AirPods Keep Disconnecting: Causes and Fixes

Reconnecting AirPods to iPhone after disconnecting
Reconnecting AirPods to iPhone after disconnecting

Do your AirPods keep disconnecting from your iOS devices? We’ve got all the fixes you can try right here.

The AirPods are a fantastic option for iOS users looking for wireless earbuds. This is thanks to their aesthetic look, sound quality, and seamless integration within the Apple ecosystem.

Unfortunately, the AirPods aren’t completely immune to problems. Some are known to experience disconnection issues caused by faulty Bluetooth or network settings, or outdated firmware, to name a few.

No worries! This problem is easily solved by ruling out the different causes and tweaking a few settings on your iOS device. Read on as we explain why your AirPods keep disconnecting and how to fix the problem. Let’s dive in!

Check the AirPods’ Battery Level

Since the AirPods are truly wireless headphones, battery life has a significant impact on their performance. So, although not always the case, low battery levels can cause your AirPods to disconnect from your devices.

To rule out this possible cause, go through the following procedure to see how to check your AirPods’ battery level on iOS devices before trying other fixes.

Try to keep your AirPods’ battery between 20% – 80% and see if the random disconnection persists.
  1. With the AirPods inside their case, open the lid and hold them close to your iOS device.
  2. After a few seconds, your AirPods’ battery levels readings will pop up on your screen.
You can also use the battery widget and your AirPods’ status light to check the battery status of your AirPods. For more info, take a peek at our guide on the different ways to check your AirPods’ battery.

Stabilize Bluetooth Connection

An unstable Bluetooth connection may be to blame if your AirPods still disconnect even with full battery levels.

Like most wireless devices, the AirPods and AirPods Pro use Bluetooth connectivity. While convenient, it’s also prone to interference from solid objects like walls, other radio signals like WiFi, and water (which your body has a lot of).

Read our guide on preventing Bluetooth interference if you think this is why your AirPods keep disconnecting from your iOS device.

Additionally, the different Bluetooth versions have different ranges. For instance, the AirPods Gen 2, Gen 3, AirPods Pro 2nd Gen, and AirPods Max use Bluetooth 5 and up, giving them an effective range of 240 m in open space and 40 m indoors.

The original AirPods, on the other hand, use Bluetooth 4.2, which is effective for a maximum of 60 m in an open space and around 10 m indoors.

It’s important to remember that interference reduces Bluetooth’s effective range, especially if there are more objects between your AirPods and iOS device.

So, if your AirPods’ wireless range is greatly reduced in a typical indoor environment, try positioning your iOS device closer to your AirPods.

Clean Your AirPods

In extreme cases, dirt, wax, and moisture build-up in your AirPods can cause Bluetooth interference. They can get in the way of your AirPods’ charging mechanism or block sensors, causing them to keep disconnecting from your iOS devices.

To eliminate this possible cause, clean your AirPods using the following method:

  1. Dampen a lint-free cloth and a cotton swab with 70% isopropyl alcohol. Use the cloth to clean your AirPods’ surface.

    AirPods dampened with alcohol and cloth.
    AirPods dampened with alcohol and cloth.
  2. Use the cotton swab to reach crevices you can’t access with the cloth.

    Cleaning AirPods with cotton swab.
    Cleaning AirPods with cotton swab.
  3. Clean up loosened debris with a soft-bristled toothbrush.

    Cleaning AirPods with toothbrush.
    Cleaning AirPods with toothbrush.
  4. Do a once-over wipe with the lint-free cloth dampened with alcohol.

    Final wipe with cloth wetted with isopropyl alcohol.
    Final wipe with cloth wetted with isopropyl alcohol.
The AirPods are delicate, so be sure not to apply too much force when cleaning them. You may also want to read our complete guide on how to clean your AirPods and charging case for more tips and safe cleaning methods.

Reset Your AirPods

With time and consistent use, it’s not uncommon for AirPods to run into issues. This includes the AirPods not charging, not connecting, and random disconnections, which can usually be fixed with a simple reset.

Resetting your AirPods clears out the paired device history. It also refreshes your AirPods’ pairing settings, along with any pairing errors that have occurred. Here’s how to do just that:

  1. Forget your AirPods from your iOS device by going to Bluetooth > the ‘i‘ icon beside your AirPods’ name > Forget This Device.

