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How to easily Downgrade Sony Xperia Arc S to Official Gingerbread 2.3 OS

In case you have an Xperia Arc S handset, which is running a custom ROM, or the Ice Cream Sandwich firmware and you want to downgrade it to the official Gingerbread 2.3 software, now you can as the how to procedure is explained during the following step by step guide. As you might know, the official ICS update for your Arc S was recently released (if you haven’t received it yet, you have the manual installation method described in our previous post – just click the link from above), but if you don’t like the new OS, you can easily roll back to Gingerbread.

Also, you must perform a downgrade operation if you have flashed a custom ROM into the phone’s system and now you want to apply the official Android 4.0 update. Furthermore, in case you have rooted the Arc S and now you want to regain the lost warranty, you must re-install the official Gingerbread firmware and re-lock the handset’s bootloader. The reasons for making an OS downgrade can refer to many aspects, but explaining them is not the purpose of the present tutorial.

The Sony Xperia Arc S can be rolled back to Gingerbread easily and quickly; you will have to download and use some files and tools, which will do almost all the work. This means you will have to use a computer, from where you will run the executable files. Furthermore, you need to use the smartphone and its USB cord; in this way you will copy the tools from the PC to your device. That’s all you need to know so far.

Take note that downgrading your Arc S will not make you void the warranty; in fact it will offer the possibility of restoring the same. More, if you have a rooted device, the root access will be revoked. You will then have to regain it by following a root guide suitable with the new software, which is Android 2.3 (Gingerbread). You will be rolling back to the official version of the Android firmware, so don’t worry there are no precautions to make. Well, in fact there is one.

You must backup the data, contacts, messages, Market apps and any other info store on your phone. Else, you can lose the same as you will have to perform a full wipe of the system. So, in case you have precious data saved on the Arc S, make a backup first. You can use our methods:

Then, for being able to complete the downgrade operation you must make some preparation things. These pre requisites must be applied to your PC and to your smartphone. Check them, as they are presented in the following list:

  • Charge the Arc S. The battery level should be at 70%.
  • Deactivate the Firewall or antivirus tools installed on both the computer and the phone. These programs might interrupt the procedure and we don’t want that to happen.
  • Enable USB Debugging from your handset. This option must be enabled for being able to connect the phone with the PC. Go to “Settings -> Applications -> Development -> USB debugging”. Do this before connecting the device with the PC.

You can now return to our job; read and perform the steps from below in order to safely downgrade your Arc. Don’t do things by yourselves.

How to Downgrade Xperia Arc S to Official Gingerbread 2.3 OS

  1. First get the files required.
  2. You must download the Flash tool (download link here) and the Xperia Arc S firmware package (download link here) and place the same to the computer.
  3. Install flash tool and extract the firmware archive (you should get the .ftf file).
  4. Open the flash tool executable.
  5. Select the .ftf file and copy it to the path “C:/Drive -> flashtool -> firmwares”.
  6. If there are other files saved there, delete them first.
  7. On flash tool, click on “flashing” (left side below “file option”); then select “flashmode”.
  8. In the window opened you must check the “Wipe user data” and “wipe cache” options and then click “ok”.
  9. The program will ask you to connect the phone with the PC.
  10. Do that and follow the prompts.
  11. Now, the Gingerbread OS will be installed on your Arc S.
  12. The phone will reboot automatically and when you see the home screen displayed you can disconnect the handset from the computer (remove the USB cord).

That was all. Now you know how to downgrade your Sony Xperia Arc S to the official Gingerbread 2.3 firmware. Remember that the official ICS update was released too, so you can apply the same. If the software is not available on your country, just follow our guide and install the Ice Cream Sandwich operating system manually. But if you are still having problems with the current ROM, or if you couldn’t roll back to Gingerbread, share the issues with us and we will do our best in order to help you out. Stay close for further step by step tutorials.

Sony Xperia Arc S Articles

  • moo

    So i upgraded to ics today and its horrible. I’ll flash it but i want to make sure i use the Sony branded version of Gingerbread – the one that actually came with the phone. Can you _please_ confirm or deny that stock room you link here is sony branded version of gingerbread? If you happen to have any screenshots of home screens and menus that would be great too.

