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PSA: Sideloading Android 11 DP3 is failing on Pixel 3, Pixel 4 devices

We’re still in the process of uncovering all of the new things in Android 11 Developer Preview 3, a process that is currently taking a longer time than usual. Our normal routine of manually “sideloading” the update to Android 11 DP3 via ADB — which our Ben Schoon has explained in detail — is failing for owners of the Pixel 3 and Pixel 4.

Since the release of Android 11 DP3, every member of our team has downloaded the zip file for this afternoon’s update and attempted to install it via the “adb sideload” command. For all devices we’ve tested except the Pixel 3a, ADB returns an unfamiliar error.

adb: sideload connection failed: closed

adb: trying pre-KitKat sideload method…

adb: pre-KitKat sideload connection failed: closed

So far, our team has directly confirmed the error when sideloading the update onto the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. Meanwhile, others, including XDA’s Max Weinbach, who is using a Pixel 4 XL, are also faced with the problem. We’ve also been able to confirm that it does not matter whether or not you’ve installed the minor update to Developer Preview 2.1.

Thankfully, there’s more than one way to install Android 11 Developer Preview 3. Unlike years past, Google has quickly made it possible to install the update via the Pixel’s normal system update process in the Settings app. The disadvantage there, though, is that the update takes far longer to install than the ADB sideload method. In time, Android 11 Developer Preview 3 should also become available via the Android Flash Tool, though this hasn’t happened yet.


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Avatar for Kyle Bradshaw Kyle Bradshaw

Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.

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