Galaxy S9 on Pie

Samsung got its act together on the UI front a few years ago, making dramatic changes to the interface in a bid to modernize its software aesthetic. But updates were always a sore point for the brand, and while it has made huge strides in this area, there's still a lot of work to be done.

With Samsung being the largest smartphone manufacturer by some margin, it has to roll out updates to dozens of models with multiple SKUs. Doing so requires a considerable investment in engineering resources as each update has to be tested and validated before passing on to the carrier, which does its own testing to ensure basic services like calling and cellular data aren't affected.

Then there's the fact that devices like the Galaxy Note 9 are available with different chipsets in various markets, compounding matters further. The result is that Samsung is yet to roll out the stable Pie update to its devices. The company is currently testing the Pie update in beta form on its latest flagships, with the update introducing a new One UI design language that looks much more modern.

Here's how you can trigger an update on your Samsung phone.

For Samsung phones running Oreo/Nougat

Initiating a manual update is identical for phones running Oreo and Nougat, so whether you're on a Galaxy S9 awaiting the Pie update or are on an older device that's yet to make the switch to Oreo, you'll have to follow the same process:

  1. Open Settings from the app drawer or home screen.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of the page.
  3. Select Software update.

    How to update the software on your Samsung Galaxy phone

  4. Tap Download and install to manually initiate an update.

  5. Your phone will connect to the server to see if an OTA update is available.
  6. You could schedule software updates to install at a particular time. Just select the toggle for Scheduled software updates and set a desired time for the update to install.

    How to update the software on your Samsung Galaxy phone

For Samsung phones running Pie

Samsung overhauled its user interface with Android 9.0 Pie, introducing a new visual design with more modern elements. The settings section has also been simplified to make it easier for users to navigate their way through the menus, but the update process itself is relatively unchanged.

  1. Open Settings from the app drawer or home screen.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of the page.
  3. Select Software update.

    How to update the software on your Samsung Galaxy phone

  4. Tap Download and install to manually initiate an update.
  5. Your phone will connect to the server to see if an OTA update is available.
  6. If there is an update waiting, your phone will automatically commence the download.

    How to update the software on your Samsung Galaxy phone

  7. You can select to install the update right away by hitting the Install now option, or defer it by selecting Schedule install.
  8. Selecting Scheduled install lets you select a time for when the update will be installed. Pick your desired time and hit Ok.
  9. You'll see a confirmation of the scheduled install, and the update will be installed automatically at that time.

    How to update the software on your Samsung Galaxy phone

Use Smart Switch if you run into any issues

If for whatever reason you're not able to install an update — or if you don't see it on your device just yet — there is a workaround. Samsung's Smart Switch software is ideal for installing updates manually by hooking up your phone to your PC or Mac.

How to get Samsung software updates faster using Smart Switch

The caveat here is that Smart Switch will only work if a particular update is already available for your device. For instance, if Samsung rolls out the stable build of Pie for the Galaxy Note 9 in Poland first (as it is wont to), you won't be able to install that particular build if you're using a U.S. version of the phone. But if your carrier has rolled out the update and the OTA hasn't hit your device yet, Smart Switch should make it easier to install the latest build on your phone.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9

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Android 9 Pie

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