  • michael

    its working

  • Name

    does this actually work? the ICS upgrade on my xperia arc s was really great however, it is also accompanied by many glitches so i was thinking of reverting it back to gingerbread.

    • Ashraf

      It really works. If you are unhappy with ICS, then you should definitely do this.


    Works like a charm, thank you so much. 🙂

    The new update sucks big time, my phone was so slow, but now, its like brand new phone 😀

    Thank you a million times

  • Cordy

    just followed instructions above and all went fine and the silky smoothness is back :o)

  • Atabak

    Thank you very much,it worked!

  • Sani

    Hesitant at first but thank goodness I tried it. Worked for me too! Thanks so much!

  • Ahmed Hassan

    Thanks for your effort, i’ve installed the ICS & as mentioned in the previous comments …..its sucks it makes the phone toooooooooooooooooo slow, so i’ve tried to restore the original firmware of android 2.3 but i couldn’t could you please hepl me with some screen shots ????? i will be grateful for that…
    Thanks in advance & waiting for your reply ASAP

    • Alex Dumitru

      At what step did you get stuck ?

      • nordsson

        It doesn’t want to connect my phone properly. It says that the USB debugging is turned off no matter the real state. 🙁 I desperatelly need GB back because of the troubles with wifi connection on ICS.

        • i am good trust me

          hi there, if you get stuck at usb debugging then u need to turn on debugging in settings – developer options- and then turn it on and if it still does not connect then reinstall flash tool

  • Jaring

    Great, thanks so much.
    It took some time to boot for the first time. But everything works great!

  • inigo

    hi, im from spain. will it works in my arc s?? I mean.. Does it depends on the country you are or it dsnt matter?

    • Ashraf

      Just follow those steps. Country does not matter.

      • inigo

        Thanks!! its done and works perfectly

  • Will this work as well for the ARC (without S)?

    • We did not try it on the Arc and we don’t recommend you to, because we don’t believe it works.

    • dizzy

      did it works on ur arc?

  • Cross

    It says in RomManager that i need to root my phone. Is that necessary??

    • We didn’t say anything about Rom Manager. What do you need it for ?

  • insane

    i have arc s with official ICS, phone isnt rooted or something it’s almost brand new, but the ICS is slow and laggy so i want to downgrade so i have questions.
    1) Will it unlock bootloader?
    2)do i need to root it first?

    • HELP

      My phone wownt boot.. doesnt do it automaticly.. not eaven after i try it myself! HELP!

  • BlueA2

    Perfect – I used the procedure to flash a friend’s device- it workxxx!

  • Grateful guy

    THANK YOU!!!

  • bebe

    i have arc s, but when i press the back button and plugin the usb cable, give an error. Does anyone know why? thanks

  • pavan

    i have an arc s- updated to ics. want to rollback to gingerboard.. problem is when i connect phone holding back button.. it dislpays-DEVICE CONNECTED.. Then after one minute it says DEVICE DISCONNECTED.. followed by DEVICE NOT IN DEBUGGING MODE.. even when debugging is on.. please help me out..

    • pavan

      please help me in step by step procedure as u people did..

      • PAVAN


  • Abilash T.S

    Its worked great… Very simple steps

  • edric ashley

    i have a question? how can i make the lt18i file to a tft? thanks newbie here

  • Zele!

    I upgraded my Xperia arc to ICS and can not use it as portable WiFi. If I downgrade it will it work again?

  • V

    I have Arc S and whan i pres the back button and connect the cable it says that i dont have some drivers can anyone help

    • Dario

      hold back button and than plug usb in while you are holding back buton. of course turn off phone first…

  • disqus_XeZezzvZYJ

    i have arc s but when i press the back button and plug the cable i comes the error message that i dont have some drivers can annyone help pls

  • Victor Davó Torregrosa

    i have one xperia arc s and originaly it had an 2.3.. android version …. them i updated it to 4.0.4 but id don’t work at 100% isn”t very well what can y do?? how can y return to android 2.3???? plis can somomeone answer me??

