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.

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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.

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>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.

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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!