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Manual Android 2.1 Update for Motorola Droid

Sure I attempt to get 5 hours of sleep and almost miss out on all the phone fun…

*Note 1* – If you need to return to stock from a custom ROM, follow these instructions.

Instructions to manually install 2.1 on your Motorola Droid:

1.  Download this file:   update.zip (alt link)  (alt link 2)  (alt link3)

2.  Place file on the root of your sdcard (not in any folder)

Make sure it is named UPDATE.ZIP!  Alt Link2 needs to be renamed!

3.  Turn your phone off.

4.  Boot into recovery (Power + X)

5.  Wait for a triangle with exclamation point to appear.

6.  Hit the volume up and camera button (half-way down) at the same time.

7.  Using the D-Pad select “apply update.zip” and press in the gold button on the D-Pad.

8.  Reboot

9.  Bam!  2.1 goodness!

Update 10:01AM 3/31: Added a News and Note section to help those with any issues.

*Note 2* – By the way, if any of the download links drop, please contact me!

Full review coming later today for those still on the fence about unrooting.

  • DatDudePug

    it keep saying installation fail on my droid

  • Ray

    Im not sure if i did this right but i still see ROM manager in my apps

  • TJHmojoman

    when I try to apply the update it says it can't verify the file and cancells out of the update tried several download file same thing happens??

  • Ant B

    does nothing when i press volume and camera button. WTF!!

  • Ant B

    how do i move file to root or sd card? i know im noobish

  • just letting you know, for those of you who SUCK at getting into recovery mode like i do. if you go to the Security settings, and do a Factory Reset from there-it does the same thing and Clearing the Cache / Data wipe

  • mrwildman1

    Thanks Kellex! i got it installed, and it fired right up. i had the eye thing for a few minutes, but then it came to life. this sight rocks!!!

  • thecommishonher

    Would this 2.1 update work on the Eris?

    • guest123456m

      Anyone have any idea?

  • Works perfectly! Thank you!

  • ProjectXero

    Did it. Works perfectly! Thank you!!

  • rgardner

    I installed the 2.1 update, but know I have the superuser permission ninja in my app drawer. Is it supposed to be there?

  • Matt

    is it possible to uninstall the update.zip after updating to 2.1?
    I would like to go back to the old update and wait for verizon to send me update notification.?

    • nkhex19

      The update.zip you installed is the exact same file Verizon is going to send you OTA. I personally don't know how to go back to 2.0.1 but I'm sure there is a way if your really set on waiting for Verizon. I just wanted to let you know though its the same file. Your just installing it early before they send it to you.

    • US Marine

      yes but it requires RDSLite and the sbf 2.0.1 file


  • Troy

    Mine worked but i still have 3 home pages and i dont have the new app launcher. whats the deal?

  • Ken

    I don't think this is the official update from VZ. Because, if you have noticed, there is no Yahoo email account option available on this update, that was mentioned on the leaked VZ 2.1 update…Is this correct or am I missing something?

    • HR

      I have to agree.. I did a Mod Recovery to my Rooted Stock 2.0.1 and installed the update. System now reads as 2.1 update1 and I am still rooted.

      • rgardner

        Me too, how do we go back to unrooted from here?

    • a1locjaw

      See if you can set up a Yahoo mail account easier now under the regular email program from the app drawer.

  • Chuck NY

    Manual update worked fine. After reboot, I did lose all the phone information (number, PRL Version, MIN) and had no network. A second reboot cleared it up. Thanks Droid-Life !

  • Joe

    My droid is stuck between red eye and “droid” word whats up with it help please need to go to work soon lol

    • logicmanNY

      It seems to take a very long time to restart after installing the update.

  • bboy9110

    how do you put the file in your sd card?

    • logicmanNY

      Connect to your PC via USB cable. Pull down notification and touch USB connected notification. Touch Mount. Droid should show up on your PC as Removable Disk. Then copy and paste update.zip.

      • bboy9110


  • bry

    YAWN…..that was a lotta hype for nothing…still love the phone but that was so rediculously drawn out for a few smallllll changes. I knew what was going to change but somehow I still had higher expectations.

  • dhabes

    when i boot into recovery mode and hit the volume up and camera button nothing happens. please help

    • Bry

      keep trying it takes a while …just hold them down and if nothing happens for like 10 secs stop and try again.

  • Mark Benson

    I and 4 of the guys I work with all followed this and it worked without a hitch for all of us! Awesome update by the way…

    • Seneca

      How long does it take your droids to boot up after the update? My first boot up took forever after doing the update, but then doing additional reboots now, it still takes mine like a lil over a minute to completely boot up.

  • Seneca

    Should it take a minute and a few seconds to boot up with the 2.1 update?

  • Julian

    I have no lock screen can anybody help me out please.

  • flavorman55

    anyone tried using rom manager with 2.1 yet?

  • dianaland

    Install successful! and I'm a newbie. But could use advice on making my POP3 email account send reliably. It's my own domain, hosted by GoDaddy, which uses a Yahoo SMTP outgoing address — Verizon support told me there would be problems until the update. But after the install, I can't get a test outgoing message to send from my Outbox, either with 3G or WiFi. Do I need to remove and re-enter account settings? (as I've done before to get email unstuck) Or am I likely to keep encountering this issue even with the update? If so, I'll probably have to return the phone (I have another week), as pretty as the new wallpapers are!

  • Seth

    You CAN Bluetooth the file to your phone and then apply it.

  • jamesfac

    Ok downloaded 2.1 and phone info says it has 2.1 instead of the 2.0 before. So what is different about my phone now? My concern was wanting the voice to text. As in my manual. I called motorola before and they said it was in the 2.1 software. anyone try it yet?

    • jamesfac

      Its working!!!!!!!!!!!!! Love this voice to text!

