With Android, one of the most exciting times, is seeing the ‘System Update Available’ notification on your phone or tablet. Especially if it’s a major release, but even with point releases, the updates can be long-awaited due to fixes for niggling bugs that affect different people. While it can take up to two weeks for an OTA update to appear on your device, the alternative is to side-load the OTA update.
Android community members often capture the URL from Google for the OTA updates as they’re released, giving people the opportunity to download and apply them as they appear, rather than waiting for a prompt. But how do you side-load an update? Well, here’s how:
First things first, you’ll need the Android SDK installed, or at least ADB. At this stage, the ADB tools are available through Android Studio, which you can download from Google. Once installed, you’re good to go.
- Download and install the Android SDK – or have ADB executable/binary file available. You can download the Android SDK here. This is especially important with some users getting issues with older Fastboot versions
- Turn on USB Debugging in Settings > Developer Options > USB debugging.
- Connect the phone to your PC through USB and make sure it’s connected. Easiest way to test it’s working is by running the command ‘adb devices’ if it’s connected you’ll see the serial # of the device followed by Device – Something like : ‘022c732d8a4cca82 device’
- Download the OTA update.zip to your PC for your particular device. Rename the downloaded file to something easy to type – we recommend update.zip.
- Move the zip file into your ‘Platform-Tools’ folder (or, remember its full path for later).
- Enter the command ‘adb reboot bootloader’ and your phone will reboot into the bootloader.
- Press the Volume buttons on your device until you see ‘Recovery’ and use the Power button to select.
- Next your device will boot to a screen with an Android logo with an exclamation mark on it.
- Press Volume Up and Power at the same time to get into stock recovery.
- Using the volume buttons, scroll to ‘apply update from ADB’ and then press the Power button to choose it.
- On your PC in the command prompt window, type ‘adb sideload update.zip’ (if you didn’t move the file, use its full path instead).
- If everything goes according to plan, you should see the file transfer across and your device will start to update.
- Once that finishes, your device will begin to update.
- That should be it, once it completes you should be able to reboot and go from there.