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How to Update the Xiaomi Poco F1

xiaomi poco f1

Do you want to learn how to perform different update operations on your Xiaomi Poco F1? If you have to complete a certain update process but you don’t know how to do it, don’t panic as we’ve got you covered. During this dedicated and special step by step guide we will explain three different ways in which you can apply updates on your device, along with the methods and steps that are implied for each update solution. Thus, in the end you will know how to successfully apply OTAs, how to manually update or downgrade your Xiaomi Poco F1 by using the official full firmware package or how to install custom ROMs like Lineage OS, AOKP or Paranoid Android.

Along with the update steps we will discuss about other aspects which are essential for each flashing process. As you will notice we structured this tutorial into different sections, depending on the update operation that will be detailed. In each section we will review the advantages and the risks implied, we will resume the essential pre-requisites and in the end we will explain the steps that must be followed.

As already outlined during the introductory lines, by using this step by step guide you can learn everything about these particular update solutions available for your Xiaomi Poco F1: how to apply OTAs (from settings and by using stock recovery mode), how to manually install the full firmware file released by Xiaomi for your Poco F1 and how to set up custom ROMs for tweaking the general performance of your smartphone. You should check all the lines before deciding to perform a certain process and you should bookmark this guide as you might need to use it in the future too. Anyway, let’s get started.

Install OTAs on the Xiaomi Poco F1

As we all know, for at least two years, each OEM is ensuring official support for its devices. In a few words, your Xiaomi Poco F1 will receive monthly (hopefully) updates that are released in form of Android notifications and which can be automatically installed on your smartphone.

These are the so called OTAs (over the air updates) and for being able to receive them you don’t have to do anything in particular. Your Xiaomi Poco F1 must run on stock Android OS and tweaks shouldn’t be applied though – for example, if root was enabled you won’t be able to receive future OTAs (in that case you will have to use the full firmware package instead – more info about that can be obtained during the next section of this update tutorial).

OTAs are also released gradually, in phases and for limited markets only. Shortly, some Xiaomi Poco F1 users will receive their Android notifications sooner than others, which can turn out to be quite annoying. And that’s why, during the next steps we will see how you can try to force down a new OTA or how to apply the OTA package from recovery mode, when the OTA package can be downloaded from online sources.

Now, installing an OTA is an official operation backed up by your OEM. So, for completing the update operation you don’t have to use third party apps or programs and you don’t have to worry about losing your Xiaomi Poco F1 warranty or access to built-in apps. Also, you don’t have to worry about losing apps or data, which means that a backup isn’t actually required – you can do it anyway, just for your own protection.

What you need to do first is to verify the power that’s left on your smartphone as you have to plug in the charger if it’s under the 50% threshold – then, your phone can get turned off while the update process is being completed situation during which problems can be experienced (malfunctions can be caused).

As pointed already, sometimes an OTA is received sooner on some devices than on others. In those cases you can try to force down the OTA by following the next steps:

  • Power on your smartphone.
  • Enable a WiFi connection before doing anything else.
  • On your phone go to Menu and access general Settings.
  • From Settings navigate towards System Update.
  • There you can launch a search engine which can scan for new available updates.
  • If an OTA is available an Android notification will be displayed.
  • Just follow on-screen prompts and resume the flashing process.

If the OTA package can be downloaded from the Xiaomi website, or from any other source, you can choose to manually install the firmware on your Xiaomi Poco F1. There are two ways in which you can do that, so let’s see how to do it:

Flash the software update using recovery package

  1. Download the recovery file on your computer – the recovery update file must be available for your device and you can download the file from any reliable source you prefer.
  2. Then, connect your Xiaomi Poco F1 with your computer via USB cable.
  3. Transfer the recovery update file from desktop to your phone (place it inside the downloaded_rom folder) and unplug the USB cord.
  4. On your smartphone launch the Updater app and tap on the three dots icon located at the top-right corner.
  5. Pick ‘choose update package’ and tap on OK for starting the update process.
  6. That should be all; reboot your smartphone in the end.

