There are a number of online firmware repositories from where you can download the Samsung firmware for free. Tools like Frija and SamFirm are even better solutions for those who want to download BL, AP, CP, CSC, and HOME CSC or Samsung Firmware binaries for their Galaxy device to flash using Odin. Below, we will discuss the best websites and tools to download the official Samsung firmware update files.
There was a time when Samsung firmware used to have just one file. But now, Samsung split the firmware into 5 binaries out of which we have flash 4 files:
- CSC or HOME CSC
Since there is no way to download the CSC, AP or BL files separately, you must download the full Samsung firmware to get all four binaries, namely BL, AP, CP, and CSC. You’ll get these files only after you extract the firmware.zip file. Once you have all the binaries, you can easily flash them using the official Odin tool.
What are BL, AP, CP, and CSC?
An Android smartphone relies on components like bootloader, data, vendor, key storage, EFS, user data, system, modem, kernel, and recovery. All Android firmware contain these elements as .img inside them. Samsung firmware files keep them packed with specific encryption that can be decrypted by official flash tools like Odin before installation. Binaries like BL, AP, CP, and CSC pack together all core elements and partitions. BL, AP, CP, and CSC and abbreviated forms and below, I’ll try to explain what they are.
- BL: It’s the short form of Bootloader. The BL binary with .tar.md5 extension flashes the bootloader on your Samsung smartphone or Galaxy Tab.
- AP: If you look at the file size of the AP binary, you’ll notice that it’s the biggest of all 4 files you flash using Odin. On the older versions of Odin, this option was called PDA. The full file of AP is ‘Android Processor and it is responsible for flashing the system partition on your Samsung device.
- CP: Previously known as PDA, CP stands for ‘Core Processor’. This binary contains the modem.img and when you install this with Odin, it pushes the Modem on your device.
- CSC: The full-form of CSC is ‘Consumer Software Customization’ or ‘Country Specific (Product) Code’. The CSC component of a Samsung firmware is specific to network providers and geographical region. In other words, it contains customizations related to a geographical location, APN settings, carrier branding, and other things. If you want a clean installation on your phone, you should flash CSC. Flashing the CSC (only) binary, it all the apps, data, settings and files will be wiped and your device will be reset to the factory status.
- HOME CSC: This binary is the same as CSC. This difference is it does not wipe your Samsung Galaxy device during the firmware update.
Why Should You Download Samsung Firmware?
In normal situations, you might need to download Samsung firmware for your smartphone or tablet. Samsung keeps pushing software updates at times to keep your phone secure and add new features and improve its performance. My elder brother has been using Samsung phones for years and has never felt the need to flash the firmware on his phone manually. Even when he encounters any issue, the simply performs a factory reset to fix it.
However, there might be certain situations when downloading the BL, AP, CP, and CSC binaries or the full firmware might be the only solution.
- Downgrade software: If you think that a software update has snatched away some feature or app compatibility which was indispensable to you, you can downgrade to an older version of firmware manually.
- Fix Boot loop: Sometimes, your Samsung device might refuse to boot up properly after a software update. Most of us love trying new apps. Sometimes, a bad app may send your phone to a state of boot loop and, as a result, your device is stuck on the Samsung logo. Flashing a firmware using Odin can help you with recovering your phone.
- Change CSC: If you’ve purchased your country from the same country you live in, you may never need to change the CSC on your Samsung device. However, if you purchased a pre-owned Samsung phone or bought it abroad, you might not find your native language on it. In that case, flashing the firmware with the CSC of your country/region will install your native language.
- Manual Update: If you use your Samsung device in a different country, you may not receive software updates via OTA. You can download the latest Samsung firmware and install it manually using the Odin flash tool to upgrade the software version.
Samsung Firmware Download Methods
There are so many websites and file hosting services from where you can download the firmware for your Samsung device. Below we’ll check some of the hot spots that make Samsung firmware download available.
1. Frija – Samsung Firmware Download Tool
If you want to download Samsung firmware for free and without any speed cap, Frija is the best tool. It’s a very simple tool with a clean and user-friendly UI. Frija supports auto and manual modes. In the Auto mode, you just need to provide the model number and CSC of your Samsung device.
The Auto mode checks for the latest firmware update for your Samsung phone or Galaxy Tab. On the other hand, with the Manual mode, you can download the Samsung firmware of your choice. You will have to provide some more details like the Model number and CSC of your phone as well as versions of PDA (AP), Phone (CP) and CSC. If the provided details are correct, Frija will download the BL, AP, CP, CSC, and HOME CSC binaries packed in a ZIP file. You can download the latest version of this tool from my full-fledged article describing the steps to use the Frija Samsung firmware download tool.
2. SamFirm Firmware Downloader
SamFirm is the short form of Samsung firmware. It used to be the only tool until Frija surfaced. Despite the fact that the developer of the tool has discontinued the development, SamFirm still works. This firmware downloader tool is not so user-friendly as Frija but it’s the only available alternative to the latter.
