How to update AirPods and AirPods Pro firmware

AirPods 2 vs. AirPods Pro
(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

Apple rolls out firmware updates for its popular AirPods, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max frequently, and when it does you should update as soon as possible to enjoy access to all of the latest features right away.

Both the AirPods and AirPods Pro are among the best wireless earbuds around and that's in part due to the excellent software support enabling new features months or years after you bought them. 

Whether you're looking for performance improvements or need to fix an annoying bug, make sure your AirPods, AirPods Pro, or AirPods Max are up to date with the latest software version with our quick guide. 

How to update Apple AirPods and AirPods Pro

Apple doesn't offer a specific method to update its AirPods, AirPods Pro, or AirPods Max, as firmware updates usually roll out automatically. However, some may still be due for an update if not paired to an iPhone or iPad.

Follow the steps below to find out how to update your AirPods' firmware. 

(Image credit: Future)

1. Navigate to your Bluetooth settings in the Settings app on your iOS device (iPhone or iPad). 

(Image credit: Future)

2. Tap to connect your ‌‌AirPods‌‌ or ‌‌AirPods Pro‌‌ to your iOS device. Make sure your AirPods are connected and in their case.

3. Leave the AirPods or AirPods Pro next to your iOS device. The AirPods should update automatically. It's a good idea to charge the AirPods or AirPods Pro case while updating, either with a Lightning-to-USB cable or with Qi wireless charging (if supported). 

How to check if the AirPods are updated 

Knowing whether or not your AirPods or AirPods Pro are up to date can be tricky, as updates may not be obvious. However, you can find out by checking the earbuds' version number. 

(Image credit: Future)

Next to AirPods or AirPods Pro in Bluetooth settings, tap on About (the blue "i" icon).

Scroll to the bottom and you'll find the firmware version. If it displays an earlier version, such as "4C165," then the earbuds still need to be updated to the latest version.

Apple released beta firmware updates for Apple Developer Program members, offering a sneak peek at new features. This gives us an idea of what to expect, along with how soon we'll see an update for all users.

However, there are a number of steps to install the beta firmware. AirPods Pro owners interested in downloading pre-release firmware should know there is no way to switch back to a previous version of the AirPods firmware. Regular users should wait for the next non-beta update to roll out. 

Wondering what AirPods to get? Check out our AirPods Pro vs. AirPods Pro 2 face-off, along with our AirPods 3 review, AirPods Pro 2 review, and AirPods Max review

Darragh Murphy

Darragh Murphy is fascinated by all things bizarre, which usually leads to assorted coverage varying from washing machines designed for AirPods to the mischievous world of cyberattacks. Whether it's connecting Scar from The Lion King to two-factor authentication or turning his love for gadgets into a fabricated rap battle from 8 Mile, he believes there’s always a quirky spin to be made. With a Master’s degree in Magazine Journalism from The University of Sheffield, along with short stints at Kerrang! and Exposed Magazine, Darragh started his career writing about the tech industry at Time Out Dubai and ShortList Dubai, covering everything from the latest iPhone models and Huawei laptops to massive Esports events in the Middle East. Now, he can be found proudly diving into gaming, gadgets, and letting readers know the joys of docking stations for Laptop Mag.  

With contributions from