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Fix Apple AirPods Not Charging (9 Easy Fixes)

Last updated: 1 year ago
9 min read

Don’t give up on your AirPods just yet. This is the ultimate guide on fixing your AirPods charging problems.

You’ll be able to solve:

  • Why are both AirPods not charging?
  • Why only one AirPod isn’t charging?
  • Why is the AirPods case not charging?

Solutions in the article below will bring your AirPods back to life.

AirPods Pro in hands

Jump to the problem you have:

Why Are AirPods Not Charging?

These troubleshooting steps will help you determine the cause of your problem.

  • Inspect AirPods for dirt. A piece of dirt could prevent earbuds from properly sitting on the charging pins.
  • Clean the AirPods. Even if you don’t see any gunk build-up, you should still clean both the earbuds and the case to eliminate that variable.
  • Check if the case is charging. You might have a faulty charging case that needs replacement.
  • Update the firmware. It can iron out software bugs, so you should always keep your AirPods up to date.
  • Reset the AirPods. It will restore your earbuds to their factory settings, so they should behave like brand new ones.

How to Fix AirPods Not Charging in Case

You place your AirPods in the charging case, and nothing happens. There’s no LED light, and your earbuds report low battery. Here’s what you should do.

Check the Battery Status of the Charging Case

Since the case is responsible for charging your AirPods, it also needs to be charged separately.

It isn’t uncommon for users to forget to charge the case.

Learn how to inspect the battery status of your case.

You should have at least 10% battery in your case. Otherwise, it won’t charge the AirPods.

Make Sure AirPods are Connected with the Case

When inserting the earbuds, you should hear a magnetic snap of buds pulled into place.

  • Try reinserting them a few times until you hear the snap.
  • Also, observe the LED on the case. It should start blinking or shining when inserting the AirPods.

Check If the Lid Is Closed

Make sure the case is properly closed. It could be that something obstructs the AirPods from sitting in their place. That makes them taller, which prevents the lid from closing.

The AirPods case won’t charge the earbuds if the lid isn’t fully closed.

Remove any accessories from the AirPods and the case (rubber protectors or sleeves for the case).

Clean the Connectors/Pins

Inspect connectors on the earbuds to see if dirt or gunk prevents connecting to the charging case.

AirPods Pro out of the case

If you see dirt or grime stuck in there, clean it out.

  1. Take a dry cotton swab and gently rub around the charging pins inside the charging case.
  2. If you have cleaning alcohol (70% concentration or more) or hydrogen peroxide (3% solution), you can use it to slightly wet the cotton swab before rubbing the pins. It will lift up the grime, making it easier to clean it off.
Cleaning charging case

Don’t use alcohol for disinfecting your hands since it has additives that will leave a greasy residue.

See detailed instructions on how to clean your earbuds.

Check AirPods Battery Status

Narrow down your troubleshooting by checking the actual battery percentage of both earbuds and the case.

That way, you can see if any of the solutions above helped resolve the problems.

Learn how to check the AirPods battery percentage and if they’re actually charging.

Reset the AirPods

Resetting a device is a simple yet powerful method.

When dealing with computer codes, you can occasionally bump into an error, which causes your device to start acting funny.

By resetting it, you essentially erase whatever happened and start from scratch.

That means that all of your settings will also reset to default, so you’ll have to set them again.

  1. Put both earbuds in the charging case and close the lid.
  2. Wait 30 seconds.
  3. Reopen the lid.
Apple AirPods 2 in a charging case
  1. On your iOS device of choice, go into the “Settings” app and tap “Bluetooth” to find your AirPods. Press the “More info” button (circle with “i”) next to them.
  1. Tap “Forget This Device” and confirm your choice. That way, you’re giving your device and AirPods a fresh start.
  1. Moving to AirPods again, with the lid open, press and hold the Setup button on the case for at least 15 seconds or until you see LED flashing in amber and then in white color.
  2. Earbuds are now fully reset. They should start pairing soon afterward.

How to Fix One AirPod Not Charging

This step involves much of the troubleshooting steps from a previous section like:

One unique solution to the matter found on the internet involves cables.

Use Original (or Apple-Verified) Cable

Some users report AirPods don’t charge correctly with knock-off cheap cables. These cables contribute to unexpected battery drain or left or right AirPod not working properly.

