How To Update An Android Phone Or Tablet

- Mar 27, 2017-

Step 1 of 6: Check Android is up to date

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.

Before you try to update your device, you should check which version of Android you are running - you might already be on the latest version. 

If you follow this guide, we'll show you how to check your Android version along the way.

The latest version is Android 7 Nougat, which will become available for more devices over the coming months. 

Marshmallow is 6.x, Lollipop is 5.x, and KitKat is version 4.4.x, with 4.3, 4.2 and 4.1 all coming under the codename name Jelly Bean.

If your device is running anything lower than Jelly Bean, 

Then unless you've simply never updated the software it's very unlikely that an update will be available - the manufacturer probably doesn't support this device any longer.

Step 2 of 6: Back up your data

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.

Step 3 of 6: Enter Settings

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.

Step 4 of 6: About Phone or Tablet

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.

Step 5 of 6: Software Update

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.

Step 6 of 6: Search for an update

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.

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