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How to update your AirPods' firmware

A small, but important, step to take.
By
September 24, 2022
Apple AirPods Pro 11 in hand

Your AirPods likely factor into your daily life in some way, but they do require occasional maintenance. One of the most important things to do is keep their firmware up to date. Ideally, these should take place automatically, but if they don’t, or you want to be sure you have the latest firmware installed, here’s how to do it.

Read more: Apple AirPods (3rd gen) review

QUICK ANSWER

To check your AirPods or AirPods Pro firmware version using an iOS device, open Settings > General > About > Tap on your AirPods > Firmware version.

To update the firmware using an iOS device or Mac, Insert the earbuds into their case with the lid open > Connect the AirPods to an iOS device or Mac > Leave the case with AirPods inside next to the device and connected to power.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

How to check your AirPods or AirPods Pro firmware version

Airpods Pro Pairing
Chase Bernath / Android Authority

To ensure your AirPods or AirPods Pro are up to date, you’ll need an iOS device. First, get your AirPods synced with your iOS device, then:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Select General.
  3. Tap About.
  4. Tap on the name of your AirPods.
  5. The next screen will show you their Firmware version.

Apple does not release new firmware updates very often, so you can expect this number to stay the same for a while.

How important is it to keep firmware up to date?

AirPods 3rd Generation in the case.
Sam Smart / Android Authority

Installing the latest firmware is vital to getting the best user experience out of your AirPods. First, these updates usually address bugs or flaws in the AirPods’ performance. Without the latest firmware, you may experience annoying problems when using your AirPods. These could be anything from volume issues to trouble syncing.

Furthermore, firmware updates may introduce new features. For example, if Apple updates its spatial audio implementation, it will likely update the firmware of the AirPods to take full advantage. You’ll miss out on these features if you don’t install the update.

Security is another reason to keep up to date with the latest firmware. If a security flaw allows someone to hijack your AirPods or iOS device when they’re connected, that’s bad news in many ways. Installing the latest firmware will ensure you have the most secure experience possible.

How to update your AirPods or AirPods Pro firmware

The Apple AirPods Pro earbuds charging case in a man's hand.

 

Updating your AirPods or AirPods Pro firmware version is relatively straightforward. You will need an iOS device or Mac that you’ve previously paired to your AirPods. As mentioned, Apple pushes out updates automatically, but if you haven’t used your AirPods in a while or for some reason didn’t get an update, here’s how to do it manually:

  1. Insert the AirPods or AirPods Pro into their charging case and open the lid.
  2. Connect the AirPods to your device.
  3. Leave the iOS device or Mac you’ve paired to the AirPods close to the case. Make sure it has an active internet connection.
  4. Ensure the case is connected to a power source, such as a Lightning cable or wireless charging pad (if your case supports this).
  5. Any available firmware updates will begin installation automatically.

This process works for both the AirPods and AirPods Pro. Do not move the AirPods away from the iOS device, turn anything off, or disconnect the iOS device or Mac from the internet during the update process.


Read more: Apple AirPods and AirPods Pro problems and how to fix them

FAQs

No. You must use an iOS device such as an iPhone or iPad, or use a Mac to update your AirPods or AirPods Pro firmware.

Yes, but the AirPods Max do not have a charging case. Instead, store them in their smart case and connect them to a charging source during the update process.