You can download the Samsung firmware for your Galaxy phone or Tab with SamFirm in just five steps as shown in the screenshot below.
- Download SamFirm and extract the downloaded zip. You can also download it from Google Drive.
- Open the extracted folder and double-click SamFirm.exe to launch it.
- In the box in front of Model, fill in your Samsung device’s model number. You can find the model number by going to Settings > About phone.
- In the Region field, you need to fill in the CSC of your device. Read my tutorial to find out your Samsung phone’s CSC.
- Now click the Check Update button.
- SamFirm will fetch the details of the latest firmware available for your device and show it’s file name, AP, CSC and CP versions of the software update, and it’s size.
- Finally, click the Download button. You’ll be asked to save the firmware zip file. When the firmware file is downloaded, unzip it to get the BL, AP, CP, CSC, and HOME CSC files for your Samsung device model.
Sammobile has been one of the oldest and most trusted sources from where you can download the latest Samsung firmware for all Samsung Galaxy devices. The website provides free firmware download to its member but the speed is very slow. If you want to enjoy fast or high-speed Samsung firmware download, you’ll have to get a monthly plan ranging from €6.50-€250. I don’t think it’s a wise decision to use Sammobile when we already have great options like Frija and SamFirm.
Updato is a Sammobile alternative that allows Samsung firmware download from their repository. The website as a good UI but it’s pages are super packed with ad banners. It doesn’t offer fast firmware download for free. The slow plan is so slow that you might need to make several attempts before you can actually download the firmware file.
Samsung Firmware (.org) is just another website like the ones mentioned above. They offer two plans with slow speed and unmetered speed. In the slow-speed plan, you can download the firmware for free. However, considering the size of Samsung firmware files, it might take forever to download the full firmware. Just imagine a 5GB firmware download with a speed limit of 15KB per second! If you think you are a person of immense patience, you must try it to pass a litmus test.
SamFrew is another option for those who don’t want to use a Samsung firmware download tool. It’s cheaper than Sammobile and Updato. Just like others, it also offers slow Samsung firmware download for free. To get the firmware from 100 Mbps/100o Mbps mirrors, you are supposed to pay a one-time fee of $8.99/$22.99. My downloading experience with SamFrew was better than all other websites listed above.
Flashing BL, AP, CP, and CSC with Odin
When you are done with downloading the firmware for your Samsung Galaxy device, you can install it easily and safely by following the quick steps described below:
- If you are going to use Samsung Odin for the first time, here are a few things you must be familiar with. Odin is a portable tool, that means you needn’t install it on your PC. When you have downloaded Odin.zip file, just extract it using a Zip extractor tool like 7Zip, WinZip, etc. Navigate to the Odin folder and perform a right-click on Odin3.exe with your mouse and select ‘Run as administrator’.
- Make sure you have already downloaded the correct firmware zip and extracted it on your Windows desktop
- Download and install the Samsung USB driver on your computer.
- Enable USB Debugging on your device.
- Now turn off your Samsung device and boot it into the Download or Odin Mode. To do so, you’ll have to press and hold a specific hardware key-combination at the same time for 2-3 seconds and then press the Volume Up key when you see the Warning screen.
- Devices with Home button: Volume Down + Home + Power buttons.
- Devices with Bixby button: Volume Down + Bixby + Power buttons.
- Galaxy devices with no Bixby button: Volume Up + Volume Down + Power keys.
- All devices: You can also use the ‘adb reboot bootloader‘ command to enter the download mode.
- Connect your device to the computer. Make sure to use the original Samsung USB cable that came with your phone or Tab to avoid any issue. When Odin detects your device, the ID COM port will highlight with light blue color.
- Open the firmware folder that contains the 5 binaries with .tar.md5 extension.
- Click the BL button in Odin, navigate to the firmware folder and add the file that has “BL_” in its name.
- Then click the AP button and select the firmware binary with “AP_” in its name The AP file will take a while to load in Odin because of its heavy size. Don’t panic if the Odin window freezes for some time after selecting the AP file.
- Similarly, add the CP, and CSC (plain CSC if you want a clean installation and HOME_CSC if you don’t want to wipe your device data) files to the corresponding fields in Odin.
- Finally, click the Start button to initiate the installation.
- Due to their big size, firmware files might take 3-5 minutes to install. So, you need to be patient and calm.
- Lastly, you’ll get PASS!! message in Odin. It indicates that Odin has flashed the firmware file successfully.
- When the firmware is installed, your Samsung device will reboot automatically.
You have successfully installed Samsung firmware binaries (BL, AP, CP, and CSC) on your Samsung Galaxy Device.
Of all 4 Samsung firmware download tools and sources listed above, I highly recommend Frija because it’s the best. Why should we pay for downloading something from a 3rd-party website when we can download it directly from Samsung FUS (Firmware Update Server)?
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