How to update your Galaxy phone or tablet

Galaxy S21 with the software update screen displayed

Software updates are like oil changes and tune-ups for your phone or tablets - they keep things running smoothly. They also help improve the user interface, enhance security, and remove minor bugs. We recommend updating the software whenever a new version is available so you can make sure your device stays in tip-top shape.

Note: Available screens and settings may vary by wireless service provider, software version, and model.

Perform a software update

Important: Depending on your software version, it may be necessary to repeat this process multiple times. Some carriers may require your device to be connected to Wi-Fi to check for and install updates.

If a system update is available, you should install it to keep your phone or tablet running smoothly. However, please be aware that during the update process, your device cannot be used and files will be inaccessible. You also will not be able to make calls, even to emergency services. Additionally, there may be some differences to the device's interface when the update completes.

  1. Using two fingers, swipe down from the top of the screen, and then tap the Settings icon.

  2. Swipe to and then tap Software update, or System updates. It will vary between models.

  3. Tap Download and installCheck for system updates, or Check for software updates, depending on your carrier. If an update is available it should begin downloading automatically, although you may need to tap Download now on some devices.

  4. When the download is complete, follow the on-screen instructions to install the update.

You can also tap the switch to enable or disable Auto download over Wi-Fi. When this option is turned on, your phone or tablet will automatically update when it's connected to a Wi-Fi network. If this option is turned off, you will need to update your device manually.

If you'd like to see the software version currently on your device, open Settings, tap About phone or About tablet, and then tap Software information.

If you're having trouble with a failed software update or using apps after performing an update, you can review our guides for assistance.

Software update via Smart Switch on your Windows PC or Mac

Not only is Smart Switch great for transferring data, it’s also an easy way to update your device’s software. When you open Smart Switch on your Mac or Windows PC, you’ll see an option to update to a new software version if one is available.

  1. Using the USB cable that came included in the box, connect your Galaxy device to a computer that has Smart Switch installed. You may need a USB adapter with some PCs.

  2. Open Smart Switch on the computer and allow it to detect the device. If an update is available, the Update button will appear.

  3. Click Update on your PC and follow the on-screen prompts to download and install the update.

Smart Switch screen with Galaxy S21+ software up to date

Note: Don't disconnect the USB cable or use your device until the update is complete. Your Galaxy device will reboot as part of the update process.

If you are having trouble updating your PC or Mac with Smart Switch, please refer to our guide for assistance.

Upgrade to One UI 6

One UI 6 is the latest update for Samsung Galaxy phones and tablets. When the update is released by your carrier, it can be installed with either of the methods in the previous sections.

One UI 6 is already available on some devices, and more are coming! Check to see if your device is ready to upgrade.

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