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How to update your AirPods' firmware

A small, but important, step to take.

Published onApril 21, 2024

Whether you use the AirPods Pro, AirPods, or AirPods Max, you’re going to want to get the most out of your Apple headset. While the company is known for making things as simple as possible, its wireless earbuds and headphones require occasional maintenance. No, we’re not talking about cleaning — although that’s important too. Instead, let’s go through how to update your AirPods’ firmware and keep them up to date.


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 the case > Close the lid and wait a few seconds > Open the lid > Connect the AirPods to an iOS device or Mac > Leave the AirPods alone until the update finishes.


How to update AirPods firmware with an iOS device

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 close the lid for a few seconds.
  2. Open the lid and the AirPods will reconnect to the last used device.
  3. Leave the iOS device or Mac you’ve paired to the AirPods close to the case. Make sure the device has a strong 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.

How to check your AirPods or AirPods Pro firmware version

Airpods Pro Pairing

To ensure your AirPods 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. Tap on your Airpods (Pro).
  3. Scroll down to your Airpod’s About section.
  4. You’ll see your current firmware Version below the serial number.

This works method works for the AirPods Pro, AirPods, and AirPods Max. Apple does not release firmware updates often, so you can expect this number to stay the same for a while.

Can you update AirPods firmware with an Android phone?

You cannot use an Android to update the AirPods. There is no Android app for AirPods that can do this. You can, however, connect AirPods to your Android phone for music playback and phone calls. You can even download certain apps like the Assistant Trigger app to access Google Assistant with the AirPods on Android.

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.

Top AirPods firmware questions and answers

You cannot force an AirPods update. Instead, you need to wait for one to be available. Then, the next time you pair your AirPods to an Apple device, they will automatically update.

Apple has a dedicated webpage with the latest firmware versions for each of its AirPods.

Updating your AirPods’ firmware shouldn’t take any longer than 30 minutes. Typically it takes five or 10 minutes.

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.

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