Galaxy Note 9 is the latest Android based device released by Samsung and apart from being the most powerful Samsung branded smartphone ever made it will also receive official support for at least three years. And we all know that being able to apply updates is the best thing when using the Android UI and, also, the best way in which you can ensure a stable and smooth Android experience all the time. Thus, as you can already tell, knowing how to perform update operations on your new Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is not really optional.
That’s why this dedicated step by step guide should be checked out and bookmarked. During the lines from below we will discuss about the easiest ways in which different updates can be successfully and safely applied on your handset. And we’re not talking entirely about official update procedures as we will also detail the flashing operation that can be followed if some of you will prefer to replace the default Android UI with a custom ROM firmware such as Lineage OS, AOKP, Paranoid Android and so on.
Therefore, the tutorial will be structured into three large sections as it follows: updating using OTAs, manually applying updates or stock Android packages using Odin and manually flashing custom updates if you are ready to tweak and customize your smartphone, its Android UI and its general performance. Now, each of this large section will contain important info related with advantages, risks, essential pre requisites and the actual flashing steps that must be followed and applied. In that respect, all the info needed in term of update operations available for your Samsung Galaxy Note 9 will be detailed in this tutorial.
How to Apply OTAs
An OTA represents the official Android roll out released by Google and by Samsung and then provided to carriers, which will eventually push ‘over the air’ packages that are automatically received on your Samsung Galaxy Note 9 in form of new notifications. Such notification can and should be applied by the phone without your further assistance – all you have to do is sit back and relax.
Anyhow, when discussing about OTAs you need to know that delays can happen and that some users can receive the same firmware sooner than others. Moreover, an OTA can be received and automatically flashed only if your device is already running on official Android OS and only if tweaks weren’t applied – so, if a custom ROM is installed, or if root (for example) was enabled, you won’t be able to receive the Android notification which means that a manual update procedure will be required instead.
Of course, applying an OTA represents an official update operation supported by Samsung. Moreover, the data saved on your Galaxy Note 9 will remain safe and secured during the flashing process, so from this perspective you have nothing to worry about.
Now, the OTA can be applied in three different ways: you can try to force down the notification on your phone, you can use the stock recovery image for manually installing it, or you can adb sideload the OTA package on your Galaxy Note 9 – we will now explain each of this process in detail, but before doing that we recommend you to verify the power that’s left on your handset: charge your device before doing anything else if the power left is lower than 50%.
Force-down the OTA on your Galaxy Note 9
- Power on your smartphone, or reboot its system first.
- Then, go to Settings and access the Software sub-menu.
- From there access the search engine that can scan for new updates.
- If the OTA is available, the Android notification will be automatically displayed on your device.
- Enable a WiFi connection before resuming the update operation.
- Follow on-screen prompts and wait while the OTA flashing process is completed.
- Do note that your phone will reboot by itself several times during the update operation.
Manually install the OTA package from stock recovery
- A computer is required at this point.
- There you have to download the OTA package that’s available for your Galaxy Note 9.
- Power on your smartphone and connect it with your computer.
- Transfer the OTA file on your phone and when done remove the USB cord.
- Power off your handset and afterwards reboot in recovery mode.
- From there select ‘install zip from SD card’ and ‘choose zip from SD card’.
- Wait while the Android OTA package is being applied.
- In the end reboot your handset and enjoy.
ADB sideload the OTA file
- Once more, a computer is needed for this update operation.
- On this computer set up Android SDK: learn how to install Android SDK on Windows or how to set up ADB on MAC OS X / Linux.
- On the computer that will be used install the Galaxy Note 9 drivers.
- On your computer download the OTA file and rename it into ‘update.zip’.
- Transfer the recently renamed file inside the Android SDK folder.
- From that path open a command prompt window: press and hold the Shift keyboard key and right click on any blank space; then select ‘open command prompt window here’.
- Reach recovery mode menu on your Galaxy Note 9 and select ‘apply update from ADB’.
- Ensure a connection between your phone and your computer.
- In the cmd window type ‘adb sideload update.zip’ and press Enter.
- The OTA package will be now flashed on your smartphone.
- When done, close the cmd window, unplug the USB cord and reboot your smartphone.
Manually Install Stock or Official Updates on Samsung Galaxy Note 9 using Odin
If the OTA cannot be received on your device, if you are tired of waiting for the official roll out, or due to other similar reasons, the manual update operation can save your day. Odin will be used in that respect, this being the flashing program developed by Samsung and offered especially for flashing type of operations. Also, for being able to resume the steps explained below you must be able to download the full firmware package, whether we talk about the latest Android build or about a previous Android software that’s compatible with your Samsung Galaxy Note 9.
Now, the manual update operation can help you resolve software related problems as it will restore your device back to factory state. If a previous version of Android is used you can downgrade your handset, or you can use the latest official software for revoking the recently applied tweaks – after using Odin for setting up the official Samsung UI you will manage to revoke root access, relock the bootloader, reinstall the stock recovery image, re-apply bloatware and so on. And, since the Android core system will be restored back to default, the manual update operation can fix different software related malfunctions including boot loops, lags, hangs, screen freeze, battery drain, heating problems, signal strength issues, total blackouts and similar other problems.
Using Odin for installing the full firmware package is an official way in which you can update your Samsung Galaxy Note 9. So, you don’t have to use third party apps or risky tools for completing the steps explained below. Also, your data should be protected while Odin is used, though is rare situations some files might get corrupted or even deleted. So, as you can already tell, a backup is now recommended – you can easily save stuffs from your device by using Samsung’s cloud storage platforms, by syncing files with your Google Account or by using backup and restore apps from Google Play.
