How to Install OTA Updates Manually on Android | Sideload OTA

by | December 16, 2019

When you install OTA Updates manually on Android, you can instantly update your device without any wait time. In this post, we show you how to Install OTA Update Zip using ADB Sideload and Stock Recovery.

Sideload-Install-OTA-Update-Android

Steps to Install OTA Update Zip on Android

  1. In order to be able to install/sideload OTA updates, your device must not be rooted or must have stock recovery installed. Your device must be 100% stock.
  2. You must have the OTA update Zip file for your device. You can usually find these by a simple google search or in the XDA forums.
  3. While OTA updates are harmless and do not wipe your device data, it is always recommended to backup your Android device.

Method 1. Install OTA Update from Stock Recovery (Apply update from SD card)

  1. Download the OTA Update Zip file and keep it ready.
  2. Connect your Android device to your PC via USB Cable. Transfer/copy the OTA Update Zip file to your Android device’s internal storage.
  3. Make sure the Update Zip file is in the root (outside all the folders) of your Internal Storage.
  4. Enable USB Debugging | Authorize ADB Commands on Android.
  5. Make sure you have the latest ADB and Fastboot Drivers installed on your device.
  6. Now boot your device into Recovery mode:
    1. Connect your Android device to your PC via USB Cable.
    2. Go to the folder where ABD and Fastboot are installed on your device.
    3. Open a command prompt from inside the folder.
      └ Hold down shift and right clock on the empty space inside the folder. Select ‘Open command window here’ or ‘Open PowerShell window here’. Either of them will work just fine.Open-PowerShell-Window-Windows
  7. Reboot your device into recovery mode by executing the following command:
    adb reboot recovery
  8. Now your device will reboot into Recovery mode. Here, select the option  “Apply update from SD Card” or “Apply update from phone storage”.Install-OTA-Update-Android-Apply-Update-from-SD-Card
  9. Navigate to and select the OTA Update Zip file which you had downloaded earlier and install the same.
  10. Once the OTA Update process completes, simply select the Reboot option from the Recovery menu and done.

Method 2: Install OTA update via ADB Sideload (Apply update from ADB)

  1. Download the OTA Update Zip file and keep it ready.
  2. Connect your Android device to your PC via USB Cable.
  3. Enable USB Debugging | Authorize ADB Commands on Android.
  4. Make sure you have the latest ADB and Fastboot Drivers installed on your device.
  5. Now boot your device into Recovery mode:
    1. Connect your Android device to your PC via USB Cable.
    2. Go to the folder where ABD and Fastboot are installed on your device.
    3. Open a command prompt from inside the folder.
      └ Hold down shift and right clock on the empty space inside the folder. Select ‘Open command window here’ or ‘Open PowerShell window here’. Either of them will work just fine.Open-PowerShell-Window-Windows
  6. Reboot your device into recovery mode by executing the following command:
    adb reboot recovery
  7. Now your device will reboot into Recovery mode. Here, select the option  “Apply update from ADB”.
  8. Now, in your command window or PowerShell window, execute the following command:
    adb sideload <ota-update.zip>

    Note: Please make sure that the OTA Update Zip file name is correct in the above command. We have used the name ‘ota-update.zip’ as an example.

  9. Wait for the installation process to complete and when it does, click on Reboot System Now.

These are the ways to install OTA updates manually on Android devices.

Understanding Android OTA Updates

Over-the-air update, in short, OTA update, is the update that is delivered to your device straight from the manufacturer when a newer version of a Security patch or a new version of Android is released for your device.

Android OEMs release software updates to their Android devices from time to time. There are two types of software updates: One is the core Android OTA update which updates the Android version and also brings new features to the device along with bug fixes. The second one is security updates which bring patches to the latest security flaws found on Android and keeps the device safe. While the Android version update is not very frequent, the security updates happen every month.

The thing about Android OTA updates is that the updates are not available to everyone at the same time. Unlike Apple, which releases updates to its devices to everyone at the same time, Android OEMs follow a staged approach. The update is first released to a certain geographic area and from there, the update rolls out gradually all over the world. But, if you do not want to wait to install the update, you can always sideload OTA Update Zip file on your Android device to instantly update your device.

Both the methods described in this guide are common to all Android devices and will work with any device from any Android device manufacturer.

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An engineer by day and a blogger by night, Vish is passionate about all things tech. His day starts with a hot cup of coffee and a few crunchy bytes of tech news and ends with him falling asleep in front of his laptop while authoring tech content, with F.R.I.E.N.D.S. playing in the background.

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