How to immediately get the Android 13 update on your Pixel

Google announced on August 15, 2022 that it would start rolling out Android 13 update to its portfolio of Pixel devices. As usual with Android updates, however, that doesn’t mean that even if you have an eligible Pixel device (a Pixel 4 or newer, basically), you’ll immediately see the update available. Google often takes several weeks to deliver the update to all devices.

Although there is always the solution to use Android development tools, a Mac or PC and a USB cable to immediately load the update, there is also an easier, computer-free option. If you have an eligible Pixel device and are tired of seeing the software update screen saying there’s nothing new, here’s a trick to force the update to appear.

Join the Android Beta Program

The first step is to sign up for Google’s Android Beta program, which allowed adventurous Pixel owners (as well as developers) to test out the new software all summer long. But since the final version of Android 13 is now available, if you sign up today, you won’t receive a beta. It will be the same version of Android that Google is slowly rolling out to everyone.

  • Go to the Android beta program website on any browser-enabled device (including your phone) and sign in to the same Google Account that your phone uses.
  • At the top is a button to “view eligible devices”. Tap it and the page will scroll down, where you’ll hopefully see your Pixel phone.
  • You can then click the “Opt in” button to join the beta. A window will appear and you will need to accept the terms and conditions of the program, then press Confirm and register.

You can join the beta program from your phone or any device with a web browser.
Screenshot: Dan Seifert / The Verge

Install the update

  • Now that your phone is enrolled in the beta program, go to your phone’s Settings app, scroll down to System, tap it, then tap System update. The Android 13 update should appear right away. Press the button that appears to install it.

Leaving the Android Beta Program

  • Once you’ve installed the update (which may take a while depending on your internet connection and how many apps you have installed on your phone), you can then go back to the Android beta website and click the “Disable” button on your camera to unsubscribe from the program.
  • Google warns that if you’re currently using beta software and you leave the beta program, an update will be delivered to your phone that will wipe its data and put it back on a stable version. But since the version of Android 13 you just installed is stable construction, that won’t happen here.

And that’s all; you skipped the arbitrary queue Google put you in and are now running Android 13 software. Note that this only works until Google releases a new beta, which should be in September. At this point, if you leave the beta program after installing this build, your phone will be wiped and restored to the stable version of Android 13.

We especially noticed that this process is necessary for Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro phones. It seems that if you have a Pixel 4 or 5, the update is more readily available. Just be aware that there’s no going back once you’ve updated to Android 13 on a Pixel 6 or 6 Pro – that’s not possible to revert to android 12 in the future.

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