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What to do if your Galaxy S8 Plus won’t install Android update [troubleshooting guide]

We tend to receive a lot of update-related issues all the time. In today’s troubleshooting episode, we will address problems reported to us by some of #GalaxyS8 users. The main concern in this post in on how to deal with an Android device that fails to update, or won’t install a system update at all.

For AT&T S8 Plus owners, we also give a link to a guide that would show you how to manually update your device. Be sure to check to check it.

Before we proceed, we want to remind you that if you are looking for solutions to your own #Android issue, you can contact us by using the link provided at the bottom of this page. When describing your issue, please be as detailed as possible so we can easily pinpoint a relevant solution. If you can, kindly include the exact error messages you are getting to give us an idea where to start. If you have already tried some troubleshooting steps before emailing us, make sure to mention them so we can skip them in our answers.

Problem #1: How to fix Galaxy S8 Plus update issues: unlocked S8 Plus won’t install AT&T firmware update

I got a galaxy s8 plus a few days ago. It is an unlocked AT&T phone being used with AT&T. I’ve tried to update to android 7 or 8 times. It downloads just fine, but at the install part it stops at 24% every time saying there was an error and connection was lost I’m pretty sure the internet isn’t the problem because the connection is good and I’m usually looking on my iPad online while the update is happening. I’ve called AT&T and all they do is remotely start the update. Samsung says I have to bring it I to be serviced. I cleared the cache like you instructed in one of your articles but it did the same thing.

Solution: Clearing the phone’s cache is not the last thing that you can do in this situation.  You should also try to factory reset the device to see if there’s a temporary operating system bug that prevents an update. If a factory reset won’t change anything, that’s the time that you consider getting help from Samsung or your carrier.

For reference, here are the steps to factory reset your S8 Plus:

  1. Create a backup of your personal data.
  2. Turn off the device. This is important. If you can’t turn it off, you’ll never be able to boot to Recovery Mode. If you are not able to shut the device off regularly via the Power button, wait until the phone’s battery is drained. Then, charge the phone for 30 minutes before booting to Recovery Mode.
  3. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Bixby key, then press and hold the Power key.
  4. When the green Android logo displays, release all keys (‘Installing system update’ will show for about 30 – 60 seconds before showing the Android system recovery menu options).
  5. Press the Volume down key several times to highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset’.
  6. Press Power button to select.
  7. Press the Volume down key until ‘Yes — delete all user data’ is highlighted.
  8. Press Power button to select and start the master reset.
  9. When the master reset is complete, ‘Reboot system now’ is highlighted.
  10. Press the Power key to restart the device.

If you don’t want to send your device to Samsung, or go through your carrier’s support mechanism, you can also manually update to whatever firmware version you want by flashing. This is a much more complicated option though and a lot of average users don’t want to do it. Flashing is a term used in Android world to refer to a user updating or installing the firmware by himself or herself, as opposed to doing it via carrier- or Samsung-provided over-the-air updates. Flashing is basically a user’s way to modify core system of a device so it’s inherently risky and can result to bricking the phone. If you can accept the risks, you can go ahead and follow the steps detailed in this guide: Guide for Flashing Standard FW, Carrier Switching, and Flashing Unlocked FW.

Remember, flashing your device may result to temporary or permanent software damage. If something happens during the process and you’ll decide to bring it to Samsung or AT&T later, you may no longer get the support from either of them. Flashing is considered software tampering and if found out, automatically voids the warranty of your device. Samsung will not even take a look at it.

Problem #2: What to do if your Galaxy S8 Plus won’t install Android update

My issue occurs in the most recent software device update where i try and update it with my mobile data and my wifi network but it doesn’t update at all. After i try downloading the update, a message on the screen says “Couldn’t download update: Unable to update the software. A network or server error occurred. Try again later.” I’ve tried many times after the initial message and even soft reseted my device but the same message appears.

Solution: There’s a lot of variables to check if we want to know why your S8 won’t install a system update at all. Below are the common factors that you should check:

  • device has insufficient storage space
  • corrupted system cache
  • root software or custom firmware blocking the update
  • bad third party app
  • unknown software glitch
  • update being downloaded is incompatible
  • source of OTA update times out
  • unknown hardware malfunction

To troubleshoot your issue, there’s a series of logical steps that you should follow.

