The official Android 8.1.0 factory images are now live for the Google Pixel smartphones. Check the info in this post and learn how to manually flash the new firmware factory image on your device.

The new official update should reach the Pixel phones over-the-air worldwide in the following days, but in case you are running a custom ROM, and you wish to restore the phone to stock Android, or you simply wish to refresh the installed OS, then you can install the factory image instead.

Android 8.1.0 Oreo brings tons of new features and improvements over the previous 8.0 Oreo firmware.

Here are some of the new changes that you will find in Android 8.1: Automatic Light and Dark Themes based on the Wallpaper featured on your device, battery levels for connected Bluetooth devices will now be listed in the Quick Settings menu, new and improved Power menu, revamped Settings, a new Oreo Easter egg, Keep WifiOn During Sleep option has been removed, Apps are now forced to allow only one Notification Alert per second, the "Apps Using Battery" persistent notification can be removed from now on, Semi-Transparent Quick Settings panel, and others.

Before starting the installation process you need to check the following guidelines:

  • use this tutorial only with the Google Pixel phones.
    - don't use the tutorial for other different devices.
  • enable USB Debugging and OEM Unlock from the Developer Options menu.
    - the Developer Options might be hidden which is why you will have to enable them first: go to Settings> About Phone> and here you need to tap seven times on the Build Number text.
    - get back to Settings, open the Developer Options and enable USB Debugging and OEM Unlock.
  • backup all the important data files before starting the installation process.
    - the bootloader will be unlocked during installation and that will trigger a 'complete data wipe' process and no files will survive the process.
  • this is a guide destined to be used by advanced users only, we cannot be blamed in case you brick the phone nor in case you lose any important data files.
  • read the whole post and do not skip any steps.
  • in case you need more help installing the new factory image you should tell us in comments.

Now that you know all that you can continue to the next part of this post.

How to install Android 8.1.0 Oreo Factory Image for Google Pixel:

The first thing that you need to do is to setup the Platform-Tools adb and fastboot drivers. These drivers will allow your computer to detect the phone and allow it to flash the new firmware files.

Check the following steps and learn how to setup Platform-Tools:

  • download Platform-Tools zip with drivers from the links below:
    - for Windows click here.
    - for Mac OS click here.
    - for Linux click here.
  • after the download is done you have to extract the contents from the archive.
    - you will need to save the obtained files in Platform-Tools.
  • download and install the Google USB drivers from here.

Now you can begin the installation of the new Oreo factory image.

Install Android 8.1 Factory Image for Google Pixel:

  1. Download the factory image archive file from here or here.
  2. When the download is done and completed you can extract the contents.
    Place the obtained files to Platform-Tools folder.
  3. Power off the device.
  4. Boot it in Fastboot Mode.
  5. Connect the Google Pixel to computer using the USB cable.
    Verify that the phone has been detected by the computer.
    - if the phone is not detected you need to reinstall the Google usb drivers.
  6. Now, go to Platform-Tools folder.
    Launch a Command Prompt / Terminal screen with Administrator rights.
  7. First you have to unlock the device's bootloader: fastboot flashing unlock
  8. Confirm.
    When the bootloader is unlocked you can continue to the next step.
  9. Start the flashing process:
    Go to Platform-Tools and launch the Flash-all.bat installer script for Windows.
    If you're using the Linux or Mac OS you should launch the script instead.
    Confirm installation and wait for it to be completed successfully.
  10. Reboot the phone in normal when the Android 8.1.0 factory image files are done installing.

Unplug the Pixel from PC and then you can regain control over it by using your default Google account.

NOTE for advanced users:

If you are installing the Android 8.1.0 factory image over a 100% stock Android 8.0.0 OPR3.170623.013 with build date set for Nov 2017, then you can install the new factory image without losing any data files. This installation will act as a proper Update.

For this to work you need to open the 'Flash-all.bat' installer script in Notepad and delete the following two characters from the code line: -w

If you need more help you need to tell us in comments.

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