Performing a Phantom 3 firmware update doesn’t need to be an ordeal.
Here at Heliguy we think it’s a fairly simple process that almost everyone will be able to do provided they’ve got the right information. That’s why we’ve put together this post explaining why, when and how to upgrade the firmware on you DJI Phantom 3 professional, advanced or standard.
Why should I upgrade to the latest firmware?
Firmware is essentially just software that operates a particular device. Nearly every device you use has a firmware, from calculators, to modems, to smartphones and most other devices we’d consider ‘smart’.
It’s no surprise then that drones have relatively complex firmware, which controls how all the various electronics within the UAV and the controller interact.
But if your Phantom is working fine – why would you bother to upgrade the firmware?
- Unlock new features released by DJI.
- Fix bugs that have been identified in the current firmware.
- Add support for the latest apps and third party accessories.
If you want to keep your Phantom running to the best of its abilities, Heliguy advise updating the firmware on the aircraft at your earliest convenience after it’s been released by DJI.
There may be an issue that’s been causing issues in the previous firmware. You wouldn’t want something preventable to cause your aircraft issues in the coming months – so it’s always best to update the firmware if you can.
Where can I get the latest Phantom 3 Firmware updates?
The latest and greatest software for any DJI product can always be found on their official website.
For the Phantom 3, the links are as follows. We’ve listed the most recent firmware at the time of writing next to each P3 model:
- P3 Pro Downloads – Latest Firmware v1.9.60
- P3 Advanced Downloads – Latest Firmware v1.9.60
- P3 Standard Downloads – Latest Firmware v1.4
- P3 4K Downloads – Latest Firmware v1.4
The latest firmware update will be labelled as “Firmware vX.Y.ZZ”. The higher these numbers, the more recent the firmware.
The best place to be kept up to date with the latest firmware releases is through your DJI go app, or the DJI newsroom.
How do I check the current Firmware Version on my Phantom?
This part is really simple, especially considering that the DJI GO app will automatically notify you as and when upgrades are required.
- Turn on the aircraft and the controller
- Connect the phone or tablet you use with your Phantom
- Launch the DJI GO app.
- Enter Camera view.
- Tap the settings icon on the top right hand corner of the screen (indicated by three horizontal lines)
- Scroll right to the bottom of the list of options and select ‘About’. You will be shown the current firmware versions of your aircraft and remote.
What do I need to prepare before updating the Firmware?
Make sure both the battery in the aircraft and the battery in the remote control are fully charged.
Make sure you have the following to hand:
- The very latest version of the DJI GO app available on the Google Play Store for Android devices or the App Store for Apple devices.
- A fast microSD card with at least 100mb of free space available (let’s make it 200mb to be safe)
- A stable internet connection
- An hour or so of spare time to process the firmware upgrade
Updating the Firmware on a Phantom 3
If you want to watch a video tutorial on upgrading the firmware, just watch the video below.
If you’d prefer to go through step by step with text instructions scroll down past the video to see our guide.
Using the DJI GO app (Option 1) (Compatible using Phantom 3 Standard or 4K)
- Turn on the Aircraft and the Remote Controller.
- Connect to your Aircraft’s Wi-Fi network as normal.
- Launch the DJI Go app using your phone or tablet as you normally would.
- Tap the prompt at the top of the screen telling you that ‘New firmware update is available’.
- Now connect your mobile device to your home or office wifi to connect to the Internet.
- Switch back to the DJI Go app and tap the ‘Download Now’ button at the bottom of the screen.
- You’ll see a progress bar appear which will show you the progress of the download.
- Once the file is downloaded, you’ll need to switch wifi networks again, so go to the settings screen on your phone or tablet and change your wifi connection from your home or office network to the controllers wifi network.
- You can now re-open the DJI go app and click the ‘Start Upgrade’ button.
- Again, you will see that a progress bar appears to show you how the firmware update is progressing. Please don’t turn off the aircraft or your mobile device during this time.
- Once the upgrade is complete simply click the ‘Complete’ button within the DJI GO app then restart your aircraft which will now boot with the new firmware installed.
Using a Computer (Option 2) (Compatible with all Phantom 3 range)
- Head over to the relevant DJI downloads page and grab the latest firmware:
Phantom 3 Professional
Phantom 3 Advanced
Phantom 3 Standard
Phantom 3 4K
- Unzip the downloaded file to a folder on your desktop. The firmware itself is inside the .bin file.
- Insert your Micro SD card into the slot on the Phantom 3’s Gimbal.
- Using the USB cable that was supplied with your Phantom, connect the Micro-usb port on the Phantom Gimbal with your computer. (Another way to do this is to remove the SD card and install it in your computer using a card reader.
- Turn on your Phantom 3 drone as normal.
- Copy the .bin file you’ve just unzipped to your desktop over to the ‘root’ of the SD card which should now appear as a storage device on your computer. The root just means the home location on the SD card, not within any folders or subfolders.
- After the file has been copied, remove the USB cable that was connecting the aircraft and your computer. (Or remove SD card from computer and install it back in the aircraft.)
- The aircraft will now upgrade the firmware automatically using the .bin file that you’ve placed on the SD card. This process will take some time, up to 40 minutes, so please don’t be alarmed if it seems to be taking some time. During the update process the device may make sounds, reboot or other strange behaviour – don’t worry – it’s part of the process.
- Once the update has begun, you’ll see a small LED on the gimbal.
- Flashing green then red – Firmware is still upgrading.
- Solid green light – The firmware upgrade is complete.
- Solid red – The firmware upgrade was unsuccessful.
- As soon as you see the status LED on the Phantom 3 gimbal turn solid green without flashing, the firmware upgrade is complete.
- It is also important to listen to what noises your gimbal is making: A beep ever half second indicates the updated file has been recognised and is being loaded, 4 beeps in a row means the file is installing and finally one beep followed by two shorted beeps indicates the update is complete and the craft can be switched off.
That’s it – the firmware upgrade is now complete.
Please remove the .bin file from the SD card before continuing to use your aircraft.
How can I upgrade the firmware on the Phantom 3 controller?
If you have a Phantom 3 Professional or Advanced quadcopter you will also need to ensure that you update the firmware on the remote controller when necessary.
Before trying to update the firmware on the remote controller for your Phantom please ensure:
- Update the DJI GO app to the latest version from the Google Play Store or App Store.
- Ensure that your remote controller is fully charged.
- Ensure that the Aircraft is turned off.
- The phone or tablet you use with the remote has access to a stable internet connection and a fully charged battery.
- Ensure you have at least 50mb of free space on your phone or tablet to download the firmware package through the DJI GO app.
The process of updating the controller’s firmware is made much simpler by the DJI GO app:
- Connect your Phantom 3 remote controller to your phone or tablet using the supplied USB cable.
- Turn on the remote as normal.
- Open the DJI GO app on your phone or tablet.
- Enter the camera interface as normal.
- Tap the ‘Flight Status’ bar in your app (the big coloured block at the top of the screen).
- Tap the ‘Overall Status’ option which should have a message stating ‘Upgrade Required’.
- Tap the ‘Download Firmware’ option in the app.
- After the firmware has finished downloading, click the ‘Start to upgrade’ option that appears at the bottom of the status window.
- The remote controller will make a warning sound to signal that a firmware upgrade has begun and the left hand side LED at the bottom of the controller will flash blue.
- You can see a real time progress bar within the DJI go app which will show you how far of the update process is remaining.
- Once the progress bar is full and the LED on the remote controller changes to a solid green light, the firmware upgrade is complete.
Now you can simply restart your controller and it will launch using the new firmware.
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel for Exclusive DJI News, Reviews and Advice