AirPods Pro 2

Update AirPods (Pro)

My AirPods Pro 2nd generation with a Lightning connector simply wouldn’t update. Despite several newer versions being released, my AirPods were stuck on version 5E135, and the case on version 54.26.1.

Due to the outdated firmware, the “Find My” feature always displayed that the AirPods configuration was incomplete, preventing the location from being shown.

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to force the update, even at the Apple Store, where the only suggestion was perhaps replacing the case. However, during my visit there, I stumbled upon a solution, more on that later.

Initially, I tried or considered the following steps recommended by Apple:

  • Ensure that they are genuine AirPods.
  • Update all Apple devices to the latest software version.
  • Charge AirPods next to iPhone or iPad (with Bluetooth enabled) overnight.
  • Connect AirPods to Mac overnight.
  • Remove, unpair, and reset AirPods from Apple ID.

I also tried the following method:

  • Listen to music for 30 seconds.
  • Place AirPods in the case, leave the case open, lay iPhone next to it while charging, turn off the screen, and wait.

I continued trying:

  • Activate iCloud Keychain.
  • Avoid using VPNs.

Although these steps should work for most people, they didn’t work for me.

The Apple Store employee in Düsseldorf mentioned that he always first checks for VPN usage, as it often prevents AirPods from updating for many users. While I rarely used a VPN explicitly, I realized that I had Apple’s own iCloud Private Relay continuously enabled. So, with this idea in mind, I traveled home by train and briefly turned off the function, then repeated the above steps.

After dinner, I noticed that it had indeed worked! I could hardly believe it—after many attempts over months, it finally worked. I couldn’t find anything about this tip online, so I’m sharing my experience here, hoping it helps someone else.

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