ADB sideload the update package

  1. Download the OTA package on your computer.
  2. On the PC that’s being used set up the right drivers for your Xiaomi Poco F1.
  3. Also, set up Android SDK.
  4. Reboot your Xiaomi Poco F1 into recovery mode and connect your smartphone with your computer.
  5. From recovery mode choose ‘apply update from adb’.
  6. On your computer rename the OTA package into ‘update.zip’ and transfer the file inside the Android SDK folder.
  7. From that location open a command prompt window: press and hold the Shift keyboard key and right click on any blank space; the select ‘open command prompt window here’.
  8. In this cmd window type ‘adb sideload update.zip’ and press Enter.
  9. That’s all; the firmware package will be now installed on your phone.

Manually Install the Stock / Official Android update

If you cannot receive the OTA on your Xiaomi Poco F1, or if you are just tired of waiting for the Android notification, don’t panic and choose to manually complete the update operation. Do note that for being able to complete this update method the full firmware package must be available online.

The manual update process will revoke the recently applied tweaks – of course, if you managed to apply such customizations on your Xiaomi Poco F1. That happens because during the update process your smartphone will be fully restored back to factory state. Shortly, you can use this update operation as an unroot solution, for relocking the bootloader or for reinstalling the stock recovery image. Also, you can use the steps from below for making a downgrade, if the latest Android build is not stable enough, or if you better preferred the previous Android UI.

Additionally, a manual installation of Android OS can refresh the Android system and can help you repair different software related issues including the following ones: boot loops, lags, hangs, screen freeze, battery drain, heating problems, signal strength issues, total blackouts and so on.

Once more, manually installing the official Android update represents an official operation supported by Xiaomi. You don’t have to use third party flashing programs so you don’t have to worry about tripping the warranty flag. However, in this case a backup is recommended as, rarely, during the flashing process some files might get corrupted or a wipe might be involved.

Some pre-requisites are also needed in this case:

  • A computer is required and there you must first set up the Xiaomi Poco F1 drivers.
  • Your phone and its USB cable are needed too.
  • On your computer you have to set up Android SDK – if Windows is used, you can follow this tutorial and if MAC OS X / Linux is used you can follow this guide instead.
  • On your smartphone you have to enable Developer Options: access About Phone and tap repeatedly on Built Number until you receive the ‘you are a developer’ message – you will have to tap for 7 or 10 times until the mentioned message is returned.
  • On your device, from Developer Options (located within Menu – > Settings), you have to check the USB Debugging option – otherwise you might not be able to properly connect your handset with your computer during the update procedure.
  • Charge your Xiaomi Poco F1 before starting the manual update operation – plug in the charger if the power left is lower than 50% in order to avoid unexpected problems.

Good; now, since you are ready to begin the update operation, follow:

  1. On your computer download and install the Mi Flash Tool – you can download the official flashing program from this page.
  2. Now, download the fastboot firmware file that’s available for your smartphone – you can get this package from any source you prefer; unzip the update package on desktop.
  3. Next, power off your device and wait a few moments; afterwards reboot fastboot mode on your Xiaomi Poco F1.
  4. Use your phone’s USB cable and connect your handset with your computer.
  5. Run the Xiaomi flashing program on your computer and click on Select – then pick the firmware package from desktop.
  6. Now, in MiFlash click on the Refresh button; your device should be now automatically detected by the flashing program.
  7. When done, click on Flash and just wait while the update operation is being automatically completed.
  8. In the end, close the Xiaomi flashing program, unplug the USB cable and reboot your Xiaomi Poco F1.

How to install custom ROMs on Xiaomi Poco F1

Once the official support will be ended you won’t be able to receive the latest features, apps and capabilities unless you choose to tweak your Xiaomi Poco F1 and the best way to do that is by installing a custom ROM firmware.

A custom ROM is an unofficial update that can still keep your smartphone running on the latest Android build. Additionally, flashing a custom ROM is a great way to customize and optimize the Xiaomi Poco F1 performance, which means that it can represent a valid update solution even when you can still receive official OTAs from Xiaomi.

