How to Install OTA Update Zip via ADB Sideload and Recovery

In this tutorial, we have listed the steps to install the OTA update Zip package via ADB Sideload and stock recovery. With each new iteration of Android, Google is making it easier to handle new Android updates. With the introduction of Project Treble and A/B partition devices, things have drastically changed, and for good. In the case of A/B devices, the update gets installed to the inactive partition in the background, while you could continue working in the active slot. Just reboot your device to switch slots anytime and the update will get automatically applied. You can easily sideload the OTA update Zip using ADB sideload command and Android stock recovery.

But the thing with this OTA or Over the Air updates is not everyone receives the update package at one go. The reasons for that could be aplenty. For example, the OEMs usually want the feedback of any new update from the selected few users before making it available for the general public. As a result, it releases the updates in batches. The users who have voluntarily signed up for the testing program are usually first in line to get these updates. In other cases, the OTA might also take some time in reaching some specific regions.

So what could be done in those cases? Well, you could manually apply these OTA updates via ADB sideload method or even use the stock recovery for the said task. Read on to know more about flashing OTA zip files using both these methods.

Sideload OTA Update Zip via ADB

Some device manufacturers make it easy for users to try out the OTA packages. They usually host this update file as a zip on their respective sites. Or sometimes, even the few users who are lucky enough to get the updates, capture the OTA URL or shares the entire OTA zip files for others to download. So if you come across these OTA zip files which you want to sideload onto your devices, then this guide will definitely come in handy.

In this tutorial, we will be explaining the steps to manually install the OTA update packages via ADB Sideload and Stock Recovery. GO through both of these methods once and the one you find it easier to execute, give it a shot. But before that, there are a few prerequisites to keep in mind.

Prerequisites

  • Before sideloading the OTA package, make sure you are using the stock firmware without any modification to the system partition. That is, make sure apps like Magisk, Xposed Framework and even TWRP recovery aren’t there on your devices.
  • Although installing official stock firmware doesn’t usually lead to data loss, but it is still recommended to be on a safer side. So please make a complete backup of your Android device before proceeding ahead.
  • Enable USB Debugging: To do so head over to Settings > System > Advanced > Tap on Build Number 7 (on some devices 5 times) > Go back to System > Developer Options > Enable the USB Debugging toggle. Read our guide to find more detailed steps to enable Developer options on different Android versions.
    usb debugging android
  • Download and install Android SDK Platform-tools on your PC.
  • Moreover, you should also install the proper Android USB driver from your device OEM.

These were the important prerequisites to keep in mind. Now let’s proceed further to sideload OTA update Zip via ADB sideload.

Booting Device to Stock Recovery

It doesn’t matter which method you end up choosing, booting to stock recovery is needed in both these cases. There are two ways of doing so. You could either use your device hardware key combinations or use the universal ADB commands for this purpose. Regarding the hardware keys, each device follows a different combination. So please do a Google search for that. Or if you wish, you cant also try the below ADB Command to boot to recovery and then install the OTA file.

Using ADB command to boot to Stock Recovery

  1. Open the platform-tools folder and type cmd in the address bar and click the Enter key. This will launch the Command Prompt.launch command window
  2. Now connect your device to PC via USB cable. Make sure USB Debugging is enabled.
  3. Type the following command in the Command Prompt:
    adb reboot recovery

    adb reboot recovery

  4. On some devices, this command will directly boot your device to recovery, while others might boot to a No Command screen. If you encounter this issue, then press and hold both the Volume Up and Power key and release the Power button as soon as the device turns off. This will boot your device to the stock recovery mode.
  5. Please note that when you execute an ADB command, you will see an RSA key prompt on your device’s screen asking you to Allow USB debugging. Tap OK to allow it.allow usb debugging

Now that you have learned how to boot device to recovery, let us check out the steps to install OTA updates via ADB Sideload.

Steps to Sideload OTA Update Zip using ADB Command

  1. First off, transfer the downloaded OTA update.zip file to the platform-tools folder.
  2. Now boot your device to stock recovery and connect it to PC via USB Cable.
  3. Inside stock recovery, use Volume keys to highlight the ‘Apply Update from ADB‘ option and press the Power key to confirm this selection.
  4. Next up, type in the below command in the CMD window and hit the Enter key. Make sure to replace ‘OTA.zip’ with the actual name of the file that you have downloaded.
    adb sideload ota.zip

    adb sideload ota zip

  5. Now, wait for the update to get installed onto your device. Once the installation is successful, you could reboot your device from the recovery itself (use the ‘Reboot system now‘ option for the same).

That’s it. You have installed the desired OTA package via the ADB Sideload method. Let us now see how this could be done via the Android stock recovery. We have compiled a huge list of ADB Shell commands and Fastboot commands with detailed explanations and examples. You should check them out to make the most out of your Android device.

Install OTA Update via Stock Recovery

For the above method to work, you needed a PC with Android SDK tools installed. However, this method of installing OTA doesn’t require the use of a PC. You could directly install the OTA update from the recovery itself. Here is how it could be done.

  1. Transfer the download OTA file to your device’s internal or external storage. Don’t put it inside any folder as the system won’t be able to find it.
  2. Next up, boot your device to recovery by the method already described above.android recovery menu samsung
  3. From recovery, navigate to the Apply Update from SD Card option using Volume Keys. Press the Power key to confirm your selection.
  4. Similarly, use the Volume keys to highlight the OTA.zip file and the Power key to install it. Once the process finishes, you could then use the Reboot system now option to boot your device back to OS.

With that, we conclude this guide on installing OTA update packages via ADB Sideload and Stock Recovery methods. Both of them do their job pretty well, it’s entirely up to you which method you ultimately end up choosing. However, if you are facing any issues executing the above steps, kindly let us know in the comments section.

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