How to update the phone

How to update the phone

For some days now, your smartphone is “harassing” you with an update request: initially you were willing to accept, but then you were panicked. You are not really a technology expert, rather we say that you are at the very first arms with smartphones, and you are afraid that by installing a software update your phone can get stuck causing you to lose all data.

I understand you: yours is a legitimate concern, but it is wrong to panic. If you update your phone following the official procedures provided by the manufacturer, the risk of losing data and locking the device is practically nil. On the contrary, a software update often draws numerous benefits, such as the ability to take advantage of new features and have a more secure system against cybercrime attacks. It is true, in some circumstances, especially if you have a phone not of the highest hair, the updates can slow down the performance of the system, but it is a burden that you have to learn to pay in exchange for the benefits we have just talked about.

So, are you ready to proceed? If you want to know how to update the phone without risk and you want to try the features of the latest versions of Android or iOS, take a few minutes of free time and put into practice the instructions I am about to give you. I bet you will be amazed by the simplicity with which you will be able to do everything and the advantages that you will get by updating your device!


  • How to update the phone – Preliminary operations
  • How to update the phone – Android phone
    How to update the phone – OTA updates for Android
    How to update the phone – Update Android from the computer
    How to update the phone- Alternative solutions
  • How to update the phone – iPhone
    How to update the phone – OTA updates for iOS
    How to update the phone – Update iOS from the computer

How to update the phone – Preliminary operations

How to update the phone

Updating a telephone using official channels, such as the OTA update system or PC software released by the manufacturers, does not imply the cancellation of any data. However, as they say, caution is never too much and then, before proceeding, I strongly recommend you to make a complete backup of the data on your device.

Going into more detail, I suggest you make a local copy of the data, saving it on your computer or an external memory card, and take advantage of cloud backup systems, such as Google Drive (if you use an Android terminal) or iCloud ( if you have an iPhone) to have an online copy of photos, videos, contacts, calendars and all your most important files.

If you need a hand to backup the data on your phone, follow the instructions in my tutorials on how to make an Android backup and how to backup iPhone. Another guide that might be useful for you is the one on how to download photos from your mobile phone to your PC.

How to update the phone – How to update an Android phone

How to update the phone

If you have an Android smartphone, you can update the phone in two different ways: you can start the search for updates directly on the device (in this case we talk about OTA updates, ie updates over the air) or you can connect the phone to the PC and use the software provided by the manufacturer (eg Huawei or Samsung) to search for and install the latest operating system updates. For more details, read on: find everything explained below.

How to update the phone – OTA updates for Android

The easiest way to update an Android smartphone is to resort to OTA updates, that is, to updates that manufacturers release via the Internet and that can be installed directly on the phone without connecting the latter to the PC. For the procedure to be successful it is necessary that the smartphone has at least 50% of remaining charge and is connected to a Wi-Fi network (if it is connected to the 3G / 4G network, you risk consuming all your Giga!).

To check for OTA updates on your phone, access the Android Settings by pressing the gear icon located on the home screen or the screen with the list of all the apps installed on the device, then go to Info on the phone> Updates system and start the search for updates by pressing on the appropriate option.

How to update the phone

If available updates are found, tap the Download button (or Download in Wi-Fi), wait patiently for the software to be downloaded (you can follow the progress of the download by calling the Android notification menu, with a swipe from the top of the screen downwards) and press the Install Now or Install and Restart button to start the update installation.

If Android has already notified you of updates automatically, you can skip all the steps shown above (except those related to the backup) and go to the update installation simply by calling the notification menu, selecting the notification related to ‘ update and pressing the Install Now button or Install and restart. The smartphone will reboot itself and, after a few minutes, will allow you to use the new version of Android, where you will find all your data, apps and system settings intact.

After updating Android, you may be asked to update Google Play Services as well: a component necessary for the operation of Google services, such as the Play Store. Then expand the notification menu by swiping from the top of the screen down, select the item related to Google Play Services and proceed to download the update from the Play Store. If you are not sure of any changes or need more information on how to update Google Play Services, read my tutorial on this topic.

How to update the phone

If your smartphone is equipped with a customized version of Android, you may have to follow slightly different steps to start searching for new updates. For example, if you have a Huawei device equipped with the EMUI custom interface, you must go to the Settings menu (the gear icon located on the home screen), select Updater from the final part of the screen. open and press the button to start searching for updates.

If you find a new version of Android available, tap the New Version XX entry, press the Quick Update button and wait for the update to be downloaded and installed. If the phone has already notified you of updates, you can skip the steps just described and directly select the update notification from the Android notification menu (you can set the automatic search for updates by going to Settings> Updater and pressing the button Menu located below). If you need more information on how to update your Huawei phone, read my tutorial dedicated to the topic.

How to update the phone

Even in the case of Samsung smartphones, the search for OTA updates is simple: just go to the menu Settings> Device Info> Software Updates and press on the item Download updates manually.

