Software Update 11.1.1 for Asha 501 Available Now – Update Guide

Asha 501 users have surely had a hard time in the past months as they were provided with a half baked firmware which lacked lots of features which were available in old Asha S40 since ages. The long wait finally comes to an end as a new and highly improved software is now being pushed towards the Asha 501 users. Out of all the new features, the biggest one is support for WhatsApp. Guess this will finally calm thousands of Asha 501 owners who kept on waiting for WhatsApp for over 3 months already.

asha 501

As about numbers, the new software rests at version 11.1.1 or greater (in some regions). This is a big pump from the previous 10.0.14 so expect some cool improvements in this new package.

Top improvements, New features and Update Change-log

Besides WhatsApp, the update offers lots of other goodies as well. Find most of them below. These are the official release notes provided by Nokia gathered from here.

  • WhatsApp support added – after updating the software, tap the WhatsApp icon in the apps menu to download the latest version of WhatsApp
  • Over 5000 other apps available from Nokia Store, including Line, WeChat, and Nimbuzz
  • Usability improvements, such as single-swipe access to camera, single-touch share to Facebook, and ability to track Facebook comments and likes right from your Fastlane screen
  • Privacy improvements – delete items directly from Fastlane, and control which apps you want to see on Fastlane
  • Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync support for office mails
  • General improvements for phone stability and performance, alarm tone volume, Wi-Fi connectivity, video streaming, Chinese text input, and more

How to Update

FOTA (No PC/Computer Needed)

The update is majorly being pushed as a FOTA (Firmware Over The Air) update and is available for the devices in most of the regions already. Here’s how to install the update directly on the phone.

  1. Go to Settings> Phone Update
  2. Turn the switch from Off to On (do this even when you are connected to WiFi). If its already turned On, turn it Off and then turn it On again.
    Nokia Asha 501 update available
  3. The phone will do an automatic check. Return to your home-screen and see if a notification pops up on your Fastlane or Swipe Down menu.
    asha 501 update notification
  4. Tap on the update notification and initiate the update.
    asha 501 updating
  5. After the update is downloaded, the phone will be updated and ask for a restart.
    Asha 501 update installed
  6. Your phone will be updated and you’ll be presented with the updated homescreen.
    Asha 501 software details

P.S: If no notification comes, the update might not be available for your phone yet. Try again on the next day.

 Update via your PC

If the update does not show up in your phone, you can use this alternative method to update your Asha 501 via your PC. However, do note that this will only work if the updated firmware files are available on the Nokia Repository, but giving a try doesn’t hurts much either :P
Also note that updating via PC will clear all your personal data from the phone. So don’t forget to take a backup.

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72 Responses to Software Update 11.1.1 for Asha 501 Available Now – Update Guide

  1. satya November 21, 2013 at 11:29 am #

    At last finally, We got the update which supports whatsapp. Thanks for saying it even Before. :) :P

    • Narender November 21, 2013 at 11:46 am #

      Just testing WhatsApp on this now :P

      • Narender November 21, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

        Works so cool and awesome.. However I still have the tiny complaints about how it works on all the S40 phones :P

        • satya November 22, 2013 at 11:35 pm #

          Yeah the whatsapp is really cool :) And one more thing i liked the most is ” Tap on any file and click on share option there you will find all the accounts which is in old S40. but now the addition/Integration of whatsapp in that share option is really awesome unlike wechat or line”.

          > Youtube can stream via wifi(Laptop Hotspot) which was not possible earlier.

          >One request from myside is Please make a thread showing the VoIP settings in this phone and Suggest an Account which has more options for ex like Ippi or Friend Caller etc etc :)

    • Vivek November 24, 2013 at 1:24 pm #

      I am unable to download the update, have been trying since 30 mins, i get unable to download, something went wrong message. I am trying to do it from my service provider not wi-fi.

      • Narender November 24, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

        Maybe your connection is too slow? Try again in early morning when the load on network is minimalistic :)

      • nirajpandey December 11, 2014 at 3:00 pm #

        nokia asha 503

    • waqas December 14, 2014 at 3:05 am #

      when i connect my asha 501 phone to nokia pc suit for update,there is shown that not supported file…plz help me out of this problem

      • Narender Singh December 14, 2014 at 4:36 pm #

        Nokia Suite does not support any of the devices running Asha Software Platform.

