Our DJI Phantom 4 Pro has been an absolute workhorse since DJI replaced it for free a few months ago. This thing has been all over North America with us, and has worked without any issue until this week when it started to act up. We started experiencing errors that we hadn’t seen before (compass heading, IMU exception, and cannot detect camera lens), and found the way to fix it all way via a firmware refresh! The process took us a few attempts, so we’ll save you the trial-and-error headache and show you how to refresh your DJI drone’s firmware in these easy steps!
Step 1: Format your SD card
In order to ensure that there aren’t any remnants of your old firmware, it’s important to format your SD card and start with a fresh install. You can format right through the DJI Go or DJI Go 4 apps, however what we found worked was removing the SD card from your drone and formatting it on your computer. If you have the option, we recommend formatting it in ExFAT.
Step 2: Clear your cache
Just like in step 1, we have to make sure there aren’t any remnants of your buggy firmware, so we need to clear the cache.
Power up your drone and transmitter, load up DJI Go or DJI Go 4 on your device, and then tap on the small icon on the bottom row labelled “Me”
On the next screen, tap on the gear in the top right corner to go to your settings menu.
Tap on either “Clear Cache” on the left, or the numerical value on the right that represents how much space is being used by your cache.
Tap on “Clear Firmware” on the left or the numerical value on the right, and the app will verify if you want to clear your firmware or not. Make sure that you click on “OK” when the popup appears, to wipe it from your device. We tried this by clearing ALL the caches including video, photos, etc, and it worked for us. Before you clear all your caches, make sure that you have your data backed up and feel safe deleting all of it.
Now that our caches are clear, it’s time to move on to the next step.
Step 3: Download DJI Assistant 2
DJI Assistant 2 software is available for both Mac and PC, and can be found by visiting the downloads page for your drone. The software is universal from the DJI Phantom 3, DJI Phantom 4, DJI Spark, DJI Mavic, and DJI Inspire drones, and can be downloaded from here.
Step 4: Connect your drone and refresh your firmware
Now that you have a clean device and drone, we can safely refresh the firmware! Simply start the DJI Assistant 2 software on your computer, connect your drone to your computer via the supplied USB cable, and then power up your drone. Once your drone is connected, be sure that you’re logged into DJI Assistant 2 with your DJI account (the same account that you use on your mobile device when controlling your drone).
Once your logged in, click on your drone when it appears on the screen.
The “Firmware Update” option should be selected by default, but if it’s not, tap on it at the top of the left column. Once you’re on the firmware update screen, you’ll see your current firmware and the option to “REFRESH” it. At the time of writing, there is only one approved firmware for the P4P, however in the past we have seen several versions that you can choose from. For this, we’ll keep it simple and just refresh your firmware.
Clicking on the refresh button will bring up a window saying that you need to be connected to the internet, your DJI device is powered on, and that you have it connected to your computer via USB. Once you’ve verified all of that, click on “START UPDATE” and make sure that you don’t disconnect your drone from the computer.
After a few minutes (up to 15 according to DJI), you should receive a message saying that the update is complete! Once it’s complete, click on the back button, and power off your drone and exit out of the DJI Assistant 2 software.
Step 5: Fly your happily refreshed drone!
Now that your firmware is refreshed, be sure to calibrate your IMU and compass, and then take it for a flight! Simply refreshing the firmware in the above steps helped fix all of the problems that we were experiencing, and should for you too! Happy flying!