How to update Android

Updated: March 13, 2023
6 min read
How to update Android
by Gary Spenser
Tech Expert & Writer
Checked by
Quality Control team

Each new version of Android brings both internal and external changes. It can be a simple menu interface redesign or completely new power-saving algorithms. Smaller updates can close holes in the protection of user data or simply fix small bugs.

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Every OS update is an improvement, a step forward, new features, and better optimization. There is no such thing as a useless update. Even if you don't notice a difference before and after the firmware update, changes in the code may well save you from a newly appeared malicious threat. Regardless of the size of the update, it's definitely not worth ignoring.

How to update Android automatically

There's not really much to tell. By default, all Android smartphones periodically check for updates in the background. You can check whether "Update automatically" is checked in the settings.

Usually, the "System update" or "Software update" option is hidden under "System", "About device", "About phone", "MIUI version" or something like that depending on the manufacturer.

If the manufacturer releases a fresh update, a notification will pop up. All you have to do is tap it, then tap "Update" and wait.

How to update Android

If you ignore the notifications, the system will update itself when the smartphone is not in use. This usually happens at night. In this case, the smartphone will not install updates when the battery level is insufficient - below 60%.

How to update Android manually

Sometimes it happens that even after the official launch of a new version of the system for your device, the desired update may be delayed. This is due to the fact that Over The Air (OTA) updates are distributed systematically, gradually covering more and more regions of the world.

To avoid waiting for the new firmware to become available on your smartphone, you can resort to updating manually. You can check its availability in the same sections "System", "About device" or "About phone". On gadgets from different manufacturers, the update menu opens in different ways. Here are the most common ones.

  • Samsung. "Menu" → "Settings" → "Software Update". If there is no such item, tap "About device", then "Software update". Then tap "Download and Install", "Update" or "Download update files manually" depending on which item you have available.
  • Xiaomi. "Settings" → "About phone" → "MIUI version" (big icon with the logo) → "Check for updates".
  • Meizu. "Settings" → "System update".
  • Huawei. "Settings" → "Update tools".
  • Asus. "Settings" → "System Update".
  • OnePlus. "About phone" → "About device" → "Software update".
  • Sony. "Settings" → "About Phone" → "Build Number".

On other smartphones, the names of the menu items are similar. When you open the updates section, click on the check button, wait a while and you'll see if it's possible to download the update right now.

What else is worth mentioning

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In most cases, your smartphone battery needs to be more than half charged to install the update, and sometimes it needs to be at least 80% charged.

The volume of updated files can be up to several gigabytes, so it is recommended to download with a fast Wi-Fi connection. On many smartphones, there is even an option in the system settings that prohibits downloading fresh firmware over the mobile network.

Don't touch your smartphone during the update installation process and don't try to reboot it manually while the process is going on, otherwise, you risk damaging your device. Before each update, don't forget to make backups and sync important files with cloud services.

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