What To Do If Your Android Phone Isn’t Getting Operating System Updates

Google periodically releases new versions of its Android operating system. If you’re not automatically getting the latest Android version, there are a couple of things to try.

What To Do If Your Android Phone Isn't Getting Operating System Updates

The aim of these updates is to release new features and solve any issues earlier versions might have had. Unfortunately, most Android phones won’t be able to receive these Android software updates without doing a little bit of extra legwork. If you’re not automatically getting the latest Android version, here are a couple of things to try.

Why isn’t your device getting the latest Android version?

Any company can release devices that run on Android. The upside of this is that it allows for a lot of innovation and customisation, but on the other hand it means the Android environment is a little messy. It’s not possible for Google to create a single version of Android that will work on any device. Instead, when Google release a new version of the Android OS, it is up to the phone manufacturers and networks to make sure the update works on their devices, and then release it to their customers.

This means there is a delay between the original release of an Android OS update and that same update making its way to consumers. Because of the work involved, some manufacturers decide that it isn’t worth releasing the updates for older or cheaper phone models. Additionally, newer versions of the Android operating system often have minimum hardware requirements that leave older models unable to run the software.

How can I make sure my Android OS is updated automatically?

It really depends on what phone you buy if you want your Android device to receive automatic updates to its operating system.

Nexus smartphones are specifically designed to give a “pure” Android experience, so a Nexus smartphone will receive updates straight from Google without any delays from the manufacturer or your phone network.

A more expensive handset will also tend to receive the latest version of the Android OS, but there will still be a delay (potentially months long).

How can I manually update my Android OS to the latest version?

Even if your Android device doesn’t receive updates automatically, there are still a couple of methods you can try in order to update Android on your device. Please note that whatever method you use, it is recommended you update your Android OS via a Wi-Fi connection as the amount of data involved can be quite large.

The exact wording of the menu items involved in these methods can vary slightly depending on the particular device you are using, but they will be similar enough for you to recognise.

Method 1: Check for updates via the Settings menu

This is the most straightforward method, which is why I suggest you try it first. Open up your phone’s Settings menu and then find About phone, which will probably be towards the bottom of the menu.

Checking for software updates via the settings menu

Tap on About phone and then look for System updates. Once you tap on System updates, your phone will begin to look for available OS updates.

If it finds a version of Android that is newer than the one currently on your phone and compatible with your device, you will see the option to Download. Give that a tap and the download will begin. When it has finished, tap Install.

Method 2: Force an update via Google Services Framework

Open up your Settings menu and then go to Apps. Tap on Show all and then look for Google Services Framework. Under Google Services Framework, you should see the option to Clear data. Tap on that and then click the Force stop button.

You can check for updates via Google Framework Services

Note: This method doesn’t always work first time.

Method 3: Check for updates using the Phone app

Open up the app that you use to make calls. Dial *#*#2432546#*#*. As soon as you press the last *, your phone will automatically start to check for updates. When it has done that, you should see a message saying Checking successful.

Dialling the final * will start a check for updates

If an Android update is available, a message will appear on your screen providing you with all the necessary instructions to begin the Android update download and run it on your phone.

If this method doesn’t work, it means that there isn’t an update available for your device.