  • Its ME

    thanks i downgraded successively but all my apps and games are missing.. they are still on the sd card as it states but don’t show up on the phone.. any help>?

    • Its ME again

      never mind.. i just re installed them from my pc.. i had everything backed up..!!

  • PIcked Name Please Help

    Charge the Arc S. The battery level should be at 70%.Deactivate the Firewall or antivirus tools installed on both the computer and the phone. These programs might interrupt the procedure and we don’t want that to happen.Enable USB Debugging from your handset. This option must be enabled for being able to connect the phone with the PC. Go to “Settings -> Applications -> Development -> USB debugging”. Do this before connecting the device with the PC.


  • please help

    how long does downgrading and is my phone going to break as it is not rooted or anything like that

  • Dario

    Worked for me. Hello from Slovenia. Thanks

  • bayoza

    its stuck on my xperia arc at 25% ! y ?,..any help plz?

  • sonyfan

    It really works. Thanks so much 😉

  • shubham

    guyz with 4.0.4 don’t downgrade to 2.3.4 gingerbread bcoz for downgrade
    you have to root your phone . which voids warranty of the product
    hatch here

  • Thank you boss from the bottom of my heart. I was facing problem in teathering in my arc s in 4.0.4. But now with your trick I am back to my old version. Now teathering is working good. Thanx

  • abhimanya

    dude its wonderful …i got my xperia arc s back from hell ……thanks alot for this valuable info :)……one question there will be any problems i future due to this downgrade???????

  • Yllia

    how long does the reboot usually takes? I’m 15 minutes waiting and adding up and I’m beginning to get worried 🙁

    • It shouldn’t take that long. If it doesn’t boot, then restart the procedure from step 1.

  • Iura

    Big thx 🙂 Work fine for me 🙂

  • C Grey

    Im getting below error..

    Device connected with USB
    debugging off
    For 2011 devices line, be
    sure you are not in MTP mode

    My USB Debugging is enable and my device uses MTC
    Please help 🙁

    • Neno

      Try hold the back button and simultaneusly while holding it plug the phone in the usb and it should start flashing … but dont release the back button … 🙂

  • Darcy

    Can you “Dumb down” the steps
    for me? I have only installed some basic software before and I can’t follow
    your instructions. SO far I have downloaded the flashtool and 2.3 firmware. I
    went to the directory C: >Flashtool>firmwares and that folder contains
    the file X10_V1_BLRelock.ftf so I think that is OK. Back up to previous folder,
    double click on x10flasher which I’m guessing is the execusion file, a screen
    pops up. I clicked on the lightning bolt, choose “flashmode” hit OK
    but the next screen doesn’t list the two check boxes which you have told me to
    check. The only boxes are Exclude Baseband & Exclude Kernel. Can you offer
    a dumbed down set of instructions please>>

  • Sunny

    Couldnot get a flashtool in the link, please give another link

  • seXo33

    Dude thanks a lot!

  • anonimus

    thanks a lot,it really works 😀

  • Rakers

    Thanks a lot Works great !!!!

  • prasanth

    The link to the flash tool is dead. Please upload it again!!

  • Thomas Wang

    hey!! i need help on the steps where it tells you to plug your phone and stuff!! I dont noe how to do it!!! i held on the back key for like 2 hours and plugged the usble cable which is connected to my phone onto the computer, then this message pops up saying; flashing failed.

  • vinod

    guys the flash tool file is no longer available..wat should i do??help me

  • can i downgrade my xperia u back to android 2.3 from 4.0?

