There may be times when a recent update to one of your favorite apps takes away one of your favorite features, or introduces adverts. It is understandable if this makes you want to switch to an older version of the app. Now you may be thinking that this can easily be done by downloading an APK. Well, you are right, but what about the app data? Installing an older version may give you the desired version but at the cost of your data. Now if you don’t want to lose your data but still want to be able to use the older version, here is how to downgrade apps on Android without losing any data:
Note: I tried this method on my Moto G4 Plus (rooted) running Android 7.1.2; Mi Mix (not rooted) running Android 6.0.1; and my computer running Windows 10 Pro.
Before we get started with the progress, there are certain things that you must ensure. Given below is a list of them (in no particular order).
- Install ADB on your computer using either Minimal ADB & Fastboot or the official Google binaries. On my computer, I installed the latter.
- Enable USB Debugging on your Android device. To do that, go to “About phone” in your device’s settings, and then tap on “Build number” seven times. This should enable Developer Options on your device. Head over to that, and toggle “USB debugging”.
Downgrade Apps on Android without Root
Now that you have all the prerequisites taken care of, you can move on to the actual procedure. For that, follow the steps below.
- Download the desired APK of the app that you are looking to downgrade. You can do this by searching for it on APKMirror. I am downloading the APK of Nova Launcher v5.3. Currently, its version that I have on my phone is v5.4-beta4. Now extract the ADB folder that you downloaded, and paste the APK there.
- Now, while pressing the Shift key on your keyboard, right-click anywhere on this folder. From the context menu that appears, select “Open PowerShell window here”.
- In this window, run the following commands:
adb push nova.apk /sdcard/nova.apk
adb shell pm install -r -d /sdcard/nova.apk
Note: I renamed the APK file on my computer to the one mentioned. You can replace “nova.apk” with the name of your APK file.
Now if you check the version of the app on your phone, you will find that it has been downgraded.
Downgrade Apps on Android with Ease
Now that you know how to downgrade apps on Android without losing your data, you no longer have to worry about your favorite features being removed in an app. This is a very simple method that anyone should be able to follow. However, if you know of any other method to downgrade Android apps, do let me know in the comments section below.