Downgrade EMUI 9 to EMUI 8 – Huawei & Honor

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This is the guide to downgrade EMUI 9 to EMUI 8. This guide to downgrade the firmware to EMUI 8 will work for all Huawei and Honor phones.

When Huawei updated its phones from Android Oreo to Android Pie, it introduced a new UI. Huawei updated the UI from EMUI 8 to EMUI 9. This new UI changed almost everything on the phone. Apart from applying the cosmetical changes, it changed the functionality of the phones too. The EMUI 9 did not bode well for the users who bought their phones from China. The Chinese Huawei and Honor phone users were blocked from installing the Play Store on EMUI 9.

Downgrade EMUI 9 to EMUI 8

Previously, the users could easily install Google Play Services and Play Store on any Huawei or Honor phone running on EMUI 8 (Android Oreo) or below. I personally interacted with Huawei Honor 8X and 8X Max owners on our site and they were enjoying the Play Store on their Chinese phones until the EMUI 9 came in. Updating to EMUI 9 first deleted the Play Store from their phones. Later on, when they tried installing Play Store on the Android 9 Pie powered by EMUI 9, the installation went fine, but the Play Store failed to load.

We have tried every possible solution to fix this but to no use. A respect user of our site going by the name “Davide Pasini” reached out to use after he was done installing all GMS Installers and Google Installers. Here is what Davide had to say about this problem.

@UsamaM I have the same situation as Moritz on my Honor 8X bought in China

In my case, the phone does not have the Play Services after factory reset (EMUI 9.0.1). Installing this latest Play Store, the installation process is successful, but when launching it, it force closes (phone goes back to the home screen after a brief blink). I also checked in Accounts, GMS is not there as the Google account is not present.

Installing GMSanzhuangqi + GMSinstaller 3.0 + latest Play Store from this post (where not installing the PlayStore from the GMS or installing it first and then uninstalling it), it results in Moritz situation: the installation is successful, but after opening the Play Store and clicking on the Sign In button, nothing happens (specifically, the click is registered but the screen remains there. there is just the fading animation of pressing the button and then it goes back to its previous green)

Moreover, I also this time tried this process both with my Huawei id registered in China as well as by registering a new id in Italy (of course I unlinked the previous Chinese id before changing it), this, however, did not change the situation whatsoever.

After all the possible solutions put forward online for this EMUI upgrade and previous solutions from 2018, I see that the issue is not much installing the PlayStore (which installs). The issue seems to reside with the functioning of the Google Account, without which Play Store, Google account, Contacts Synchronization, Gmail, Youtube, and all Google services cannot work. In fact, after installing GMS, and trying to add a Google account, this appears as an option in the Accounts list, but upon clicking on it, the screen crashes and reverts to Add Account, making it impossible to add it and therefore to log into any of the Play Services (After Factory Reset, no Google Account option in the accounts list)

Does all of this make any sense @UsamaM ?? I mean, that the issue resides in the EMUI blocking the use of the Google account when any of the Play services makes a request to sign in into it, effectively, therefore, blocking the use of any of the services and apps? I’m not versed into coding apps, but could there be a workaround so that the request of the google account is somehow masked to the EMUI but it can still reach the apps and allow them to sign in?

At this point, we were able to confirm that the problem is not with the files that we are trying to load on the phones. Problem is basically with the EMUI 9 which has system-wide restrictions to stop Play Services from working.

Now, I don’t know why Huawei did this. Huawei just bow-downed in front of the Great Firewall of China. This has disappointed all the users who invested their hard-earned money in Huawei’s products. The Chinese phone maker may have very nice handsets under its umbrella, but these issues just take a major chunk of its audience away.

In an attempt to install the Play Store, another user of our site “Gillou43” commented.

Users who are getting a white screen, or force close errors while opening play store: I had the same issue on my honor 8x Chinese version JSN-AL00a. The only way I found to make the play store work fine was to downgrade my android version to 8.2 (I was 9.0.1, latest). To downgrade I’ve simply used HiSuite software on PC.
Now all google apps work. I’VE BLOCKED AUTOMATIC SYSTEM UPDATES to avoid such problems. Now still waiting for a more elegant solution/custom EU ROM compatible with my phone (I’m not sure it the right way to say it, I would like to remove Chinese content)… maybe later?

