block galaxy s4 OTA update

How to Block OTA Updates on Samsung Galaxy S4

Blocking any OTA updates on your Samsung Galaxy S4 is not a smart idea, Software Updates has important benefits on the device, it fixes some bugs issues and it adds-up enhancements for better performance. Samsung nowadays has aimed to block root exploits and tightened up security with latest Galaxy S4 Updates. But these latest update makes your phone safer, more secure, and ultimately doesn’t prevent you from having root. It only tries to prevent malware from abusing exploits like Exynos-abuse to gain root, and a consequence of that is disrupting how Superuser works on our phones. So, just make sure you have used a very reliable root kernel into your Galaxy S4, instead of using root exploit method that may ruin your device.

If you might have a Samsung Galaxy S4 that has root or installed with stock rooted ROM. Now, when Samsung or your carrier provider sent you a new OTA updates notifications and you’re afraid to lose your pre-installed root access privileges. This OTA update will keep bugging you hours after hours in the notification bar, and once you accept to it  your device will then restore back to factory default settings. Your root access has wipe out and if you are tired enough to start again from scratch then you can simply disable or block OTA updates temporarily and install it later if you wish.

block galaxy s4 OTA update
This method will work on all Samsung Galaxy S4 variants.

  • Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9500 International
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505 LTE International
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 SGH-I337 AT&T
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 SGH-I337M Canada variants
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 SGH-M919 T-Mobile
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 SGH-M919V Canada variants
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 SCH-I545 Verizon
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 SPH-L720 Sprint
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 SCH-R970 US Cellular

How to block incoming OTA update on my Samsung Galaxy S4?
Long press on the notification, select app info, and disable notifications, that should stop notifications for updates.

How to Disable OTA updates on a Rooted Samsung Galaxy S4

If you have a rooted Samsung Galaxy S4 you can delete these two files ‘fota.client.apk’ and ‘fwupgrade.apk’ with root explorer in system/apps. If  you get an error that “filesystem is write protected, just make sure while using root explorer click on R/W button at the top. If you have installed  an stock rooted odexed version, you can also include these two files ‘fotaclient.odex’ and ‘fwupgrade.odex’.  You can also use this features if you have Titanium Backup by freezing or deleting them eventually.

  • Run the ‘Root explorer’ app
  • Mount /system as read/write
  • Navigate to /system/app/
  • Rename or delete these fota.client.apk’ and ‘fwupgrade.apk’
  • You can also delete these ‘fotaclient.odex’ and ‘fwupgrade.odex’.
  • Reboot

Another method is by renaming a certain system apps to prevent it coming, you must have a root level file manager or use ‘ES File Explorer’.

  • Run the ‘Root explorer’ app
  • Mount /system as read/write
  • Navigate to /system/app/
  • Rename ‘wssyncmldm.apk’ to ‘wssyncmldm.apk.bak’
  • Reboot

However,  this solution  will only work in short term, the update comes back to haunt you again after a certain period of time. There is an apps called OTA Root keeper from Google Play Store that you should try to use, It’s an apps that temporarily removes and keep the root from your device once you apply any OTA updates and then simply re-root back again once the update has finished.

5 thoughts on “How to Block OTA Updates on Samsung Galaxy S4”

  1. You rule… thanks that was getting really annoying. Unfortunately it wouldn’t let me disable notifications, so I Killed it! F!r.. My S4 works the way I want it to, having the camera shortcut on the lock screen is about all that looked useful in this build. That’s not enticing enough for me to risk a hole new batch of bungs and infamous VZBloatware.

  2. So, if you do this, you can’t do ota updates any more at all. And, this didn’t stop my phone from giving me the update nag.

    I don’t reccomend deleting ANYTHING unless you know exactly what it is.

    I made a different folder, and moved SDM.apk and SDM.odex there, and that solved it.

    1. I know this is an older post but my s4 bugs me everyday to upgrade to Marshmallow. The first couple of times it tried it failed. I don’t want the update anyways as I’m worried my phone won’t be able to keep up with the update anyways. Could you tell me how to move a file from one folder to another. My phone is rooted. Thanks.

  3. For AT&T S4 users, you will need to go to /system/priv-app to find the wssyncmldm.apk and wssyncmldm.odex. rename or delete the files to disable system update

    1. thanks, found those files but didn’t do anything for sprint s4 with l720VPUFNG2
      still can’t find the damn ota 1gb file – probably one of the most annoying programmer, I’ve experienced in a long time..

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