Install OTA Updates on Android via ADB Sideload and Recovery

When it comes to updates, Android already has a few permissions. One of them is how updates are installed on the second partition on newer Android versions. The other is OTA or over-the-air Android update. This allows users to directly download and install updates on their phones without the need for a PC. Believe it or not, iOS didn’t have it until after Android. Here are step by step instructions But Android users can apply OTA update from ADB sideload and also through recovery manually.

Why do people want to install OTA updates manually? Because of the nature of OTA updates, releasing them to all users worldwide at once is not ideal. This will clog the OEM’s servers and they will not be able to provide the best download experience. Users may face slow or failed downloads. This is why OTA updates are rolled out in batches.

This means that even though an update for your phone has been released, you may not see the OTA update on your phone for a while. Fortunately, users who have received the OTA share the update files online. Once you have the OTA file, usually in .zip format, you apply the OTA update from the ADB sideload and restore Android manually.

Download the OTA update file

Before you can flash the OTA update zip package on your device, you obviously need to download the update file first. To get OTA update file download link using your Windows PC or your own Android smartphone, you should refer to our detailed instructions.

Install OTA Updates on Android

Traditionally, there are two methods to manually install the OTA update zip file. You can do this through stock recovery or using the ADB sideload command. Some OEMs especially like Samsung, Xiaomi, OnePlus etc bake the option to manually install the downloaded update file right into Settings Software updates.

Apply OTA Update via Recovery

Note: Different phones have different button combinations to boot into recovery mode. If you don’t know how to reboot your particular phone into recovery mode, you can check out our extensive guide on how to reboot various Android phones into the different modes that are linked. link below.

  1. Download the OTA update zip file.
  2. Move the downloaded zip file to the root of your device’s internal storage (don’t put it in any folder on the internal storage).
  3. Boot your Android device into Recovery mode.
  4. Use the knot Volume to navigate to Apply update or Apply update from option SD card .
  5. Press knot The source to select it.
  6. Similarly, navigate to the OTA zip on the internal storage using the Volume buttons and select it using the Power button.
  7. The update will then begin installing.
  8. Once installed, select reboot from the recovery main menu.

Done! You have successfully installed the OTA update zip file through Android recovery. Now, we will see how to apply OTA update from ADB sideload command in command prompt.

Apply OTA Update from ADB Sideload

Even when downloading the OTA update using ADB, you will need to restore the stock because the actual installation still happens from the restore. To use ADB sideload to install OTA updates, you will also need the ADB and Fastboot platform tools on your PC. If you don’t know how to apply OTA update from ADB sideload, we have a guide for you linked below.

  1. Make sure ADB and Fastboot are set up on your PC. If not, download it Android SDK Platform-tools for Windows, Mac and Linux.
  2. Rename downloaded OTA update file to and move it to folder platform-tools.
  3. Turn on USB debugging on your Android device.
    • Open Settings>About device or phone>Software info on your phone or tablet. On some devices, you’ll find Build number after pressing the option “About the phone“.
    • Now scroll to Build number and touch it 7 time.
    • You will see a message. “You are now a developer!Ordeveloper mode has been activated, or “developer mode is enabled “.
    • Back to the menu Setting main and now you will be able to see Developer Options.
    • Open it and you will find the option USB debugging over there.
    • Activate it.
  4. Connect your phone to your PC.
  5. Open a command window inside the folder platform-tools contains ADB and Fastboot files.
    • To do this, navigate to the platform-tools folder containing the OTA zip.
    • Type cmd in the address bar and press Enter. On Linux or macOS, right-click the folder and select Open in Terminal.
  6. Connect your Android device to the computer with a USB cable and execute the following command to check if your device is properly connected.
    adb devices
  7. At this point, you may be asked for USB debugging permission enable your PC on your phone if you haven’t already.
  8. Reboot your phone to recovery mode using the button combination or using the command below.
    adb reboot recovery
  9. During recovery, use the knot Volume to navigate to Apply update from ADB and select it with knot The source .
  10. Now enter the command below in command prompt or terminal window on PC to install Android OTA update on your phone. Executing this command will apply OTA update from ADB sideload.
    adb sideload

  11. This will start installing the Android OTA update. Once done, select Restart from the recovery main menu.

You have successfully installed the OTA zip file via ADB. In case you somehow failed to apply OTA update from ADB sideload or restore Android, please let us know so we can help you.


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