Here’s How Long the Android 8.1 Update Takes

Google’s Android 8.1 update is a sizable release, but it should only take a few minutes to download and install on your Nexus or Pixel device.

The Android 8.1 Oreo update is out of beta and it’s widely available for the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Pixel C, Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, and Pixel 2 XL.

It’s the first major update to Google’s Android Oreo operating system and it delivers new features, enhancements, patches, and bug fixes.

The Android 8.1 is a fairly sizable download and Pixel and Nexus users looking to upgrade right now are looking at a 1GB-1.5GB download.

While some Nexus and Pixel users should wait for the OTA or long-term feedback to arrive, most of you should make the transition from Android 8.0 to Android 8.1 in the near future.

If you decide to download Android 8.1 onto your Pixel or Nexus device you’ll want to set aside some time to complete the download and installation. Moving from one version of Android to another can be problematic so you’ll want to keep distractions to a minimum.

We can’t tell you exactly how long your Android 8.1 upgrade will take because download times will vary from person-to-person, device-to-device. That said, we can help you approximate how much time to set aside when you decide to download and install Android 8.1 Oreo on your phone or tablet.

If you’re already prepared for Android 8.1, the entire process could take you 10 to 15 minutes. If you haven’t prepared or if you’re unfamiliar with the installation process, the transition could take a lot longer.

Backup (Optional)1-30 Minutes
Android 8.1 Download3-15 Minutes
Android 8.1 Update5-10 Minutes
Total Android 8.1 Update Time10 Minutes to 1 Hour

Prepare for Android 8.1

Before you download Android 8.1 onto your Nexus or Pixel device you’ll want to prepare. A little prep work will go a long way toward preventing problems. And yes, there are Android 8.1 problems.

If you don’t know where to start, we’ve put together a guide that will take you step-by-step through the pre-installation process. We use this process every time Google releases a new Android update.

The time it takes you to prepare will depend on your skill level and how well you take care of your device. Power users will be able to get this done in minutes while average users will need some extra time.

If you haven’t backed up the local files on your Nexus or Pixel, checked in with your company’s IT department (if you have one), or looked into the changes and problems on board Android 8.1, the pre-installation process could take you 20 minutes or longer.

You don’t need to follow every single step, but please do make sure all of your files are backed up. There’s always a chance something goes awry and it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Android 8.1 Download Time

If you’re planning to manually install the Android 8.1 on your Pixel, Pixel 2, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, or Pixel C, you’re looking at a fairly sizable download.

The Android 8.1 factory images needed to sideload the software check in between 1-1.5GB in size. The exact download size will depend on your device.

If you have a fast Wi-Fi connection, you’ll be able to download these in just about three minutes. If your internet connection is slow, it could take about 10. Mileage, of course, will vary.

The Android 8.1 OTA file is a little smaller, 531MB for the Pixel 2, so the download should go a little bit faster. It took us about a minute to download over Wi-Fi.

Android 8.1 Installation Time

Depending on your situation, your Android 8.1 installation time could take upwards of an hour.

If you are planning to manually install Android 8.1 on your Nexus or Pixel and you’re currently running an official version of Android 8.1, you’re looking at a pretty short installation provided you know what you’re doing.

We were able to flash the Android 8.1 update and get it up and running on our Pixel in about 15 minutes. Here’s how we were able to do that.

If you’re currently running the Android 8.1 Developer Preview 2 and you want to manually install Android 8.1 right now, you’re looking at a longer installation process because you must unenroll from the beta program and wipe your phone. This means you also need to make proper backups. If you don’t backup your data, it will be lost.

It took us about 30 minutes to get everything in order and about 15 minutes to complete the manual Android 8.1 installation on our Nexus 5X.

As for the OTA installation time, this typically takes no more than 10 minutes to complete on Nexus and Pixel phones. If you’re running the Developer Preview 2 on your Nexus or Pixel and you don’t want to spend a ton of time installing Android 8.1, wait for the OTA. It’ll take you the shortest amount of time.

Google will be rolling Android 8.1 out to Pixel and Nexus users throughout the month of December.


After your Android 8.1 installation finishes you might need to spend time logging back into your various accounts and services. This is common after a major Android update. This could take you a few minutes depending on how many apps and services you use on your phone or tablet.

We recommend testing your core applications and services to ensure they’re working properly with Android 8.1. Sometimes new Android updates cause apps to go haywire. If something is broken, check for an update on the Play Store. If that doesn’t help, get in contact with the developer.

You’ll want to spend some time checking your important data (photos, videos music, etc) to make sure it’s properly stored on your Nexus or Pixel.

You’ll also want to be on the lookout for bugs and you should monitor your device’s performance (battery life, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, etc). Android 8.1 shouldn’t cause major issues, but there’s always a chance something pops up.

If you do run into a problem on Android 8.1, take a look at our list of fixes for common Oreo problems.

3 Reasons Not to Install Nexus 6P Android 8.1 & 5 Reasons You Should

Install Android 8.1 to Improve Your Performance

Install Android 8.1 to Improve Your Performance

If you're running into performance issues on Android 8.0, you should consider downloading the Android 8.1 update on your Nexus 6P as soon as possible. 

The Android 8.1 doesn't come with a long list of specific performance improvements, but there's a chance it will alleviate the problems you're seeing on Android 8.0.

New Android releases often fix problems that aren't listed on the official change log. In the past, Android updates have stabilized battery life, solved Bluetooth and GPS issues, fixed broken Wi-Fi, fixed random reboots, and killed off annoying user interface lag. 

We're hearing Android 8.1 fixed some of the Bluetooth issues Nexus users have been running into on older Android Oreo builds. We've also seen positive early feedback about battery life and overall speed from Nexus 6P users. 

There's no guarantee Android 8.1 will fix whatever it is you're dealing with on Android 8.0, be it a bug or an issue with your Nexus 6P's performance, but there's a chance which makes it a risk worth taking. 

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