If you’re having AirPods issues or if you want access to the latest features, you’ll want to update your AirPods. This guide will show you how to keep AirPods, AirPods 2, AirPods 3, AirPods Pro, AirPods Pro 2, or AirPods Max up-to-date with Apple’s latest software.
Apple periodically pushes new software to AirPods, AirPods 2, AirPods 3, AirPods Pro, AirPods Pro 2, and AirPods Max. The releases aren’t as frequent as iOS, iPadOS, and macOS updates, but they’re still important.
AirPods software updates typically include performance improvements and bug fixes though occasionally they’ll bring new features as well. That’s why it’s important to keep your AirPods updated with the latest firmware.
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If you just bought a pair of AirPods and/or you’re unsure if you’re running the latest AirPods software, read on.
How to Update AirPods or AirPods Pro
Before you update your AirPods it might be a good idea to dig into feedback from users running the latest software. You can search sites like Apple’s forums, YouTube and Twitter for information about features, bugs, and performance issues.
If a lot of the feedback is negative, you might want to hold off and wait for Apple to release a new update. The releases are fairly sporadic, but you can expect a few updates throughout the year.
If you want to proceed with the upgrade process, here’s what you need to do.
- Put your AirPods or AirPods Pro inside their case.
- Make sure the case is connected to a power source. You can use the Lightning to USB cable or you can use wireless charging if you’ve got a pair of AirPods Pro and a compatible charger.
- Grab your iPhone or iPad and make sure it has an internet connection.
- Make sure your AirPods are paired with your iPhone or iPad and then bring the device close to the charging case.
Now you just need to wait a bit. If a new update is available, it should automatically download and install. If you’re having issues with the installation, you can try resetting your AirPods.
How to Update AirPods Max
If you own a pair of AirPods Max, new firmware will download if your headphones are connected to Bluetooth via another device like an iPhone.
If you’re unsure if your AirPods are running Apple’s latest firmware, you can manually check. Here’s how to check your AirPods software version.
- Grab your iPhone or iPad.
- Open up the Settings app.
- Tap General.
- Tap About.
- Find your AirPods on the list and tap.
On this screen you can see information about your AirPods including their current firmware version.
You can also check the current firmware using these steps:
- Open the Settings app on your Apple device.
- Go to Bluetooth.
- Find your AirPods on your list of devices.
- Tap the “i”.
- Check the Firmware Version.
Latest AirPods Update
If you’re using a pair of first-generation AirPods, the current version is 6.8.8.
If you’re using a pair of AirPods 2, AirPods 3, AirPods Pro, AirPods Pro 2, or a pair of AirPods Max, the current version is 5E135. The 5E135 update arrived in early May.
You can learn more about the contents of Apple’s AirPods updates over on its support website.
Install iOS 16.6 for Better Security
If security is important to you, think about installing Apple's iOS 16.6 update on your iPhone right away.
The iOS 16.6 update delivers 16 security patches and they're important if you want to keep your iPhone protected from harm. For more information about the changes, check out Apple's rundown.
As for older software, iOS 16.5.1 brought two security patches to iPhone users If you want to learn more, head on over to Apple's website.
The company's iOS Security Response 16.5.1 (c) update also included a security update and you can learn more about it right here.
iOS 16.5 brought a ton of security patches to the iPhone. You can find out more about them over on Apple's security site.
iOS 16.4.1 included two security upgrades . You can learn more about the pair right here.
Apple's iOS 16.4 update had a substantial number of patches on board. You can read about them in detail over on Apple's security site.
The iOS 16.3.1 update had three security patches on board including one for an actively exploited vulnerability. For more on the security contents of iOS 16.3.1, check out Apple's security page.
iOS 16.3 brought 10+ new security patches with it and you can learn more about all of those right here.
In addition, the software came with support for physical security keys for Apple ID. These will beef up your account security by requiring a physical security key as part of the two factor authentication sign in process. Learn more about the change right here.
If you skipped iOS 16.2, you'll get its changes with iOS 16.6. iOS 16.2 brought a ton of important security patches with it and you can dig into the details on Apple's security site.
The update also brought end-to-end encryption to iCloud, iMessage, iPhone backups, Notes, Photos, and more. If you want to learn more about it, head over to Apple's guide.
If you decided to missed iOS 16.1.2, you'll get its solitary security patch with your upgrade. Learn more about it right here.
If you skipped iOS 16.1.1, you'll get its security patches when you upgrade. You can learn more about them right here.
If you missed the iOS 16.1 update, it brought 19 security patches to the iPhone and you can learn about the particulars of those over on Apple's website.
If you failed to download iOS 16.0.3, it had one security patch on board, a fix for a potential exploit within the Mail app. For more about the fix, check out Apple's security site.
If you're still running iOS 15 your iPhone, you'll get a bunch of other patches when you upgrade.
iOS 16.0 brought a ton of security patches to the iPhone. If you're interested in the exact nature of these improvements, you can read about them over on Apple's security website.
In addition to those patches, iOS 16 brings some additional enhancements to privacy and security including Safety Check which, according to Apple, will help "people in domestic or intimate partner violence situations review and reset the access they’ve granted others."
The feature also resets system privacy permissions for apps and restricts Messages and FaceTime to the device on hand.
Apple's also made some improvements to Passkeys in Safari. iOS 16 brings a brand new sign-in method that's end-to-end encrypted and safe from phishing and data leaks.
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