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.

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