You may need to install a firmware for your Samsung Galaxy devices for a variety of reasons. It could be as simple as you trying to update your device to newer build or Android version, or it could be that you are looking to fix a soft-bricked device manually as firmware helps a lot when looking for a way to unbrick a device.
Please read in more details below as to how a firmware helps you solve different types of issues. And that includes downgrade too, as also going back to stock.
Samsung Galaxy Firmware Installation Guide
Note: The guide for installing a firmware remains same for all Samsung devices. Yes, ALL Samsung devices. So, whether you own a new or old Galaxy phone or tablet, feel free to use the guide below.
Installing an official firmware through Odin doesn’t void your device’s warranty, but it remains an unofficial process and thus you need to be cautious of it. In any case, you only are responsible for your device. We won’t be liable if any damage occurs to your device and/or its components.
Backup, backup, backup!
Backup important files stored on your device before proceeding with the steps below, so that in case something goes wrong you’ll have a backup of all your important files. Sometimes, firmware installation may delete everything on your device!
Step 1. Make sure you have downloaded the firmware on your PC. Search our site for it if you don’t have it already.
Also, install Samsung USB driver (method 1 on the linked page) first of all. Double click the .exe file of drivers to begin the installation. (Not required if you have already done this.)
Step 2. Also, download Odin PC software (latest version).
Step 3. Extract the firmware file now. You can use a free software like 7-zip for this. Install 7-zip, then right click on firmware file and under 7-zip, select ‘Extract here’. You should get the a file in .tar.md5 format now. (You may get 4 or 5 files, with AP, CP or CSC written at the beginning of those files.) We will be loading this file into Odin, to be installed on device (in step 9 below).
Step 4. Extract the Odin file. You should get the Odin exe file (other files could be hidden, hence not visible).
Step 5. Disconnect your device from PC if it is connected.
Step 6. Boot into download mode:
- Power off your device. Wait for 6-7 seconds after screen goes off.
- Press and hold the three buttons Volume down + Power + Home together until you see Warning screen.
- Press Volume Up to continue to download mode.
Step 7. Double click on Odin exe file (from step 4) to open the Odin window as shown below. Be careful with Odin, and do just as said to prevent problems.
Step 8. Connect your now using USB cable. Odin should recognize your device. It’s a must. When it recognizes, you will see Added!! message appearing in the Log box in bottom left, and the first box under ID:COM will also show a no. and turn its background blue. Look at the pic below.
- You cannot proceed until you get the Added!! message, which confirms that Odin has recognized your device.
- If you don’t get Added!! message, you need to install/re-install drivers again, and use the original cable that came with device. Mostly, drivers are the problem (look at step 2 above).
- You can try different USB ports on your PC too.
Step 9. Load the firmware file into Odin. Click the AP button on Odin and the select the .tar.md5 file from above.
→ Normally, you get only one .tar file in Step 3, but if you got four (or more) .tar files in step 3, then load four files into Odin. BL tab will get file beginning with BL, AP will get file beginning with AP, and the same goes for CP tab and CSC tab.
→ As regards CSC file, choose file beginning with HOME_CSC if it’s it available, otherwise, that beginning with CSC.
- Info: When you load files, Odin checks the md5 of firmware file, which takes time. So, simply wait until that’s done and the firmware file is loaded. Don’t worry if Odin gets unresponsive for a while, it’s normal. Binary size will also show up in Odin.
Step 10. Make sure Re-partition check box is NOT selected, under the Options tab. Don’t use PIT tab either. Go back to Log tab btw, it will show the progress when you hit start button in next step.
Step 11. Click the Start button on Odin now to start flashing the firmware on your device.Wait till installation is finished, after which your device will reboot automatically. You’ll get PASS message as shown below upon successful installation from Odin.
- If Odin gets stuck at setup connection, then you need to do this all again. Disconnect your device, close Odin, boot device into download mode again, open Odin, and then select the file and flash it again as said above.
- If you get FAIL in the top left box, then also you need to flash the file again as stated just above.
Step 12. First start of the device may take time, so wait patiently again. And let’s verify the installation. Check the Settings > About device, to confirm new build no. based on the firmware you just installed.
Need help? Sure let us know via comments below.
Benefits of stock firmware
Back To Stock: If you wish to go back to stock on your Samsung device, simply installing a firmware using Odin will do it. Whatever customization you had done will be gone, like custom recovery, custom kernel, root access, etc. Device becomes as good as new software-wise.
Update: Installing a firmware with newer Android version or build no. is the easiest way to update your Samsung Galaxy device manually, without waiting for the OTA update, or when OTA fails you.
Unbrick: If your Galaxy device is not starting properly, and is stuck in the bootloop situation and thus rebooting after should the logo, then installing a firmware will fix that too. It serves as a good fix for soft-bricked devices.
Unroot, etc.: Well, you can easily unroot your device by installing the stock firmware. This will also remove custom recovery (like TWRP, CWM, Cyanogen, PhilZ, etc.), custom kernel, etc. stuff, as all partitions are installed with Samsung’s default respective images.