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How to update an Android phone or tablet
- Jun 03, 2017 -

To get the best performance from your Android phone or tablet you should make sure you're running the latest software. Here's how to update the Android OS.

Check another one:How To Update An Android Phone Or Tablet


In this article we'll guide you step-by-step through how to update your Android device - starting with checking which version of Android you are running - you might already be on the latest version and have no need to update after all.

You can force your Android phone or tablet to search for an update from the Settings menu on your device, but you should note that just because a newer version of Android exists it doesn't mean it will be available for your device - now or ever.


Check Android is up to date

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The latest version is Android 7 Nougat, which will become available for more devices over the coming months though can now get Android O in beta form. Marshmallow is 6.x, Lollipop is 5.x, KitKat is version 4.4.x, and 4.3, 4.2 and 4.1 are all Jelly Bean.

If your device is running anything lower than Jelly Bean, then unless you've simply never updated the software it's unlikely that an update will be available - the manufacturer probably doesn't support this device any longer.


Back up your data

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As a precautionary measure, it's good practice to back up your data such as contacts and photos. The upgrade shouldn't affect your data but there are no guarantees.

Check out our complete guide to backing up an Android device to find out how - it shouldn't take you long.


Enter Settings

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Navigate to the Settings menu of your device. On most Android devices this can be done via the app menu or notification bar.

Typically the Settings app will have a cog or spanner logo.


About Phone or Tablet

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Scroll down the Settings menu and click on 'About Phone' or 'About Tablet'.

If you have a tabbed settings menu then this will appear in the 'General' section.


Software Update

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The menu can vary from device to device but click the 'Software Update' or similar button.

This section of the menu will also detail which version of Android your device is running. It will either be displayed on this screen, or you might have to select 'Software information' to find out.


Search for an update

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Your phone or tablet will now search for an available update. If you are taken to another menu, select the 'Software update check' button or similar.

If an update is available your device then you will be asked whether you wish to install it. If you select yes then the system will download and install the new software and reboot.

Note: You device may require a Wi-Fi connection to search for an update. We also recommend downloading the software over Wi-Fi because the file size can be large.