After going through all this, I decided to write this guide which will help Huawei and Honor phone owners to downgrade their phones from EMUI 9 to EMUI 8. This is the primary reason for me to write this guide. If you have any other reasons to downgrade, you will still use the same guide anyway. So, without any further ado, let’s take a look at the steps now.

How to Downgrade EMUI 9 to EMUI 8

Before downgrading, you have to prepare your phone.

Preparations

  • This guide is only for Huawei and Honor handsets. Do not try on any other phone.
  • Charge your phone up to 50% prior to following the steps.
  • Backup all of your data as this process will factory reset your phone.
  • Enable OEM Unlocking and USB Debugging mode on your phone.
  • Use original data cable to connect the phone to your computer.
  • Follow the steps with full attention.

Now, there are two methods to downgrade your phone. I am going to put them both below. The first method is easy. If the first works for you, you don’t need to follow the 2nd method. In case the first one fails, the 2nd will definitely work.

Steps to Downgrade Huawei and Honor Phones from EMUI 9 to EMUI  8 – HiSuite Method

  1. Download and install the latest HiSuite on your computer.
  2. On your phone, open Settings, and in search, type “HDB”.
  3. Click on “Allow HiSuite to use HDB” and then click the toggle next to it to turn it on.
  4. Connect your phone to the computer now.
  5. Open HiSuite now.
  6. When HiSuite tries to establish a connection with your phone, the phone will ask for permission, allow it.
  7. The phone is now connected.
  8. In HiSuite, click on Update.
  9. HiSuite will find available firmware for your phone.

If there is an old firmware available, it will give you the option to Downgrade. It will show the latest firmware otherwise.

Guide to Downgrade EMUI 9 to EMUI 8 via FunkyHuawei DNS

  1. Download and install HiSuite 5.0.2.301 on your computer.
  2. On your computer, open the Admin panel of your router. For example, you will use 192.168.1.1 for TP-Link.
  3. On the router page, go to DNS configuration and then enable Manual configuration.
  4. Now add the following in Primary and Alternate DNS: 213.202.238.238 & 1.2.3.4.
  5. Open FunkyHuawei, sign up, and find and select the firmware you want to downgrade to.
  6. Open HiSuite on the computer now.
  7. Connect the phone to the computer. Enable HDB if it asks.
  8. HiSuite will show you the firmware downgrade that you just selected on FunkyHuawei.
  9. Downgrade the firmware now and enjoy! That’s all.
Image by OSCrunch @UsamaM

Wrap Up

That’s all with this process. I know that this is not the most appropriate method to run the Play Store on your Huawei phone, but this is the only method you have for now. We will have to wait unless a workaround to make the Play Services work on EMUI 9 comes up. Till then, you can decide whether the Play Services are what you need or you like EMUI 9 which doesn’t run it.

Here are some more guides that will be useful once you have downgraded.

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A Software Engineer by qualification, a Tech-Blogger by Profession and Passion and a geek at heart. Usama has a Tech-Blogging experience of over 5 years. He initially started with his site Techbeasts that has helped millions of Android and iOS users master their smartphones. The idea of launching OSCrunch is aimed at reaching out more users including those of the Mac, Windows and Linux. He has also worked with some of the renowned Android developers to add to his experience.

6 COMMENTS

  1. I have a chinese Huawei nova 2S that’s being used in Spain. I tried this as the last solution, because I need all google apps to work: calendar, gmail, contacts, etc…
    It opened and closed a couple of times, one in english, then one in chinese. Then, it let me choose the language before opening it.
    Then Google Play Store was not in the phone, so I followed this method 1: sitehidden
    And I can see the google play store on the phone, but it does not open. It remains in a white screen whitout doing anything. 🙁
    Any help? What else can I do?

  2. I have 2 Huawei 9Plus e one NHuawei Nova 3.
    One of 9Plus was upgrade to EMUI 9.0.1 and I trying to fix from last 10 days.

    To help me, the USB stopped to recognize all phones and, when make it work the HiSuite not find the phone.
    Can you show more tips about this problems?
    – I already change cable(s), install last drive and test others, turn on and off both and, sometimes the USB works after rebbot computer. But than, Hisuite don’t find the phone.

  3. hi guys,
    my phone is Huawei Nova 4e, brand new purchased from China with EMUI 9.0.1…So i tried to downgrade to EMUI 8, with all the steps given using HiSuite but I did not see the screen that says “switch to other version”. I have no other options except to pull out the USB cord!
    So we are still stuck with a useless brand new phone after 20 days of trying various methods.. Hope we can get help.

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