Force an Android Device to Find an Update

Alan Buckingham
Sep 26, 2012
Updated • Mar 27, 2018
Google Android

Android phones are the top-selling devices in the world today with Google recently announcing that they are currently activating 1.3 million handsets every single day.

With all of the different versions of the mobile operating system and all of the different carriers it can become easy to get confused, especially with updates to the OS. On top of that, carriers roll out updates on a staggered basis, likely to prevent a hit to their network resources.

What makes updates on Android that problematic is that different manufacturers used different systems to reveal the version of the operating system to the user and to run update checks.

The majority of devices support manual update checks. How that is done depends on the device, but it is usually an option in the Settings. You may find About Phone > System Update > Check Now listed there, or System > System update.

Since it is not possible to list all available paths, it is necessary that you browse the settings of the device that you use to find the option. Feel free to reply with a comment below to highlight the path on the device.

The manual update check queries an Internet server to find out if an update is available. One issue that you may run into is that most companies use staggered releases.  Even if your phone has an update available, if your carrier hasn't yet scheduled your device then this method alone will not find that update.

To fix this there are a few simple additional steps required.  It's also worth noting that this fix doesn't always work on the first try.  In a recent update it took me two tries, but some users have reported it working the first time, while others have said it took many attempts.

Before following the above mentioned steps try first heading into Settings and then Apps and click the show All.

Again, the path may be slightly different on your device. You may have to click on Apps & Notifications > App info to list all apps.

Now, scroll down to find Google Services Framework and click on it.  Click the Clear Data button and OK it then click Force Stop and OK again.

Google Services Framework has been renamed to Google Play Services in newer versions of the Android operating system. If you can't find Google Services Framework installed on your device, locate Google Play Services instead and clear its data and force stop it.

Now follow the steps for checking for an update.  If this was successful then the System Update page should now reflect a very old date (likely in 1969) as the time of the last check.  If it does not then you will need to repeat the clear data steps again.

While users of iOS and Windows Phone may all be in lock-step with their OS versions, those on Android have become accustomed to the fragmentation, but for many it's worth it because of the customization and variety of devices available.  Learning  a few tricks has just become a part of the Android landscape.

Force an Android Device to Find an Update
Article Name
Force an Android Device to Find an Update
Android phones are the top-selling devices in the world today with Google recently announcing that they are currently activating 1.3 million handsets every single day.
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  1. Anonymous said on August 30, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    My device note4 n910c has marshmallo but my device lose software then i go on mobile shop he apdate my device on lollipop so my device is not apdated to marshmallow plaese tell me how i do plz

  2. pedro Luis Utui said on July 11, 2016 at 4:03 pm

    My fone have problems of the system update I a halp

  3. Lolo said on July 1, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    This totally fucus up your play store don’t do it !
    Just don’t I tried on a BQ old phone and now I don’t have play store working right

  4. Jane Smouse said on January 21, 2016 at 8:42 am

    I have a lgl35g optimus logic,android 2.3.6 gingerbread it sets a date for an update but it will not update it even says it’s never been updated it also says my browser is no longer supported the date is July 20 2012 so I talked to straighttalk,trackfone,lg, google,and straighttalk again they were the only ones that tried to help me with another sim card could you help me please?

  5. Tammi Brown said on December 18, 2015 at 7:23 am

    I have an Android tablet 4.42 and the game I always played with ease now freezes – Scramble With Friend’s Free. Those at Scramble suggested an update but I cannot figure out how on here, Any suggestions? Thank you in advance, Tammi

  6. ashish said on June 12, 2015 at 9:42 am

    sir i upgrade our android gingerbread system

  7. Amiye Kennedy said on May 20, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    How can I upgrade my android for Samsung Alpha to the latest version?
    Please could you help me.

  8. Anonymous said on November 16, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    Go into settings > accounts > click on google > click on the account > options (top right corner) > remove account
    Then, go to the play store, and it will prompt you to add an account…should all then work

  9. Anonymous said on November 16, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    Remove the google account from your device, and then add it again…should solve the google play issues…did for me anyway on my nexus 7

  10. Youssef alkent said on May 22, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    It is not working can I disable it

  11. sumit sharma said on September 13, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    i am having micromax bolt a3 5.i want to upgrade it to icecream sandwich from gingerbread 2.3.5 please tell me sir how to upgrade it.

  12. Anonymous said on August 14, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    My phone does do net even show any dates of my last software check??? I tried three times anyway and nothing

  13. Akash Verma said on June 22, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    I am having spice stellar MI-320. I want to upgrade it to ics from android 2.3.4 the mobile has 254 RAM. Please tell sir how to upgrade it.

  14. AB said on June 8, 2013 at 8:25 am

    Until Android has a update system like Linux, Android is not an OS it’s a firmware.

  15. Denesh Banwarie said on May 2, 2013 at 9:34 am

    To fix your playstore. Go to Settings -> Apps -> All

    Then press, Delete Data, also clear the cache.

    Then try to restart the play-store. It should ask about using your credentials etc.

  16. rebecca herring said on April 14, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    and I cannot get my system to update. I have tried the forced stop and clear data 8 times and i cannot get it to work. Please help me. :(

  17. caymangolfer said on March 18, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    I have used this several times to get a new update pushed to my Nexus S 4, have never had an issue with Play, but a reminder as it stops the framework service, if it is not restarted then the google apps are not going to work and that maybe why some are having that issue.

  18. Cosmin said on March 8, 2013 at 7:39 am

    DO NOT TRY. It doesn’t work and it F*CKS UP your GOOGLE PLAY STORE.

  19. cozmik said on March 5, 2013 at 12:45 am

    Ok i have the Motorola droid4. Been waiting for the update since last fall. Gonna try this tip… anyone else have a real Droid & not just a model type?

  20. Sega said on November 2, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Got a Sprint Galaxy III. It took 3 times but it worked. I selected Samsung update and, BAM!

  21. Gary harden said on October 17, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    Yeah baby i tried it twice it worked the second time……i was on Wi-Fi all the time i was trying. Many thanxxx for the info.

  22. M^3 said on September 27, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    OK, used the market app on the phone to download an app and then the website on my computer started showing phone compatibility again.

  23. M^3 said on September 27, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    So how do I get Google play working again? I can’t believe I tried this w/o reading the comments first. Ouch.

  24. APS said on September 27, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    “Click the Clear Data button and OK it then click Force Stop and OK again. Now follow the previous steps for checking for an update.”

    Did not work. Repeated 5 times. No matter what, google services kept adding back 20kb of data. Also, since running this, google play no longer works. Is there a connection here?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on September 27, 2012 at 7:55 pm
  25. fokka said on September 26, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    i always dial *#*#checkin#*#* which seems to have the same effect. anyone know what the difference is?

  26. nexus said on September 26, 2012 at 11:36 am

    Wait, so does this bypass the carrier? Like, if HTC have released JB for my phone but my carrier hasn’t yet.

  27. ilev said on September 26, 2012 at 6:53 am

    95% of current Android phones won’t see an OS update ever.

    1. Chilala said on October 5, 2015 at 7:10 am

      I bought un Ipad from which just uses wi-fi, it doesn’t operate. When I open gallery it says “unfortunately gallery has stopped” same applies to setting, WHAT SHOULD I DO?

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