Shortly, a custom ROM is a free aftermarket distribution of official Android OS. It is only based on the official software but it represents a modified UI, designed to run faster and better than the original OS. Therefore, if you choose wisely (a fully stable ROM), with a custom ROM installed your Xiaomi Poco F1 can run better and faster than it used to. Among the customizations that can be achieved via custom ROMs we can mention the following ones: the ability of removing bloatware and start-up programs; the possibility to overclock or undervolt CPU frequencies; the possibility of installing apps from other sources than Google Play; the possibility of installing custom features that cannot be found on the official Android OS and which can improve the general Android experience and so much more.

Of course, replacing the stock Android OS with an unofficial update cannot be an official operation. In fact you cannot associate the steps from below and the actual custom ROMs with Google and with your OEM but with third-party devs. That’s why, if you choose to complete this particular update operation you are going to lose your Xiaomi Poco F1 warranty.

Moreover, for being able to set up a custom ROM you first have to complete three other additional custom operations: you have to unlock the Xiaomi Poco F1 bootloader, you must install a custom recovery image (we recommend the TWRP recovery software) and you have to gain root access. Otherwise you cannot replace the default Android OS with an unofficial firmware like Lineage OS, AOKP or Paranoid Android.

You also have to backup your Xiaomi Poco F1 as during the steps from below you will have to initiate a hard reset. If the backup is not applied you will therefore lose everything that was not there by default: contacts, call logs, texts, images, videos, audio files, market apps, internet settings, calendar info, saved passwords, IMEI / NVRAM data and similar other files that might still be required afterwards. So, you should take your time and secure such files – the easiest way in which you can backup your Xiaomi Poco F1 is by using built-in cloud storage services; additionally, you can sync files with your Google Account or you can use dedicated backup and restore apps available on Google Play.

The rest of the things that must be applied before the actual process are similar with what we already discussed during the previous section of this guide: a computer is required, you have to use your phone and its USB cable, on your phone you must enable Developer Options, the USB Debugging feature must be checked on your device and you must charge your Xiaomi Poco F1 before applying the steps from below if the power left is currently lower than 50%. And, of course, you then have to follow:

  1. On your computer download the custom ROM file that you want to set up on your Xiaomi Poco F1 – you can get it from any source you prefer (you can find different alternatives on xda-developers.com).
  2. Optional: if required (if not included in the ROM package) download compatible Google Apps from here.
  3. Save these files on desktop.
  4. Switch off your device and then reboot recovery mode on your Xiaomi Poco F1.
  5. From recovery you now have to make a hard reset and clear app data cache; thus, go and select ‘wipe data factory reset’, followed by ‘wipe cache partition’ and by ‘wipe dalvik cache’.
  6. When done, return to main menu of recovery and pick ‘reboot system now’.
  7. Connect your smartphone with your computer via USB cable and transfer the downloaded files (located on desktop) on your phone; when done, remove the USB cord.
  8. Now, switch off your phone again and reboot to recovery mode just as you already did before.
  9. From recovery tap on Install, pick the ROM file and swipe for starting the flashing process; if TWRP recovery isn’t used, choose ‘install zip from SD card’ followed by ‘choose zip from SD card’.
  10. Repeat the last step if required and set up Google Apps.
  11. When done, from main menu of recovery pick ‘reboot system now’.

Final thoughts

Well, the guidelines explained above should help you better understand the different types of update operations that can be completed on the Xiaomi Poco F1. After checking out this tutorial you should also be able to complete three different flashing procedures without hassle as now you know the advantages and the risks implied in each situation.

If you have questions related with the stuffs that were discussed above, don’t hesitate and contact us – you can do it by using the comments field from below. Also, share your update experience with our readers and tell us how you plan to further customize, optimize and personalize your Xiaomi Poco F1. Of course, if you had problems while trying to complete a certain update process we will try to assist you as soon as possible.

For more tips, tricks and step by step guides available for your Xiaomi Poco F1 don’t hesitate and check our ‘how to’ section. Also, stay close as we will bring new tutorials compatible with your phone along with other update opportunities from which you can further benefit. Enjoy.