How to Force an OTA Update to Install on Your Google Pixel Phone

Table of Contents

Updating your Google Pixel phone with the latest software updates is crucial. You'll get important security patches, new features, and improvements.

But sometimes, the update doesn't automatically install on your phone. Don't worry, you can manually force the update by following these steps:

Prerequisites Before Forcing an Update

Before starting, ensure:

  • Your Pixel is connected to strong Wi-Fi or mobile data
  • Battery level is at least 50% charged
  • You have enough storage space - updates average 100MB
  • Your data is backed up

Method 1: Use the System Update Menu

This is the easiest way to check for an available update:

  1. Open Settings and go to System > Advanced > System update
  2. Tap Check for update
  3. If an update is found, it will start downloading

However, this only works if an update is actually available for your device model. If you get a "your device is up to date" message, try the next methods.

Method 2: Reboot Into Recovery Mode

  1. Turn off your Pixel completely
  2. Press and hold Power + Volume Down buttons together
  3. Select Recovery mode in the boot menu
  4. Confirm by tapping the Power button
  5. You'll boot into Recovery mode
  6. Hold Power and tap Volume Up to see the Recovery menu
  7. Select Apply update from ADB
  8. Choose Reboot to Bootloader
  9. When the phone reboots, hold Power and tap Volume Down to highlight Start
  10. Press Power again to restart normally

This forces a check for updates from Google's servers. Go to the System update menu after reboot to install any pending updates.

Method 3: Clear Google Play Services App Data

  1. Go to Settings > Apps & Notifications> Google Play services
  2. Tap Storage & cache
  3. Select Clear storage or Clear cache
  4. Confirm clearing data
  5. Reboot your Pixel

Wiping Play services data makes it recheck for updates after rebooting.

Method 4: Leave and Rejoin Android Beta

If your Pixel is enrolled in the beta program:

  1. Visit
  2. Select Leave beta to unenroll
  3. Reboot your phone
  4. After a few minutes, re-enroll in the beta
  5. Reboot again

This forces your phone to check for the latest stable public update. Useful if stuck on an old beta build.

Method 5: Factory Reset as a Last Resort

If all else fails:

  1. Backup your data
  2. Go to Settings > System > Reset options > Erase all data (factory reset)
  3. Confirm reset
  4. Set up your Pixel again after resetting
  5. Check System updates for latest software

Resetting makes your phone check for and install the newest available update during setup.

Troubleshooting Tips

  • Ensure your Pixel model still gets updates from Google
  • Check you have enough free storage space
  • Your device is running factory Android - not rooted/modified
  • Use Android Flash Tool if your phone is very outdated
Update not showingEnsure your Pixel variant gets updates, has storage space, not rooted
Stuck on old buildCan't install the update
Stuck on the old buildFactory reset device to force update check during setup


Keeping your Google Pixel updated is important for security and new features. Try the solutions in this guide to force your phone to detect and install the latest over-the-air software update. Let the update work its magic after a reboot or reset!

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