AirPods included charging cable

Usually, cheap cables charge slowly (due to cheaper electronics inside). But there’s probably some truth to those claims.

Apple loves placing software limitations on its products when you try using them with non-Apple accessories.

How To Check AirPods Battery Life Status

If everything so far seems fine, check the battery percentage to more accurately pinpoint the cause of the issue.

Check the battery on iOS

In iOS devices, you can observe the battery life of your Apple gadgets in 3 different ways.

1. Pairing pop-up animation

A pop-up message that shows when you pair with your AirPods to your iPhone is packed with information about the battery status.

Not only does it show the percentage but also if earbuds or the case are charging or not.

  1. Place AirPods in the case in close the lid. That will shut them off.
  2. Start the charging process by plugging the Lightning cable into the case.
  3. Reopen the lid and hold the case close to your iPhone. AirPods should start re-pairing to your phone.
  4. Inside a pop-up message, you’ll see the battery icon and percentage for the earbuds and the case separately on the screen.
AirPods pop up message
  • Under AirPods’s battery percentage, you should see a lightning bolt icon. That means earbuds are charging correctly.
AirPods battery pop-up message

Otherwise, you might have to reinspect both the case and the buds for dirt and grime and clean it up.

When placing AirPods out of the case, you’ll see battery percentages of each earbud.

Moreover, keep an eye on the case’s battery. If there’s less than 10% in it, it won’t charge your AirPods. Fill it up.

2. Battery through Today View

  1. First, make sure AirPods are paired to your iPhone.
  2. From the home screen, swipe from left to right to open “Today View.”
  3. Find “Battery Widget.”
  4. There you should see battery percentages of all connected devices, including AirPods.

Also, you can check if your AirPods are actually charging by looking for a small lightning bolt on top of your headphones.

AirPods battery widget indicating that's charging

If you don’t have a Battery Widget:

  1. Add it by pressing “Edit” on the bottom of the screen.
AirPods add battery widget
  1. In the upper left corner, press the “+” icon.
AirPods add battery widget 2
  1. Click on “Batteries.”
  2. Select a preferably sized widget and click on “Add Widget.”
AirPods add battery widget
  1. Select where you want your Battery Widget to be and click “Done.”
AirPods add battery widget 3

3. Ask Siri

  1. Make sure AirPods are connected to your iPhone.
  2. Launch the Siri smart assistant and ask her: “How much battery is in my AirPods?”

Siri should tell you the battery status of your AirPods and their charging case.

Check battery percentage on Android

Apple makes it overly complicated for non-iOS users to use their products. While they eased up on Beats products, letting Android users use a dedicated app, the AirPods are still firmly locked in their ecosystem.

So, to check the battery levels with Android, you have to resort to third-party apps. Thankfully, most of them are free.

AirPods Android app 2
An example of how the MaterialPods app shows the battery percentage of your AirPods.

How to Fix AirPods Case Not Charging

So far, we’ve focused on earbuds not charging. Now it’s time to give the charging case the same treatment.

Cases likewise aren’t immune to failure, so they could be the reason behind charging problems.

Here’s what you can do.

First, check the battery percentage of your charging case using the tips above.

  • If the case is at 100%, it should be working fine.
  • If it’s below 100%, try to recharge it for a couple of minutes.

See if the battery percentage is now higher. If not, there are 2 possible problems.

  • One is the faulty case.
  • The other involves a faulty cable.

Try Using a Different Cable

  • Use a cable you need to charge your other Apple devices or the short one included in the AirPods box.
  • Also, try using a different power brick and even a different power socket.
  • Use the same cable on another Apple device to see if it works.
AirPods charging cables

Inspect Lightning Port For Debris

Any charging port can attract a lot of dust and pieces of fabric over time, especially if you carry your AirPods in pockets.

Look into the Lightning port. If there is debris in it, here’s what you do:

  1. Grab a tiny toothpick that can fit into a port. If you’re using a metallic pin (like the one that opens a SIM-card tray), cover it with double-sided tape. You don’t want the metal to scratch up your internals or cause a short circuit.
  2. Very carefully reach into a port and scrape out the accumulated gunk.
Fibres inside AUX port
Outside ports can accumulate a lot of debris, from dirt to pieces of fabric.
  1. Afterward, try inserting the cable and see if it charges.

