How To Apply Update From ADB on Android? (Simple Guide)

Need a hand with updating your Android device using ADB? It might seem daunting if you’re not familiar with the process, but fear not!

How To Apply Update From ADB

Updating your device through ADB (Android Debug Bridge) is quite straightforward once you grasp the steps involved.

This guide will walk you through the process to ensure your device runs smoothly and securely.

What is ADB?

What is ADB

ADB is a versatile command-line tool that allows developers and tech enthusiasts to interact with Android devices via a computer.

Whether you’re looking to install apps, manage files, execute shell commands, or more, ADB facilitates communication between your computer and Android device through USB or Wi-Fi.

Step-by-Step Update Instructions Using ADB

Before you start, remember that you’ll need a basic understanding of ADB commands, and the process might slightly differ depending on your device’s brand and model.

Ensure you have the latest ADB version installed and that USB debugging is enabled on your device.

Step 1: Download the Update File First, download the update file for your device onto your computer. Remember where you’ve saved it for easy access later.

Step 2: Connect Your Device to Your Computer Using a USB cable, connect your Android device to your computer. To confirm the connection, type “ADB devices” in the command prompt or terminal. Your device should appear in the list of connected devices with its name and serial number.

Step 3: Enter Recovery Mode Power off your device, then simultaneously hold down the power and volume buttons until you see the recovery mode on your device’s screen.

Step 4: Apply the Update from ADB In the command prompt or terminal, navigate to the update file’s location using “cd [location of the update file].” Then, execute “ADB sideload [update file name]” and hit enter. This will initiate the automatic download and installation of the update.

Step 5: Wait for the Installation to Complete Patience is key here, as the installation might take a few minutes. During this time, ensure your computer stays on and your device remains connected.

Step 6: Verify the Update Once your device reboots, head over to Settings > System > System update to check if the update was successful. If there are no pending updates, you’re all set!

Exploring the Advantages of ADB Updates

ADB updates offer a convenient way to update your Android device, especially when OTA updates aren’t available. These updates can be applied without needing to unlock the bootloader or root your device, keeping your warranty intact.

More importantly, ADB updates enhance your device’s performance and stability. They bring in the latest security patches, bug fixes, and new features, ensuring your device stays up-to-date and secure.

Steps to Apply ADB Updates on Windows, Mac, and Linux

Applying ADB updates is a straightforward process across all operating systems. Start by downloading the OTA update file for your device from a reliable source and saving it to your computer. Open a command prompt or terminal and navigate to the location of the update file.

Ensure ADB can detect your Android device. Type in the ‘ADB sideload’ command followed by the name of the update file, and hit Enter. The update will then download and install on its own. Once it’s done, restart your device to complete the process.

What if ADB Doesn’t Recognize Your Device?

If ADB fails to recognize your device, consider these steps:

  1. Check your computer for the correct device drivers. You might need to manually download and install them from the manufacturer’s website.
  2. Make sure USB debugging is enabled on your device, allowing ADB access. Change your USB connection to “File Transfer” or “MTP” mode.
  3. Try restarting both your device and computer, or use a different USB cable or port.

Troubleshooting ADB Update Issues

If you encounter problems during an ADB update, follow these tips:

  • Verify that the update file is compatible with your device’s model, build number, and Android version.
  • Ensure your device has sufficient storage for the update. If needed, clear out unnecessary files or apps.
  • Clear the cache partition before updating to solve issues with apps or settings that might block the update.
  • If these steps don’t work, consider a factory reset as a last resort.

Backing Up Your Android Device Before ADB Updates

To prevent data loss, back up your Android device before applying ADB updates. Use cloud services, third-party apps, or built-in Android features for backup.

Enable Google Backup by going to Settings > System > Backup, and turn on ‘Back up to Google Drive’. This feature automatically saves your app data, contacts, phone history, messages, and settings to your Google account.

Alternatively, use the ‘adb backup’ command in the command prompt or terminal for a manual backup of your device’s data.

Applying OTA Updates via ADB

Applying OTA updates through ADB is similar to regular updates. After downloading the OTA update file from a trusted source and saving it on your computer, connect your Android device and make sure ADB recognizes it.

Enter the ‘ADB sideload’ command followed by the OTA update file name, then press Enter. The update will download and install by itself. Finish by rebooting your device.

Understanding ADB Sideload and ADB Push

ADB (Android Debug Bridge) offers two methods to transfer files between a computer and an Android device: ADB push and ADB sideload.

The ADB push function copies files like photos, songs, and documents from your computer to the device’s internal or external storage.

On the other hand, ADB sideload is designed for installing OTA (Over-the-Air) updates or zip files directly onto the device’s recovery partition, commonly used for updating or flashing custom ROMs.

Reverting to an Earlier Android Version Using ADB

Advanced Android users may need to downgrade their device’s software using ADB, particularly if a recent update is problematic.

This process involves acquiring the specific firmware for your device and flashing it via methods like fastboot or TWRP recovery.

Before proceeding, remember to back up your data and carefully follow the provided guidelines, as this process can be risky.

Troubleshooting Common ADB Update Issues

Occasionally, you might face issues like device recognition errors, connection problems, or installation glitches when updating via ADB.

To resolve these, ensure your device is properly connected to the computer with USB debugging enabled.

Updating ADB drivers, rebooting both your device and computer, or trying different USB cables and ports can help. If issues persist, seeking assistance from the manufacturer or online forums is advisable.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I update my device using ADB without unlocking the bootloader?

While most ADB updates, especially for custom ROMs, require an unlocked bootloader, some devices might allow OTA updates via ADB without unlocking.

Check your device’s specific firmware and OTA update compatibility, or consult the manufacturer or online forums for more information.

What precautions should I take before updating via ADB?

To ensure a safe and successful update, back up your data, keep your device charged or connected to power, verify the authenticity of the update file, and follow the provided instructions carefully.

Avoid disconnecting the device or turning off your computer during the update, and familiarize yourself with basic ADB commands.


Updating your Android device using ADB can be a reliable and effective way to access the latest features and security enhancements.

With some basic understanding and careful preparation, you can confidently use ADB updates to maintain your device’s optimal performance.

Leave a comment