Android OTA Updates – 5 problems you might encounter & fixes


It feels good to get bugfix / patch OTA updates on your Android device. Its even better when its a version update; after all, some people have to buy new devices to enjoy a higher Android version. Go figure.

You must be familiar with the requirements for installing an OTA update; Internet access, charged battery and phone running on stock rom. Sadly, these don’t always prevent you from running into problems.

I’ve picked 5 problems you’ll likely run into when installing an OTA update.zip and how to resolve them.

1. Unzip Error

This is one data and time wasting issue because it pops up after you must have downloaded the update. The error is self explanatory, your device was unable to extract the downloaded update.zip. This is common among devices that have a RAM management bug causing apps to get force-closed when minimized or the phone sleeps.

How do I fix this?

We already have a guide on how to fix OTA update unzip error . It requires you to avoid letting the phone go to sleep while downloading. You can achieve this by increasing the Display timeout / Sleep setting to 30 minutes or not minimizing the OTA update screen.

2. No space to download

Its not uncommon to battle with low storage space errors yet be unable to use your SD card as adoptable storage. While its rare to have such hinder an OTA update, its possible. This happens when your apps or data (including media) have taken up all the available space.

How do I fix this?

You need to free up space by uninstalling unneeded apps and moving media files off phone storage. I’ve also found clearing app data really helpful. This might require you to root then unroot (Mediatek) when done.

3. Installation taking long

Ever wondered why one of the requirements is to have a well charged battery (30% and above)? Its because the installation time is a function of the size of the update.zip. You don’t want your phone going off in the middle of an update.



How do I fix this?

You’ll have to wait this one out. The first boot (after OTA) will take a little longer than you’re probably used to so don’t panic. If you’re in doubt about your battery then connect the device to a power source.

4. Booting straight to recovery mode or won’t turn on

You should avoid installing an OTA update on a rooted device. Doing so could result in a brick. One common symptom is the device booting straight to recovery mode or staying off.

How do I fix this?

If you’d rooted then you’ll need to flash the stock rom for your model. If you’d used magisk then flashing only stock boot.img should do (provided you’d not modified /system).

If you’d not rooted then connect the phone to a power source and hold the power button till it boots up.

5. Buggy update

Yeah, it sucks right? The update you’d looked forward to for months turns out to be so bad that you wish you’d never installed it. Some bugs are manageable but some are just not worth the update.

Buggy updates are the reason we always recommend taking note of your Build Number before an update. This way, you know what (stable) rom (which your device was running on) to download and flash.

Its also a good idea to backup your firmware before an OTA update. We have several guides like Wwr (MTK), Miracle box (Qualcomm) and Infinity CM2 (SPD) to name a few.

Have you ever encountered trouble before or after installing an OTA update? Let’s hear it!

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