Being a manual update operation a computer will be needed. There the drivers for your Note 9 must be installed – in that matter you should use the Samsung KIES utility. On your smartphone you have to enable Developer Options and that can be done by tapping repeatedly on Built Number – eventually the ‘you are a developer’ message will be displayed. Then, from Developer Options (within general Settings) you have to check the USB Debugging feature.
Once more, if the power left on your Note 9 is lower than 50% you must plug in the charger – otherwise, your device might get turned off while Odin is being used and then you can end up in experiencing critical malfunctions on your smartphone.
Good; let’s see how to use Odin for completing this manual update operation:
- On your computer download and set up Odin – you can download the flashing program from here.
- Also, download the full firmware package that is compatible for your Samsung Galaxy Note 9.
- Save the update file on desktop.
- Run Odin on your PC in the end.
- And, in the meanwhile, reboot download mode on your Samsung Galaxy Note 9.
- Finally, with the help of your phone’s USB cable connect your phone with your computer.
- The ‘added’ message should be displayed on Odin, where the ID:COM field should be yellow or blue – if different, reinstall your phone’s drivers on your PC and retry.
- On Odin click on the AP button and in the next window select the firmware package.
- If asked make sure that you don’t select the Re Partition and the Auto Reboot options.
- Click on Start and wait while the update operation is automatically completed.
- The ‘pass’ message will show up and the ID:COM field will turn green; at that point you can close the flashing program, unplug the USB cable and reboot your Galaxy Note 9.
- That’s all.
How to Install Custom ROMs on Samsung Galaxy Note 9
After the official support will be ended you won’t be able to receive updates on your device. But, that doesn’t mean you cannot still install new features, apps and capabilities on your smartphone as you can always choose to take full advantage of the unofficial support offered by third party devs.
So, we should discuss about custom ROMs, these free-aftermarket distribution of Android OS. A custom ROM is therefore an unofficial port of the official Android platform which is modified and customized to be compatible with the Galaxy Note 9. In most situations the custom ROMs are better than the official firmware as it come without bloatware and with features that cannot be found on the stock UI.
If you choose wisely, you can install fully stable ROMs that will improve the Android experience on your Samsung Galaxy Note 9. And, with the right tweaks you can upgrade the battery life and speed up your device even when complex apps and processes are initiated.
Anyhow, replacing the stock Android OS with different custom ROMs represents great tweaking opportunities that can help you unleash the true potential of your Android device. And that’s why it’s good to know how to apply the steps from below, especially if you want to become an advanced Android user.
Setting up a custom ROM is no longer an official operation. In this case Samsung KNOX will get tripped so you will lose your Galaxy Note 9 warranty and even the access to built-in apps. The warranty flag can be reset but only if you choose to manually reinstall the stock Android system, so by following the previous section of this tutorial.
During the flashing operation a hard reset will be required and you will also have to clear app data cache. Shortly, a full wipe will be initiated which means that your personal data, info, accounts and files are in danger – thus, before doing anything else choose to backup your images, videos, audio files, contacts, call logs, texts, calendar info, saved passwords, market apps, internet settings, EFS folder or IMEI / NVRAM data. And, along with a general backup you should make a Nandroid one too – in that way you can save the current Android OS that runs on your Note 9 (if the new custom ROM will not perform as you expected, you will be able to go back to stock by flashing the Nandroid backup package).
Your Galaxy Note 9 must be rooted as otherwise you cannot install an unofficial Android firmware – the root process will unlock the Android system which will afterwards be modified and tweaked by the new ROM. Additionally, a custom recovery image must run on your phone as that environment must be used during the update sequence – for making things work without experiencing problems we recommend you to use the TWRP recovery software.
As explained during the previous section of this update tutorial, before starting to apply the manual update operation you have to apply some pre-requisites as it follows: a computer is required; your Galaxy Note 9 and its USB cable will be needed too; on your phone you have to check the USB Debugging option; you have to charge your smartphone before doing anything else, if the power left is lower than 50%.
Now, let’s detail the steps that can show you how to install a custom ROM firmware on your Samsung Galaxy Note 9.
- On your personal computer or notebook download the custom ROM that you want to choose – just make sure you choose a fully stable platform (the xda-developers.com platform offers a wide range of possibilities in that respect).
- If required download compatible Google Apps for the ROM you want to flash.
- Save these files on desktop.
- Switch off your device and then reboot recovery mode on your Galaxy Note 9.
- In recovery choose the following options: ‘wipe data factory reset’ followed by ‘wipe cache partition’ and by ‘wipe dalvik cache’.
- After the full wipe is completed return to main menu of recovery and choose ‘reboot system now’.
- Connect your phone with your computer via USB cable.
- Select the downloaded files from desktop and copy-paste them on your smartphone; in the end remove the USB cable.
- Reach recovery mode on your Android device again.
- This time, type on Install and go ahead and load the custom ROM package. Then, swipe for initiating the flashing process and just wait while the update is set up.
- Repeat the last step and install compatible Google Apps (only if this package isn’t included in the update file).
- In the end, from main menu of recovery select ‘reboot system now’.
- That’s all.
So, this update step by step guide should help you understand how certain update procedures can be easily, safely and quickly completed on the Samsung Galaxy Note 9. If you have questions or if you need further info, don’t hesitate and contact us by using the comments field available below. Also, share your update experience with us and stay close for new update opportunities available for your device. Enjoy.