How to update your AirPods

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Photo: Fadhli Adnan (Shutterstock)

Apple often releases firmware updates for its entire AirPods lineup, including AirPods Pro, AirPods 2, AirPods 3, and AirPods Max. However, the company does not specify how actually update your AirPods, and they don’t either share what each firmware update does. So here’s how to do it, no matter what model of AirPods you’re using.

But first, why should you bother? Apple doesn’t update firmware aimlessly, of course. Firmware updates can fix bug issues, such as when AirPods Max users were experiencing abnormal battery drain (for all other problems, there is the hidden reset option we already talked about) and improve performance, so Iit is worth updating them regularly, even if theyseems to work fine.

How to check the current firmware version of your AirPods

First, Check the firmware version of your AirPods to make sure the update hasn’t already taken place. The first step is to connect your AirPods to your iPhone. For this step, it doesn’t matter how you do it, but it will matter when it comes to installing the update. (more on this later).

Now, on your iPhone, go to Settings > General > About, then scroll down. If your AirPods are connected, you should see their name appear. Tap the name, then tick “Firmware version.” From this article, 4E71 is the latest firmware version for all AirPods, but go to Google to make sure Apple hasn’t released a newer update since then.

How to Update Your AirPods Firmware

To update your AirPods, you’ll still need to connect them to your iPhone, but in a specific way: the trick here is to make sure your AirPods are connected to your iPhone while still in the case. Your AirPods won’t update if they’re out of the case, so don’t keep them in your ears and expect iOS to update the firmware. As long as you’ve already paired your AirPods with your iPhone, they should connect when you lift the case lid (again, AirPods Max should connect when placed in the case).

Now you will need to plug your AirPods into the mains. Theoretically the update should work if you’re using wireless charging (if your AirPods case supports it), but I’ve only ever seen walkthroughs using a Lightning cable for firmware updates . Once connected to power, let your AirPods rest for 10-15 minutes. After this period, go ahead and check the firmware version of your AirPods: it should now be fully updated. If not, try this step again.

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