  2. Sudipt123 November 21, 2013 at 3:16 pm #

    Hi admin,

    Good to see a dedicated thread with the tutorial. I just updated and trying whatsapp. How did you get the screenshots of the phone? is there any method to take screenshots? Changes in new firmware are Fastlane- selection of apps- you can actually choose which apps you want to see in your fastlane. Also UI seems more fluid. Hope they have resolved other bugs with this update as well. Do you have a changelog for the improvements?

    • Narender November 21, 2013 at 5:18 pm #

      No such change-log was released, but I noticed some tidbits like the Alarm Volume is now pushed to 12 from the earlier 9. Plus, the push notification system got some mighty improvements. Also another nice addition is that now you can disable camera sounds out of the box (this happened with my test unit. Still looking for a confirmation).
      There would be lots of more tiny improvements which you’ll notice as you use the phone :D As about the screenshots, they come from RDA and there has been no tool around for consumers to easily take screenshots from Asha 501.

  3. asr November 21, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

    hey admin . . . . . . how could it be possible that update via phone is only 6.9 mb & through NSU it is about 127mb

    • santanu.geek November 21, 2013 at 6:56 pm #

      The FOTA only have the additional features of version 11.1.1. And in NSU the 127 MB is the size of the whole firmware inchuded the 11.1.1 updates. When u update through NSU, it formats ur phone and reinstall the firmware with updates. Hope you get it. :)

      • EasyGSM November 22, 2013 at 8:07 pm #

        I read your total process carefully. Also read all comment and got a clear information for firmware update in ASHA 501, Thanks Bro.

        • Narender November 22, 2013 at 9:47 pm #

          Feels cool. Thanks for the comment :)

  4. asr November 21, 2013 at 7:06 pm #

    yeah . . .thnks 4 d info . . . . also im not able to set password protection after the update through phone lock . . . .did any1 experienced it

    • Sudipt123 November 22, 2013 at 1:26 pm #

      Using the password protect option prior to update, updated the phone via OTA, works fine. Has a password confirmation tick box added. Did you update via NSU and clear the data?

      • Narender November 22, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

        Don’t think that the NSU update will remove it entirely. Could be some other issue :/

  5. danny November 23, 2013 at 4:45 am #

    How bout asha 311? :)

    • Narender November 23, 2013 at 6:59 pm #

      na.. no new updates yet. Not expected either :P

      • Danny December 15, 2013 at 1:07 pm #

        When do you expect the new update for asha 311?? :)

        • Narender December 15, 2013 at 1:14 pm #

          Sadly, I’m not expecting an update anymore :P Lets see :D

  6. Plinio Henrique November 25, 2013 at 3:17 am #

    Two questions!

    First: is this happening with someone else? Sometimes, the push notifications (for whatsapp, facebook, email, etc) lacks (the notifications simply stop, even if I got new updates)! Then I have to restart the phone so they come back again. It’s really annoying! This was happening with the previous version of the firmware too. I thought they had corrected this bug, but, nope! It seen that when I pass much time with the phone turned on, without restart it sometimes, the push notifications don’t work after sometime. It’s ridiculous! =

    Second: where is the copy/past function??? I’ve heard a guy from nokia saying that this function will be available with this update, but, nope too. =\

    Thanks for all the info. Your blog rocks!

    • Narender November 25, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

      To what i know, Yes! The push notification issue is happening with many where they miss most of the notifications and a restart brings them back to life. However there are also some persons who are able to receive them normally. I don’t know of a solution to this and probably restarting is all that you can do. WhatsApp seems to be working fine for everyone though :/
      Copy Paste was not included in this built and I guess none of Nokia guys said that its coming in this update. They however did mention that its coming and might only be added to the newer 502 and 503 for now and maybe 501 will receive an update later in the future. However this is still not certain. Will let you know if I come to know any more about this matter.

      Thanks for the nice words :) Keep coming back often :)

  7. Anees November 26, 2013 at 2:53 pm #


    Nice to see a well written article with comments in full english too! A welcome respite from the run of the mill websites. If this is a result of your moderation, great job!

