Nexus 6P: How to Revert to Stock

No matter what happened to your smartphone, if you follow these steps then you can revert back to stock Android by following these steps.

Here at Android Explained, I talk a lot about various customization modifications and tweaks that we can do on our Nexus 6P smartphone. Some of these require us to make some deep changes to the core code of Android and this can sometimes cause issues if not done properly. Heck, even if you do something exactly the way it’s supposed to be done, sometimes 3rd party applications, settings, or even the mod itself can cause issues with the Nexus 6P.

The majority of the time the mods are vetted from hundreds/thousands/millions of people throughout the community but sometimes there can be issues.

Even if one of these modifications don’t mess up the Nexus 6P, there can be an issue when you want to apply an OTA update to your device. OTA updates will be rejected if there are any changes made to the /system partition. Some modifications covered here are only possible because we’re changing code around in the /system partition. So, unless you are able to revert all of the /system changes you made since you rooted your Nexus 6P, you will just be unable to accept that OTA update until you revert back to stock Android.

So let me walk you through the process for now to revert the Nexus 6P back to stock Android.

Nexus 6P Revert to Stock

  1. Download and Install Google’s USB Drivers on the PC
  2. Enable Developer Mode on the Nexus 6P
  3. Enable USB Debugging Mode on the Nexus 6P
  4. Download the Nexus 6P Stock Firmware to the PC
  5. Extract the Contents of the Nexus 6P Stock Firmware
  6. Install the Minimal ADB & Fastboot Tools
  7. Launch the ADB & Fastboot Shortcut it Created
  8. Type the Following Command into the Command Prompt. . .
  9. adb devices
  10. . . .Then Press Enter on the Keyboard
  11. Connect the Nexus 6P to the PC with a USB Cable
  12. If Prompted, Allow Access to USB Debugging on the Nexus 6P from the PC
  13. Then Disconnect the Nexus 6P from the PC
  14. Copy/Move the Contents of the Android Firmware into the ADB & Fastboot Install Directory
  15. For Me, This Directory is “C:Program Files (x86)Minimal ADB and Fastboot”
  16. Boot the Nexus 6P into Fastboot Mode
  17. Connect the Nexus 6P Back to the PC Again
  18. In the Command Prompt, Type the Following Command. . .
  19. flash-all.bat
  20. . . .Then Press Enter on the Keyboard
  21. Wait Until the Process is Finished and the Nexus 6P Reboots
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You’ll need to do the prerequisites if you haven’t dont this in the past. Meaning, you’ll need to download and install the USB drivers from Google, you’ll need to enable Developer Mode, USB Debugging Mode, and install the Minimal ADB & Fastboot Tools. You’ll then need to download the Nexus 6P factory images onto your PC. If you follow the link, you’ll see a series of images to download for the 6P. The ones toward the top of the 6P section are the oldest and the ones toward the bottom fo the 6P section are the newest.

After downloading the Nexus 6P factory images, you’ll need to extract the contents of that file and copy or move them into the same directory as your ADB and Fastboot tools are in. Once there, you can double click the ADB & Fastboot shortcut that the installer created and it will open up a command prompt and take you straight to the folder you need to be. If you didn’t let it create the shortcut, or you are using ADB/Fastboot from the Android SDK, then you’ll have to do this manually. With the command prompt open, type the ‘adb devices’ command and it will start the ADB service on your computer.

With the ADB service running, you can then connect the Nexus 6P to the PC with a USB cable. If you set everything up correctly(and haven’t done this in the past), then you should see a prompt on the Nexus 6P asking whether or not you want to allow USB Debugging access from this PC. Tell the Nexus 6P yes, and allow this access and then we can disconnect the smartphone from the PC. After you have disconnected it from the PC, boot the Nexus 6P into Fastboot Mode and then reconnect the device back to the PC. Then, turn your attention back to the command prompt and execute the ‘flash-all.bat’ command.

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If done properly, this will start to erase and wipe everything from your Nexus 6P and then install the factory images fresh onto your device. This process can take a while so please be patient while it completes. Once done, you’ll see a note in the command prompt telling you and then the Nexus 6P will reboot. This first boot up can take some time too because Android is having to set some things back up again. Just be patient during this whole process because it can take anywhere from 15-30 minutes to finish. You can then activate Android again, sign into your Google account and start restoring your applications and settings back.