Updated: 10/19/2017 by Computer Hope

Firmware is data that is stored on a computer or other hardware device's ROM (read-only memory) that provides instruction on how that device should operate. Unlike normal software, firmware cannot be changed or deleted by an end-user without the aid of special programs and remains on that device whether or not it's on or off.

What is a firmware update?

A firmware update is a software program that can be used to update the firmware in these devices. For example, a user could download a firmware update for a network router that enhances its capabilities or fixes an issue. Firmware updates are available from hardware manufacturers.

In some cases, computer enthusiast websites create their own firmware updates to give a device even more capabilities than the manufacturer intended.


Third-party updates are often not supported by the manufacturer.

BIOS, Bricked, EEPROM, EPROM, Hardware terms