Manually install Fairphone OS on your Fairphone 1

Usually, you update your Fairphone 1 software via the Fairphone Updater app. In case this doesn’t work out, you can manually install the latest software version of the Fairphone OS.

Before you start:

  • Make sure you know which Fairphone 1 model you have. FP1 originally had a different storage layout than the FP1U, so has a different release. 
  • In case you have an FP1, make sure you have the Storage upgrade installed. An FP1 with an upgraded storage layout uses the same releases as an FP1U. If you want to first upgrade the storage layout of an FP1, download this file: FP1 storage layout upgrader (Kola Nut 1.8.7) (~200MB) - and continue with step 2. Remember: this erases all your data
    md5sum: e4f1e43082c6a5142cca3ebc4ed33671
  • If you are using an alternative launcher (e.g. Google Now Launcher), uninstall it
  • Make sure your battery is fully charged
  • Very important: Backup your data
  • Have a micro-SD card ready if you have an FP1U or an FP1 with the upgraded storage layout
  • Have a data-cable ready

Now you can get started.

  1. Download one of the two update files (ZIP archive) to your computer. The latest Fairphone OS version for the Fairphone 1 is Kola Nut 1.8.7
  2. Copy the downloaded update file to the Fairphone 1 with a data cable. You can copy it into the Download directory for example 
    • For FP1U & FP1 with upgraded storage layout: copy onto the micro-SD card
    • For FP1 with original layout: copy onto the phone’s storage
  3. Disconnect all cables connected to the Fairphone 1 and make sure that the battery has a full charge
  4. Shut down the Fairphone 1
  5. Boot the Fairphone 1 into the System recovery. Do this by holding the volume up button and the power button together until the screen turns on (around ten seconds). 
    1. The Fairphone displays the “Select Boot Mode” text. If not, take out the battery and start again. 
    2. Use the volume up button to place the arrow on the right hand side in front of “Recovery Mode”. Then press the volume down button
    3. A resting Android robot lying on the back will appear after a few seconds. Press the power button to enter the System Recovery
    4. Use the volume down button to navigate into the menu, confirm with the volume up button
    5. You can use the first entry “reboot system now” to leave the System recovery and go back to the regular operating mode. Or take the battery out
  6. Select the third entry “apply update from sdcard”. it will always state this, even if you don’t have a micro-SD card
    • If you don’t see any file name but only “../” as a selection choice, it means that you need to use a micro-SD card. Start again from step 2. Take the battery out to shut down the Fairphone
  7. Browse to the directory to which you copied the update file - e.g. Download. Use the volume down button and the volume up button to validate
  8. Select the file that begins with alphabetic letters - not punctuation. For example, "FP1-Fairphone_OS..." not "._FP1-Fairphone_OS...". Confirm with the volume up button to apply the update
    • The update will now take place with the notices "-- Install /sdcard ..." and "Installing update..."
    • Once complete, the message "Install from sdcard complete." will appear
  9. Wipe the cache by selecting the “wipe cache partition” entry. Once the wipe is complete, the message “Cache wipe complete” will appear
  10. Optional: wipe the device data by selecting the “wipe data/factory reset” entry. This action is equal to performing a reset of the device. This action erases all your data 
    • You will have to confirm the deletion by selecting entry “Yes -- delete all user data”
    • Once the wipe is complete, the message “Data wipe complete” will appear
  11. Select the first entry “reboot system now” and confirm to reboot the Fairphone
  12. Optional: (Re-)Install the Google apps


Older versions

If you need older versions of the Fairphone OS, you can find the downloadable files in a separate article.


Need more help? Contact our support team!

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