How to Update Apps on a Samsung Smart TV
Samsung makes some of the best screens in the world, including screens for other TV manufacturers. But their smart apps and whole smart TV ecosystem leave a lot to be desired.
Smart TVs have changed the way people consume media for the better. Everyone no longer needs set-top boxes and media servers, or even third-party dongles. If you can get Netflix or Hulu directly on your TV, why do you need to buy more hardware?
Regardless, a smart TV is only smart when the apps work properly and are kept up to date. Along with a decent internet connection, these are the fundamentals of using your smart TV.
With Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, PLEX, HBO Now, YouTube, Spotify, and other services all offering apps for Samsung smart TVs, there is really no need for anything else. However, you may like the enhanced features of some devices like Chromecast with Google TV, Apple TV, Amazon Fire Stick 4K, or even a Roku.
Since updates to Samsung TV apps and system software are essential to reliable performance, it’s important to understand how to update them. Let’s get started with how to update apps on your Samsung TV.
Updating Apps on Your Samsung Smart TV
The easiest way to keep your apps up to date on a Samsung smart TV is to set them to update automatically. Just like your phone, computer, or tablet, the Samsung OS searches for updates whenever you turn on the TV or at specified periods, depending on the option. That way, you don’t even have to think about keeping them up to date. Here’s how to set Samsung TV apps to update automatically.
- Press the “Smart Hub” or “Home” button on your TV remote—models vary based on TV.
- Select “Apps” from the menu.
- Select “My Apps,” then “Options” from the following menu.
- Turn on “Auto Update.”
The above steps set your apps to stay up to date automatically so that you can get on with more important things. The downside of setting auto-update is that there is usually a short delay in accessing the Smart Hub when you first turn on your TV. You will see a message that says ‘Your Smart Hub is currently updating and is unavailable’ or words to that effect. Give it a minute, and that message stops.
If you want to update your apps manually, open “My Apps” as above and look to the top menu. You should see an update box a couple along from Options. Select that, and you’ll find a list of apps that need updates. From there, select one or select all and allow them to update.
Updating Your Samsung Smart TV
Aside from updating apps on your Samsung HDTV, the OS often requires an update to resolve performance issues and errors and improve features. You may even need to update the TV to get a new version of the Smart Hub and, therefore, new updates to certain apps that otherwise couldn’t update. If you’re lucky, you can perform a TV update from within the Settings menu. If not, you need to manually download the newest software from Samsung, load it onto a USB drive, and tell the TV to update.
Updating over the internet:
- Turn on your TV and select “Settings.”
- Select “Support” and then “Software Update.”
- Select “Update Now” if there is an update available.
There won’t always be an update to install, or the TV won’t find one, even if there is. You should also see an auto-update setting within the “Software Update” menu. You can set the option if you’d like to keep everything up to date.
If you have to update your TV via USB, it’s simple enough, yet it takes a little time.
- Navigate to the Samsung Support website.
- Enter the model number of your TV into the search box.
- Select “Manuals” and download the corresponding file to your PC.
- Select your TV model from the list.
- Select “Downloads” to get the latest software onto your device.
- Load that software onto an empty USB stick.
- Plug the USB stick into your TV and let it detect it.
- Select “Settings and Support” from the TV menu.
- Select “Software Update” and then “Update Now.”
- Point the TV at the USB drive and let the TV update.
Updating a Samsung TV using USB can take a while, depending on how out of date your TV is. There is a progress bar on the screen, but it sometimes freezes and then jumps ahead. If you see the progress halt, leave the TV a while before interrupting the process.
Samsung smart TVs offer a well-balanced application catalog but remember that some apps will become incompatible with the latest OS updates over time. The situation is common amongst brands, but not as bad as for LG TVs and even more for their Blu-Ray players. LG has been known not to provide many updates, primarily due to their newer webOS system but even more for their former Netcast system.
If you need to update your Samsung HDTV apps, it still holds strong that auto-updating is the way to go! However, not all apps are updatable. Automatic updates are just easier in general, which means you don’t even have to consider manual intervention.