Google plans on providing Android 14 preview versions over much of 2023, beginning with several developer previews in the winter, followed by beta releases in the spring and summer, and the final release sometime in the fall.
While these prerelease versions of Android 14 are mostly designed for developers to test out new features, you can still get your hands on this version of Android 14 right now if you are not a developer.
As long as you have a compatible phone (currently one of several Google Pixel phones), you can connect it to your computer and use Google’s Android Flash Tool to download and install the Android 14 Development Preview very effortlessly.
It’s crucial to note that the Android 14 Developer Preview, like all prerelease software, can be unstable at times, so if you still want to install it, do it on a backup phone if you have one, rather than your primary handset.
There may be bugs and other issues that cause functionality to break, so don’t try this on a phone you rely on.
If you’re willing to take that chance, here’s how to get the Android 14 Development Preview on your phone.
Note: If you already have Android 14 Development Preview 1, you can update over the air by going to Settings > System > System Update.
Follow the procedures below if you do not have Android 14.
On which devices is the Android 14 Developer Preview available?
In fall, Google is likely to release Android 14.
At that point, it will be available on a wide range of Android phones, but for the time being, you can only install the Android 14 Developer Preview on Pixel smartphones that are compatible:
5G Pixel 4A
Pixel 5 and 5A
Pixel 6 Pro, Pixel 6
Pixel 7 Pro, Pixel 7
If your device isn’t on this list, you’ll have to wait for later Android 14 updates, whether the public beta or the final release. Other phones may also gain access to the developer preview or beta release at a later date.
First, make a backup of your Android device.
If you have a suitable Android device, you must now back up your data. By default, your Pixel should back up if you’re connected to Wi-Fi and your phone has been inactive and charging for 2 hours, but you can do it manually as well. Depending on the amount of your phone backup, a subscription edition of Google One may be required, but Google Drive should work.
Back up your Pixel by going to Settings > Google > Backup and selecting Back up now.
This process can take several minutes depending on the last backup and the number of programs and files that need to be backed up. You’re now ready to begin the process of downloading and installing Android 14.
You must now enable USB debugging and OEM unlocking.
To install Android 14 on your Pixel, connect it to a computer through USB, which requires that your Pixel be unlocked and USB debugging allowed.
Although unlocking your phone is simple, in order to enable USB debugging, you must first activate Developer settings.
- To enable Developer options, go to Settings > About phone and then seven times press the Build number.
When prompted, enter your password, and a new Developer options menu will appear in your System settings.
- Enable USB debugging now. Toggle on USB debugging in Settings > System > Developer settings.
Tap Yes in the notification that pops, which briefly summarizes what USB debugging is for.
- When you’re still in the Developer menu, enable OEM unlocking. This unlocks the bootloader on your device, which is what loads the operating system. Once unlocked, you will be able to boot into an alternative operating system, in this example Android 14.
Flash your smartphone in Chrome using the Android Flash Tool.
You may use your computer in two ways to flash the Android 14 Development Preview system image on your Pixel, but for the sake of simplicity, we’ll use the Android Flash Tool, which only works with specific web browsers, including Chrome.
In order for this to operate, your computer must have at least 10GB of free storage space.
If everything is in order, connect your Pixel to your computer via USB, unlock your device, and navigate to the Android Flash Tool website in Chrome.
- First, at the bottom of the website, click Get Started.
- Next, in the pop-up that displays, select Allow ADB access (if there are any ad blockers, turn them off).
- Next, click Add new device, choose your device from the list, and then click Connect.
- On your Pixel, select Always allow from this computer and then touch Allow to grant Android Flash Tool access to your phone.
- Return to your computer and select Developer Preview 2 from the list of popular builds.
- Click Install build, then Confirm.
The pop-up will tell you that installing Android 14 would factory reset your phone, but if you backed up your Pixel, this isn’t an issue.
Additionally, avoid touching or disconnecting your phone from the computer during this procedure, since this could brick the phone (make it unresponsive and useless).
Do the following now:
- On the pop-up that displays on your computer, click Start.
- Return to your Pixel and use the volume keys to select Unlock the bootloader, then press the side key to restart your phone.
- The software will start downloading, which could take a few minutes depending on your internet connection.
- When the installation is finished, click Start on the pop-up window that displays on your computer.
- Returning to your Pixel, use the volume keys to select Lock the bootloader and then press the side key.
- Finally, on your computer, press Done, and your phone will restart normally.
If you get another pop-up on your computer asking you to accept the Android 14 build, do so to proceed with the process. Your phone should now have the Android 14 Development Preview installed. You can securely unplug your Pixel from the computer.
Android 14 is now available for your Pixel.
When your Pixel restarts, you’ll get a notification stating that you’re now running the Android 14 Development Preview.
OK, and then proceed to set up your phone as you would a new phone, which includes connecting to Wi-Fi, moving over applications and data from your most recent backup via Google, agreeing to terms and conditions, creating a password, and so on.