How to extract Huawei firmware and its UPDATE.APP file

Huawei Honor device

The Chinese tech giant Huawei builds a massive range of smartphones for all of high-, mid- and low-end segments. But when it comes to software updates, not everybody receives the latest update from Huawei at the same time — whether that be Face Unlock update, or Android Oreo itself — which is why you may want to install the update all by yourself. Regional restrictions can keep you away from receiving the OTA notification for weeks, and even months.

Since firmware files are easily available online, you can always flash the Huawei update files yourself. But in order to do so, you need to extract firmware first. We’ve created a guide to help you through every step of extracting the firmware from the file.

Credit: A big shout to ante0 for his original guide at XDA Forums, which is the source of this guide and the images used herein. If you find this useful, you may want to thank him.

Things you will need:

Step 1: Identifying your device firmware build

Before you head over to the Huawei firmware database linked above, you will need to find out the build number of your device. To do so, simply head over to Settings – System – About Phone – Build Number.

  • For example, the build number of a Huawei Mate 10 Pro running Android 8.0 Oreo would be the following – BLA-L29
  • In order to find out the firmware version of the Huawei device, you need to replace the Android version (8.0.0.) with the model number (C636). Also, you need to add “B” in front of the final digits of the build number (132).
  • So, the firmware version of the build number BLA-L29 would be BLA-L29C636B132.

Step 2: Download the file

So now you can simply use the firmware version of your Huawei device and use the firmware database to find and download the necessary files.

  • Copy the firmware version that you have derived from the build number of the device.
  • Paste it into the Huawei firmware database website and press the Find Model
  • On the search result page, look for the listing that reads “FullOTA-MF”.
  • Press the “update” button right next to it and allow the “zip” file to be downloaded.
  • Once you have the “zip” file downloaded on your computer, use your archive extractor to extract the “UPDATE.APP” file to a folder where you can easily find it.

Step 3: Using the Huawei Update Extractor tool

With the necessary files downloaded and the Huawei Update Extractor installed on your computer, open the program by running “HuaweiUpdateExtractor.exe”.

  • On the program screen, click on the Settings tab and then uncheck “Verify header checksum
  • Head back to the Extract tab and press the “” button to browse and find the saved “UPDATE.APP file” you had earlier extracted.
  • Right-click on the files that you want to extract from the UPDATE.APP file and click on “Extract Selected” to select the destination of where you want to save the extracted file. You can select files like system.img, boot.img, etc.

Step 4: Flashing the extracted file

In the case of this tutorial, we will choose to extract the “RAMDISK.img” file from the UPDATE.APP and flash it using Minimal ADB and Fastboot.

  • Reboot your Huawei phone into Fastboot mode. Method to that may vary from device to device, but here are some ideas. First power off your device, and then try:
    1. Connect it to PC using a USB cable while holding Volume down button.
    2. Another method could be: Press the Power + Volume Down buttons and release the Power button when the phone vibrates.
    fastboot Huawei Honor
    fastboot mode on Huawei and Honor devices
  • Open the command prompt window and connect the phone to the computer using a USB cable.
  • Type in “fastboot devices” into the terminal window and confirm that the device shows up on the screen.
  • To flash the file extracted earlier, type in “fastboot flash ramdisk RAMDISK.img” into the terminal window and hit Enter.

Similarly, you would have to extract the “BOOT” file from the UPDATE.APP folder when flashing on Android 7.0 Nougat devices. You would then use the command “fastboot flash boot BOOT.img”.

That’s it.

Did this guide help you find the right firmware file for your Huawei device and flash it successfully? Do share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Posted by

Sharing a love-hate relationship with Biotechnology in college, Husain moved on to his true calling of being a tech geek through and through. While briefly being persuaded by the iPhone, he made it back to the Android camp with the OnePlus One and has been a loyal comrade since.


  1. When I flash my ramdisk it says Failed! Command not allowed. please help.

  2. How to flash recovery

Comments are closed.