How to get Magic Eraser on any Pixel with Android 12

Magic Eraser isn’t that exclusive after all


Google’s camera magic always comes to the latest Pixel devices in the form of software. This year, we got the new Magic Eraser tool to help remove unwanted objects from the background of pictures. This was pitched as an exclusive feature for the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, but only a day after the first customers are holding the new phone in their hands, Magic Eraser is already available on other Pixel devices running Android 12.

Getting Magic Eraser on your Pixel phone is simple and only requires sideloading the latest version of the Google Photos app from a Pixel 6. I can confirm this using the Google Photos APK from my Pixel 6 and installing it on my Pixel 5, 5a, 4 XL, and 4a. Magic Eraser works flawlessly on all of them! Do note each device is running Android 12, which is required to get this working.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Download Split APKs Installer (SAI) from the Google Play Store.
  2. Download the Google Photos APKs file. (The regular APK over at APK Mirror most likely won’t work for you — you need this APK, as it’s coming straight from the Pixel 6, which is what enables Magic Eraser.)
  3. Open SAI, tap “Install APKs” and select “System file picker.” You’ll need to grant it the permission to access your files on your device.

  4. Find and select the Google Photos .apks file you’ve just downloaded. It should show up under Recent files, but it will also be in your Downloads folder.
  5. Hit “Install” and allow SAI to install unknown apps. A pop-up will take you to the right settings screen.

  6. Click “Update” in the system install prompt.
  7. Open Google Photos and enjoy Magic Eraser! You can access it by hitting the Edit button when viewing an image and navigating to the Tools section. A tutorial will then tell you how Magic Eraser works.

While Magic Eraser is easy to install right now, we aren’t sure how long it will stay this way. There is a chance a future Google Photos update could remove this functionality or Google could disable it server-side, but for now, it works.

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