Reset The Case

If there’s still some juice left, try resetting the AirPods. While unlikely, it could be a software bug causing the charging problem.

Learn how to reset the AirPods.

Wireless Charging Test

Unless you have the first-gen AirPods, you have a Qi wireless charging case. If you have a charging pad at home, try placing the case on it.

  • If you see the LED indicating charging, it could be that the Lightning port is faulty.
  • On the other hand, if wireless charging doesn’t work, the case is likely dead.

Update the AirPods Firmware

It isn’t surprising that a bug in code would cause charging problems, unsuspected battery drain, etc.

Therefore, keeping your AirPods up to date is important.

Apple products receive firmware updates automatically. Meaning you can’t force them manually.

This step only applies if you haven’t used your AirPods in months, so they didn’t have the chance to update.

  1. If that’s so, connect them to your iPhone.
  2. Make sure to enable mobile data or Wi-Fi.
  3. After around 15 minutes, your iPhone should already install any potential updates.
  4. See if problems persist.

What If AirPods are Still Not Charging?

If your AirPods are still under warranty, Apple should take them in and inspect the problem.

  • The warranty in the USA and UK is limited to 1 year. You can extend it by buying an extended warranty.
  • On the other hand, EU users are eligible for at least 2 years of repairs under warranty.

Although some stores in the EU still offer only a 1-year warranty on Apple products, despite the EU law forbidding that. Basically, in the EU, one year is covered by Apple, whereas the second year is covered by a retailer. The latter sometimes dismiss the second-year warranty, so be careful where you buy your Apple gadgets.

How to Send AirPods For Repairs

Go to the retailer

You can do it by personally bringing your AirPods directly to the retailer where you bought them. Make sure to bring the receipt with you. Otherwise, they aren’t going to take the earbuds in.

Contact Apple support directly

If you bought your AirPods online via the Apple store, you have to contact Apple directly and arrange the battery service repair.

  1. Go to the Apple website and click “Support” in the upper row of the page.
  2. Click on the “Apple Repair.”
Apple website second page
  1. Scroll down a bit and click on “Start a repair request.”
Apple third page
  1. Under “See all products,” click on “Choose a product.”
Apple fourth page
  1. Select “AirPods.”
Airpods choose a product page

At this stage, you have 2 options.

  • Bring in for Repairs: you physically bring your AirPods to an Apple-authorized repair shop in your vicinity.
  • Phone call: calling user support and finding a different way to repair your AirPods.
Apple sixth page

Moreover, be persistent with contacting Apple. Users report Apple sometimes returns the faulty product claiming there’s nothing wrong with it.

Other Solutions

  • If you’re out of warranty, repairing them might be pricey. Check how much it would cost before making any further decisions. You don’t want to make your AirPods just another e-waste.
  • Another alternative is The Swap Club, a website where you swap your AirPods 1 & 2 or iPhone for a better one.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How long does it take to charge AirPods?

Charging AirPods to 100% only takes about 20 minutes for the buds, while the case takes about an hour.

Does leaving AirPods in the case drain battery?

No. The case keeps your AirPods fully charged for the next time you use them. Furthermore, earbuds don’t overcharge when in the case, so you shouldn’t worry about that, either.

What’s the AirPods battery lifespan?

Apple isn’t officially disclosing the AirPods battery lifespan. However, based on the batteries used in new AirPods, they will retain 80% of their capacity after 500 cycles.
As long as you don’t charge them daily, they should provide enough juice for a full day of use even after 2 years.

Is it bad to charge AirPods overnight?

No, it’s okay. AirPods Pro and AirPods (3rd Gen) actually adapt to your usage routine. They charge only to 80% overnight, and add the remaining 20% right before your wake up and start using them.

What LED lights on Apple AirPods charging case mean?

Red or amber light that eventually turns off: earbuds are charging.
Flashing amber light: there’s something wrong, so a reset is needed.
Green light that eventually turns off: earbuds are fully charged.
White light: signalizes that AirPods are ready to pair.
Blue light: you have fake AirPods.


Hopefully, the steps above have fixed your charging problem.

If you’ve tried everything and your AirPods still don’t work, then it’s likely they’re dead and need professional service.

On average AirPods have a lifespan of around 3 years. If your earbuds are older, you shouldn’t feel to bad about replacing them. And I know this is bad news for you, but all wireless earbuds have a limited lifespan.

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