DJI releases updates to their drones and remotes every few months. While the process might seem annoying, it often comes with major changes to the performance of the device.
This step-by-step guide will take you through exactly how to update the DJI RC Pro. As an added bonus, I’ll include how to update the Mavic 3 using your DJI RC Pro as it is a nearly identical process.
Step 1: Check for Updates
Turn on your RC Pro. For this case, I left my Mavic 3 off so that we could see the process of just updating the remote.
You will also need to make sure your remote is connected to the internet. I’d recommend using your home (or work if you’ve got a cool boss) WIFI, as opposed to using your phone as a hot spot because these updates can get pretty big.
Once your remote has powered up, it should automatically open up the DJI Fly App, but if not open it up to the home screen.
Along the bottom of the screen, you will see an icon for Profile. Clicking there will bring you to the main profile screen.
Click on Settings which will bring you to the screen below. Once here, click on “Check for Firmware Updates” to see if you are running the latest firmware.
If a new firmware is available for update, you will see the pop-up below.
Step 2: Download and Install
Once you click to update, the remote will open up the download dialogue. It will let you know what is being updated, along with the firmware version and size. It also gives you some idea of what features you can expect once updated, though they are often quite vague.
I’m currently writing this instead of playing with my drone so I’m crossing my fingers hoping that they have finally added aperture and shutter speed control to the buttons.
Note the warning not to close the app and to make sure your remote is charged at least 20%. My remote was at 50% but I was planning on flying this afternoon so I plugged it in and the download immediately stopped. Not sure if that was a coincidence or not, but don’t plan on relying on plugging in if you get low. Instead, have the remote sufficiently charged before you begin.
Finally, note that it says updating will take around 10 minutes. Mine took at least twice that. Some forums online seemed to indicate there seemed to be a server issue with DJI, so hopefully your download won’t be as slow as mine.
For what it’s worth, a quick speed test showed my download speed to be 53 MBps. I was averaging around 1 MBps with this download.
Once you click Download, the process of downloading will begin. Just set your remote to the side and make sure to peek at it every now and again.
The first half or so of the “progress wheel” is the download portion. In fact, the download button you pressed earlier should more accurately have been a download and install button as there is no option to just download the update for later installation.
Once the download is complete it immediately begins to install. I was a little concerned at this point as my aircraft wasn’t powered on but I’m guessing that is just some set script that is left in there from the aircraft update.
When it got to 99% it automatically backed out of this dialogue, but if it finishes and the dialogue is still up, go ahead and select the X in the corner to get back to the DJI Fly app home screen.
Again, all this is automatic, so I just did my best grabbing screenshots when things changed.
Step 3: Finish
Look, I couldn’t in good faith call this a step-by-step process if it only had two steps, but once the installation was complete, the remote restarted itself.
I suppose you could go back into the settings menu under profile to check that you were in fact up to date with your firmware.
Though at this point, what I did was turn on my Mavic 3 to update its firmware.
Updating the Mavic 3 Firmware from the DJI RC Pro
Once your Mavic has connected to the RC Pro, you will again need to navigate to the settings menu in your profile and check for updates. If a firmware update is available you will see the exact same screen as before.
Selecting Update will bring you to a slightly different screen. Again, it lets you know what is being updated, what version firmware it is, and how big.
There seems to be little rhyme or reason as to the size of the update and the features updated. As you can see, this update is jam-packed with new features and is less than half the size of the remote’s update.
And again you need to make sure both your remote and the aircraft are sufficiently charged.
Notice that this version says Update, but like the Download button before, it actually does both.
The download was so fast that I didn’t even get a screenshot of that process, but I estimate it still took well over 10 minutes for the install.
While installing the update, the drone powered off and on several times. I’m guessing that’s why the dialogue stayed open on this install as the remote didn’t need to restart.
When I hit the X to return to the home screen there was a notification that the firmware had been installed.
When should I update the firmware on my remote or drone?
DJI has been a lot better at not forcing updates immediately. There was nothing worse than having a client waiting when an update got pushed and you were sidelined for 20-30 minutes.
Now most updates can be pushed off for quite some time. However, they also contain features we are waiting for. I’m an early adopter at heart, so unless I’m just about to take off, I update as soon as I become aware it’s available.
However, DJI has occasionally been known to ship off a firmware update before it is 100% ready which has led to some unfortunate user experiences. Some pilots like to wait a week or so to see what the reports on the new firmware are.
What is a firmware update?
We could probably get away with using the term software update interchangeably here without much difference. But in broad strokes, if the hardware is your drone, the software is the DJI Fly app, and the firmware is the program on your drone/remote that allows the two to communicate.
Generally speaking, firmware is a specific set of software that doesn’t get interacted with. Often times firmware updates for the remote or aircraft are accompanied by updates to the app as well.
Can I use DJI Assistant 2 to update?
As far as I’m aware all updates are also available through the desktop app DJI Assistant 2. This process is mainly different in that you plug your device into your desktop via USB-C and then follow the prompts in that app, rather than the one on your remote.
This is a really simple process that DJI has set up so while it may be annoying, at least it’s not technically difficult. Hopefully, now that you’ve made it this far you feel comfortable doing it on your own. I’m off to go see what this latest update actually accomplishes!