How to Install OTA Updates Manually using Recovery and ADB sideload

Almost everything in this world is never constant rather is evolutionary; so are smartphones and their operating systems. The manufacturers and developers of the smartphone devices regularly roll out OTA updates so as to keep the devices and the system in accordance to the recent developments in the relevant field of technology.

These OTA updates are however not released to all the users at one time rather a phased manner approach is adopted. Hence it might take longer for a few users to receive such updates on their device. If you are a user who cannot wait to update your device to a newly rolled out version which is not yet available on your device but has been released; this article will guide you through the process of updating manually.

OTA or over the air technology is generally used to distribute Software Updates, configuration settings and others directly from one central tower to portable devices like Smartphones and tablets. It is through this technology that Firmware and Other updates are transferred directly over the air from wireless careers. It does not need USB and other connectivity methods to upgrade any device or software or applications.

The manufacturers in order to ensure a smooth transition of the update over download servers, roll out the updates gradually on the basis of region and the device model. The process takes around a month to cover all the users. Hence it becomes really difficult for certain users who are tech freak to wait for a month. In such cases, OTA updates can be installed manually. Although the manufacturers do not give a direct option for a manual installation of the update it is possible to do so using the .zip file of the update. This file can be considered the passage to the update. The .zip file of the update is generally available publicly over the virtual world. Many users will get confused between Android SDK and ADB drivers, here is the explanation.

Now without any further delay let us get to the process of updating the device manually using .zip file. Before we begin the process make sure that you downloaded the .zip file of a relevant update on to your device.

Method 1: Install OTA update from recovery “Apply ZIP”

Note: So as to install OTA updates manually a Stock recovery instead of custom recoveries like TWRP, CWM, PhilZ touch, etc is preferred as Stock recoveries work the best.

Below are the steps to manually update using Stock recovery:

  • Download and transfer the OTA update .zip file to your Android device’s internal storage (ensure that it is not moved into any folder).
  • Now, boot your device into recovery mode.
    -Once in recovery mode, use the Power button to select an option and Volume buttons to navigate up and down between options.
  • Tap on the “Apply update” or “Apply update from phone storage” option.
  • Select the OTA .zip file you transferred in Step 1 and install it.
  • As the installation is completed, select reboot from recovery main menu.

Method 2: Install OTA update via ADB Sideload

Note: even for this method a stock recovery is a requirement.

  1. Setup ADB and Fastboot on your desktop (PC).
  2. Download the OTA update .zip file on your PC and rename it to ota.zip.
  3. Enable USB debugging:
    • Go to your phone’s settings » About phone » and tap “Build number” for seven times. Doing so will enable Developer options on your phone.
    • Now, go to Settings » Developer options » and tick mark the USB debugging checkbox.
  4. Connect your phone to PC using the USB cable.
  5. Select, open the folder where you have downloaded the OTA update .zip file and then open a command window inside the folder.
    -To do the same, make a “Shift + Right click” on any empty white space inside the folder and select “Open command window here” from the context menu.
  6. Now provide the adb commands-adb reboot recovery into the command window to reboot your device into recovery mode
    – Now, check your phone’s screen, if it asks for “Allow USB debugging”, accept it by choosing OK/Yes.
  7. As the phone enters into recovery mode, use Volume buttons to navigate up and down between options and Power button to select an option.
  8. Select the “Apply update” from ADB option.
  9. Now give “adb sideload ota.zip” command as an input, in order to begin installing the OTA installation.
    -This command will begin the OTA installation.
  10. Once the OTA zip file is installed, select reboot from the main menu of recovery.
  11. And it is done; enjoy your updated device.

Following either of the procedures mentioned above, just install the OTA zip file manually and enjoy the updated device even before it reaches your device through OTA.

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