AirPods not working? 5 ways to fix them

AirPods not working? Whether you’re having trouble getting them plugged in or charging, audio issues or anything else, stay tuned for 5 ways to repair AirPods. We’ll also cover how to check if you’re eligible for a free AirPods Pro replacement from Apple.

Apple AirPods usually offer a super hassle-free experience with headphone setup and convenient features like automatic pairing and switching between your Apple devices. But like all devices, AirPods are not immune to connectivity issues and other errors.

Below we cover 5 steps to help you get AirPods working again.

AirPods not working?

  1. Double check the battery of your AirPods case and AirPods
    • Put both AirPods in the case and open the lid near your iPhone to see the battery status
  2. Double check Bluetooth on your iPhone was not turned off
    • iPhone Settings app> Bluetooth> make sure switch is green
  3. Clean speaker and microphone grilles
  4. If your AirPods do not connect or still have audio problems, reset them
  5. For AirPods Pro users, if you have problems with crackling sound or noise reduction, take a closer look at Apple replacement program

AirPods do not work: Check battery and charge

 AirPods do not work battery

With your AirPods in the charging case, bring them near your iPhone and open the lid. You should see the battery appear for both the case and the AirPods.

Apple recommends that you make sure the AirPods cover is fully charged and that your AirPods are charged inside for at least 30 seconds before attempting to use them. Of course, if your AirPods have a very low battery, you need to let them charge longer.

If your AirPods are not charging, there may be dirt blocking the metal charging contacts on the bottom of the AirPods or on the bottom of the charging case. Be careful not to damage the pins on the bottom of the charging case if you try to remove deposits or dirt.

If your AirPods charging case is dead and will not charge, try another Lightning cable (or use the back of the one you have), or try charging wirelessly if you have a wireless support charging case.

Contact Apple Support or go to your nearest Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider if your AirPods and / or case still cannot be charged.

AirPods do not work: Clean your AirPods

 AirPods note works clean

Sometimes what appears to be AirPods not working can just be dirt or build-up that blocks the speaker or microphone grids. For AirPods Pro, pull off the ear tips to clean the speaker grilles.

We have a complete tutorial on how to clean both AirPods and AirPods Pro, but TL; DR is:

  • Wipe the AirPods with a clean microfiber cloth
    • Dampen your cloth slightly with water if necessary, Apple also says that it is ok to use a Clorox disinfectant wipe or similar
    • Let them dry completely before putting them back in the charging case or in your ears
  • Blue Tack is a great way to remove dirt and grime from the black speaker / microphone grids
  • Remove some of the extra cotton from a Q-tip for a more precise cotton swab tool
  • Carefully use a flosser to break up and remove hard-to-reach stains

Thank you for reading our guide on what to do if you find that AirPods do not work!

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