    I’ve got a Lumia running the WP7.8 and I was sick and tired of that same issue on whatsapp as Plinio Henrique had – Whatsapp, FB notifications suddenly stop coming and only return after a reboot. Is that a similar situation on the Asha lineup?

    Also, any news on the Asha 503 release date?

    thanks again for the eminently readable comment board!

    • Narender November 27, 2013 at 8:11 pm #

      Hey Anees

      Firstly, you’ve got a very nice username for your email :P. Ohh.. thanks for the nice words. Actually, its not because of the moderation. I strive to approve each and every comment whether its a issue or a complaint (about me too). Its just that readers are soo good to write words nicely and in English :D
      Now the problem, the Notification just work awesome at times and then at other times they come stupidly slow. I guess network has a role to play here, but not entirely network dependent. My Asha 311 works very fine with WhatsApp, never ,missed a notification. WeChat and others are kinda sad. They’ll work or they won’t work, no guarantee. As for the 501 and new Asha OS, its pretty new and there are surely some bugs which need to be fixed. Other than that, its fine. Not everyone faces the notifications issue, but not all are safe either. Its something of the sort of a luck game :P
      503.. hmm.. Let’s see there’s no detail yet. It will come after the 502 though. Guess wit will be here by next year, but no commitments until officially announced. Nokia is too good at breaking my guesses :D

  8. borrego November 30, 2013 at 2:32 am #

    Hello! Nice blog!

    I updated my Nokia 501 and now I have version 11.1.1 but I just can’t connect the WiFi at home. Today I tried it at a shopping mall and it worked :) it connected to a free WiFi spot, but at home it doesn’t work anymore. It shows that it’s connected, but when I try to connect to the Nokia store or with the browser it tells me there is no connection. Sometimes it shows a message about the SSID that if I want to overwrite. I say yes or no, but nothing happens. Do you happen to know what could it be? Regards.

  9. Sudipt123 December 2, 2013 at 2:10 pm #

    After the update to 11.1.1 the double tap to wake up option is a hit or miss affair with my nokia asha 501. Are other facing the same issue. Also notications with whatsapp is working perfectly- however push notifications with other apps like CNN, Facebook is still an issue & still persists after the firmware update- after a phone reboot – they start appearing

    • Narender December 3, 2013 at 10:50 am #

      Double Tap was intentionally made harder, because the phone was waking up even when Music included a little bit of extra bass. So that won’t happen anymore now.
      Regarding Notifications, yeah the problem persists, but no solutions. Good that WhatsApp works fine. Guess those are the most important notifications that you’ll need :D

      • Sudipt123 December 4, 2013 at 3:04 pm #

        Thanks for yor response admin, yeah the double tap need hard taps to wake up the phone- as a result less of waking up when in my pocket. i feel there should be an option provided to user to select the sensitivity level- i guess that’s asking too much!! whatsapp works fine with push notifications :D

        @Albert- try the default lock code of nokia i think it is 12345

        • Shefali December 19, 2013 at 6:18 pm #

          My security code has also changed after the update and it is not 12345. Pls help what to do.

          • Narender December 19, 2013 at 6:30 pm #

            No idea really :| You should visit Nokia Care and your phone will most probably be flashed.

            • Shefali December 20, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

              Hi Narender

              Got the issue of code change resolved automatically !! However, there is another problem. I cannot see any of my contacts in the phone..when trying to copy from Sim to phone, it fails to do so. Even if I try to save a new contact, it shows as saved but then vanishes away when I reopen the contacts….what do I do?? Pls help.

              • Narender December 21, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

                Should be 123456 in that case. Or 6 times zeroes? If none of these work, off you go to flash your phone :P
                There have been many small tweaks which Nokia never included in the official change-log. So we never know :D

      • Sudipt123 December 20, 2013 at 12:14 pm #

        Hi Admin, I’m having increasing problems with the double tap to wake up option with my Asha 501. I think it uses the phone accelerometer to use this feature

        Prior to 11.1.1 Update:

        1. Double tap was pretty sesnsitive and use to work well
        2. wake-up Used to get triggered in my jeans pocket or when the phone used to be kept on table

        After 11.1.1 update

        1. Double Tap does not wake up the phone usually when it’s deep sleeping- even with hard taps!
        2. Many times have to tap with more than 2 times (hard Taps) to wake up the phone
        3. DOuble tap to wake up after using screen lock button- does not wake it up easily.