    'Forgetting' AirPods on Iphone
    ‘Forgetting’ AirPods on iPhone
  2. Place both AirPods back in their case, and ensure they each have a decent charge (above 75%).
  3. Open the AirPods case lid, and hold down the setup button on the back of the case for 20 seconds.
  4. The indicator inside the case will change from flashing white to flashing amber, indicating the AirPods have been successfully reset.
If you’re having difficulty resetting your AirPods, there may be underlying issues to address. Check our guide on why AirPods won’t reset to learn more.

Reset Your iOS Bluetooth

Like most computers, many simultaneous processes occur inside your device’s “brain.” When met with conflicting instructions, it often doesn’t know what to do and acts up instead.

Resetting your iPhone, iPad, or iPod’s Bluetooth turns the settings back to their initial working state and removes any conflicting commands or settings-related issues.

There are two ways to reset your iOS device’s Bluetooth connection:

Restart the iOS Bluetooth

When you suspect a Bluetooth connection issue with your iOS devices, you can simply turn the Bluetooth off and on again. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Go to Settings > Bluetooth.

    Go to Bluetooth settings.
    Go to Bluetooth settings.
  2. Turn the Bluetooth slider off.

    Turn Bluetooth slider off.
    Turn Bluetooth slider off.
  3. Wait for at least 5 seconds, and turn it back on.

    Turn Bluetooth slider back on.
    Turn Bluetooth slider back on.

This should clear any software-related issue that may have been disrupting the Bluetooth connection between your iOS device and AirPods. However, if your AirPods still keep disconnecting from your iPhone, you can try the following method.

Remove iOS Bluetooth cache

If restarting your iOS device’s Bluetooth doesn’t help, conflicting settings may be to blame.

In that case, you can try ‘forgetting’ all previously paired Bluetooth devices to clear out any settings that may have caused your AirPods to keep disconnecting.

Here’s how you can clear the Bluetooth cache on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod:

  1. Go to Settings > Bluetooth.

    Select Bluetooth under settings.
    Select Bluetooth under settings.
  2. Tap the “i” icon next to paired devices.

    Tap the i icon.
    Tap the “i” icon.
  3. Select Forget this device.

    Select Forget this device.
    Select Forget this device.
  4. Tap Confirm again to forget the device.

    Select Forget device one more time.
    Select Forget device one more time.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 to unpair all devices, including your AirPods.
  6. Restart your iOS device.
Unpairing W1-enabled devices (such as AirPods) will also unpair them from other devices under your iCloud account.

Reset Network Settings on iOS

Your iOS device’s network settings stores data related to your WiFi, network preferences, VPN information, and saved Bluetooth connections. If there’s a problem with those settings, it could interfere with the way your AirPods and device communicate wirelessly.

By resetting your network settings, you delete all saved information related to the above. Doing so could fix your AirPods connection issue because all your network settings will revert to their original default state.

Here’s how to reset the network settings on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod:

  1. Go to Settings > General.

    Navigate to 'General' under settings.
    Navigate to ‘General’ under settings.
  2. Scroll down and tap Transfer or Reset [iOS device].

    Tap 'Transfer or Reset iPhone.'
    Tap ‘Transfer or Reset iPhone.’
  3. Select Reset.

    Click on 'Reset.'
    Click on ‘Reset.’
  4. On the pop-up window, select Reset Network Settings.

    Tap on 'Reset Network Settings.'
    Tap on ‘Reset Network Settings.’
  5. Enter your device’s passcode to complete the process.

    Enter passcode.
    Enter passcode.
Resetting the network settings will remove stored network information. Be sure to have your WiFi password ready.

Turn Off ‘Automatic Ear Detection’

Each AirPod contains a sensor that signals when they’re in use and when they aren’t. This sensor can sometimes have trouble detecting whether or not they’re in your ear, resulting in them disconnecting in an attempt to save power.

This issue worsens when you constantly reposition the AirPods to keep them in place. Any slight change in position can trigger the Automatic Ear Detection function and cause disconnection.

