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How to Update Xperia Arc and Arc S with Official Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich

Good news guys as Sony just released the official Android 4.0 ICS OS update for its Xperia Arc, Arc S, Neo V and Xperia Ray handsets. Unfortunately, the firmware isn’t available worldwide, so far only few countries are receiving it. Therefore, if you still haven’t received the OTA update, you can try to apply the same, but manually. This means that you will have to download the software by yourselves along with other files that will help you update your Xperia Arc and Arc S devices.

This step by step guide can be completed for both Xperia Arc and Arc S model number LT15i / LT18i because they are very similar phones; don’t follow the same tutorial for other smartphones released by Sony, or by other companies as you can damage the system, or even wreck it. Also don’t do things on your own, just read this how to guide for safely installing the Ice Cream Sandwich update on your Android powered devices.

As usual, the present release of the software along with the procedure of applying the same was tested and developed by the xda-developers so we have them to thanks for this. Now, let’s see what you need to prepare for the proper procedure.

First, backup the data stored on your Xperia Arc, or Xperia Arc S:

  • Download SMS backup and restore apps for Android for saving all of your text messages, recent saves, or anything else stored on the SMS / MMS section.
  • Learn how to sync with your Google Gmail account for backing up the contacts names and numbers.
  • Download call log backup and restore tools for Android.
  • Use the SD card or a computer for saving other files from your phone. During the process the SD card might be wiped out too, so you better avoid storing files on it.

After securing the data you can look forward into other tasks; these ones are more related to the update so make sure you do all the things from the list. If not, there are big chances to have problems during the installation operation. As a final note, you need to use a Windows running computer and the phone’s USB cord.

  • You must be sure that the phone will stay “alive”. This means that it must have enough power left. There should be a minimum 60% power, but you can simply charge the battery as a precaution.
  • In the smartphone’s settings go and enable USB debugging: “Applications -> Development -> USB debugging”. For achieving this, the device should not be connected with the PC.
  • Deactivate the possible security programs installed on both the handset or on the computer.
  • Being the official release of the ICS firmware, you don’t need to have a previously rooted Xperia Arc / Xperia Arc S.

Only after reading and completing the up mentioned you can start updating your phones. Else, you will get error messages and the ICS will not work properly. Furthermore, do as explained during the steps; don’t try to perform the installation on your own.

How to manually Update Xperia Arc and Arc S with Official Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich

  1. The first thing you must do is to install the proper drivers on your computer. It’s preferable to have a Windows running PC.
  2. Get the file (Flashtool) from here.
  3. Go to the folder where you save it and open the “drivers” folder.
  4. Run Flashtool-drivers for installing the same.
  5. In the set-up window you must select two options (when asked): “Arc-Play-Neo-Acro ADB Drivers” and “Flashmode Drivers”.
  6. Wait until the process finishes and ignore the error messages displayed.
  7. Now, you have to download the ICS firmware. Get it from here and save it on the same computer.
  8. Change the extension from .zip into .ftf.
  9. Copy the file to the same folder as Flashtool.
  10. For starting to apply the update from the Flashtool folder run the “FlashTool” executable.
  11. Just select the “Flash” option.
  12. On the window that opens select “Flashmode” and then click “ok”.
  13. Choose your device from the list displayed and click on “ok” to proceed.
  14. The phone will be required. Connect it with the computer by plugging its USB cord. First, connect the USB to the computer, then get the phone and while holding the “Back” key (key at the bottom left on your Arc) connect it to the same USB cable.
  15. The ICS will now be installed on your device.
  16. Wait until the process finishes and don’t press anything.
  17. In the end ignore the possible error messages.
  18. Disconnect the phone from the PC.
  19. Reboot it.
  20. Ice Cream Sandwich should now be on board.

So, what do you say, it was quite easy wasn’t it? Anyway, if there were unexpected problems or if in the end, something isn’t working on your Xperia Arc / Arc S share the issues in the comments area and we will try to help you out. The Ice Cream Sandwich is now running on your smartphone but remember if you are not satisfied by how it works you can always downgrade to the previous version of the Android OS.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc Articles

  • Raul

    I am having problems with my sony ericcson experia arc s and the ICS, since I installed it my mobile is very slow, could anybody give me a few tips or should I downgrade it again?

  • Deji

    I tried to update my LT18i bit i suspect i missed a step in your outline. The phone could not boot but told me it is in flash mode. How can i correct that or possibly downgrade to the former OS.

    • Alex Dumitru

      Try to flash it again.

      • Vas

        Flashed the phone 3 times, seems that nothing is working. Any suggestions?

  • Ashraf


    • vb


  • Arvin

    After updating it to ICS, i lost the clarity on the cam, phone works very slow!!!!!!! 🙁 Wats d fix

    • alex

      me too

  • Hisham

    you should’ve mentioned to check the “no final verification” box. but thank you anw 🙂

  • kenny

    i cant dowload the file anymore!! help

  • sundar

    sim and memory card not recognition problem. after some time of restart it will stop recognition of sim and memory card so what to do.

  • Nana Yaw Oxylade Asante

    Please my xperia arc s phone doesn’t boot up when I dswitch on the phone
    so please i’m asking if I can still flash this ics 4.0.4 firmware to
    make it work again?

  • zain ali

    hello sir how are you …? i have one serious problam in my mobile. i
    have sony xperia arc s with 2.3 genjerbread i want my android4.0 so i
    download pc companion software for this purpose after starting upgrading
    software by mistake i have unplug data cable from mobile and all
    process of upgrade is stop so now my mobile is show blank screen with
    warning sign plzzzz helpme what can i do hope you understand what i want to tell you..

    • les

      is it still there? coz im willing to help