Complete guide on how to update Android: here are all the ways to download the latest update of Google’s operating system.
To owners of a Samsung, Huawei or Xiaomi smartphone – wanting to mention the three most popular companies – it is required to update Android when a new version of the mobile operating system made by Google is available or in the presence of the new monthly security patches. By contract, Android updates are guaranteed for the first two years of the phone’s life. During this time, the user should be able to receive the release of two new versions of his device’s OS. However, this does not always occur, especially if medium-low end devices are considered.
There are various methods to update Android. The simplest is the update via OTA (an acronym for over the air), available on all smartphones and for which no particular skills are required by the user. Then there is the PC update, which sometimes involves the use of proprietary software, including Samsung’s Smart Switch and Huawei’s HiSuite. Those who are sure not to receive the update from the manufacturer can rely on updating with root using modified ROMs. This is the most complex operation, since the root of the phone is required, a procedure not available to everyone.
In the following lines, we will explain how to update Android taking into consideration all the methods available to users. First we will illustrate the easiest method, ie via OTA. We will then dedicate the central part of the PC update guide, indicating the steps to follow with Smart Switch (Samsung) and HiSuite (Huawei). Finally, we will see in broad terms how to root the smartphone and install a “custom” ROM, an operation which – we recall – involves both the loss of the official guarantee and of the data stored in the internal memory.
How to update Android
- How to update Android manually
- How to update Android with PC
- How to update Android with root
How to update Android manually
When a new version of the operating system is ready, the manufacturer starts the official distribution of the update via OTA ( over the air ). The release phase can last several days, in fact almost never the owners of the same phone receive the update on the same day. To check if there are new updates available, open the settings (gear icon), tap on the System section and select the System updates item. At this point the phone will start a search ( Check for updates ): if the result is negative, the window will appear with the warning The device is updated and a summary of both the current version and the latest security patch; if instead there is an update to download here is what needs to be done.
First you need to tap the Download/Download Wi-Fi button. If you choose to upgrade Android without Wi-Fi ( Download option ) we recommend checking the available Mobile Data with your phone offer, as you run the risk of paying if you exceed the monthly Internet traffic threshold. Once the download has started, wait for the operation to complete (it can also take 15-20 minutes depending on the size of the package to be downloaded). Once the procedure is complete, simply tap the Restart and install button to install the new version of the operating system.
Important: the command names may vary from phone to phone, so be sure to follow the steps correctly by selecting the items that have the best match with those shown here. We also report that in some cases the update via OTA takes place automatically: in fact, a notification is received on the available update device, on which it is sufficient to tap and then start the download and the subsequent installation.
How to update Android with PC
As an alternative to the system via OTA, it is possible to update Android with the PC. The leading smartphone manufacturers have created specific programs to facilitate the operation of updating the operating system by connecting the smartphone to the computer via the USB cable. Regarding this, the most famous suites are Samsung Smart Switch and Huawei’s HiSuite, two of the leading global smartphone manufacturers.
Here are the main steps to follow if you need to update Android on Samsung or Huawei respectively with Smart Switch and HiSuite.
Smart Switch (Samsung)
Smart Switch is the program created by Samsung that allows the owners of a Samsung Galaxy smartphone to perform the Android update from a computer (Windows and macOS). The South Korean company suite also allows you to back up, synchronize and restore files saved in the phone’s internal memory.
To update Android on Samsung from PC you must first connect to the official Smart Switch site. When you are on the home page, scroll down and click on the Download button for Windows to start downloading the executable file. Once the operation is completed, the SmartSwitchPC_setup.exe file opens, then enter the administrator password and wait for the software installation wizard to start.
After a few seconds the program will start automatically. At this point we need to connect the Samsung Galaxy to the computer via USB cable. The system will then ask you to download the Smart Switch app on your smartphone, which can be done automatically by clicking on the Download Smart Switch button. Once the installation is complete, the program on the PC will automatically recognize the device in use, showing the Update option in the available options if there is an update available. Otherwise, the visible options will be Backup, Restore and Outlook Synchronization. If you click on the Update button, the program will autonomously install the new version of the operating system on the phone connected to the PC.
Important: some users have reported that the program was not recognized by the smartphone. In this case, make sure the phone is set up to receive files via USB cable: from the home screen scroll down, select Touch for other USB options from the notifications area, then add the check next to Transfer file.
The HiSuite software allows you to update Android on Huawei from PC. The operation is similar to that seen with Samsung’s Smart Switch. The other available options include file backup and restore. The Chinese company suite also allows you to reinstall the operating system.
The first step is to connect to this link and click on the Windows Download button (HiSuite is also available for MacOS) to start the download. Since this is a .zip file, make sure you have software available to easily extract the content inside (WinRAR will be fine). Once the download is complete, open the HiSuite-xxxx.zip file, double-click on the HiSuite-xxxx folder and extract the HiSuite-xxx-x_OVE.exe file with a double-click. Now you need to enter the administrator password, click on the Yes button and select the following buttons in quick succession: Next, Allow, Start.
After a few seconds the main HiSuite screen will open. At this point, you need to connect the Huwaei smartphone to the PC via a USB cable and wait for the software to recognize it. To perform the update, simply select the Update system command. The device will automatically start searching for a new version of the operating system: if so, follow the instructions on the main HiSuite screen (it will ask you to select the Update button ) and wait for the download and installation of the update on the phone.
How to update Android with root
In addition to OTA and PC, it is possible to update Android with root. As mentioned in the introduction, it is a complicated procedure that also invalidates the phone’s warranty. Here we will only deal with the subject in broad terms, referring to a more complete guide that we are going to carry out separately.
Before making the root it is essential to backup your data, since the procedure involves the loss of all the data saved on the smartphone. In this regard, we recommend reading the guide on how to make Android backups.
Once the backup has been performed, it is necessary to unlock the bootloader, that is the program that allows to start the Android operating system when the device is switched on. Unblocking the bootloader requires in most cases the use of ADB ( Android Debug Bridge ) software, which allows PCs and mobiles to communicate via command lines (a bit like the Windows command prompt). Instead, owners of a Samsung smartphone have the opportunity to use a specific program called Odin.
At this point you need to install a custom recovery on your mobile device, a program that allows you to install and load a custom ROM (modified version of the Android operating system) with root permissions unlocked. The best known is TWRP, while the alternative is called ClockworkMod.[appbox firefoxaddon appid]
Now all that remains is to download the modified ROM you want with the latest Android version on board and install it through custom recovery, so as to update the operating system with root. The best cooked ROMs can be found in the forum of the XDA Developers Android site, entering the section of your smartphone.