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