How to upgrade from Android Lollipop to Android 10

If you’re running an older version of Android such as Lollipop or even Marshmallow, it may be time to update to the newest version of Android 10. Depending on your device, it’s probably time to upgrade to a newer model but those who want to keep their phone may update it to get the newest features and benefits of the Android OS.

Updating your phone to the latest version of Android is an incredibly simple task – follow the steps below – although when it becomes available is very much dependent on your phone manufacturer and mobile carrier. This could take anywhere between one and nine months to happen.

Android 10 upgrading via “over the air”

Once your phone manufacturer makes Android 10 available for your device, you can upgrade to it via an “over the air” (OTA) update. These OTA updates are incredibly simple to do and take only a couple of minutes.

  1. Open your phone and head to the “Settings” panel

  2. In “Settings” scroll down until you find an “About phone” option, tap it

  3. In “About phone” tap “Software update” to check for the latest version of Android

  4. Be aware that you may have to update your phone to the latest version of Android Lollipop or Marshmallow before Android 10 is available. You’ll need to be running Android 5.1 or higher to update seamlessly.

  5. Once downloaded, your phone will reset and install and launch into Android Marshmallow

How to force an Android upgrade (via factory image)

For those who feel a little braver with their phone update and really want to get their hands on the newest version of Android before anyone else, Google does offer Android factory images for download.

However, this process is only for advanced users. Using an Android factory image will wipe all your data, so make sure you backup your phone’s contents before you update.

Generally, Google only releases factory images for its Nexus devices, so if you run one of those, you can definitely upgrade via this method. For those using other phone models, be warned: while the images will work, they may not be optimized to run on your phone properly.

Currently, Google hasn’t made the Android Marshmallow factory image available for download, but when it does, this is how you can upgrade your nexus device.

  1. Download and install the latest Android SDK on your computer

  2. Add the SDK folder to the PATH:

    • In Windows:
      1. Open My Computer properties

      2. Advanced System Settings

      3. System Properties | Advanced | Environment Variables

      4. Select Path, then click Edit and type in directory for where you installed the SDK (remember, each entry is separated by a semicolon)

    • In Mac OS X:
      1. Make a note of where SDK ZIP file is unpacked to (by default it ends up in a directory called “android-sdk-mac_x86”)
      2. Open Terminal and paste “echo ‘export PATH=$PATH:/Android/android-sdk-mac_x86/tools’ >> ~/.bash_profile” to set PATH
  3. Enable USB debugging on your Android device in Settings | About phone | Software information
  4. If you haven’t already enabled Developer Mode, tap the “build number” seven times to activate it
  5. Once done, go to the newly accessible “Developer options” menu in Settings. Tick “USB debugging”
  6. Download the factory images for each device (Google will make these available once launched)
  7. Extract the image on your computer and connect your Android device to the computer via USB
  8. Boot your phone into fastboot by holding down the volume up, volume down, and power button when turning your device on. If you don’t own a Nexus device, here’s a list of other ways to boot into fastboot
  9. Open up a command terminal on your computer and execute “flash-all.bat” to install the necessary files and OS onto your phone
  10. Once done, Google recommends you lock your phone’s bootloader for security. This is done by rebooting your phone back into fastboot mode while connected via USB and then execute “fastboot oem lock” from a command terminal on your computer
  11. That’s it, you’re done!

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