Learn how to manually install and sideload OTA update on Android using the stock recovery or ADB.
Software updates are an integral part of every Android device, irrespective of the manufacturer they come from. The most used and trustable method to update any Android device is Over-The-Air. So as soon as a new firmware is available, the manufacturer pushes the OTA to its supported devices so that the users can update instantly without any hassle. The whole process is completely automated and the least amount of effort is required on the user’s end to get through it. However, there could be certain situations where you are not able to update over-the-air. In such a case, you follow the instructions below and sideload OTA update using stock recovery and ADB.
How to Manually Install OTA Update on Android
While automated updates are a bliss, they could often be annoying due to software errors or arrival delay. Most OEMs roll out incremental OTA updates, which means they reach out to a small percentage of users initially and slowly starts to progress over all the regions worldwide. But we, as users, can be impatient when it comes to trying out the new software that would fix the existing bugs or bring us the latest Android features.
It’s highly likely that people who have already received the update, tend to capture the OTA zip and share it with others on forums and social groups. In this case, a user may choose to manually sideload OTA update using the tools available at hand.
This ‘tool’ is commonly referred as the stock recovery, that comes embedded in every Android device available in the market. The recovery holds several options that would allow you to manually install OTA update zip either by picking them directly from the phone’s storage or by using a generic ADB command. Now before we head to the instructions, here is a list of few advantages of sideloading OTA update.
- OTA updates often roll out in stages and may take from a few days to weeks to arrive. Following this procedure will help you quickly get the update.
- You can easily sideload OTA update without having the need to unlock the phone’s bootloader.
- Unlike Factory Image/Firmware, sideloading doesn’t wipe the data stored on your device. Everything stays intact.
Take a note that you will first need the OTA update.zip package for your device before you follow the steps. You can find these zips either on forums like XDA or request a fellow mate to capture the OTA update.
Method 1: Sideload OTA Update using Stock Recovery “Apply update from SD card”
The first method to sideload OTA update is by storing the OTA zip file on your phone’s internal/external storage. Then using the stock recovery to flash it.
- Download the OTA package of the latest firmware.
- Connect your Android phone to the PC and transfer the OTA zip file to the root of the internal or external storage.
- Once copied, disconnect the device.
- Power off the device completely.
- Boot your phone into the recovery mode. In recovery, you will need to use the Volume keys to navigate and the Power button to confirm.
- In the recovery, select ‘Apply update from storage‘ or ‘Apply update from SD card‘ option.
- Select the OTA zip file you transferred during step #2.
- Finally, press the Power button to confirm and install the OTA update.
- After the update is installed, select ‘Reboot system now’.
Method 2: Sideload OTA Update using ADB “Apply update from ADB”
The next method could be useful if the former doesn’t work correctly. In order to sideload OTA update using ADB, you must first setup ADB and Fastboot tools on your PC.
- Download OTA zip for your device.
- Copy the downloaded file to C:\adb (Folder on your PC where the ADB and Fastboot binaries are present).
- Hold the SHIFT key on the keyboard and right-click on an empty space inside this folder.
- Select ‘Open PowerShell window here’.
- The CMD window shall open on your PC.
- Now boot your Android device into stock recovery:
adb reboot recovery
- Select ‘Apply update from ADB‘.
- Connect your phone to the PC using the USB cable.
- Enter the following command in the command-line window to sideload OTA update on Android:
adb sideload ota.zip
- Replace “ota.zip” with the actual filename of your OTA update file.
- Once the installation is complete, select ‘Reboot system now‘.
Your device will boot into the updated firmware. You can use this method on almost every Android device. Required that you have the correct OTA update zip for your phone.
So this was our guide on how to manually sideload OTA update on Android. If you face any errors while updating your phone using these methods, let us know by commenting below.