Google announced on August 15, 2022 that it would begin rolling out the Android 13 update to its portfolio of Pixel devices. However, as is usual with Android updates, even if you have a qualifying Pixel device (basically a Pixel 4 or newer), that doesn’t mean you’ll see the available update right away. Google often takes several weeks to deliver the update to all devices out there.
While there’s always the solution of using Android’s developer tools, a Mac or PC, and a USB cable to instantly sideload the update, there’s also an easier, computer-free option. If you have a qualifying 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.
Sign up for the Android Beta program
The first step is to sign up for Google’s Android beta program, which allows adventurous Pixel owners (as well as developers) to try out the new software all summer long. But since the final version of Android 13 is now available, signing up today won’t get you a beta build. It will be the same version of Android that Google is slowly rolling out to everyone.
- On any device with a browser (including your phone), go to the Android Beta Program website and sign in to the same Google Account that your phone uses.
- At the top is a button to view eligible devices. Tap on that and the page will scroll down where you’ll hopefully see your Pixel phone.
- You can then click the Sign Up button to join the beta. A window will open asking you to agree to the terms and conditions of the program and then click “Confirm and Register”.
Install the update
- Now that your phone is enrolled in the beta program, go to the Settings app on your phone, scroll down to System, tap it, and then tap System update. The Android 13 update should appear immediately. Tap the button that appears to install it.
Exit the Android Beta Program
- Once you’ve installed the update (which may take some time depending on your internet connection and the number of apps installed on your phone), you can return to the Android Beta website and click the “Sign Out” button on your pictured device to log out to unsubscribe from the program.
- Google will issue a warning that if you’re currently running beta software and exit the beta program, an update will be delivered to your phone that will wipe its data and put it back on a stable build. But since the version of Android 13 you just installed is the stable build, that won’t happen here.
And that’s it; You’ve skipped every random queue that Google has put you in and are now running Android 13 software. Note that this will only work until Google releases a new beta build, which is expected to be around September. At this point, if you exit the beta program after installing this build, your phone will be wiped and reverted to the stable version of Android 13.
In particular, we’ve found that this process is required for Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro phones. It seems the update is more readily available if you have a Pixel 4 or 5. Note, however, that once you’ve updated to Android 13 on a Pixel 6 or 6 Pro, there’s no turning back – it’s not possible to go back to Android 12 in the future.