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Update DJI Smart Controller (Step by Step Guide)

You really should have a DJI smart controller if you own a DJI drone. It is the best partner you can have for your drone.  The DJI smart controller features an ultra-bright screen, supports third-party apps, and has an extended battery of two and a half hours. It also eliminates the need to use a phone to control your device. 

However, you might not be able to fully enjoy the benefits that a DJI Smart Controller offers if you do not update it. An updated controller helps maximize your outdoor drone flying experience. Updating the controller will also minimize the potential for crashing and, most importantly, improve the drone’s stability. 

There are two ways through which you can update a DJI Smart Controller. The first is via the DJI GO 4 app and the second is through Assistant 2. The advantage of using Assistant 2 is that it’s a direct download, while you will need to be connected to WIFI when using the DJI GO 4 app to update. 

In this detailed article, I will take you through a step-by-step tutorial on updating a DJI smart controller.

Updating your DJI Smart Controller via Assistant 2

Using Assistant 2 to update your DJI smart controller is the fastest and easiest method. Here is how you do it:

  1. Turn off the remote controller.
  2. Connect the DJI Smart Controller to a computer via a type-C USB cable.
  3. Turn on the Smart Controller.
  4. Launch DJI Assistant 2 and use your DJI account to log in.
  5. Enter the main interface.
  6. Click the DJI Smart Controller icon
  7. Click the firmware update button on the left side.
  8. Check the update button, select the latest firmware version, and click the start update icon.
  9. Automatically, DJI Assistant 2 will download and install the firmware and automatically update the Smart Controller.
  10. Once the update is done, the DJI Smart Controller will restart automatically.

Updating your DJI Smart Controller via the DJI GO 4 app

Updating your DJI Smart Controller is quick and easy with the DJI GO 4 app, if you don’t have DJI Assistant 2. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Turn on the DJI Smart Controller.
  2. Tap on the menu icon on the bottom of the screen.
  3. Ensure the remote controller is connected to the internet during the update.
  4. Enter the settings page system.
  5. Scroll down to the bottom of the page.
  6. Tap system update for the controller to automatically check for firmware updates.
  7. Follow the instructions being given by the system and update the firmware.
  8. Once the update is finished, the DJI Smart Controller will restart automatically.

Common problems with updating a DJI Smart Controller

Updating a Smart Controller for your drone is not always smooth. Sometimes you will encounter hiccups when updating your Smart Controller using Assistant 2 or the DJI GO 4 App. Here is a discussion of some of the issues that might pop up and how to solve them.

1. No progress

Sometimes, everything might go well, from the WiFi connection, to alerts for the new update, to a successful firmware download. But when it’s time for the update to install, the update bar stays at 0%. This might take half an hour even after turning the controller off and on, doing a factory reset, and using different computers to connect the unit using DJI Assistant 2.

If you run into this issue, an SD card on the unit might cause this error. You should remove the SD-Card and retry updating the firmware. Another possible solution might be to download the latest version of DJI Assistant 2 then repeat the process.

2. Unstable device connection

This is another error that’s not uncommon when updating your Smart Controller. Usually, it might occur when the update gets to 16%, and you will notice the unit beeping. If it beeps for a while, what follows is an unstable device connection message. 

To fix this problem, try reconnecting the computer to the internet. Also, check whether the Smart Controller is powered on. The other thing to try is using a different USB port to connect to the computer.

3. Smart Controller turns off during the update

The Smart Controller is more likely to turn off during an update when using the DJI GO 4 App. If this happens, you should update using Assistant 2. You can also uninstall and reinstall the latest Assistant 2 version. 

4. DJI Smart Controller doesn’t shut down

Do not be surprised when you update your smart controller and then it refuses to shut down. It’s a common occurrence. If that happens, you should press and hold the power button for 15 seconds. The unit will shut down.

5. Smart Controller screen goes blank

This is another problem that some users report after updating a Smart Controller. Its screen might turn off, making you unable to command your drone. If this happens after the update is finished, you can fix it by doing a factory reset.

6. Increased Smart Controller brightness

Sometimes, you might find that the controller screen has become too bright after the update. In such a situation, you can simply use the built-in light sensor to adjust the brightness manually.  Ensure the adjustment is optimal for your eyes and the surroundings.


Your drone is a long-term investment, and you might not be upgrading to another one soon. However, its optimal functionality depends on the status of your Smart Controller. Whether you are using it for fun or commercial reasons, you need to periodically update your DJI smart controller for maximum performance of your drone. We have discussed the step-by-step tutorial of updating a DJI Smart Controller.  You can either update using Assistant 2 or the DJI GO 4 app. You also now know how to deal with issues that may arise during the update. We hope this information will help you enjoy an improved drone flying experience.

Photo by Luca on Unsplash