Android, How to Guides, Mobile

How to: Upgrade Your Samsung Galaxy S4 Firmware With Kies


So, you’ve heard on the grapevine that there’s a new firmware update for your Samsung Galaxy S4. Hurrah! Fixes and feature updates ahoy! But wait… you try an automatic update on the handset, only to be told: The software update service is not available. Maximum number of roll-out updates has been exceeded. Try later or update your device using Samsung Kies. Why can’t you update over the air and what do you do next? Let’s walk through manually updating your firmware with Samsung Kies.

The problem is one of capacity – to ensure that their servers don’t take too much of a hammering, Samsung only allow a certain number of devices to pull firmware updates at any given time. Once the available “slots” are exceeded, then you’ll receive the message above. Don’t be too worried, if you’re patient, you’ll get the update over the air soon enough. But if you need those new bits right now, then you can run a manual update via your PC or Mac using Samsung’s synchronisation and device management application, Kies.

Kies is available for both OS X and Windows and serves as a swiss-army knife of handy features for your Samsung mobile device. They include:

Sync your content wirelessly
No cables required. Just connect your device or tablet to any wireless network and tell Kies to sync your music, photos, and videos. You can even create playlists in Kies and instantly enjoy them on your device. What could be more convenient?

Get the latest firmware updates
Kies is the easiest way to ensure your device or tablet is always updated with the latest firmware, keeping your device as fresh as it can be.

Sync your contacts with Outlook, Google or Yahoo!
Want to import all your email contacts onto your device or back them up? Kies can sync with Outlook, Gmail and Yahoo! – the most widely-used email applications. You can also add and edit new contacts directly in Kies.

Back-up and restore all your data
With Kies, you can make sure that all the important info you carry around with you is safely backed up on your computer. You can also easily restore your previously backed up data to your device.

Buy Samsung Apps
Kies is your window onto a world of great apps. Explore the Samsung App store directly within Kies, choose the app you want to download, and have it ready to use on your device within seconds.

Head over to the Samsung website, and download the appropriate version of Kies for your computer. Install it, and then open the application. Connect your handset  to the computer via the USB cable and Kies should see the phone. Once connected, click on the phone entry and you’ll be informed that a new firmware update is available.


Hit the Update button, and you’ll see a number of warnings in the next screen. Take heed of the data backup advice – when I updated my phone this morning to wrote this article, I was subsequently informed following the upgrade that my SD card was corrupt, requiring a format.


>Note the option to “Allow saving of information” – left checked, your phone number, PC hardware specs and iP information can be kept on Samsung’s servers for 2 years. If you’re not happy sharing this information, then check Proceed without saving. Click Start upgrade.


Kies will head off to grab the download – in my experience this morning, the download took some time – clearly new updates have a lot of devices clamouring for attention, so those servers may be running slowly. Once downloaded, your phone will install the update, and you can reap the benefits of those new bits at last!

If you’re struggling to get your Samsung handset updated, be sure to share your experiences in the forums and we’ll do our best to help!

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Terry Walsh is the founder of We Got Served. He started the community in February 2007 with a mission to help families, tech enthusiasts everywhere figure out the technology needed to run the modern home and small business. He's the author of a number of guides to Windows, Windows Server and OS X Server and runs his own successful publishing business. Born and raised in Liverpool, England, Terry has been awarded Microsoft's prestigious Most Valuable Professional Award each year since 2008 for his work on We Got Served.
  • Great read again, least this blog is unique and genuine. No point scoring no playing companies off, just the stuff you need to know. Brilliant, keep up the good work.

    • Thanks David, I work on the basis that people are smart enough to figure out what product is right for them – but when they have decided, they may need a bit of help making the most of that choice…. really appreciate your feedback, thanks!

  • Soong Jiaxin

    Hi, I need some advice here. I followed the steps above and yet still can’t upgrade my S4 to the latest firmware. After the pc download had completed, phone displayed a message indicating that it is now downloading. However, it was stopped abruptly and a pop up message said that “it can’t detect phone, please remove the battery and reattach it back”. How can I solve this problem? Thank you. =)

    • Rahul Khanna

      Hey I also got the same error with my S4. DId you got any resolution ?

      • Abhilash Parida

        Exact same problem …after download of firmware was completed

  • Girish

    i have installed kies in windows 7 and i have got the message for firmware update for samsung galaxy s4 in kies but it has not exceeded more than 1% download after connecting for 1.5 hrs … please suggest me what to do,,,????

  • kyle

    Hi while i try to down load the new siftware through kies , the down load happens in about an hour , but when the upload has to happen i get a pop stating ”Faild to acquire permission from the GT0I9500 administrator. the program will close ..
    Please suggest how do i acquire permission from the administrator .

  • Senthil Kumaran


    I have latest Samsung Kies in windows 7, trying to upgrade S4 with latest firmware, but its taking long time and not getting any response. Please Suggest

    • Ravi A.V Kumar

      Any luck Senthil ? I have been trying since last few days. Query from phone says no update, but Kies downloads update, but then says ” PC failed to recognize device” error and suggests a battery pull to go back to phone.

  • Anna Konopcik

    Hi Terry,

    Can you tell me how big the firmware update for the Galaxy S4 is? I downloaded it to my phone via Kies on my PC and blew my data limit – almost 5G in one go! I wish it had warned me of its size.

  • NN

    Insane to limit access like that, since they don’t offer Kies for Linux. I won’t be buying a separate Windows/OSX computer just to upgrade my phone in a timely manner.

  • Bilal Ashkar


    I am wondering how much time does it take for me to be able to update my phone after it is roll-out exceeded. And is there a difference between updating manually and via kies air directly from my device?

    Best regards.

  • Bilal Ashkar


    I am wondering how much time does it take for me to be able to update my phone after it is roll-out exceeded. And is there a difference between updating manually and via kies air directly from my device?

    Best regards.

  • Varun Patel

    I checked few websites saying the update was around 350 Mb. I used my data card and it downloaded some 1.65gb data. After downloading my phone displayed a message saying “downloading, please do not disconnect the target” and then after some time the laptop displays a message that the phone was not connected and asked me to restart my phone. When I tried upgrading again, it started downloading the whole damn thing all over again

    • Bilal Ashkar

      Same happened to me.. and I cnt update via OTA as well, roll-out update exceeded.

  • kaeciLin

    .Im having problem on updating my software.
    .i reformat my phone last week,when my friend told me that there is a new update on s4. I immediately go to software update on settings But when i open my setting and go to software updates it says that my phone is already up to date. But there is no change on my phone except the camera settings.

  • ntsworld

    I am having windows 8 on my laptop .. how i update firmware through kies for galaxy s4

  • bri

    Hi my samsang galaxy 4 doesn’t take pictures or video . Idon’t knw what’s wrong with it. Can u help pls

  • lee

    Thanks buddy proper information laid out in a way even my grandparents could understand. .lee

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