Alternatively, if the device has already reported the presence of update (the automatic search for updates can always be set in the menu that I have just indicated), you can start downloading and installing the latter by selecting the appropriate entry from the Android notification menu. If you want more information on how to update your Samsung phone, follow the instructions in my guide about it.

How to update the phone

Have you rooted on your Android smartphone and are unable to download OTA updates for the latter? It’s a normal thing. In fact, many times, root prevents installation of updates that manufacturers release via OTA system. To solve this problem, you could turn to solutions like FlashFire: a free application available on the Play Store that allows you to install the updates that manufacturers releasing via OTA and to install them in a “forced” way on the device.

The application itself is very intuitive, but since it is an unofficial tool and acting deeply on the system, it can lead to problems such as the boot loop (ie the continuous reboot of the device) forcing the user to perform a complete format of the device. In short: before resorting to a solution like this, think well and be informed about its compatibility with the phone in your possession. For more details on this, see my tutorial on updating Android, in which, among other things, I also talked about FlashFire.

How to update the phone

How to update the phone – Update Android from the computer

As already mentioned above, it is possible to update an Android phone also through a computer, using the official software released by the manufacturers. Thanks to these software, it is possible to connect the smartphone and the computer (as they contain the necessary drivers for the recognition of the devices by Windows or macOS), make complete backups of the data on the phone, manage contacts, apps and much more.

Another function offered by the programs in question – the one that most interests you at this juncture – is that which allows you to check the availability of updates for Android and install the latter on your smartphone: all in a few clicks and without deleting the data on the device.

How to update the phone

Below is a list of the main programs to manage Android devices from the computer, with links to download them at no cost.

  • Samsung SmartSwitch – this is the program that allows you to manage (and update) Samsung devices from your computer. It is compatible with Windows and macOS.
  • HiSuite – the official application of Huawei to manage and update devices of the Asian PC giant. It is compatible only with Windows.
  • Motorola Device Manager – Motorola’s official software to manage and update Moto branded smartphones. It is compatible with Windows and macOS.
  • Sony Xperia Companion – the program to manage and update Sony phones from the computer. It is compatible with Windows and macOS.
  • HTC Sync Manager – the official software to manage and update HTC smartphones from your computer. It is compatible with Windows and macOS.

To download the program that best suits your smartphone, visit its official website using one of the links provided to you and click on the download button for Windows or MacOS (depending on the operating system you use).

When the download is complete, launch the software installation package (the exe or msi file if you use Windows or the pkg file if you are using macOS) and follow the on-screen instructions. The procedure varies from program to program, but usually just click on Next  and check the box to accept the conditions of use of the software. On macOS, in addition to clicking on Next or Continue, you must also enter the password of your user account (the one used to access the system).

How to update the phone

When the installation is complete, connect your smartphone to the computer using the supplied USB cable, expand the Android notification menu and, after selecting the USB connection option, choose the MTP option (in order to recognize correct the device to the computer). At this point, start the phone management program on the PC and click on the option to start the search for updates.

If you have a Samsung device and then use Smart Switch, click on the arrow next to the phone name and press first on the Update button and then click on Confirm to start the download and then the installation of updates for Android. If you do not know anything about it, check out my tutorials on how to connect a Samsung mobile phone to your PC and how to update your Samsung phone.

How to update the phone

If, however, you have a Huawei terminal, connect the latter to the PC using the supplied USB cable and enable USB debugging mode in the Settings> Android Developer Options menu. If you do not see the menu with the “developer options” in your device settings, select the Info item on the phone from the Settings menu and press the Build version option or the Serial number option for seven consecutive times.

Once enabled USB debugging on your phone, start HiSuite on your computer, answer yes to the connection request that appears on your smartphone and click on the Update system item at the bottom right. Then wait for it to check for updates for Android and, if successful, accept their installation by clicking on the appropriate button. If you are asked to send your smartphone’s IMEI code to Huawei’s servers, you agree.

If you do not know a few steps, read my tutorials on how to connect Huawei to your PC and how to update your Huawei phone: in them you will find all the information you need to connect a Huawei smartphone to your computer and update it.

If you have a smartphone of a brand other than Samsung and Huawei and you encounter difficulties in connecting the device to your computer, read my “generic” tutorial on how to connect Android to your PC.

How to update the phone – Alternative solutions

For purely commercial reasons, Android smartphone makers tend to distribute updates for their devices very late compared to releases made by Google (which is the developer of the green robot system). After 18 months, then, they are no longer required to support the phones and therefore, more often, they let them “die” without proposing more updates.

To remedy this situation, it is possible to install unofficial updates released by the Android fan community. These updates are released in the form of ROM and then go flashati, that is to be installed in a “forced” on devices using external tools, such as ODIN software for Samsung smartphones or custom recovery for devices of other brands.

How to update the phone

If you do not know, the recovery are software that start before the operating system of the smartphone, then before Android, and allow you to perform several operations. Those included “standard” in the phones are quite limited and do not allow to flash the ROMs: hence the need to replace them with custom recovery, which instead allow to flash ROM, install custom packages, create complete backups of the device and much more yet.

