This is the easy way to manually upgrade your Galaxy S4 to Android Lollipop without losing existing data on your Smartphone.
There are two cases: one when you are on stock firmware and the other when your phone is rooted. The solution is valid for both cases with some small exceptions.
If your Galaxy S4 is on stock firmware there is a possibility that you already received it via your mobile operator. If you are inpatient or if you believe your mobile operator forgot you, this is how you can manually upgrade your Galaxy S4 to Android Lollipop.
Go to www.sammobile.com search your phone model (mine is GT-I9505) and download the corresponding firmware. You will have to make an account on www.sammobile.com, if you don’t already have one. You can see the steps in the video below this article.
If your country carrier don’t have yet the Android Lollipop 5.0.1 available, take one from the countries that have already released it (only if your phone is unlocked to work in any networks).
I must mention that my phone was unlocked when I bought it, and that’s why the carrier or the country does not count in my case. I cannot guarantee that this will work on a Galaxy S4 locked on a specific carrier.
Even though the update should not make you lose any data on your device, backing up all the information before starting seems like a reasonable idea. If anything goes wrong with the flashing, than you will have to do a factory reset and you will lose your data any way.
After you download the corresponding Android Lollipop 5.0.1 firmware you will also have a link there to download Odin v3.09. Before starting you need to have installed the latest Samsung USB driver and to make sure, if you have Kies installed, that no session of the program is opened in the task manager as it can have some conflicts with Odin. To check that you have the latest USB driver you can open Odin and connect your phone to your computer. If the ID:COM tab becomes blue it means that the phone is connected and that you do have the latest USB driver. If you don’t have the latest Samsung USB driver you can download it from here.
Run Odin as an Admin and load the extracted tar.md5 file on the AP section of Odin. Wait for the file to load, put your Galaxy S4 in download mode and connect it to your computer. To put your phone in Download mode you have to do the following: when your phone is turned off, push at the same time Volume down, Menu and the Power key. A warning will appear and you will have to push Volume Up key to confirm the Download mode.
Now that the phone is connected to Odin, you have to make sure that the only things that are ticked are the “Auto Reboot” and the “F. Reset Time” boxes. Push Start and wait about 5-7 min for the process to end. You can disconnect you phone when you see the Pass label on Odin.
If everything went as described now you will have installed on your phone the latest version of Android software.
In case that your device is rooted (as it was in my case) you must first un-root your device before following the same steps as above. You un-root by downloading and flashing the latest version of stock firmware available for your phone. As you will see in the video, I had to download one from a Spanish carrier as that’s where I bought my phone from. Once your phone is on stock firmware and you check the root has been removed, you can follow the exact same steps as above.
The video below will show you step by step how to do it. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask.