The Android 2.3.3 (GRI40 for those keeping score at home) OTA update for the Samsung Nexus S has started to roll out, but there's no need to wait -- it's a breeze to manually install.  Think of it as the OTA update, with less of the A.  What you need to do:

  • Grab the OTA package here [ link via XDA]
  • Rename it to  This isn't needed for the Nexus S bootloader, but it makes things easy.
  • Copy it over to the internal storage on your Nexus S.
  • Power off, then hold volume up and power to reboot to the bootloader.
  • Using the volume key to navigate, select recovery, then use the power button to confirm
  • When you see the warning triangle and arrow, hold the power button and tap volume up.  You'll see a menu.
  • From the menu, select "apply update from /sdcard", and choose from the list.
  • Let it do its thing and update your system, radio, and other partitions.  When finished, choose "reboot system now"
  • Enjoy!

Sound off in the comments how things are going for you.


Reader comments

How to manually update your Nexus S to Android 2.3.3


Jerry, I'm new to this. Do we rename the whole folder to "" or just rename the "bootloader.img" file as

Oh I realized Mac was unzipping the file automatically, needed the zipped file on the Nexus S. All better now. Thanks

just put the update on my ns. will do husband's next. so far so good. hopefully this fixes the random reboot issue

It does seem like my screen contrast or something has changed since running the update. The white portions are more of an off-white(yellowish or tan) now and all the colors seem a bit off in general. Did anyone else notice that on their Nexus S?

that is the first thing i noticed too! and its pissing me offffffff!!! one way i "fixed" the problem was by manually changing the brightness setting on the connection manager.... i get a feeling this OTA was not as official as they claim... i kinda want to go back to what i had till its sent officially to my phone by T-Mobile

I agree ... it looks very yellow.

On auto-brightness, it is now too dark for me to use.

Is there a way to go back to 2.3.2?

Jerry, 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(i can't find one anywhere online, lol) 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? nexus s

1) Plug your phone into your computer with the USB cable
2) Drag down the notification bar and click "USB Connected"
3) Click "Turn on USB Storage" button
4) Open My Computer/Finder (depending on PC or Mac)
5) Locate your phone (one of the "Removable Storage" options on a PC, likely the name of your SD card on a Mac) and open it
6) Drag the file into this folder
7) Eject phone from computer and click "Turn off USB Storage" on your phone
8) Proceed with instructions in article
9) ...?
10) Profit

i have the same thing, too!! my bootloader is unlocked.. GAH!! anybody knows how one can go back to locked bootloader?? or maybe when the update can work for rooted users??

Just as a warning, it doesn't look like you can root 2.3.3 at the moment. I doubt it will take terribly long before you can though.

Right after getting the message "verifying update package" I am getting E: signature verification failed.
Installation aborted. Any reason why? thanks!

I'm getting that, too. I'm suspecting it's due to the same reason that all Google Apps installations fail on my phone (a Nexus S) as well: Somehow, when purchasing this directly from Best Buy, they gave me a phone with a "userdebug" build. This is *EXTREMELY* frustrating because, it seems, I am unable to update anything from Google. If I find a solution, I'll come back here and update.