How to avoid issues when updating or upgrading an Android phone

Have you recently received a notification that updates were available for your cell phone? Have you been wondering whether or not you should upgrade your cell phones software? Should you install the latest version of Android onto your Android smartphone? I say YES! But before updating I recommend that you read this article first as it can save you a lot of time and can help prevent trouble and common issues that can occur during the upgrade process.


Updates are great! Updates often add more features, greater functionality, and also help protect your cell phone against recent security threats that might compromise the data on your device. So yes, upgrading to the newest official version of software for your Android phone is typically never a bad idea.

As you upgrade a phone there are some things to keep in mind that can help you avoid any complications that might occur during the update and installation process. If something happens during the upgrade process then the phone could become broken and cease to function at all. So read this article before upgrading as it can save you a lot of time and trouble further down the road.

Backup the phone

Before you even think about updating the software on your device you should certainly check to make sure that the information on your phone is backed up and secured to a place other than your cell phone. This is true at any time but it is especially important to backup a phone before an update as sometimes updates and upgrades can erase information from an Android device or even clear the data on the phone during the process. So make sure that you create a backup before updating and to also create periodic backups of your cell phone should it ever malfunction, or get broken. That way you don’t lose all of your important information should something unexpected happen to your phone.

If you have not created a backup of your phone in a while, or if you have never backed up your phones information I suggest that you do that right now. How to backup an Android cell phone can guide you through much of the backup process if you would like some assistance doing so.

Start on a clean slate

This isn’t a necessary step in preparing to update an Android cell phone but the less clutter on your phone when installing new software means less chances of one of the apps on your phone causing trouble after the installation is complete. If you perform a full backup and reset of your Android cell phone before updating its software then many complications or issues can be avoided.

Again, this isn’t a must, but it sure can be helpful and sometimes doing a little cleaning is a good thing. In life many things can pile up quickly and when it comes to the information on our cell phones there is no exception. By wiping the slate clean and then installing the software onto the phone it’s likely that you will notice a boost in performance as well. That’s just my two cents on the subject.

Wait until you’re ready to update

Make sure that you have set plenty of time aside to allow the phone to upgrade properly. Most common problems that are caused by updating a phone happen during the update and installation process.

Here is a list of common issues that can occur while updating that can be easily avoided:

Power Issues

The Phones Battery – If the battery dies or drains to zero as an Android cell phone is upgrading then it can certainly break the phone. Some phones won’t even let you try to upgrade the software unless the battery has a charge of 80% or more.

So charge your phone to full before updating.

PC Power Outage – If there is a lightning storm outside and you figure that since you can’t go outside because of the rain you might as well plug your phone into the computer so that you can upgrade the phones software then you might want to reconsider this plan. If lightning strikes and the power goes out and the upgrade gets interrupted then your phone might be in trouble.

Try to avoid power surges and power outages while updating a cell phone.

A Laptops Battery – if you are using a laptop to upgrade your phone, which could be a wise decision as a power outage would cause the laptop to revert to battery power and can prevent an interruption, just make sure that the laptop has a good charge on its battery to avoid any possible complications during the upgrade process.

Don’t forget to have a full charge on your laptop and check to make sure that its plugged into the charger before using it to update the software.


Try to use a dependable computer when upgrading your phone. If you are using an older computer to upgrade your phone and the computer locks up or freezes then this can complicate the install and can cause some real problems on the phone.

If there is a good chance that a specific computer will freeze or lock-up while it’s updating the phone then wait for the opportunity to try updating through a more dependable computer as an interruption during the update can cause some serious problems.

Disconnecting the phone from the computer

Sometimes smartphones can take a while, even hours, to upgrade so make sure that when you choose to install the latest software onto your phone that it has plenty of time to finish installing. If you start upgrading your phones software and have to leave for an appointment then don’t just unplug your phone from the computer so that you can take your cell phone with you to your appointment. If it seems like the process is going really slowly then don’t just unplug the device to try in on another computer.

You need to let the phone finish the installation; try to avoid unplugging a cell phone from the computer that’s updating it and don’t try to power it off or remove the battery when its upgrading as it can break the phone if the update doesn’t get to finish installing properly.

Will a Hard Reset or Factory Data Reset put my phone back to its original software?

Nope. Once you update a phone to a newer version of Android a hard reset or factory data reset will not change the software. The phone will remain on the most recent version of Android that was last installed on the phone.

For example if a cell phone is running on the Android 2.3 Gingerbread software and was then updated to Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and a factory data reset was performed wiping all information from the phone then after the cell phone rebooted it would still be running on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, even though it originally ran on Android 2.3.

Can I go back to my previous version of Android?

Technically yes… but not through any official channels. You would have to root the phone and install a custom version of software on your Android device. This custom version of software could include a recent or older version of Android but rooting can be a whole different animal altogether. So unless you have rooted your Android phone before or unless you’re pretty tech savvy then I wouldn’t recommend rooting your phone to go back to a previous version of Android.

Besides the best direction to go when it comes to technology is forwards not backwards, more features, more options, more choices, smoother, sleeker, faster.

If you updated your phone and want to go back to a previous version of Android because the new version doesn’t seem to work properly then chances are those issues can be solved with some simple troubleshooting. Check out How to fix an Android phone that doesn’t work right after upgrading for more information that can help you get your phone running quick and smooth once again.

Update through official sources

If you have an older cell phone and a new version of the Android software was recently released but it isn’t yet available on your phone then I recommend you wait for an official version to be released for your phone instead of looking for the means to install it onto your Android device. Installing updates that have not been released for a specific make and model of phone require the phone to be rooted, which again, I don’t typically recommend.


With these tips in mind updating your Android Cell phone should be smooth and painless. I hope that you enjoyed the article. If you yourself take anything into consideration when updating and it was not listed in the article and you believe it to be worth sharing then let me know. If it’s a good tip I will add it to the article above. If you would like to make a suggestion, ask a question, or would simply like to leave a friendly remark then don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.

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3 thoughts on “How to avoid issues when updating or upgrading an Android phone”

  1. smartphone solutions updating issues
    I have gone through your article on firmware updating issues and it is really informative.
    15 days back I have purchased a Redmi 1s android smartphone and yesterday while I was browsing I found a notification that an update is available. I clicked it and found that the update size is about 500 MB. Immediately I clicked update at a later stage button. what i don’t understand is why these companies sell phones without proper testing. this phone is a recently introduced model and we don’t expect an immediate update to resolve issues. I have been using the nokia e71 mobile for quite some time and to my opinion that is far better than this redmi 1s. of course redmi has a bigger screen and other resoureses, still i feel that the e71 is better for internet browsing. for example i tried to log in to my axigen email account in redmi but i am getting log in failed message. i tried with different browsers but the same result. i still have the e71 and i am able to log in to my axigen email account in that. i don’t know how to fix this issue in redmi 1s ( and there is absolutely no support from the manufaturer. I am from India. In e71(minimum 6 years old) there is internet radio and it supports location display on the screen. I mean our location name will be displayed on the screen. In short “Old is Gold”. Best regards, sasidharan

    1. A hard reset might help…

      Hard to say if a hard reset would help. If there was something on the phone that the “small update” was conflicting with and the hard reset removed that something from the phone then yes, a hard reset could help. I suppose it all depends on the situation…

      Like always, just make sure to backup your cell phone before performing a hard reset that way you don’t lose any of your important information.

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