How do I completely re-install the new Android on my Samsung Galaxy S3?

November 11, 2013
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Hi all,

I have a Galaxy S3 that I bought unlocked from ebay (ATT branded). I am doing business with T-Mobile; prepaid plan. I am interested in uninstalling my current OS and install the latest Android OS. I think my phone needs a complete OS reinstallation since I have noticed that apps have started to run very slowly. The phone even closes apps like Facebook and the Camera when it appears to work hard to keep up. Maybe I am running out of memory but I have tried to close most background processes and apps and clear the memory.

So, how do I get the latest Android OS on my phone? I am thinking of backing up everything through Kies, installing the latest OS and use Kies recovery to restore my data.

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  1. chris
    November 13, 2013 at 1:44 am

    i just purchased a at&t S3 and it has 4.1.2 so it is available just dunno how... so i cant help you there

    • Dalsan M
      November 13, 2013 at 10:21 am

      Most of the time you would go into the Settings menu on the phone, scroll down to About Device (Phone), then select Software Update to check if there is an OTA (over the air) update. If no update is found, then downloading and installing Samsung Kies (http://www.samsung.com/us/kies/) onto your computer and then plugging the phone or device into the computer to check for updates should be done.

  2. Caravaggio
    November 12, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    Download the latest stock firmware for you phone's model and carrier. Then put it in download mode and ODIN flash it to stock. Before you do this have you tried doing a factory reset. Its located in the accounts setting of the GS3. Maybe this will help fix that sluggishness.

  3. John P
    November 12, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    Not all OS upgrades are available to all devices direct from the manufacturers. For example, Samsung does a LOT more to their deployments in terms of the KNOX platform they incorporate for business. IF you don't want to wait, go to XDA-Developers.com and read the S III forum. http://forum.xda-developers.com/galaxy-s3
    Read this: http://goo.gl/28Qbea [an important first step for everyone] then browse the existing content.
    Before you ask a question, use the SEARCH option to see if it has been asked before (odds are it has).
    If not, then find the appropriate sub-forum and ask away.

  4. Ismael
    November 12, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    Indeed. At&t and Verizon are both slow with their updates. However, keep an eye out as the S3 should be updated to 4.3 pretty soon. Actually, Samsung has been rolling out updates for the S3, S4, and the Note II since late last month. I believe At&t's S3 update is due out on or around the 13th of November (tomorrow). So, I'd check again soon. Samsung skipped the 4.2 update for the 4.3 (just in time for 4.4 to be announced, smh).

    Good luck!

  5. Dalsan M
    November 11, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    That may be the most recent version for your AT&T branded phone. Google phones, such as the Nexus, and most recent devices would have higher priority on more recent updates than older phones and devices. This is because carriers want their own branded software and settings built in, which requires another set of developers to work on the updated Google version of Android. Google phones like the Nexus do not have much carrier branded apps installed, thus would be quicker to get updates, and be updateable longer.

    In order to install a more updated version of Android, you would have to root your device, install a custom recovery, download and install a custom ROM with the latest version of Android and download and install a compatible GApps zip file. Here is where you can start: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?p=29957094 (for rooting and installing a custom recovery). Here is where you can find many different custom ROMs, up to version 4.3.1 Samsung based (possibly higher): http://galaxys3root.com/category/att-galaxy-s3-roms/.

  6. Stb B
    November 11, 2013 at 1:42 am

    Update: I found out how to do this through Samsung Kies.

    However, I only have access to Android 4.1.1. via Kies. That version is not the most recent. Why doesn't Kies have a more recent version of Jelly Bean available? Android 4.1.1. came out in summer 2012.

    Can I get a more recent version of Android through alternative methods?

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