Install OTA Updates on Android Manually | 2 Methods

If you install OTA Updates manually on Android, you can instantly update your device without any wait time. Learn how to Install OTA Update Zip using ADB Sideload and Stock Recovery.

Android manufacturers release updates to their Android devices periodically. There are two types of Android 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 and the second one is the security OTA updates which adds additional security to the device. While the Android version update is not very frequent, the security updates happen every month.

Install OTA Updates Manually on Android

Over-the-air (OTA) update these are the updates which are delivered to your device straight from the manufacturer when a newer version of Security patch, Android version is released. One of the things to be noted here is the way in which Android updates are rolled out.

Unlike Apple, which releases device software updates to every single Apple device out there at once, Android updates happen in a more staged manner. For example, OnePlus may plan to release the update for one of their devices in a certain demographic area, for example, Netherlands as the first stage. Then during a course of time, more countries will be added to the update flow. In this way, even though the new Android version is available, it might take several days to actually reach your device.

But, the story doesn’t here. This exactly where you need to Install OTA Update Zip manually on your device. You can download the official OTA update which is available in another country and manually install it yourself. Please note that this is only one of the use cases for manually installing OTA Updates.

There are two ways by which you can install OTA updates manually on your Android device. We have detailed both of them in the below sections. Please follow the guide carefully.

Even though this process will NOT wipe the data on your device, we strongly recommend taking a full backup of your device before proceeding. 

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

Note: You must have stock recovery installed on your device for this method to work.

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In this method, we are going to make use of the stock Android recovery which comes pre-installed with your device. In short, this method involves downloading the OTA Updates to your device and then using the ‘Apply update from SD card‘ option in the stock recovery to install the OTA Update.

  1. You need the latest version of ADB and Fastboot installed on your PC. Download and Install ADB and Fastboot on your PC.
  2. Download the OTA update zip file and keep it ready.
  3. Connect your Android device to your PC via USB Cable.
  4. Transfer/copy the OTA Update Zip file to your Android device’s internal storage.
  5. Make sure the Update Zip file is in the root of your Internal Storage.
    » Root in the sense: Outside all the folders.
  6. Enable USB Debugging: We need to enable this particular setting on your Android device before proceeding.
    1. Enable Developer Options: Go to Settings > About Phone > Tap on ‘Build number‘ for 5 or 6 times until you see a message ‘You are now a developer‘.
    2. Go back to Settings > Developer options > Tap on Enable USB Debugging. Tap ‘OK‘.
  7. After enabling USB Debugging, connect your Android device to a PC using USB Cable.
  8. 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.Install-OTA-Update-Open-Command-Prompt
    4. In the command prompt, copy paste and execute the below command:
      adb devices
    5. If this is the first time connecting your device to PC, you might get a prompt on your phone which asks ‘Allow USB Debugging?’. Tap on the checkbox which says ‘Always allow from this computer‘ and tap OK.Install-OTA-Update-Android-Allow-ADB
    6. Now execute the below command in the command prompt/power shell window to reboot your device into bootloader mode:
      adb reboot recovery
  9. Now your device will reboot into Recovery mode. In here, select the option  “Apply update from SD Card” or “Apply update from phone storage”.Install-OTA-Update-Android-Apply-Update-from-SD-Card
  10. Navigate to and select the OTA Update Zip file which you had downloaded earlier and install the same.
  11. Once the OTA Update process completes, simply select the Reboot option from the Recovery menu and done.
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Install OTA update via ADB Sideload (Apply update from ADB)

In this method, we are going to make use of the ADB Sideload option that comes with the Android Stock Recovery on your device. In this method, you do not need to copy the OTA Update zip file to your device and also, you are going to need a computer to use this method.

  1. You need the latest version of ADB and Fastboot installed on your PC. Download and Install ADB and Fastboot on your PC.
  2. Download the OTA update zip file and keep it ready.
  3. Copy the OTA Zip file to the folder where ADB and Fastboot are installed on your PC.
  4. Enable USB Debugging: We need to enable this particular setting on your Android device before proceeding.
    1. Enable Developer Options: Go to Settings > About Phone > Tap on ‘Build number‘ for 5 or 6 times until you see a message ‘You are now a developer‘.
    2. Go back to Settings > Developer options > Tap on Enable USB Debugging. Tap ‘OK‘.
  5. After enabling USB Debugging, connect your Android device to a PC using USB Cable.
  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. pen 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.Install-OTA-Update-ADB-Sideload-Open-Command-Window
    4. In the command prompt, copy paste and execute the below command:
      adb devices
    5. If this is the first time connecting your device to PC, you might get a prompt on your phone which asks ‘Allow USB Debugging?’. Tap on the checkbox which says ‘Always allow from this computer‘ and tap OK.Install-OTA-Update-ADB-Sideload-Allow-USB-Debugging
    6. Now execute the below command in the command prompt/power shell window to reboot your device into bootloader mode:
      adb reboot recovery
  7. Now your device will reboot into Recovery mode. In 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.
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Congratulations! You successfully installed the OTA Update manually on your Android. The methods described above are universal and can be used on any Android device without any issues. This is the easiest way to Install OTA Updates on Android Manually using ADB Sideload and Stock recovery.

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