How to Update AirPods

Get the latest AirPod firmware

What to Know

  • Go to Settings > Bluetooth, tap the i icon, scroll to About to see which version you have.
  • You can force an update: Place AirPods in the charging case, connect it to a power source, place it all next to the iPhone for an auto-update.
  • AirPods updates happen automatically, and users don't typically control them.

This article explains what AirPods firmware is, how to check for what version you're running, and how to update AirPods. The information in this article applies to all AirPods versions: first-generation, AirPods with wireless charging case, and AirPods Pro.

How to Update AirPods Firmware

To check what firmware version your AirPods are running, and to update AirPods firmware, follow these steps:

  1. Connect your AirPods to your iPhone.

  2. On the iPhone, go to Settings > Bluetooth.

  3. Tap the i icon next to your AirPods.

  4. Scroll down to the About section. The Version line tells you what version of the AirPods firmware you're using. (For earlier models or earlier versions of the iOS, you may need to tap on the name of your AirPods and then look for the Firmware Version line.)

    Screenshot of the AirPods Pro settings screen showing the Firmware version.

    As of this writing, the latest AirPods firmware versions are:

    • First-generation AirPods: 6.8.8
    • Second-generation and AirPods Pro: 3A283
  5. If you think there's an update available, you can try to force it to be installed.

    Notice that there's no button to update AirPods firmware like there is to update the iOS. That's because Apple doesn't allow users to perform this update. Instead, AirPods firmware is automatically updated whenever there's a new version available.


Manually Updating AirPods

You can try to force an update. If there's an AirPods firmware update, it will be installed after you follow the instructions below.

  1. Put your AirPods in their charging case.

  2. Connect the charging case to a power source.

  3. Make sure that your AirPods and case are physically close to your iPhone.

Do AirPods Need to Be Updated?

Yes, AirPods do need updates. However, unlike the iOS and iPhone, it's not as easy to update them, and Apple doesn't release new AirPods firmware versions nearly as often.

Firmware is the software that runs on some gadgets and devices to provide their features and functionality. Think of firmware as being like the operating system for devices like AirPods. In the same way that new versions of the iOS deliver features, bug fixes, and updated functionality to the iPhone, new versions of AirPods firmware do the same thing for Apple's wireless earbuds.

  • How do I update my AirPods' firmware without an iPhone?

    If you don't have or have access to an iPhone, you can update the firmware for your AirPods using an iPod, iPad, Mac, or MacBook instead. Simply pair the AirPods with your iOS device or macOS device, place them in the charging case, plug in the case, and keep it near your Apple device. Your AirPods should update automatically.

  • How do I update my AirPods from an Android device?

    It's not currently possible to update AirPods from an Android device. If you don't have access to any Apple devices and you need to update your AirPods, your best course of action is to ask someone you know and trust to sync your AirPods to their Apple device and update them that way.

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