Depending on the type of your Android device, updating your OS can be something simple or a tedious task. The newer your phone is, the more updates you receive from your carrier for your operating system. Keeping your Android phone or tablet up to date have many benefits including protecting you from potential security threats. Here is how you can find out your Android OS version and update Android OS over-the-air (OTA) or manually.
What to do before you update Android OS ?
Before you begin to upgrade your Android OS, there are always some steps you need to take before you start the process. This will help you make sure that the process will be carried out completely and no harm would come to your device or the data on it. The directions I offer below applies to all different brands of mobile phones or tablets.
Check your current Android version
The first thing you need to do of course is to check the version of Android you are running on your device. For most Android smart phones, you can find it in Settings and under About phone. There is full list of OS names for Android devices. You can also check your phone’s model number in your manufacturer website to see how software updates work for your specific type of device.
For Google Nexus and Pixel devices, your phone receives updates directly from Google within the first few days a new update is released. If you own a newer non-Google phone, you will first in line to get the update when your carrier starts rolling out the update. The older your phone, the longer you need to wait for the update. Sometimes, you may not receive the update at all.
Never forget to backup your phone
Even if the data on your phone has the least importance for you, you should never forget to backup Android data before you proceed to update Android OS. You can do it easily using Android backup apps. Remember you might run short of space when you are updating your OS. So, when you have backed up your data successfully, you made need to load off some data to empty up some space for downloading and updating your OS.
Rooting can be an option
If you want to receive the latest version of Android OS as soon as it is available, you can always root your Android phone. Rooting your Android phone will enable you to access updates whenever you want.
So, if an OS update is not available for your Android device, one way to get it is through rooting your Android phone. But remember rooting Android involves many risks and you should refrain from doing that if you are not professional enough.
Update Android OS over the air (OTA)
Updating your Android OS over the WiFi is the simplest way you can use to upgrade your operating system. It is also the most recommended way of doing so. Here are the steps you will need to take to update Android OS over the air.
- Connect your device to WiFi.
- Open Settings on your phone.
- Scroll down and find About phone (you may need to go to General tab first to find About phone).
- Tap on Update. This option is usually placed on the top of the list and depending on the version of your Android, it may read “Software Update” or “System Firmware Update”.
- On the next step tap on check for Updates and your device will search for available updates. Your device will search for updates only available for your device.
- Tap Update. If there is an update available for your phone, you will see this option.
- Now tap on the Install button. This button may also read “Reboot and Install” or “Install System Software”. This button will start the installation process.
- Wait for the installation to complete. Your phone will automatically reboot when the process is completed.
Update Android OS using computer
As I mentioned before, the OTA method is the recommended method to upgrade your Android operating system. However, you can also do this process using your computer and by referring to your manufacturer’s website. Here are the steps you need to take in order to update Android OS using a computer.
- Open your manufacturer’s website on your desktop computer and navigate to its downloads page (You may need to register your phone or provide specific device information to download software updates).
- Download and install device management software (For example, Samsung’s device management software is called “Kies”).
- Return to manufacturer’s website and go back to the downloads page.
- Search for OS updates available for your device.
- Connect your device to your computer using a USB cable.
- Open device management application.
- Find the update command on the device management application.
- Click on the update command to start the process.
By taking these steps, you can easily update Android OS using your computer. As mentioned before, if you notice that there are no updates available for your device, you will need to root your phone.