  • jamesfac

    oK I downloaded the 2.1 and when i check phone info it sayd 2.1 where it was 2.0 before, so now what has changed?

  • emanuelc

    my gallery stopped working, it said “application is not installed on your phone” how can i go back to stock 2.0.1

  • USmarine

    My device has sat at the droid eye for an hr now and manual udpate…what can I do to fix this?

  • jduro923

    Attempting update….just wanted to know if I do it from stock or from rooted droid??

    • kino


      • jduro923


  • DeeMat

    Thank you Kellex and the rest of the team. Successfully updated using your instructions – any problems I ran into were self inflicted.

  • rreusch

    Last night I check ROM Manager and they had Ultimate Droid V9.0.0 available for installation. So I did and it says Firmware Version 2.1. Is this a rooted version of 2.1? The last version of UD had a Firmware version of 2.1 updater 1, if I remember correctly. Is Verizon 2.1 better than the UD v9.0.0?

  • MobileMe

    Guys, will this process to 2.1 update work on a Brazilian retail, 2.0.1, rooted Milestone?

  • jduro923

    Is this the verizon 2.1 update I'm looking at…

  • dabruise

    got it working. looks great so far not as many features as cyanogen but i think cyanogen was killing my battery a little to fast for my taste anyway. the speech to text feature on the stock keyboard is a sweet feature

  • Billyhouse

    Will this work for me?I still have a file still on my sd/card from when i unrooted that's named update. Do i need to delete this from my root?

    • kino


    • JLeo87

      Had I the same issue earlier this morning. I had an update.zip and a stock-update.zip in my root. all I did was just move those 2 files off my SD card and into My Documents on my desktop, just in case I might ever need them again in the future. After I did that I took the new update.zip file and placed it in the root where the other 2 update files had previously been. After that I simply followed the directions given here on DL. It work flawlessly and went smoothly.

  • Todd

    Kellex you are the best! Worked perfect first shot, thanks for all your work and now I don't have to wait, HOORAY!!

  • kellex

    Added news and notes section to help those with issues: http://www.droid-life.com/2010/03/31/droid-2-1-

    • PGD

      What is a Motorola Droidt ?? lol just seen myself in title heading 🙂 Proves we are all way to busy to get this update than actually read something, lol.

      • kellex

        its been well documented that i was struggling this morning. 🙂

    • rgardner

      After updating, am I still supposed to have the superuser permission ninja in the app drawer?

  • smurgen

    I am thoroughly enjoying this update and using voice recognition to type this post yes

  • dabruise

    i went back to stop and it seemed to be working now that i am rebooting it keeps going in a loop from droid to red eye from droid to red eye……

    • dabruise

      had to completely wipe my phone. its activating now

  • Hello, I got this update, and multitouch isnt working

  • paligap

    Will this work for the Droid Eris? I SOOOOOOO want 2.1 – have been putting off rooting….

  • My firmware version says “2.1-update1”. Just want to make sure that's correct. Let me know please & thx.

    • cpeter753

      yes this is correct.

    • Christian Lee

      Also, I opened browser and I can't do pinch zoom. Thought this was part of the update.

      • Christian Lee

        Info on this? Anyone? Kellex?

      • starcrwzer

        I thought I had the same problem, until I went to a web page that didn't support mobil's, pinch zoom worked fine there. I don't have any zoom capability on a page that is set for mobil viewing.

    • Exodus615

      does the update delete all your apps?

      • Christian Lee

        Does not delete apps. Am very curious why pinch zoom in browser doesn't work however.

        • Christian Lee

          Pinch zoom works on gallery perfectly. Live wallpaper is cool. “Neural Network” is a cool one.

          • LOS

            my live wallpapers dont work any ideas

  • nasunog

    I have not gotten an update notification yet :-(……. should I be worried…

    • Brendan

      no because only 10,000 people have received the update you will probably getting it tommorow

    • cpeter753

      no just manually install it. i did it and it went flawlessly and im to tech wiz by any stretch of the imagination. Just follow the instructions above and you're golden

  • kino

    Totally painless install. I was afraid I would have to fix all my home screens and what not again after just reconfiging post-unroot yesterday, but everything stayed and HelixLauncher (not 2) is working fine. Soft keys, speech-to-text, market all functioning. Probably still go back to root though just for the kernels. Man, I was loving that battery life.

  • darkcomartist

    I have my facebook contacts to sync with my regular contacts but for some reason 1 or 2 of my facebook contacts does not sync up and one of those contacts disappeared from my normal phone contacts altogether. Anybody having an issue similar to this and did you find a fix for it?

  • kbro87

    help i keep getting the note “failed to read footer from /sdcard/update.zip” any help from any one would b awesome

    • Brendan

      are there any other update.zips on your sd card??

    • jared12

      no and it keeps aborting the update

      • Brendan

        try a different link

    • leftiphone4droid

      I was getting the same error message. What I was doing wrong was renaming the file “Update” after i had transferred it to the root of my SD Memory Card. I then had a copy of it on my PC desktop, I renamed that to “Update” then I transferred it to the root of my SD Card and everything worked. So try that too….

  • jared12

    can someone call me and walk me through it 323 752 0192 jared

  • Ok, here is some good news for those of you who want the update now and don't have immediate access to a computer to move the file. If you copy it from downloads file with astro and paste it up one folder, it will work. When prompted, chose install update zip from sd card, right after the volume and camera button step … it does take some time, as someone else has said, on moto logo screen and driod eye screen, but be patient.

  • jaymez007

    Ok, probably a question that's been answered, but do I *NEED* to unroot to get the update, or can I just restore my saved standard ROM (rooted, but other than that stock 2.0.1) and run the update?

    • Brendan

      Just unroot to be safe, it could screw your phone up