How To Update Samsung Galaxy S3 to Android KitKat

With all these firmware options for different Galaxy S3 devices, we realise that can be confusing. Therefore, if you don’t want to wait for the carrier roll-out to happen, we decided to give you a hand to install the newest Samsung version of firmware called Android KitKat 4.4 on the Galaxy S3.

Because it takes only one person to make the update available, for each one, after the firmware is immediately available for your model you can install it on your smartphone sooner than waiting for the carrier to put it, which could take weeks or even months. There’s nothing tricky about installing it this way because Samsung provides the tools you need to do it.

Updating via Samsung KIES

Two different tools can be used for updating. Samsung Kies, a manual updater, lets you quickly install the newest firmware to your smartphone before the OTA. First, install Kies on your computer. Then plug your phone with a USB cable to your PC and Kies will do the rest. Kies will recognise what firmware version you have and what the newest version available is. If a new firmware is available through Kies, you can flash it, and that will be everything you will have to do for it to update itself. Another updating tool that we will present in this tutorial is Odin.

Updating With Odin

First things first, you need to find out your S3’s model number, and it’s easy to find it. Go to Settings and then About Phone and there you’ll observe the listed model number. Each S3 device has a different firmware. You could brick your device if you’re flashing the wrong firmware, mainly if your S3 is carrier locked. In U.S. it’s simply because every carrier branded version has a readily noticeable model number. For the international S3 though, the model number is same but with different carriers.

After you find out your model number, visit Samsung Mobile’s firmware page and, to find the newest original firmware for the used smartphone, and enter your model number. Take a look at your carrier in parenthesis for country. It’s not completely essential, but it’s safer to flash your exact carrier’s firmware. You could meet some problems with frequencies for the radio, but the single most important difference is carrier bloatware. It’s better to be safe than sorry. In some countries there’s no particular carrier firmware, it is just a generic one. After you have found your firmware, download it to your PC.

Next, you need a manual updating tool named Odin. Odin allows you to push your firmware to your smartphone, including custom ROMs. To go on with the process, you must connect your S3 to your PC in Download Mode and wait because Odin will first recognise the connection, after that, write something on the firmware and press Start. It’s important to backup all your important data before proceeding. For more safety, remove your SIM card or SD card before proceeding.

What you need to do

  1. Be certain that you have the right firmware to use for your carrier and model number.
  2. Download Odin, after that, open the program and unzip it.
  3. Go to Menu>Settings>Applications> Developer Options and enable USB Debugging. If it does not get enabled then, go to Settings>About Phone and press the build number a few times until the option is enabled. Make sure you have at least 75% remaining battery on your device.
  4. Now restart the Samsung Galaxy S3 in Download Mode. First Power off your phone, when it shuts down, hold the Volume Down button, then while pressing it, press the Home button and then press the Power on/off button as well. You will be pressing 3 buttons together until you see a Warning screen. Now press the Volume Up button to enter Download Mode (or Odin Mode).
  5. With a USB cable connected to your Galaxy S3 and PC, wait to get recognized by Odin. If nothing happens, you will need to manually install the Samsung drivers and then try again.
  6. Press the PDA button (from Odin v3.07) or AP (from Odin v3.09) and then go to the tar.md5 file in the downloaded firmware.
  7. Repartition must not be checked in Odin.
  8. Press start and wait for the process to get completed. Don’t try to disconnect the device from your PC.  It will get rebooted after you get a Pass message on your S3 and this might take a while. If it doesn’t reboot, then you are probably stuck in a boot loop. Re-flash the firmware again or do a factory reset using the hardware buttons.

In case of any problems, let us know in comments for assistance, and we’ll try to get to the bottom of it all. Or you can just trade your old model with a new one.

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