        Is this hardware related fault which has crept up or software related- seems diffcult to convince nokia care if this is related to hardware

        • Narender December 20, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

          Nokia cleared in Discussions that this was willingly made harder so as to make sure the phone does not wake up unnecessarily while in your pocket of while playing music. Yes it uses the accelerometer sensor to achieve this and hence makes it harder to control waking up happening due to movements other than double tapping on the screen.
          Actually Nokia Care can’t even do anything here. It’s not a hardware fault. The sensitivity is controlled via the software which is not developed by Nokia Care, but by the Nokia’s Development teams. You can try posting in Nokia Discussions if there is enough voting for this, they might decide to increase the sensitivity yet again (hardly happens though). Besides that, there’s no solution and you should better turn off the double tap feature instead of tapping it hard and getting frustrated.

          • Sudipt123 December 20, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

            Thanks for the quick response admin! I am relieved to know that this is not a hardware fault! whats strange is that at times- the phone wakes up pretty fine and at other times- just fails to wake up even with multiple tries! I used the feature cause it used to be of snob value as “a La Android phones”- couldn’t do that. Although i think it is implemented in LG G2. It’s a nice trick to show-off ;)

            Alas, due to the changes in the sw version this is getting increasingly difficult to use! Nokia should give a sensitivity setting for this i feel.

            Thanks once again

            • Narender December 21, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

              Now many droids can do that :D Blow to wake, wave to wake.. There’s so much stuff already lol. But all of these are gimmicks and DT2W really is something cool.
              Nevermind, its sure to cause issues as long as its bound to accelerometer alone :P Sadly that’s another thing I doubt. Nokia will at the most remove this feature instead of allowing the users to manually set the sensitivity. That’s Nokia :P

  10. albert December 2, 2013 at 5:00 pm #

    after i updated my nokia 501 the phone locked is changed!!! how does it happen? how can i unlocked it because i relly know my pohne lock

  11. Rockstar December 3, 2013 at 10:59 am #

    Thanks a lot!! I’ve updated mine and WhatsApp is working so fine :D

  12. fahad December 8, 2013 at 9:30 pm #

    after the update, youtube is not working via Xpress browser,, it was before,

    • Narender December 9, 2013 at 11:02 am #

      Works for everyone. Try resetting your phone to factory!

  13. Sudipt123 December 20, 2013 at 2:15 pm #

    I just came across an interesting change in Phone Lock in 11.1.1 sw version which i would like to share. I stumbled upon this while i reset my phone to factory setting having a phone secutiy code active. The default length of the password has changed from 5 digits to 6 digits! Also the code delay duration after screen is switched off options has been updated with min 5 min minimum.

    Dunno the default Nokia code now, Hope this helps

  14. pankaj December 25, 2013 at 5:29 pm #

    i just came across a problem with my nokia asha 501 after updation .
    i started facing problem of frozen screen at startup.

    after trying for 3-4 times it restarts directly.

    is any body facing the same problem. whats the solution for this.

    • Narender December 25, 2013 at 6:56 pm #

      Haven’t seen anybody with this problem. Visit a Nokia Care Center maybe :)

    • rohith February 23, 2014 at 8:58 am #

      i too had the same problem

  15. kurkui December 26, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

    There is a problem wifi that appeared after update. Not always but often phone freeze up for a minute of so when trying to connect my home wifi point. just black screen (maybe reboot, but ) then phone wake up, restores cellular connection and connects wifi at last. recently cleared wife setting and black screen crashing each time. all that depressed me alot. please help guys!
    Despite that last update makes 501 better. push notifications must be shown on lock screen? mine not.

    • Narender December 26, 2013 at 7:35 pm #

      Try re-flashing the phone.

      • kurkui December 28, 2013 at 10:01 am #

        it dosent work

  16. salman December 27, 2013 at 11:13 am #

    m using nokia asha 501 my problm is my whatsapp icon are visible but nt ready to start show error …. my new updates already installed but error is whatsapp cant be installed.. the trusted certificate that was used to authorise the app has expired plz contact the app provider to get this fixed…

    • Narender December 27, 2013 at 2:44 pm #

      Is date and time on your phone set correctly? Usually that is the cause as certificates are only valid for a short duration.

