The Galaxy S3 was Samsung’s flagship smartphone right before the Galaxy S4 and like other premium Android devices, manufacturers usually keep supporting the device by releasing the latest software updates. Android 4.3 Jelly Bean is the firmware that you will find in most new Android smartphones, however, for phones like the Galaxy S3, you’ll need to update it manually. Fortunately, Samsung has made this really easy as the 4.3 update for the S3 was released last month. The latest update is stable now and is reportedly free of bugs as Samsung resumed the update later last month, after keeping the update on hold due to several bugs.
While you may be happy with the current firmware version on your Galaxy S3, the 4.3 update brings several new features. The new update brings support for moving apps to SD card, a new camera mode, support for the Galaxy Gear and enhanced multi windows. Installing the latest update through any of the methods below will get the 4.3 Jelly Bean firmware on your device, however, any custom ROM will be totally removed and you will lose root access. Also, any bugs that you might be facing due to a mod or a custom ROM should now be fixed with the update. Make sure that you backup your device fully before installing the update. Here are the methods that you can use to install the Jelly Bean 4.3 update on your Samsung Galaxy S3.
Method 1: Over The Air
Over the Air or OTA update is probably the easiest and fastest way of updating your Galaxy S3 to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. You don’t need your PC or any third party apps to install the update on your device. Samsung directly releases the update over the air which you can easily get through the OTA feature on your device.
Make sure that you are connected to the internet on your Galaxy S3. The update size should be over 400 MB so you will be charged if you’re connected via 4G/3G.
Go to the Settings app on your phone and click on About Device.
Next, go to Software Update and click on Check For Updates. Your phone should now connect to the Samsung servers and will search for the available updates in your region.
After checking for updates, you will get a popup with the available update. Simply click on Install Now. You phone should now download and install the update. Make sure that you don’t disconnect your internet connection.
Method 2: Samsung Kies
Samsung Kies is Samsung’s companion PC software for all its Android smartphones. It lets you sync your device with your PC and lets you manage your device using features such as backup and recovery. If you don’t want to download the heavy update on your phone via OTA or if there isn’t any OTA update available, then you can update your device using this method.
Download and install Samsung Kies on your PC. You can install it like any other PC app.
Once installed, open the Kies app on your PC and connect your Galaxy S3 to your PC via a micro USB cable. Once you connect it, Kies will automatically download and install the relevant drivers for your phone on your PC. Once the drivers have been installed, Kies should recognize your connected device.
Go to the Basic Information tab in Kies. You should now see a message saying New firmware is available. Click on the Firmware Upgrade button next to this message.
Now, Kies will give you some tips and warnings before starting the update. Accept all the terms of the agreement by clicking on the checkbox and click on the Start Upgrade button to start the update process. Make sure that your phone is connected to your PC during the process and that your PC is connected to the internet for downloading the update.
Method 3: Odin
This method is for users who haven’t received the official Samsung update in their countries. This is not an unofficial update but is simply a way to install the update from another country to your Galaxy S3. This update should work on any S3 GT-I9300 model regardless of country, however, installing this on any device other than GT-I9300 might brick your phone.
Download and install the USB drivers for your Galaxy S3 on your PC. You can get them from Samsung’s website or you can install them using Samsung Kies.
Go to the Settings app on your Galaxy S3 and click on About Device.
Scroll down and keep tapping on Build Number till you see a message saying You are now a developer.
Now go to Developer Options in the Settings app and make sure that USB Debugging is checked.
Download the Jelly Bean 4.3 firmware on your PC. Once downloaded, extract the zip file on your PC and you’ll find the firmware file with the extension .tar.md5 along with several other firmware files.
Download Odin on your PC. Extract the zip file and run the Odin app on your PC.
Switch off your Galaxy S3 and boot your device in Download mode. You can do this by holding the Power button, the Home button and the Volume Down button simultaneously.
Now connect your device to your PC through a micro USB cable while your phone is in Download mode. Wait for Odin to detect your device. Once detected, Odin will connect to your device and will show a message saying Added in the message box. The ID: COM box in Odin will also turn blue.
Now click on the PDA button in Odin and select the .tar.md5 firmware file that you extracted earlier. You will also need to select the other files that you extracted earlier with the firmware files. Click on Phone and select the file which has MODEM in its name. Click on PIT and select the file which has PIT in its name and click on CSC and select the file with CSC appearing in its name.
Make sure that F. Reset Time and Auto Reboot are checked in Odin and Re-partition is unchecked.
Now click on the Start button in Odin to start the update process. Once the update is complete, Odin will give you a PASS message with a green background.
Even though the Galaxy S3 comes with an older version of Android out of the box, updating it to Jelly Bean 4.3 is easy and you can easily do it through Samsung’s two official methods including Kies and OTA. The update is likely to be between 400 to 800 MB so you can relax while the update is being downloaded. If Samsung hasn’t released an update for your country, you can use the third method to update your device. If you change your mind you can always downgrade your Galaxy S3. Also, make sure your S3 is protected with the top cases.
Make sure that you follow all the instructions correctly and feel free to ask any questions below.