HTC has released the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for the HTC Desire, though because of limitations of the ROM thanks to HTC’s efforts to squeeze it down to suit the storage space the smartphone has, it’s being released via the company’s developer site rather than as an OTA upgrade. Various HTC apps have been removed – though will be available to download separately – and the official Facebook app has been stripped out and must be re-installed via the Android Market.

In addition, all customizations to the ROM – including anything carriers may have installed or mandated – have been removed, and in fact even the wallpapers (bar the default) have been taken out to save space. HTC warns that some people may lose SMS/MMS functionality after upgrading too, though it sounds like that’s because this is a generic ROM and may not have the carrier settings required; those should be readily added back in afterwards.

Still, unlike the streamlined OTA process, installing Gingerbread on the Desire will wipe out all of your existing customizations, messages, emails, apps and other content, so HTC is recommending it for “expert users” and development purposes only. You’re also out of luck if you have a Desire from Germany (Deutsch Telekom), North America, South America, South Korea, and Japan, where “concerns raised from our partners” have led to HTC not allowing the update in those regions.

If you’re feeling brave, you can download the HTC Desire Android Gingerbread 2.3 ROM from

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in!]


  1. People wait for the official update and not go to CM7 because its safe, easy and bug-free. Releasing a Gingerbread update for Devs on HTC’s developer’s site is pointless. Developers are savvy enough to root the device and get Gingerbread before anyone else.

    This. is. pointless. 🙁

  2. And who said that HTC are good with updates?pssh the Galaxy S which came out last year with HTC Desire got Gingerbread months ago.

    Piss poor htc. Must have some really weak crap hardware if it can’t even run Gingerbread on full strength.
    Glad I sold my Desire in feb.

  3. Stay away from this update!
    Sense is still a memory hog – for nothing but a little bit of beauty in turn.
    The core system is buggy, I could move 4 apps to the SD card, then it got stuck. No moves between the phone and the SD any more …
    And the most important thing: you cannot root it with unrevoked, it says “maybe your firmware is too new?”.
    So here I am standing, my Desire works with Gingerbread but this is definitely not what I wanted.

    Root please.

  4. I updated yesterday, I must say I found the update to be excellent…. it freed up a lot of memory, battery life has improved and phone is alot smoother and brighter… no problems regarding sms or mms… so for me update was worth doing 🙂

    • Where do you live? In the U.S.? I do and since it wasn’t released for north America. I’m just wondering if it will work for me…. Thank

      • I live in Ireland Noah, so not so sure if it will work for you, have you tried asking HTC support on their site? Sorry I don’t have an answer for you 🙁

  5. After about a month of deliberating, I finally decided to bite the bullet and update my Desire to Gingerbread.  Worked perfectly, no issues with camera crashing (if this happens apparently it’s due to the camera – it thinks it’s new remember! – trying to create a new DCIM folder on the SD card to put pics/videos in – you just have to delete the old one).  I formatted my SD Card after I finished the update anyway (to get rid of all the apps that I’d put onto my SD Card when using Froyo).

    I STILL seem to have some HTC Sense applications running and Facebook for HTC Sense was also there when the phone restarted (which I absolutely do not understand – I thought that was what all the fuss was about and it was all taken off!).  The phone seems absolutely fine – sends/receives texts, makes/receives calls.  All told, there’s very little difference; the keypad is maybe slightly more tactile (that could just be a placebo effect), a few new layouts (e.g. ‘manage applications’ page), a slightly modified battery icon, 65MB of free phone storage, MUCH faster booting (by far and away the best and most noticeable thing about this upgrade) and ‘Android 2.3’ written in the ‘software information’ page are pretty much the only real signs of anything different at all!  Too early to tell if there’s any improved battery life.

    Anyone still on the fence: just follow the instructions to the letter on the pdf file it gives you and the ReadMe, start HTC Sync on your PC and leave it running in the background, then connect your phone as instructed.  Set your PC not to go to standby or screensaver etc.  Whatever you do, DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING, when the screen goes black after you hit ‘Next’ on the install program for that final time!

    If you’re still not brave enough don’t worry, Gingerbread is a slight improvement but you’re not missing much!

  6. Just upgraded to the 2.3 on my HTC desire. Everythig went smoothly with the install. Decent guide to help u through. Not sure its worth doing I can’t see any dramatic changes no keyboard upgrade or menu change. Seems the same as 2.2.

  7. Just upgraded to the 2.3 to my HTC desire, It was working fine, the only problem i faced that it doesn’t support arabic, the words have separated letters, and formatted left to right. I have contacted HTC for this issue and awaiting there reply

  8. Done upgrading in 10 minutes. Some small UI changes are looking cool. Battery life has increased. Overall speed is better too. I could connect to WiFi as easily as ever. Camera was having some trouble. If you face the same, deselect the option of autoenhance the image.
    Overall awesome update. 100% recommended.

  9. Hi, i am thinking to update my desire to 2.3 version but i need to know one thing. Is there any Turkish language support in this version= Or “morelocale can solve this?”.
    If someone can reply my question, i will be happy.

  10. everytime i try downloading the update for my htc evo 4g it stops and frezzes up and shows a triangle with a excliamation point in the middle and a blue andriod next to it.

  11. i have the desire and it keeps telling me i dont have the right file to download it? it makes it like halfway through then stops. and now i have the orange and green blinking light and i cant see my battery level. please help?!

    •  I have the same problem, but I don’t have the blinking light and can still see my battery level. Not sure what other version there is to get!? Confused now, because I only saw one


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