Ensure there’s enough available storage space

System updates usually take about 1GB of storage space. In order not to encounter errors during Android updates, you want to free up enough storage space in your device. The safest number is to leave 2GB free all the time. This allows system and app updates to proceed without a hitch.

Corrupted system cache

At times, Android system cache may cause problems if it becomes outdated or corrupted. To ensure that there’s no system cache issues arising anytime, always make it a habit to clear the cache partition once every few months. It’s a simple procedure so you can do it on your own. Here’s how:

  1. Turn off the device. This is important. If you can’t turn it off, you’ll never be able to boot to Recovery Mode. If you are not able to shut the device off regularly via the Power button, wait until the phone’s battery is drained. Then, charge the phone for 30 minutes before booting to Recovery Mode.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Bixby key, then press and hold the Power key.
  3. When the Android logo displays, release all keys (‘Installing system update’ will show for about 30 – 60 seconds before showing the Android system recovery menu options).
  4. Press the Volume down key to highlight “wipe cache partition.”
  5. Press the Power key to select.
  6. Press the Volume down key to highlight “yes” and press the Power key to select.
  7. When the wipe cache partition is complete, “Reboot system now” is highlighted.
  8. Press the Power key to restart the device.

Custom ROM or root

Some custom firmware or ROM, and even a few root software may be designed to block a device from downloading updates on purpose. If your S8 Plus runs on an unofficial software, this might be the reason for your problem. Try to unroot or restore its stock firmware first before you attempt to do over-the-air (OTA) update.

Bad third party app

To check if a third party app is the source of your trouble, try to check for OTA updates while the phone is on safe mode. In this mode, all third party apps and services will be suspended. If one of them is blocking the update, they should not be able to do so in safe mode.

Booting to safe mode is easy. Follow the steps below on how to do it:

  1. Turn the device off.
  2. Press and hold the Power key past the model name screen.
  3. When “SAMSUNG” appears on the screen, release the Power key.
  4. Immediately after releasing the Power key, press and hold the Volume down key.
  5. Continue to hold the Volume down key until the device finishes restarting.
  6. Safe mode will display in the bottom left corner of the screen.
  7. Release the Volume down key when you see Safe Mode.
  8. Check how OTA update works.

Incompatibility

Samsung devices are usually built to needs of each carrier so their firmware versions vary. An AT&T Galaxy S8 Plus can’t use Verizon’s equivalent firmware since the latter’s hardware is a bit  different from the former. Interchanging carrier-specific firmware is a no-no that’s why Samsung devices are designed to not download incompatible versions. If your device is built for a carrier different from the one you’re using right now, don’t expect to OTA update it at all. If you want to really update, try flashing it instead. Refer to our warnings above.

Server issue

OTA updates are being pushed by certain computers from your carrier’s side. Sometimes, too many users downloading updates at the same time may overwhelm the servers causing time outs or disconnections. This happens all the time, even in iOS environments. Try updating at a later time or date and see what happens. Once there’s enough bandwidth from the server side, OTA update should proceed as usual.

Software coding issue or unknown hardware malfunction

If all the suggestions above won’t work at all, even after you’ve factory reset the device, as instructed for Problem #1 above, you can assume that the reason is not fixable on your level. We suggest that you work closely with Samsung or your carrier for a fix.

Problem #3: Galaxy S8 Plus showing “the latest android version is already installed in your device” message when checking for update

I am using Galaxy S8 Plus  Model G955U(USA unlocked). I am not getting software update on my phone whereas my other friends who have S8 Plus are running on android 8 aue higher. My phone is still running android 7.0 and whenever i try to update it it shows that “the latest adroind version is already installed in your device” How can i get an android update without rooting? Or the only option is i have to change my phone? Kindly reply me as soon as possible.

Solution: As mentioned above, incompatible firmware version cannot be installed. Your Galaxy S8 Plus must be originally built to work for a different carrier. The message you’re getting when checking for updates is a generic one and expected for units that are not being used in the original carrier it was supposed to work for.

If you’re dying for an update, we suggest that you go through a riskier flashing procedure. Do it at your own risk.

 


Engage with us

If you are one of the users who encounters a problem with your device, let us know. We offer solutions for Android-related problems for free so if you have an issue with your Android device, simply fill in the short questionnaire in this link and we will try to publish our answers in the next posts. We cannot guarantee a quick response so if your issue is time sensitive, please find another way to resolve your problem.

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