How To Update Apps on a Vizio TV
One of the cool features offered by Vizio’s line of smart TVs is the built-in Chromecast device. Chromecast, of course, is the streaming media adapter from Google that lets you play video and music through streaming services directly onto your TV. The various channels, including music and games, are organized into “apps” on the Vizio TV. Since these apps are software-based and run on the integrated Chromecast’s processor, it’s important to keep the apps updated. In this article, I will show you how to keep the apps updated on your Vizio smart TV.
There have been multiple generations of Vizio smart TVs, and the procedures for updating the apps are different for the different generations. However, there are basically two categories of Vizio TVs; there are the older VIA and VIA Plus models, and there are the newer models (including the P-Series and M-Series) with SmartCast. I will walk you through updating the apps for both categories of TV.
Update apps on a Vizio VIA or VIA Plus TV
The original system for adding apps to Vizio smart TVs was called VIA, which stood for Vizio Internet Apps. If you want to update apps on these models, you have to do it manually. This requires removing the VIA app and reinstalling it, or performing a firmware update (which does the same thing).
To update your apps only, you need to remove then reinstall each app:
- Press the V or VIA button on your remote.
- Select the app you want to update and select the yellow button on your remote.
- If you see Update, hit that. If you don’t, select Delete App and then OK.
- Confirm your choice buy highlighting Yes and pressing OK.
- Navigate to the App Store using your remote.
- Select the App you want to update, or reinstall and select OK.
- Select Install and allow the process to complete.
Vizio uses the Yahoo platform to host these apps so you will see the ‘Yahoo Connected Store’ when selecting them.
To manually upgrade the firmware you will need a USB drive and around fifteen minutes.
- Turn on your TV, navigate to Settings and System to check the firmware version number under Version.
- Download the latest firmware for your model of TV from the Vizio support website. Select Support and enter your TV model number to get the correct firmware. Compare it to the Version listed on your TV and proceed if the installed version is older.
- Rename the file you downloaded to ‘fwsu.img’. This allows your TV to recognize it as a firmware image file.
- Copy the file to your USB drive.
- Power off your TV and insert the USB drive into your TV.
- Power on your TV. You should see a blue light on the TV telling you it has picked up the USB and the firmware image file.
- Once the blue light goes out, power off the TV and remove the USB drive.
- Power on the TV, navigate to Settings and System to check the firmware version number under Version to make sure you’re running the latest firmware.
Update apps on a newer Vizio TV
Subsequent generations of Vizio TVs use SmartCast TV, which is a version of Chromecast. With Chromecast you can use an app on your phone to cast content directly to your TV. These newer models do not require you to update your apps manually; they update themselves automatically when you aren’t using your TV. These models also update their firmware periodically, but you can do this manually yourself if you want to. Vizio TVs equipped with SmartCast make much shorter work of updates. As long as you’re already connected to WiFi, it should take just a few seconds to manually update your TV.
- Power on your TV.
- With the remote, select Menu and then Settings.
- Select System and Check for Updates.
- Confirm any updates if found.
You should see an on-screen progress indicator showing you how far along the update process is. Allow the TV to update itself without interference and your TV will reboot itself and load the latest firmware. You should now be able to open SmartCast TV and see any new apps or features released with the update.
TechJunkie has a lot of other tutorial articles to help you get the most out of your Vizio TV.
If you need to start over with your TV, we’ve got a tutorial on how to hard reset your Vizio TV.
Can’t hear anything on your TV? Check out our how-to on resolving issues with audio on your Vizio TV.
Do you have a Fire stick? We can show you how to use your Fire TV stick with your Vizio.
Just need a firmware update? Read our piece on how to update the firmware on your Vizio.
One of the cool things about Vizios is that you can control them with a smartphone app. You aren’t limited to the official Vizio app, though – check out our article on the best Android remote apps for your TV.
Do you have any other tips or techniques for getting the most out of your Vizio TV? Share them with us in the comments below!