HandsetsTips & Tricks

Manually Update Your Nexus S to Android 2.3.3


Ready to get WebM support, writable NFC tags, and a fix for your random rebooting woes? Don’t wait for the OTA update, do the manual install of Android 2.3.3 now. Just like the Nexus One, the update file for the Nexus S has come online. Direct from Google’s servers, you can get your NS updated in a few easy steps.

Here is how:

  1. Download the Android 2.3.3 firmware for the Nexus S – here is the link to download.
  2. Rename the file update.zip and copy it to the internal storage of your Nexus S via USB. [Note: make sure the file is named update.zip and not update.zip.zip.]
  3. Power down your Nexus S
  4. Hold down the “Volume Up” button as you power the phone back on.
  5. A screen should appear showing your phone’s system searching for various files. Scroll down to “recovery” using the “Volume Down” key and press the “Power” button.
  6. When you see the triangle with an exclamation point symbol, press the “Power” and “Volume Up” buttons at the same time.
  7. From the menu that appears, select “Apply sdcard:update.zip.”
  8. When the screen displays “Install from sdcard complete” select “reboot system now” and wait for the phone to power back up.

And there you have it. A new Gingerbread build for the phone that already had it to begin with. Enjoy!

Kevin Krause
Pretty soon you'll know a lot about Kevin because his biography will actually be filled in!

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  1. I have to get me a Nexus One again (broke mine) or get me a Nexus S. I missed the Google updates. Everybody envys the Google update. LOL.

  2. Will the webm support bring 720p recording? =/

  3. I posted this on the Nexus One article also. It might be better to just name it “update” and not “update.zip” because I have done this before 2 times with 1.5 and 2.2. It will always add the .zip at the end when you put it in the root of your sd card.

  4. There is an update and download for Nexus one as well http://www.blogsdna.com/16139/how-to-manually-update-nexus-one-to-android-2-3-3-gingerbread.htm.

    Or you can use this on your phone to check: *#*#checkin#*#*

    I’m loving gingerbread so far.

  5. No need to rename it, the nexus s now allows for it to update from any name

  6. Not working for Nexus S

  7. Tried this a little while ago from a different site. Same url same result. Doesn’t work.

  8. The update has been altering color reproduction for many users, if not all. Beware that your display will likely appear different after the update.

  9. And i thought 2.3 already came with the Nexus S? Guess i was wrong.

  10. Didn’t work – In Step 7, there was an option for “Apply update from SDCARD”. And when you scroll down to that option and press the power button, it displays the list of files on the SDCARD. I scrolled down to update.zip and pressed the power button, after which it started the installation. But, after extracting and verifying the package it said installation was aborted due to some reason..

  11. The link posted by OMGNO will be the one most of you want it patches GRH78C rather than the older GRH78.

    @dc its 2.3.3 – an upgrade from 2.3.2

  12. The update to 2.3.3 on my Nexus S (Super AMOLED) has developed a distinctly yellow cast to the colours. Slightly sepia if you like. Previously it was very cold white. Not sure I like this at all. Why did Google do this? Grrrrrrrr

  13. Just updated from 2.3.2 to 2.3.3. My screen colors are really washed out now as Douglas warned. Also, the applications menu seems slower now. Anyone else noticing this?

  14. @Dave ok thanks

  15. Just updated my Nexus S and I too see a change in colour. Might just be that it takes some getting used to, but right now I hate that awful yellowy white.

  16. Hmmmm I’m getting a yellowish tone to the whole screen as well… I probably wouldn’t have noticed it if I didn’t read these comments

  17. The colors seem pale after the update, anyone else noticing this?

  18. I’m noticing the same thing with the colors. Really annoying.

  19. yep, thanks phandroid. my nexus s looks like shit now.

    wtf!! the screen looks like fucking shit

  20. Kevin, there are those of us who have never ever manually updated our android phones so i am having heck with it. I need a much better detailed directions on how to put this thing onto my phone from my computer. How do i put the 2.3.3 zip copy on my phone?

  21. yeah I noticed washed out colors.

    I dont understand it. I dont like it.

  22. I noticed screen color change and also brightness? What is this google ? is it to save more battery ???

  23. Maybe Phandroid should be warning people about the issue before readers download it and mess up their screens ?!?!?!?!

    but instead they’re more concerned with deleting comments

    thank you, my Nexus S looks like crap now.

  24. Still not having any luck with the update for my Nexus S. More likely user error than anything. Is there a program I should be using besides AndExplorer for renaming/installing files? I can’t seem to get the update to take. Also, if I go for a manual update and I can’t get it to work, will the OTA update still eventually work for me? (Just in case I can’t get the dang update to work.)

  25. I’ve the yellowish tone as well, and do no really like it!
    Does anyone know how to fix it??

    Does anyone know an app that permit to merge the facebook contacts again to the google ones??


  26. YES. Did my nexus one last night and my nexus S just now with the link in the article. For some reason, my nexus s had an “update.zip” and a “.update.zip” after copying from my mac. I removed the “.update.zip” that was only 4k then it worked. Woohoo.
    I’d like some ice cream now please

  27. yes, the colors are weird

  28. I updated 4 phones already, it’s pretty simple.

  29. I updated my Nexus One yesterday afternoon. Works fine.

  30. Guys I’m trying to update my nexus one. When I try to reboot it and hold the “Volume Up” key, it doesnt do what its suppose to do. Any suggestions?

  31. Updated mine yesterday, works just fine and my battery life is much better.

  32. If anyone is getting the Status 7 error, check out (patch provided):

    Also, it will give you all the updates from 2.3.0 to 2.3.1, 2.3.2, and 2.3.3

    Hope this helps people, and saves you the 2+ hours I spent.

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