preview 2 under Popular releases.

6. Click on To install to construct then click To confirm.


Install Android 13 Developer Preview 1 with Android Flash Tool.

Nelson Aguilar/CBS

The pop-up that appears will warn you that installing Android 13 will factory reset your phone, but that’s okay if you’ve backed up your Pixel. If you haven’t, do it now. Also, make sure not to touch your phone or disconnect it from the computer during this process, otherwise it may freeze the phone (make it unresponsive and useless). If you receive another pop-up on your computer saying accepting Android version 13, do this to continue the process.

Now do the following:

1. To hit To start up in the pop-up window that appears on your computer.

2. Back on your Pixel, use the volume keys to choose Unlock bootloader then press the side key, which will restart your phone.

3. The software download will begin, which may take a few minutes depending on your internet connection.

4. After the installation process is complete, click To start up in the pop-up window that appears on your computer.

5. Again, back on your Pixel, use the volume keys to switch to Lock bootloader then press the side key.

6. And finally, on your computer, press Ended and your phone will restart normally.

If everything is successful, it should say “Installation Complete” in the Android Flash Tool. This means that the Android 13 Developer Preview has been installed and it is safe to disconnect your Pixel from your computer.


If everything goes well, you will see Installation Completed as the current status in the Android Flash Tool.

Nelson Aguilar/CNET

You can now use Android 13 on your Pixel

Once your Pixel restarts, you’ll see a notification that you’re now running the Android 13 developer preview. Okay then set up your phone as you would a brand new phone, which means connect to Wi-Fi, copy apps and data from your last Google backup, agree to terms and conditions, set up a password, etc. .

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