The installation of customized recovery is quite simple, but requires the unlocking of the bootloader, ie the software that gives instructions to the phone during startup. The unlocking of the bootloader is another rather simple operation (which varies from terminal to terminal), but has several contraindications: first of all it provides for the cancellation of all data on the device, then invalidates the manufacturer’s warranty.

How to update the phone

If your desire to install a more up-to-date version of Android “beats” all the limitations and problems you may face, visit the specialized sites on Android modding (eg the famous XDA forum), access the page dedicated to the device in your possession, find out which ROMs are available for the latter and consult the tutorials related to their installation.

I recommend: before proceeding, carefully check that the downloaded ROM is designed specifically for the smartphone model in your possession (check the exact name of the device in the menu Settings> Info on Android device, because there are several variants of the same models phone), otherwise you risk bricking the phone and making it unusable.

For more information on unlocking the bootloader and installing custom recovery and ROMs, see my root tutorials, such as how to unlock Huawei and how to root on Android.

How to update the phone – How to update an iPhone

How to update the phone

Just like Android devices, even Apple iPhones can be updated using OTA updates or by physically connecting them to a computer. In the first case, iOS updates are downloaded incrementally, so they are lighter to download (as only the “serving” part is taken from the iOS version already installed on the device); updating from the PC, however, is downloaded the full version of iOS and then the download is slower. In both cases, data, app or settings on the “iPhone” are not affected: everything remains in its place. So to ban the chatter and go immediately to the action!

How to update the phone – OTA updates for iOS

To start searching for an OTA update for iOS, open the Settings menu of your iPhone (the gear icon located on the home screen), go to General> Software update and wait a few seconds to check the availability of updates .

If successful, ie if there are updates for iOS, tap on the item Download and install, type the unlock code of your “iPhone”, presses the Accept and Accept buttons and wait for the software to be downloaded. When the download is complete, decide to install now the new version of iOS now and wait for the device to restart.

How to update the phone

When you restart the iPhone, you will see a progress bar that will mark progress in installing the new version of iOS. After completing the upgrade process, you may need to log in again to your Apple ID and re-confirm the sharing of usage statistics with Apple and developers.

Note: so that everything goes right, the iPhone must have at least 50% of remaining charge and must be connected to a Wi-Fi network (connecting to the 3G / 4G network would risk consuming all the Giga of your data plan) .

By default, iOS should automatically check for software updates and send notifications about the user. When a system update is available and you receive a notification about it, you can choose whether to install the update immediately or later.

Choosing the option to postpone the installation of the iOS update, the user is asked to enter the unlock code of the iPhone and the phone automatically updates during the night (provided that the “iPhone by” is connected to a power source and a Wi-Fi network).

If you want to check the activation of automatic updates in iOS, go to the settings menu> iTunes Store and App Store of your “iPhone by” and, if it is not yet active, move the lever on the Update function to ON.

How to update the phone

Note: if you have submitted your iPhone to the jailbreak procedure, updating iOS you will lose Cydia and all its tweaks. Think carefully about proceeding. And if you’re no longer interested in jailbreak, first reset the iPhone to DFU mode and then install the latest version of iOS. Find all the details in my tutorials on how to remove the jailbreak and how to put the iPhone in DFU.

How to update the phone – Update iOS from the computer

To update an iPhone from your computer you need iTunes, the famous Apple multimedia software that is included “standard” in all Macs and is available as a free download for Windows PCs. If you are using a computer animated by Windows and you have not yet downloaded it, connect to the Apple website and click on the 64-bit Download button if you are using a 64-bit operating system or the 32-bit Download button if you are using an operating system 32 bit.

When the download is complete, start the exe file you just downloaded on the PC and, in the window that opens, press first on the Next button and then on Install, Yes, Yes and End to finish the setup.

How to update the phone

After installing iTunes, connect the iPhone to the computer using the supplied Lightning cable and authorize the communication between the two devices by pressing the Authorize button that appears on the screen of the “iPhone by”, typing the PIN to unlock the latter and clicking on Continue button that appears on the computer desktop.

At this point, if a new version of iOS is available, iTunes will tell you and you can install the update on your “iPhone by clicking on the Download button and then update and then click Next and Accept. Wait so that all the data that make up the update are downloaded (the process could take a long time, given the full-bodied download) and, at the end of the operation, the iPhone will be restarted for the installation of the latest version of iOS.


How to update the phone

If when you connect the iPhone to your computer does not appear any warning about the availability of updates, force the search for new versions of iOS by clicking on the icon of the “iPhone” placed at the top left, by selecting the item Summary from the sidebar of iTunes and pressing the Update button in the screen that opens.

If some steps are not clear and / or you need more information on how to update iOS or how to connect iPhone to PC, see my tutorials dedicated to these issues.

How to update the phone