How to “check for updates” on your Android device

How to your hands on the latest Android version

Updating your Android can be a painful experience that requires a lot of patience, depending on the device you own and the carrier you’re with.

Customarily when a new version of Android starts rolling out, it doesn’t hit every device at the same time – it depends a lot on your location. The process can take up to a few weeks, but there are ways to ensure you get the update sooner.

The majority of users usually wait until they receive a notification on their handset which alerts them the new update is available for download. But you don’t have to. Just use the “check for updates” button in Settings, which has been recently updated to help you get the new software a lot quicker.

Follow these steps to manually Check for Updates on your Android device (a OnePlus 5T was used for the purpose of this tutorial):

  1. Open up the Settings app either by using the app icon or by tapping the gear-shaped settings button in the notification bar
  2. Scroll down all the way to the bottom until you reach the System menu
  3. Tap on System Updates
  4. Tap on Check for Updates to see if you have something new

Different manufacturers do things differently, so for example, if you own a Samsung phone you’ll notice things are arranged a bit differently.

  1. Open the Settings app on your Samsung phone
  2. Look for the dedicated Software Update section and tap on it
  3. Tap on Download updates manually to check for updates

It’s worth mentioning that the functionality of the “check for updates” button has changed in recent months. Now when you tap that button, the system will recognize this it’s a user-initiated process and if a new software version is available, you’ll get it immediately.

In the past, the button didn’t do much to speed up things along, so some impatient users resorted to sideloading the OTA updates. But this shouldn’t be necessary anymore.