Samsung Galaxy S4 Unable To Update Android Firmware Over The Air (OTA)

Updating Samsung Galaxy S4 to the recent Android firmware is easy that it doesn’t need to have expert knowledge, however, things sometimes don’t go smoothly. With Samsung recently rolled out updates for its flagship phone, many users turn to online forums seeking for help for they cannot figure out why their new phone is having a problem updating its firmware over the air.

Droid guy, I hope you could help me or somehow shed some light to the problem I am currently experiencing. You see, Samsung just rolled out Android 4.3 Jelly Bean for the Samsung Galaxy S4 and all the people I know who own the device already updated their phone except me. An error appears whenever I attempt to update the phone and sometimes it’s stuck on downloading and couldn’t finish it. Please advise what I should do to solve this tech mystery.

There are a lot of factors contributing to the existence of this problem and based on our research, the following are the possible causes:

Possible Causes

  • Your device does not have a connection to your carrier’s wireless network.
  • An update is not available for your device at this time.
  • There is a temporary issue connecting to the update service.
  • Your device lost its connection or the battery charge was too low to complete the update.
  • An app is causing an issue with the update being installed.
  • An issue with the prior firmware installation is keeping the update from being performed correctly.
  • The update is not available over-the-air.
  • Owner previously flashed custom ROM into the phone disallowing any sort of firmware updates.


Just before you begin troubleshooting, there are a couple of things you have to check:

  • Make sure your phone, at least, has 80% battery left.
  • Make sure you have an active internet connection either you’re using mobile data or connecting to WiFi access point.
  • Make sure you have the correct baseband on your phone before your download the new update.
  • Close all unnecessary apps, games and services prior to updating your phone.


Step 1: Understand the error message you’re getting. When your phone pops out an error message, read and understand it carefully as it is indicative as to what the problem really is. If it says there’s a problem with the network, check your internet connection; if it says something about servers, perhaps you’re attempting to download during times of peak traffic, try at a later time. The point is, whatever the phone says, focus on troubleshooting those problems.

Step 2: Reboot your phone. I usually would let you reboot your phone first but this time, just do it when there’s an error you couldn’t understand. I personally encountered getting an error code (they’re usually numbers) while trying to update my phone. Since I have no idea what it was, I rebooted my phone and it was gone. These kinds of problems, sometimes, are temporary and simple troubleshooting procedures such as reboot or soft-reset would suffice.

Step 3: Check your phone’s current baseband. There is always an advantage when you update your phone as soon as new firmware is rolled out. There are times when you couldn’t update the firmware on your phone because it’s not running the “required” baseband. So, check your phone’s baseband, which can be found in Settings > About device, and read the pre-requisites for the latest firmware. If this was the case, you may need to update your phone to run the required firmware before you can pull the new update down.

Step 4: Check mobile data connection. If the downloading process was interrupted and you were connected to the internet via mobile data, you might want to check your connection to your carrier’s wireless network. One way to know if there’s a problem is to call the hotline. By doing so, at least, you would know if there’s an issues with the update service or when you’re trying to download the firmware at a peak traffic time.

Step 5: Keep your phone constantly connected to the WiFi access point. If you’re trying to download the package via WiFi but couldn’t finish it because the connection is often interrupted or dropped, go to the Advanced WiFi Settings and set the phone to be ‘Always’ connected even when it sleeps or when the screen dies out so the download couldn’t be interrupted any further.

Step 6: Force close app that interferes. One of the reasons why you need to close all unnecessary applications when you’re trying to update your device is because some of them interferes with the process especially anti-malware apps or security suites. Disable them prior to downloading the firmware package to avoid possible complications.

Tell us your phone problems

The solutions we provided here are based on reports and testimonies from owners who have encountered these problems. I also ask my XDA developer friends regarding some of the problems. Now if you have other problems or questions with your smartphone that you want answered, don’t hesitate to send us email at

We don’t guarantee a reply to all emails because we receive hundreds of them daily, but rest assured your email messages will be read by me. But I urge you to provide as much details as possible so I could easily find references and compare your problems with reports from other owners. If your problem is as common as others, there could already be solutions that exist and I would surely point you to them. Screenshots often help so attach one if you can.

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