A step-by-step guide to troubleshooting AirPods charging issues

Apple AirPods paved the way for the next generation of wireless and truly wireless stereo headphones. Although they are the best-selling brands in the wireless earphone market, Apple AirPods come with their issues. In an older article, we provided an exhaustive overview of the solutions to some common AirPod problems. Here we are going to focus on troubleshooting AirPods charging issues.


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Since this is a relatively new type of Apple product, the potential issues may vary. However, we are confident that our solutions will go a long way in solving most of the charging issues. Without further ado, let’s get right to the point.

Note: The solutions recommended below apply to all generations of Apple AirPods, namely AirPods 1, AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro.

1. AirPods won’t charge just in case

Are your AirPods not charging at all? There are several things you can do to correct this.

Plug the charging box into the power supply

If the AirPods won’t charge when placed in the charging case, check that the charging case is charged enough to power the AirPods. Place the case (with the two AirPods in it) near your device and open the cover. This will display a sign showing the AirPods and the battery level of the case.

Fix Airpods Not Charging 04

Fix Airpods Not Charging 04

If the charging case is less than 10 or 15%, plug it into a power source or place it on a charging cradle if your AirPods support wireless charging.

Clean charging box

Check that there is no material covering the metal contacts of the charging case. If so, blowing dry air into the ports should be enough to remove dirt, dust and debris. You can also use dry cotton swabs to clean the AirPods case charging ports.

Warning: Unplug the charging case from the power source before cleaning it. You can damage the metal contacts if you use hard or sharp objects to clean the charging port of the AirPods case.

2. An AirPod does not charge

Another common charging problem is placing a charging AirPod unit in the case. Many users reported this problem. For some, it’s the correct AirPod that refuses to charge, while others have it reversed. Either way, refer to the solutions below.

Reinsert the AirPod

First, try to remove the affected AirPod from the charging case and reinsert it. If it still won’t charge, try other solutions below.

Clean the AirPod tail

Use a dry, soft, lint-free cloth to wipe the tail of the AirPods that won’t charge when placed in the case.

Fix airpods not loading image

Fix airpods not loading image

Clean the charging case compartment

This problem mainly occurs when your AirPod is not touching the metal pins in the charging case. In this case, you should also check that the compartment containing the affected AirPod is free of dirt and lint. These particles could clog the connection between the charging case pin and the metal contact on the tail of the AirPods. You can blow dry air into the charging compartment or use a dry cloth to remove any foreign particles preventing the AirPods from charging.

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Fix airpods not loading frame 03

3. AirPods do not fully charge

Another frequently reported issue with Apple’s wireless headphones is that they sometimes don’t charge 100%. Here are some likely solutions.

Reset AirPods

It can help with charging issues and other quirks you might encounter with AirPods. Follow the steps below to achieve this. Before you reset your AirPods, Apple recommends disconnecting them from your device (see Step # 1 – Step # 3).

Step 1: Place the AirPods in the charging case and close the cover. Open the lid again after a few seconds.

2nd step: Remove the AirPods from your device. To do this, go to Settings> Bluetooth and tap the information icon next to your AirPods.

Fix airpods not charging

Fix Airpods not charging

Step 3: On the AirPods info page, select “ Forget This Device ” and tap Forget Device in the prompt to confirm your action.

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Fix Airpods Not Charging 01
Fix Airpods Not Charging 02

Fix Airpods Not Charging 02

Note: Forgetting or removing AirPods from your device will remove the audio accessory from all devices in your iCloud account.

Step 4: To reset AirPods, press and hold the setup bottom on the back of the charging case until the status light on the front flashes an amber color.

Go to the next step to reconnect the AirPods to your device.

Step 5: Place the charging case (with AirPods in it) near your device, lift the covers, and follow the on-screen instructions.

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Fix airpods not charging 03

Replace AirPods

Like other Apple products, lithium batteries power AirPods. The batteries are efficient, recharge quickly and last a relatively long time. There’s one catch though: they (read: batteries) wear out and weaken over time.

From research, we have found that this issue is common with older generations of AirPods made in 2016 and 2017. Newer generations (AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro) charge 100%. And this can be attributed to the fact that they are still in the very short period of their limited and surprisingly short lifespan: AirPod batteries last as little as 2 or 3 years, if you’re lucky. It all depends on the level of use.

If resetting your AirPods doesn’t allow them to charge fully, you should contact Apple Support for assistance.

4. AirPods won’t charge wirelessly

To charge your AirPods wirelessly, place the charging case with the status light facing up on a wireless charging mat / pad. If the AirPods aren’t charging even though they’re properly placed on the charger, here are a few things you can do.

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Fix airpods not loading image 04

Check the charger standard

There are two main wireless charging standards: Qi (pronounced chee) and Powermat. The AirPod wireless charging case only supports the former. This means that you can only charge your AirPods with a Qi-compatible or Qi-certified wireless charger. A Powermat charging mat will not charge your AirPods wirelessly.

If your charger doesn’t support the Qi standard, your AirPods won’t charge wirelessly.

Remove the protective coating

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Fix airpods not loading image 02

While some protective coatings allow AirPods to be charged wirelessly, others (especially thick and bulky protective cases) can interfere with the transmission of power between the charging mat and the AirPods charging case. Remove the protective cover from your AirPods case and check if it is now charging wirelessly.

Clean charging box

The presence of dirt or moisture on the AirPods charging case can interfere with the charging process. Or worse: damage the AirPods. Clean the charging case with a dry cloth and place it back on the wireless charger.

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Fix airpods not loading image 05

In addition to the above, Apple cautions against placing foreign metallic objects (keys, coins, and jewelry, for example) on the charging cradle while your AirPods are charging. It could prevent AirPods from charging.

Then:

Are you looking for inexpensive Apple Airpods alternatives? The real budget wireless earbuds in the article below are the perfect alternative to Apple’s AirPods. Check them.

Last updated on August 20, 2020

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