Motorola Droid 2.1 Update Manual Install


Verizon is finally pushing out the Android 2.1 update for the Motorola Droid. Why wait for the OTA update. For less than 5 minutes of your time you too can be enjoying all the 2.1 goodness.(unless you’re already rooted and have been running 2.1 for months)

Continue on for Step by step instructions to install the upgrade.

Step by Step Instructions:

1. Download the update file direct from Google here: Motorola Droid 2.1 update ESE81-from-ESD56 or if there is a problem downloading it from there you can try this alternate link.
2. Copy the file to your SDCard in the root = sdcard/ (not in a subfolder). If you need a file explorer for your Droid we recommend Estrong File Explorer for Android.
3. Make sure you have “” (without the quotes) in the root of the sdcard – rename to if necessary.
4. Power the phone off.
5. Force the phone to boot up in recovery mode: Press the Power On button of the phone and the x button on the keyboard at the same time.
6. You will then see a triangle with the exclamation point: Press the Volume Up Key and press the Camera Button(only press down half-way)
7. Use the D-pad to navigate to “apply” and press the D-pad center button to select it. It will start the update process.
8. When the update has completed Reboot the phone by selecting that option with the D-pad. It takes a little time to reboot but that should be it.

You should now have Android 2.1 ESE81 on your Motorola Droid!

There is information below on the update form Verizon. In brief it includes everything the Nexus one has, including live wallpapers, except for the 5 home screens and 3d launcher. If you want to get an excellent home screen replacement with up to 7 screens with a very smooth launcher just get the Helix Launcher from the market.

Info from Verizon on Update:

Starting 03/30/2010, Verizon Wireless is pleased to announce a new software update for the DROID by Motorola. Users will be able to upgrade their software to version AP: ESE81/BP: C_01.3E.03P to receive new improvements and enhancements.

    *Key Advantages:*

  • Email – Yahoo Mail is now supported – customers can simply
    sign in with their Yahoo! Email address and password. Note:
    Yahoo! Email is not available over Wi-Fi
  • Pinch to Zoom now available in the Browser, Maps, and Gallery
  • Speech-to-Text – Customers can now use their voice instead
    of typing whenever a text-entry box appears
  • Google Goggles is now preloaded
  • The new Gallery application uses 3D layout and shows both
    pictures taken with the customer’s Android device and images
    from Picasa Web Albums account online
    *Software Schedule:*
    Below is the software-upgrade notification schedule (All times listed are Eastern Time):

  • At noon on 03/30, 1,000 users will receive notification of
    the update.
  • At 11:59 PM on 03/30, 9,000 more users will receive the
    update notification.
  • After the first 10,000 users receive the update on 03/30,
    there will be a 24-hour period when no additional upgrades
    will be delivered.
  • On Day 3 (04/01), 200,000 users will receive the update
    notification at 11:59 PM. This schedule will continue each
    day thereafter until the update has been delivered to all users.
    *Download & Install Conditions:*

  • An OTA download requires 40% or more power availability if
    the device is not connected to an external power source or
    20% or more power if it is connected to an external source
    o If roaming, the customer will not receive the update. The
    only option in this scenario is for the subscriber to enable
    Wi-Fi and wait for a mandatory OTA. The wait period in this
    case will not be more than 12 hours
  • User must wait to receive the upgrade via OTA
  • User is unable to make or receive calls, including emergency
    calls during this time
    Users will see the following information when they select*
    More info* on the update screen:/ This software update
    includes new enhancements to support Yahoo! Email,
    pinch-to-zoom, and many other improvements for your DROID by
    Motorola. You will be unable to use your device or make
    emergency calls for the duration of the install. The
    software updates automatically, and your DROID will power
    off and on as part of this software upgrade.

Screen Captures from Motorola Droid:

[nggallery id=23 template=captport]

Join the Conversation


  1. After applying 2.1 update NONE of my toolbar functions (back, settings, home or search) will
    work now!

    I have done everything but reset to factory settings and don’t want to do it since I will lose my
    e-mail settings (not worried about apps or contacts), this REALLY SUCKS!

    I have read blogs about other people having this or similar issues and so far have not seen
    anybody get it resolved.


    1. That’s a bummer. I have not heard of that specific issue before.

      I would re-apply the update and see if that fixes it. If that doesn’t fix it, a hard-reset would probably be worth a shot but I doubt that will fix it for you and you will probably have to return your Droid to Verizon for a new one.

  2. Even as I really like a bodily keyboard, after dealing with the Samsung Captivate for about quarter-hour, it is onerous to head back. At the moment I am debating whether to visit Verizon for the Droid X, go to Sprint for the EVO, or stay with AT&T for the Captivate…selections, decisions.

  3. It is in point of fact a great and helpful piece of information. I’m happy that you simply shared this helpful information with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.|

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