LineageOS 18.1

We’ve been seeing some early unofficial LineageOS 18.1 build on the xda-developers forum as of late. But at the start of April 2021, the team behind the popular custom ROM officially announced the new update LineageOS 18.1.

Over 60 devices are said to be supported in this first round of LineageOS 18.1. Today we are going to show you how to update from an official LineageOS 17.1 to LineageOS 18.1.

We are going to be using the Essential phone as an example in this tutorial. However, this update process should be the same across all of these first batches of devices.

We can’t guarantee that this will work whenever you update from an unofficial build of LineageOS 17.1 to an unofficial build of LineageOS 18.1.

You will have to ask the developer on the XDA Forum thread for your device. So to begin this process you’re going to need to download a couple of things ahead of time. You need to download the new LineageOS 18.1 build for your device.

To download the official build just go to google and search for LineageOS download.

You will see the official download page of LineageOS, click on it to open it.

Tap on the hamburger menu to the top left of the page. There you will see the list of supported devices, you can just go to your device.

We’re going to download the ROM as well as the recovery image.

LineageOS 18.1

Another thing that you also need to the ADB and Fastboot tools on your PC/Laptop.

If you are not aware of How to download ADB and Fastboot tools and install it. Follow the following step-by-step guide to install ADB and Fastboot tool.

  • Open google
  • Search “Minimal ADB and Fastboot”
  • You will see the XDA developer link, open the link
  • Now that you will see a thread related to the Minimal ADB and Fastboot.
  • At the bottom of the page, you will see the download button from where you can download the ADB on your computer.
  • It is a simple .exe file similar to all other computer programs.
  • Download the file and Installed the Minimal ADB file and on your computer

If you want to install google apps on LineageOS 18.1 then you need to download a “G Apps” package.

However as of writing this tutorial, open “G Apps” does not have an Android 11 package.

So, we’re going to be using the mind the G Apps alternative. With all of that done, we will go into the settings application and we’re going to be enabling USB debugging mode.

If you haven’t done so already go ahead and enable developer mode. To enable it, go to the about section page in the settings application, then go to the software information and tap on the build number seven to eight times.

Now go back to the setting’s main page and search for the developer’s option and go into the developer’s option page.

In developer options, look for the Android debugging/USB debugging and enable it by moving the toggle next to it to the right.

So with the Android/USB debugging option enabled we can then connect our phone to our PC with a USB cable.

Then go ahead and run the ADB service.

The instructions on the LineageOS website say that we also need to enable root access options and then enable ADB only for root.

We were unable to find that on this device maybe because of an outdated version.

But there is a “rooted debugging” option which seemed similar but we are not exactly sure why they’re asking us to enable root. The next instructions tell us to run a command ADB reboot sideload and when we type that out as long as ADB or USB debugging is enabled and we have allowed access from the device and when we press enter it’s going to restart the phone.

At least it’s restarting our smartphone even without root access so that we can begin the sideload process.

We don’t think the whole root access options and ADB-only options in the instructions are required. If you’re able to boot into recovery mode and then enable ADB sideload mode.

So it doesn’t matter how you get into ADB sideload mode in your custom recovery, we just need to have either TWRP or lineage OS recovery installed on your device booted into recovery mode, then enabling ADB sideload mode.

Once we have our smartphone in our custom recovery and in sideload mode, we can connect our smartphone to your PC with the USB cable, if you haven’t done so already.

Copy the LineageOS 18.1 zip file which you downloaded from the website to the ADB and Fastboot tools folder.

Also Read:
How to Disable All Bixby Services on the Samsung Galaxy S21 Series with ADB?

This file needs to be in the same folder as your ADB  and Fastboot tools.

So that whenever we open up a command prompt terminal or PowerShell within that same folder we are going to type the commands.

We’re going to type out the command adb sideload and whatever the file name is for that you downloaded.

You can rename this file to if you want to just so that it’s easier to type out.

So again make sure your phone is in recovery mode, make sure it is in sideload mode waiting to accept that command.

Once we type it out we’re just going to press Enter.

Then it will send this update from our PC to our device before it begins updating from LineageOS 17.1 to LineageOS 18.1.

Now on our phone, we’re being told that the device is finding that update package.

It is opening that update package and it will verify that update package.

Once you see that the command prompt screen on your PC gets to 47%, you should see the phone update as well. It will switch from verifying the update package to installing the update.

LineageOS 18.1

This will stay at 47% for a minute, our device is currently displaying that we’re at step one of two. 

We just simply need to wait a little bit for the phone to install the big update.

LineageOS 18.1

After it completes step one or two we can see it instantly going to step two of two, again we just need to be patient as it will again take some time.

LineageOS 18.1

We are going to see an ADB failed to read command on our command prompt on the PC. That’s fine we’re getting a status 0 message on the phone as long as we don’t get any error messages on the phone here we should be good to go.

Now if you are installing the Google apps package we’re going to do the same thing that we just did.

We will copy and paste the “G Apps” zip file into the same folder as our ADB and Fastboot tools.

We’re going to go into the apply update so that we can apply an update from ADB and then we’re going to do the ADB sideload command just like we did for the actual custom ROM update.

But we’re going to do it for the google apps package and after that, if you want to install Magisk we’re going to do the same with that.

We’re going to copy the Magisk zip file to the ADB and Fastboot tools folder. We’re going to go into the apply update section and enable the ADB sideload mode. Then we’re going to do ADB sideload and then the Magisk zip file.

Now if you have TWRP installed you can flash those zip files like you normally do after you have done the ADB sideload.

We’re not going to be doing that here, we’re just updating LineageOS from 17.1 to 18.1.

So after we have ADB sideloaded the 18.1 updates and once we are finished sideloading any other updates. We’re going to go back to our main screen where we are going to make sure the reboot system now option is highlighted.

We’re going to press the power button to select that option and this first boot into android may take a little bit longer than normal. This is because the operating system needs to set some things up.

We have not done a factory data reset, we have not erased anything and we are keeping all of our data.

We are just updating from LineageOS 17.1 to LineageOS 18.1.

You can already see that you will be on android 11.

We can also go into the about the phone section, we’re at android 11 based on LineageOS18.1 and on the march security update with a build date of April 1st.

So that is how to update LineageOS 17.1 to the official LineageOS 18.1.

Experiencing difficulties with your Device, check out our “How To” page on how to resolve some of these issues.


  1. Hi
    Thank you for your explanation.
    I have done it with my Samsung a5 from 2017 !

    One question: when I boot to recovery mode, it is still the lineage recovery 17.1.
    How to update the recovery to 18.1?
    Thanks again.



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