Meta has released a tool that will allow Quest users the ability to force software updates via a tethered connection.

Update (11:50 AM ET): It appears the tool is now live. The original article reporting the tool prior to its public release follows below:

XR enthusiast and serial data miner Luna uncovered existence of the tool, which is said to allow users the ability to update Quest’s operating system over USB via the “Sideload Update” option in the recovery menu.

Luna also shared a screenshot and link to an informational page detailing the ostensibly web-based update tool, which appears to be 404’ed at the time of this writing.

Image courtesy Luna

In it, the tool is said to “help fix software-related issues such as slow performance and unresponsive apps. Updating your software will not affect the data saved on your device, including app progress and settings.”

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Luna also showed a screenshot of a support page detailing the software update tool, noting that users require at least 2GB of available storage on your computer, a USB-C cable that came with your headset, and a data backup of the headset.

Image courtesy Luna

The support page in question is still live, however it currently reads: “The feature may not be available at this time. Please view our help article to learn how to update your device software.”

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Luna is credited for having discovered a number of Quest-related features before their official announcements over the years, most prominent of which was the release of Quest 2’s tutorial video before its official debut at Connect 2020—giving us our first confirmation of the headset’s specs.

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Provided the tool indeed releases, it’s likely to allow Quest users greater flexibility on when to download OS updates, as Meta tends to release them on a rolling basis that can lag behind in some regions.

How open the tool will be, and whether it will allow users to effectively rollback updates remains to be seen. We’ll be F5-ing those pages linked above and keeping glued to the company’s developer blog too, so make sure to check back soon.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 4,000 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • g-man

    Force software updates… so just it just bypass the rollout mechanism and causes the device to update regardless, or does it allow you to install an image you’d downloaded separately? If the former why do we need a PC for that, and if the latter, where do we get the files?

    PS when I click the “is now live” link I get an error.

    • Andrey

      I believe it's for (and was in general created because of) situations when new updates [almost] "brick" headsets – last week a lot of people, if I understood correctly mostly from UK, couldn't load their headsets after v66 was installed and even after factory reset it still was an infinite loading.
      I had an oppotrunity to install v66 but after reading about those problems I decided to postpone it and after checking today now I can't do it as of now, so I think there was something wrong with v66 that made Meta remove it from rollout for other countries, at least for a time being.

      • g-man

        Oh ok so maybe this sets some kind of flag or something in the device that gets it to check even if it wouldn’t otherwise.

      • Ardra Diva

        enabling the public test channel through your meta app makes it load correctly.

        • Christian Schildwaechter

          That may solve current problems with v66, but enabling the public test channel won't prevent an OS update bricking your Quest. If anything, using beta versions increases that risk.

          The tool seems to use ADB (Android Debug Bridge), a very low level way to control/alter the Android OS, sitting below function Meta added for Horizon OS. ADB can alter the system even if important parts like networking or user authentication the Meta update relies are corrupted, preventing users from fixing issues themselves. That's also why you need the PC connected via USB to handle higher level functions like user input, display, network access etc. that may no longer work on the headset.

          To unbrick a Quest not even reacting to a factory reset, the HMD needs a minimal kernel plus ADB, not touched by OS updates or reset, from where it can wipe/replace the OS installation. As the tool helps "if your headset is stuck in an unusable state", Quest apparently has such a rescue system, otherwise you'd have to send the HMD into service to have it unbricked again.

  • impurekind

    Get rid of the need for the tether to do stuff like this. In fact, get rid of the tether for any reason other than people actually wanting to play wired PC VR titles. And, while at it, get rid of the forced need to have some crappy phone app tied to the headset too, to the point you literally can't even setup and use your headset without it. That kind of of clunky and convoluted crap needs to go. Meta's headsets will never be truly mass-market ready until the figure out basic QoL stuff like this.

    • I wholeheartedly agree, what's the point of a standalone headset that needs to be hooked up to 12 different things in order to do specific functions xD Controllers are one thing, but it's an Android device so the fact that it can't set up it's own initial wifi connection and login still baffles me

    • GH

      Most development are still done on regular desktops so it's not unreasonable that update tools would be pc only. As well as any other tweaking tools. You may think we live in a post pc world but that's just not true at all in companies and probably never will be.

      • impurekind

        Developers can deal with their own stuff separately. This is a consumer headset. You don't design a consumer product and its UI, etc, from a developer point of view first. Not if you have a clue anyway. These Quest headsets should be designed from an average end user point of view first, and the developer stuff should be something developers have to specifically choose and go into in addition to that. This is one of the reasons why Apple's Vision Pro interface is pissing all over Quest's right now in so many important ways that the actual users care about.

  • Ardra Diva

    enabling the public test channel through your meta app is one way to get the latest update instead of waiting for them to roll it out to your headset.

  • Yeshaya

    Wonder why they require the original cord, no idea if I still have it

    • Blaexe

      It's certainly not required – just a note that you can't use that.

  • MeowMix

    I've read of some users headsets being stuck on old OS versions and unable to update. Good to see an official fallback option to force updates if needed.

  • David

    Strange, the tool isn't available for me if I'm logged in, but I can access it just fine in an Incognito window.

  • psuedonymous

    Tool is still not live for me, regardless of login status, with either a UK or US endpoint.