You can disable this setting to isolate your disconnection issue and see if it fixes the problem. Here’s how:

  1. Reconnect to your AirPods and wear them.
    If you have trouble reconnecting, read our guide on how to fix AirPods not connecting.
  2. On your iOS device, go to Settings > Bluetooth.
  3. Tap on the “i” icon on the right side of your AirPods in the list of devices.
  4. Deselect the Automatic Ear Detection option.
If you’re experiencing this issue only on your Mac, consult our guide on AirPods keep disconnecting from Mac.

Deactivate Automatic Switching

Automatic switching is Apple’s multipoint Bluetooth technology that allows your AirPods to switch between devices under the same iCloud account.

When connected to your Mac and iPhone, AirPods will automatically detect which device is playing audio and use it as a source.

The automatic switching feature is available on AirPods Gen 2, AirPods Gen 3, AirPods Pro 1 and 2, and AirPods Max.

However, automatic switching has been causing issues since its implementation on the AirPods Gen 2 and AirPods Pro.

For instance, Reddit user u/dogear shared an issue where their AirPods automatically switched from their iPhone to their Mac during a phone call – even after selecting their iPhone as the preferred device. This made it seem like the AirPods kept disconnecting, when in reality, they were only switching.

To prevent your AirPods from switching to other devices, try deactivating the automatic switching. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Connect to your iOS device, and put the AirPods in your ears.
  2. Go to Settings > Bluetooth.

    Bluetooth settings.
    Bluetooth settings.
  3. Tap the “i” button next to your AirPods under the devices list.

    Tap the i button.
    Tap the “i” button.
  4. Select Connect to This iPhone (or iPad/iPod).

    Tap 'Connect to This iPhone.'
    Tap ‘Connect to This iPhone.’
  5. Tap on When Last Connected to This iPhone (or iPad/iPod).

    Select 'When Last Connected to This iPhone.'
    Select ‘When Last Connected to This iPhone.’

Update iOS Version

Using an outdated iOS version exposes you to bugs or errors already fixed in a later iOS version. These errors can include compatibility issues between your AirPods and device.

So, if you’re having a connection issue with your AirPods, you should check whether you have the latest iOS version.

To check your iOS version, go to Settings > General, then tap About.

As of April 2023, the latest iOS version is 16.4.1. If you’re not on that version, here’s how to update your iOS:

  1. Backup your device using iCloud to prevent unwanted data loss.
  2. Charge your device and make sure it’s connected to a WiFi network.
  3. Go Settings > General > Software update to check for an updated version.

    Head to 'Software update' under settings to update firmware.
    Head to ‘Software update’ under settings to update firmware.
  4. Tap Download and install on the latest iOS version available.
    If you’re on an older iOS version, there will be an option to Upgrade to iOS 15 instead. Choose this option to update to the latest version.

To ensure this doesn’t become a problem, make it a habit to keep all of your devices up-to-date so they’ll run smoothly with the latest patches.

You can also turn on automatic updates under Settings > General > Software Update > Automatic Update.

Update AirPods’ Firmware

Like your iOS device, your AirPods and AirPods Pro run on firmware. This allows them to perform background processes that support features like automatic switching, active noise canceling, and automatic ear detection.

Your AirPods’ firmware should automatically update when you connect them to an iOS device. But in case they don’t, here’s how you can check your AirPods’ firmware version:

  1. Connect your AirPods to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod.

    Connect your AirPods to your iOS device.
    Connect your AirPods to your iOS device.
  2. Go to Settings > Bluetooth.

    Bluetooth settings.
    Bluetooth settings.
  3. Tap the “i” next to your AirPods under the devices list.

    Tap the i icon next to your AirPods.
    Tap the “i” icon next to your AirPods.
  4. Your AirPods’ firmware is in the Version row.

    AirPods' firmware version.
    AirPods’ firmware version.
As of April 2023, the latest AirPods firmware is 5E133. If your AirPods don’t have this version, check our guide on how to update AirPods’ firmware.

Consult an Apple Genius

Are you still asking, “Why do my AirPods keep disconnecting” even after trying all the solutions above?

If the answer’s yes, there might be a problem with the internal mechanisms of your AirPods. Particularly if your AirPods have suffered physical damage over time, there is a chance that the electronic components inside may be faulty, causing sporadic performance issues.

