How to install System update manually on Xiaomi devices

Like any other Android device, Xiaomi devices are designed to receive software updates over the air (OTA), but that’s not the only way you can install a new software update on your phone.

It’s true OTA updates are the simplest and perhaps the highly recommended way to stay up to date, but it can at times take ages before all devices get the OTA notification – a waiting process that can be painful depending on the state of the current software installed on your phone.

Luckily, Xiaomi allows users to manually install system updates on their devices, if waiting for the OTA update is out of the question. In fact, the Chinese OEM allows for two ways to do this: using fastboot or recovery mode.

In this post, we have an easy step-by-step guide on how to install system updates manually on Xiaomi devices using both Recovery and Fastboot modes, beginning with the easiest of the two.

How to install System update using Recovery mode on Xiaomi devices

Note – If you are updating to a discontinuous ROM or downgrading to an older ROM version using the full ROM pack, make sure you wipe all data in Recovery mode.

  1. On your PC, download the latest MIUI ROM from the official download pages.
  2. Rename the downloaded MIUI ROM file to update.zip
  3. Using a USB cable, connect your Xiaomi device to your PC
  4. Copy the downloaded ROM file that you renamed above into the root directory of your device’s internal storage. By root directory, it means the ROM file shouldn’t dwell inside any folder.
  5. Enter recovery mode on your Xiaomi device. You can do this in two ways:
    • Launch the Updater app on your phone and then click on the ‘…’ icon in the top right corner. Now select the Reboot to Recovery mode
    • Turn off the device. Now, press and hold both Volume up + Power buttons simultaneously to turn it on and boot directly into recovery mode.
      Note: In Recovery mode, pressing Volume up/down scrolls through the options on the screen while hitting the Power button means you are confirming the current selection.
  6. In recovery mode, select your language and then select Install update.zip to System One and confirm your selection by pressing the Power button. This will begin the update process automatically.
  7. The update will complete after a few minutes and when done, choose Reboot to System One and your device will boot to the new and intended software version.

How to install System update using Fastboot mode on Xiaomi devices

Like with Recovery mode, installing system updates using Fastboot also requires a PC, however, you also need an unlocked bootloader for this to work, alongside these steps (click here if your device is not unlocked):

  1. Download MIUI ROM Flashing Tool.
  2. Select your preferred MIUI ROM version from the list and download the corresponding files. Be sure to check if the suffix of the ROM file is .tgz. If not, rename it to .tgz.
  3. Turn off your Xiaomi device and press the Volume + Power buttons simultaneously to enter into Fastboot mode. Connect the device to your PC using a USB cable.
  4. Double click on the downloaded ROM file and decompress it.
  5. Open the file folder for the decompressed package and copy its path on your computer.
  6. Decompress the MIUI ROM flashing tool downloaded in Step 1.
  7. Double click on it to install on your PC.
  8. When the installation is done, open MiFlash.exe
  9. In its address bar, paste the folder path of the ROM file copied in Step 5.
  10. Click on the yellow circled-out button to refresh and MiFlash will automatically recognize your device.
  11. Click the red circled-out button to flash the ROM file to the device.
  12. Sit back and watch the progress bar inside MiFlash turn fully green, implying that the new system update has been successfully installed on your device.

Your device will automatically boot to the new software version.


In case you run into any problems trying to manually install system updates on your Xiaomi device, feel free to let us know in your comments below.

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A fan of all things Android. Not the geeky stuff, but the cool stuff. If not buried deep into the latest trends in technology, you'll find me enjoying a game of football. Real football. Oh, and I'm a staunch Chelsea FC fan.

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