How to Update Your Android's System - dummies

How to Update Your Android’s System

By Dan Gookin

Every so often, your Android signals that a system update is available. Android operating system security updates occur about once a month. The device’s manufacturer may release an update. And Google occasionally releases a new version of the Android operating system.


When an update is available, you see the System Update notification icon, as shown. Choose that notification to apply the update.

You might also see a pop-up message, or “toast,” appear on the screen when an update is available. Your options are to immediately update or postpone. Apply the update immediately, as long as the Android has sufficient battery life left (or you can connect to a power supply) and you’re not expecting to do anything major with the phone or tablet during the next few minutes.

You can also manually check for an update. Heed these directions:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Choose System.
  3. Choose System Updates.
  4. Tap Check for Update. If an update is pending, you’ll see it listed.

In older versions of the Android operating system, choose About Phone or About Tablet in Step 2. The System Updates item is located on that screen.

  • Android version 8.0 “Oreo” fetches an update if one is pending. Older versions of the Android operating system allow updates by quota. So, manually checking for an update, even when one is pending, may not result in updating the device.
  • Connect your device to a power source during a software update. You don’t want the battery to die in the middle of the operation.