Yes, you can update your Godox firmware on the mac, and here’s how to do it

Jan 16, 2019

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Yes, you can update your Godox firmware on the mac, and here’s how to do it

Jan 16, 2019

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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As good as Godox equipment can be, it has one fatal flaw which puts many photographers off using their equipment. There’s no easy, native way to update the firmware on a Mac. And firmware updates do come fairly regularly for their various models of flashes and triggers. It’s a question I see pop up regularly in Facebook groups, and I’m asked personally quite often, too.

But there is some hope, using an application called VirtualBox to run a virtual Windows operating system inside your MacOS desktop. This video from photographer Ken Falk walks us through the process of updating his Godox firmware on the Mac.

It’s a fairly straightforward process, and completely free, although there are one or two caveats and you might want to watch some parts over a couple of times.

  1. Download the firmware & updater from the Godox website
  2. Download & Install Keka on your mac to open RAR archives (if you don’t already have something)
  3. Download & Install VirtualBox (If you have issues with version 6.0, try version 5.2)
  4. Download a suitable virtual machine image from Microsoft
  5. Run VirtualBox and boot the Windows image
  6. Connect your device via USB cable
  7. Run the appropriate firmware updater for your device
  8. Update your firmware

There are some specific procedures you’ll need to follow to get everything installed and working properly, which Ken mentions in the video. And you may want to have a few USB cables handy, as they’re not all created equal. I’ve experienced this on Windows, too, so I usually test all new cables I get to figure out what devices they do and don’t work with.

Yes, it’s a bit of a pain. And it would be nice if Godox (and Adorama) could actually support native updates on the Mac, but the problem is, Godox doesn’t develop the app themselves. The Adorama app is just a reskinned version of the Godox app. The Godox app is just a reskinned version of the ATMEL updater app. ATMEL is the company who develops the bootloader chip inside the Godox kit and they only have a Windows version of the software. So, until ATMEL release a Mac version of the updater, Godox’s hands are tied.

If this all seems like a whole lot of work and effort, my suggestion to Mac users is to just buy an inexpensive Windows 2-in-1 dedicated to updating firmware and other menial tasks. I’m a Windows & Linux user on the desktop, but I also have an ASUS Transformer Book. I originally bought it as a way to be able to tweak drone configuration settings while out flying (a 2-in-1 is a lot lighter than a laptop). But it works great for something like this, too, and there are a lot of 2-in-1s out there for very low prices on the used market.

[h/t Ulysses]

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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3 responses to “Yes, you can update your Godox firmware on the mac, and here’s how to do it”

  1. mikerofoto Avatar
    mikerofoto

    Virtual Windows isn’t new, had to install it using boot camp because some work programs were not Mac friendly so, when you start up you choose between the two.
    Or use those and run Windows in a window.
    https://www.vmware.com/uk/products/fusion.html?ClickID=dkxn0ozyrsnzych0s2tw0ynyxzbzmkrx2ybk

    https://www.parallels.com/products/desktop/?cjevent=995665bc198f11e9826d004d0a240612

  2. Ned MacFadden Avatar
    Ned MacFadden

    Great video! The problem I have is that the Godox firmware when extracted shows up with a .dfu extension, and windows says it can’t open the file. Any suggestions?

  3. Dan Derrico Avatar
    Dan Derrico

    Hi!
    One of your reference links does not work and it would be really helpful. I do not know how to download a virtual machine image. Can you make the link below work?
    This link leads to a dead end: “Download a suitable virtual machine image from Microsoft” sends us to https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-edge/tools/vms/?form=MA13LH