Frequent updates are some of the most liked features on Android devices, and manufacturers keep pushing software updates in order to fix bugs and improve user experience. While Android firmware changes come once in a while, you can still improve your phone by installing manufacturer specific updates.
I personally like Samsung’s approach as they push lots of updates for their new and old Galaxy smartphones. If you’re having problems with your current firmware, or if you recently downgraded, then chances are there’s an update available for your Galaxy S4. Whether you want to fix bugs or you just want something new, you can easily update Samsung Galaxy S4 using this guide.
The methods mentioned below should help you update your phone in just a couple of minutes and they should work with most Galaxy S4 models.
Even though this isn’t a guide for installing custom ROMs or rooting your phone, you should do this at your own responsibility. The methods mentioned below are stable and they shouldn’t cause any problems. That being said, make sure that you create a backup of all the important files on your phone either through the default Android backup feature or using a third-party app from the Google Play store.
Also, keep your phone synced with your Google account so that you can retrieve most of your data by signing in with your Google account after the update.
Method 1: OTA Update
OTA or Over The Air updates are probably the most common method to update Samsung Galaxy S4. This is the most effective and reliable method for updating the Galaxy S4.
The OTA Updater basically lets you download and install an update directly on your phone, without using a PC. While this is definitely an easier option, some major updates might not be available through the OTA Updater.
Turn on the WiFi connection on your Galaxy S4. You might want to think before using your mobile data connection as the update can be quite big. Think about using a WiFi app to strengthen your signal if needed.
Open your Settings app and tap on More.
Tap on About device.
Select Software update and tap on Update to check for available updates.
Confirm that you want to start the update. That’s it! Your phone should now download and install the software update. Once the update process completes, the phone will reboot automatically.
Method 2: Samsung Kies
This is another popular method to update Samsung Galaxy S4. Samsung Kies is a PC software that lets you manage your phone through your PC. You can backup contacts, transfer files and update the phone using this app.
If you couldn’t update your phone using Method 1 or if there was no OTA update available, then this is the next best alternative as it is an official Samsung app. Updating the phone will take a couple of minutes and you’ll need a Windows PC and a micro USB cable to update your phone using Kies.
Download and install Samsung Kies on your PC. You can get the app through Samsung’s official website.
Launch the Kies software and connect your Galaxy S4 to your PC using a micro USB cable. Wait for Kies to recognize your phone.
Wait for Kies to check for available updates for your phone. Once an update is found, click on the Update button in the popup.
Read the warning message, check the “I have read all of the above information” option and click on the Start upgrade button.
You’ll now be taken to the Data backup window. Create a full backup of your device if you already don’t have a backup on your PC.
After backing up, the update process will automatically begin. Wait for the process to complete and this might take a while.
Once the update is complete, you’ll get a Firmware upgrade complete message. Click on OK. That’s it! You have successfully upgraded your Galaxy S4.
Method 3: Odin
This is another method that you can use to update Samsung Galaxy S4 and while this might not be the most popular way for updating Samsung devices, it is certainly the most used method for manually flashing firmwares on the Galaxy S4. Sometimes, updates are not pushed around the world at once and there might be certain countries where the update isn’t available
You can definitely wait for a few days after the update is released worldwide, but if it has been months, then you want to consider updating your phone manually. Odin is the most reliable method for flashing firmwares on the Galaxy S4 manually and you’ll be able to update your phone in just several minutes.
Download and install the Samsung USB drivers package on your PC. You can get the package here. If you already have the Samsung Kies software installed, then you don’t need to install the drivers.
Download the firmware update that you’re looking for. One of the best websites for downloading the latest Samsung Galaxy firmware is sammobile.com. You’ll need to select your country and model number in order to download the firmware package.
Go to Developer options in your Settings app and make sure that the USB debugging option is enabled. If you don’t see Developer options, go to About device and keep tapping on Build number until you see a You are now a developer pop-up message. You’ll now see Developer options in the Settings app.
Launch the Odin app from the zip folder that you extracted earlier.
Turn off your Galaxy S4 and boot it into Download mode by holding the Volume Down, Power and Home buttons simultaneously. Don’t release the keys until your phone boots. Press the Volume Up button to enter into Download mode.
While your Galaxy S4 is in Download mode, connect it to your PC using a micro USB cable. The box below ID:COM will turn blue if the phone is recognized by Odin.
Click on the AP button in Odin and select the firmware update file that you downloaded earlier. The firmware file will have a .tar.md5 extension.
Check the Auto Reboot and F. Reset Time options and make sure that all the other options are unchecked.
Click on the Start button to begin the update process. This might take a while and once completed, you’ll see a green PASS message in Odin. That’s it! Your phone should now automatically reboot.
All the methods mentioned above should work fine with most Galaxy S4 devices. Method 1 is the best option for updating your phone directly, while Kies is the next best alternative if you’re not receiving any OTA updates. While Odin isn’t an official updating method, you might want to use it if your phone hasn’t received any updates in months. Whichever method you choose, make sure that you follow all the instructions properly on how to update Samsung Galaxy S4 to its latest version and feel free to shoot any questions below!