  17. salman December 27, 2013 at 7:08 pm #

    yeah time and date are set properly… so what can i do… can i contact with nokia care????

  18. SzaraQ December 30, 2013 at 3:15 am #

    I don’t see any bigger problems, but – for me – the phone works exactly the same as it did before update (not that bad, to be honest).
    Encountered one annoying problem though – deletion of all album covers I saved (except for the ones that phone recognized by itself from start). I would just bring them back, but whenever I try, my Asha stops recognizing those songs altogether.
    (yeah, kinda a neat freak, who doesn’t like to stare at a bunch of letters on random background)

  19. anuj January 5, 2014 at 10:37 pm #

    talking about of nokia asha 309… 9 months has passed from now since software update was announced i.e 7.55 and 3 months has passed for 8.22. i emailed them couple of times but no reply from them about availability of sw update. really pissed of stock software, many things are changed in update but not available. i have tried both the method OTA and nokia pc suit, but it always show “NO UPDATE AVAILABLE”. pls help

    • Narender January 6, 2014 at 11:29 am #

      There are no updates available and most probably there won’t be any in the future. They only fix the phone stability issues with the software updates. The things might change for newer phones, but for 309, I guess it has already completed its support cycle.

  20. Chandra January 20, 2014 at 6:37 pm #


    Any plans for Wifi HotSpot functionality in Asha 501?

    • Narender January 20, 2014 at 6:39 pm #

      I think not. Such a thing won’t be introduced in these asha phones.

  21. William March 17, 2014 at 8:44 am #

    Hi. I don’t know if I have accidentally reset my Asha 501 but it seems like it’s already updated as I have checked. But problem is i lost my certificates and it wont install applications such as facebook. It has the worst browser, it auto answers calls, and it no longer has the store in it. Please help.

    • Narender March 17, 2014 at 9:15 am #

      You need to get your phone refurbished. Either visit a Nokia Care or else use the Nokia Software Recovery Tool (if the firmware is openly listed).

  22. saim March 23, 2014 at 10:34 pm #

    i cant download any app in my cell nokia asha 501 they are asking me to cntct ur app provider…
    wht is this…?
    how i can get out of this prblm….?

  23. samikhya April 7, 2014 at 3:38 pm #

    my phone goes blank after installation does showing any error or nothing … it just like dead. plz plz help

    • Narender Singh April 7, 2014 at 4:39 pm #

      You checked to delete user data?

  24. krishna April 22, 2014 at 12:40 pm #

    my nokia asha 501 is not working properly my whatsapp asking for certificate nd after i downloaded nd install dat certificate whatsapp dosent work

  25. TARUN SHARMA April 25, 2014 at 11:38 am #

    my wi fi not connect in my noika asha 501 ,, why… plz give me reply … i am very upset.. plz do something how my connect with my wi fi

  26. shalu April 26, 2014 at 5:29 pm #

    how we can delete whats aap from nokia asha 501…..i don’t want it…..

    • Narender Singh April 28, 2014 at 10:14 pm #

      If you activated the pre-installed version, I don’t think you can remove it thereafter.

  27. Richard May 7, 2014 at 5:55 pm #

    My Battery gets drain soon while using whats app on nokia asha 501 like if my battery is 100 % and if i use whatsapp for 5 minutes it comes to 94% plsss help its a new handset i took last month on mid of april 2014

    • Narender Singh May 7, 2014 at 6:18 pm #

      You should take the issue with Nokia Care. We have no solution in this regard :(

  28. Dogus June 26, 2014 at 5:52 pm #

    thannks so much i love you <3

    • Antony November 1, 2014 at 10:31 pm #

      is anyone having trouble downloading (music, images, videos….). i’ve experiencing trouble since last week.

  29. Dela December 2, 2014 at 10:39 pm #

    Apart from whatsapp can it download livescore app, and viber

  30. Brownie December 16, 2014 at 11:08 pm #

    Hi Admin

    I have been having a difficulty trying to create a back up for my phone, I have a Nokia Asha 230 dual and an eight GB memory card but now my phone memory is very low and I always get a reminder to create more space for the phone. When I go settings and then to create backup after a while it says ” something went wrong during back up” I have tried a different memory card but it says the same. Please help, what must I do?

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