That said, you can get in touch with an Apple Genius through their support page. From there, you can choose to consult via phone or chat – both are equally responsive with a 2-minute wait time.

Use the chat support if you have some pictures or screenshots to share. But if you’re better with verbal explanation, the phone support will suit you better.

Before reporting your issue, you should check if your AirPods are still under warranty through Apple’s coverage page.

All AirPods come with AppleCare Standard, which covers manufacturer defects for up to 1 year. You can upgrade this to AppleCare+ for headphones, which adds coverage for accidental damages.


Now that you’ve tried all the troubleshooting tips above, your AirPods should connect to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod without any hiccups.

If your AirPods keep disconnecting from other devices, check out our guide on how to keep AirPods connected to Windows PC.

We truly hope these fixes will have solved your connection issues, thus preventing you from shelling out more money to get a new pair of AirPods.

Which of these solutions worked for you? Or do you have any other fixes that we missed? Let us know in the comments below!


  1. Hi,

    Thanks for the article. I’m havind the disconnection issues with my Windws PC. I tried following the steps described here, but I don’t have the “ AirPods Audio/Video Remote Control HID” and “ AirPods Hands-Free Call Control HID” under the Human Interface Devices section, even though my AirPods are connected… What can I do?

    1. Hi Omer! Can you try clicking on View > “Show Hidden Devices” in the device manager?

      Also, there’s a new AirPods firmware update that’s supposed to solve this issue.

      Let me know if this works! 🙂

  2. I have this same issue with not seeing this text listed in the Human Interface Devices section and am curious if there’s a workaround.

  3. Notice problems all happening on April. ^
    NOTHING works. Checked all forums.

    Device manager:
    Blutooth low batt
    human whatever drivers

    Checked other tips:
    Restarting of pc, AirPods, other connected devices;
    firmware checks.


  4. they aren’t listed in Human Interface but in the audio inputs and outputs. Unfortunately those items don’t have a power settings tab.

  5. Ive tried everything .. resetting.. deleting.. renaming.. nothing fixes the problem.. .. they connect properly.. but as soon as you try to listen to anything.. the left goes first after 10 seconds then the right…. got me beat!!

  6. Same here, i had no problems day 1. now I annot get them to stay connected. I am a nurse practitioner who purchased these to help my patients hear me better. It is not working for me or them but it was great day 1.

  7. Hi everyone! Thank you for voicing out your concerns! We did a few research and experiments and added a few more solutions to AirPods disconnecting on Windows PC. 🙂 Feel free to check out the update in the article!

  8. Well, I’ve tried everything like really everything I’ve seen online and nothing works. My airpods keeps disconnecting automatically after 10 sec connected to my pc. Spent 2 days testing everything I saw online I’m about to feel a bit crazy.

    HP support assistant and my pc keep telling me my drivers are all updated.
    Windows Update are to date.
    Tried forgetting my airpods from pc and reconnecting them.
    Tried putting the services in automatic like said above.
    Tried to desactivate the option HID of my airpods.
    Tried adding a PnPCapacities to 24 in regedit.

    I’m about to cry, help.

  9. “.. Android. Even though the two can technically work together… A few settings tweaks are needed and some features may not be available.”

    What settings tweaks are you referring to here?

  10. ANOTHER FIX – Go into Find My and remove the Airpods in question. You may need to connect the Airpods first and wait for them to show in the app. Once in the list, tap into it, hit remove and confirm. Then wait for the Airpods to disconnect again. Then, reconnect. This should be a real fresh restart that seems to clear some kind of server side/ phone side issue.

  11. AirPods Pro 2 dropouts

    Unfortunately, Bluetooth drops out twice per minute for 4-5 seconds if iMac or iPad in same house.

    Completely unusable.

    Bluetooth drops out 2-3 times per hour when outside in a park, no other devices or people in sight

    I’ve done all this Forgets, Re-connects, Bluetooth off and on, everything at least five times now. Doesn’t help.

    What a mess.

    Serious bad design

    Update: I’m now turning off “connect to this .. automatically” to see if that helps

    Update2: That helps but still getting 4-5 second dropouts every few minutes.

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