Samsung make some of the best screens in the world, including screens for other TV manufacturers. But their smart apps and whole smart TV ecosystem leaves a lot to be desired. I know because I have owned a Samsung smart TV for a few years now, which is why I was tasked with writing this guide to updating apps on the Samsung smart TV.
Smart TVs have changed the way we consume media for the better. We no longer need set top boxes and media servers or third party dongles become purely optional. If we can get Netflix or Hulu directly from our TV, why do we need to buy more hardware?
However, a smart TV is only smart when those apps work properly and are kept up to date. Along with a decent internet connection, these are the fundamentals of using your smart TV. With Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, PLEX, HBO Now, YouTube, Spotify and other services all offering apps for Samsung smart TVs, there really is no need for anything else.
Updating apps on your Samsung smart TV
The easiest way to keep your apps up to date on a Samsung smart TV is to set them to update themselves automatically. Just like your phone, computer or tablet, the Samsung OS can search for updates whenever you turn on the TV or at specified periods. That way you don’t even have to think about keeping them up to date.
- Press the Smart Hub button on your TV remote.
- Select Apps from the menu.
- Select My Apps and Options from the following menu.
- Set Auto Update to On.
This should set your apps to keep themselves up to date and you can get on with more important things. The downside of setting auto update is that there is usually a short delay in being able to access the Smart Hub when you first turn on your TV. You will see a message that says ‘Your Smart Hub is currently updating and is unavailable’ or words to that effect. Give it a minute and that message stop.
If you do want to manually update your apps, open My Apps as above and look to the top menu. You should see an update box a couple along from Options. Select that and you’ll see a list of apps that need updates. Select one or select all and allow them to update.
Updating your Samsung smart TV
Sometimes you may need to update the TV itself to get a new version of the Smart Hub and therefore, new updates to apps. If you’re lucky, you should be able to perform a TV update from within the Settings menu. If you’re not so lucky, you will have to manually download the newest software from Samsung, load it onto a USB drive and tell the TV to update.
Updating over the internet:
- Turn on your TV and select Settings.
- Select Support and Software Update.
- Select Update Now if there is an update available.
There won’t always be an update to install or the TV won’t find it if there is. You should also see a setting to Auto Update within Software Update. You can set that if you like to keep everything up to date.
If you have to update your TV via USB, it’s simple enough but takes a little time.
- Navigate to the Samsung Support website.
- Enter the model number of your TV into the search box.
- Select Manuals and download and TV & AV.
- Select your TV model from the list.
- Select Downloads and download the latest software onto your device.
- Load that software onto an empty USB stick.
- Plug the USB stick into your TV and let it detect it.
- Select Settings and Support from the TV menu.
- Select Software Update and Update Now.
- Point the TV at the USB drive and let the TV update.
This can take a while depending on how out of date your TV is. I had to do this when I first got mine and it took fifteen minutes. There is a progress bar on screen to show you but it sometimes freezes and then jumps. If you see progress halt, leave the TV a while before interrupting or doing anything.
The Samsung smart TV is a top piece of kit with a great screen and decent audio but the smart aspect is still ripe for improvement. If you need to update your apps, I recommend setting everything to automatic and leaving the TV to it. It’s just easier and means you don’t have to even consider doing it manually.