How To Force Nexus Device Marshmallow Updates

As a Nexus owner, I know every month that Google is going to release a security and bug fix update for Android Marshmallow my Nexus 6 and Nexus 7.  The challenge of course is when that update will actually hit my device after it has been released.  Google, like other manufactures, stage these updates and it can sometimes take weeks for it to hit your device.

Don’t get me started on carrier locked versions. -.-

While you can always manually check to see if the latest version of Marshmallow on your device (Settings>About Phone (or Tablet)>System Update), the reality is that really doesn’t get you moved up in the queue any faster and some have suggested it makes no difference at all.

There is however a way to force an update to your device by manipulating the Google Services Framework on your device.  Indeed it is quite possible that this method will work on non-Nexus devices but I have not tested it.  The key thing for you to keep in mind as you try this is that it may take you several attempts to get this to work – and it may not work at all.  In my case, it took me 1 try to get my Nexus 7 (2013) to update to the January build of Marshmallow but it took me no less than 6 tries to get my Nexus 6 to update to the same release.  Patience is important but this could be a way to get an update a bit quicker other than a full-on flashing of the device.  Also, do this at your own risk as you are manipulating how Android operates on your device.  You may have to restart your device and worst case reset it.

First, make sure that you have all your apps closed on your device and you may even want to reboot it so everything is reasonably cleaned up from a RAM perspective.  With that done, follow these steps to try to force the update.

  1. Go to Settings>Apps and then use the menu to Show System apps
  2. Scroll down your apps list until you find Google Services Framework and then tap it.

    Android Marshmallow Icon Screen
    Android Marshmallow
  3. Tap on Storage and tap the Clear Data button.  Now go back to the Google Services Framework app by tapping your back button
  4. Tap on the Force Stop button on Google Services Framework.
  5. Tap on Storage and the Clear Data button once again.
  6. Now to to Settings>About Phone (or Tablet)> System Update and check for a system update.

If everything worked as it should, you should see the update starting to download to your device.  If you only get an updated time on the last check time stamp, time to repeat the process above.  I’ll remind everyone that it took me half-a-dozen attempts on my Nexus 6 to get this to work so you may have to try it repeatedly.

And it could be that it never works for you.  On this particular hack, it seems your mileage varies widely.

If you happen to be on a Nexus 6, 5X, 6P or 5 you can use a dial code to do the same thing as above which is a bit quicker.  That dial code is *#*#2432546#*#*   That code forces the Google Services Framework to stop and you can then immediately go to check for an update in Settings.