    • Maan Hashmi

      YES you can

  • vitor

    muito bommmm gostei muito consegui perfeitamente

  • Omar

    i have xperia arc s and i updated to ICS but i want to downgrade to

    Gingerbread 2.3.4 can you describe to me how but well describe plz

  • Maciej

    Hello, lately I installed the Jelly Sandwich Rom for my Arc and I think I made a mistake somewhere for the first time.
    My Arc don’t want to read my sim card, 2G/3G etc and of course IMEI is unknown.
    I’ve tried to downgrade Arc to 2.3.4 but during the flashing I get something like this:
    17/033/2012 12:33:33 – ERROR –
    17/033/2012 12:33:33 – ERROR – Error flashing. Aborted
    17/033/2012 12:33:34 – INFO – Device connected in flash mode
    17/033/2012 12:33:46 – ERROR – Drivers need to be installed for connected device.
    17/033/2012 12:33:46 – ERROR – You can find them in the drivers folder of Flashtool.
    I did install the flashtool drivers for arc but it goes that I made it probably wrong too.
    I would be glad if someone could help me fix my phone cause it’s very important for me.
    Thank you, cheers.

    • Geosh Uy

      I have this problem too. very sme message. all drivers already installed using flash-drivers. im stuck with ICS

  • joe

    my phone has a rom for t-mobile and i want to downgrade from ics 4.04 to this generic GB. will it e okay?

  • joe

    thank you for the data plus instructions! my phone is now on GB and t-mobile is gone! yes! thank you

  • janek

    i got almost new phone and i updates my android to 4.0 now i want it back to gb but if i donwgrade will my battery life be the same as it was with gb?

  • real

    i have xperia pro and want 2 get back gb should i do the same or…………?????

  • grv424

    is this compatible with Xperia Neo? if not, do you have the link on how to downgrade Xperia Neo from ICS to GB? i hate ICS on Neo, it is sooooooooo slow, it always hang, lag is sooooo irritating. if i only knew this site before they offered the upgrade, i would have stayed away from the upgrade. please help me.

    any help would be greatly appreciated and thanks in advance.

  • saitan

    thanks god i am out of hell



  • Anthony

    Grt8 the Gingerbread update worked for me but can you tell me which version in ICS should i go for full functionality of my Xperia Arc S

  • Nikita Chavan

    i cant boot my xperia arc s please help

  • Man, i love you, this is it, i made the stupid action on updatind to 4.0, now my phone recovered it natural good speed and performance, became a daily reader of your posts!!! All the Best…. César from Brazil!!!

    • Marcelo Franco

      Thiago, Tens o link para download do firmware?

  • hayder

    the links are not working
    please help

  • hayder

    may you please upload the two links again,they are not working anymore

  • Neno


  • Xperialover007

    I have updated my xperia ar c from official GB to official ICS, but my auto rotation is not working now and also my proximity sensor always return near value.. Any help how to fix auto rotation problem ?

  • pakos

    Flash tool and Xperia Arc S firmware package are deleted :S please give me another link to download them !

  • Vlad

    Download links not work. please gine me another link to download

  • kashif

    thnxx my arc s is complet jely bean

  • u kuntta

    Flash toll link is dead..plz upload new links

  • kuantalamela

    link flash toll dead..new link plz

  • ryan

    Hi the link is not working/the file has been deleted. Could you please re-upload it again? Thank you

  • Mitang Shah

    How do i downgrade my IOS to GB when my phone is jus getting restart again again and due to buletooth issue….please help me guys 🙁

  • Helpless buddy!

    Please re-upload or comment the links for flash tool & Xperia arc s firmware package! Plssssssssss!!
    These are not linked.

  • Marcelo Franco

    Guys, want the link to download the firmware. Please need urgently. hugs.

  • Peter

    Hello, i have tried and tried following your steps, but nothing has happened on xperia arc s. Dam man, i hate this operating system and phone. it is so slow. Please me with alternatives. where am i doing it wrong because I tried almost everything.

  • vatsal

    no download links for flashtool and Arc S firmware….

  • Samih

    Where it says “download link here” theres no download link???

  • maninder

    Can i downgrade my xperia u with that process tell me

  • farhad1993

    oh my GOD !!!
    i just downgraded my arc s to gingerbread !!! ics was awfull ! . performance lag and ram was pain in the a*s !!

    i love you all ! love love love love love for all of you

  • Anice Martínez

    hey guys, can you please please please give the links to download the files? I can’t find any. I really need them so please help me!