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 Some are known to experience disconnection issues caused by faulty Bluetooth or network settings, or outdated firmware, to name a few.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!
In This Article
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.
- With the AirPods inside their case, open the lid and hold them close to your iOS device.
- After a few seconds, your AirPods’ battery levels readings will pop up on your screen.
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).
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:
- Dampen a lint-free cloth and a cotton swab with 70% isopropyl alcohol. Use the cloth to clean your AirPods’ surface.
- Use the cotton swab to reach crevices you can’t access with the cloth.
- Clean up loosened debris with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Do a once-over wipe with the lint-free cloth dampened with alcohol.
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:
- Forget your AirPods from your iOS device by going to Bluetooth > the ‘i‘ icon beside your AirPods’ name > Forget This Device.
- Place both AirPods back in their case, and ensure they each have a decent charge (above 75%).
- Open the AirPods case lid, and hold down the setup button on the back of the case for 20 seconds.
- The indicator inside the case will change from flashing white to flashing amber, indicating the AirPods have been successfully reset.
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:
- Go to Settings > Bluetooth.
- Turn the Bluetooth slider off.
- Wait for at least 5 seconds, and turn it 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:
- Go to Settings > Bluetooth.
- Tap the “i” icon next to paired devices.
- Select Forget this device.
- Tap Confirm again to forget the device.
- Repeat steps 2-4 to unpair all devices, including your AirPods.
- Restart your iOS device.
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:
- Go to Settings > General.
- Scroll down and tap Transfer or Reset [iOS device].
- Select Reset.
- On the pop-up window, select Reset Network Settings.
- Enter your device’s passcode to complete the process.
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:
- Reconnect to your AirPods and wear them. If you have trouble reconnecting, read our guide on how to fix AirPods not connecting.
- On your iOS device, go to Settings > Bluetooth.
- Tap on the “i” icon on the right side of your AirPods in the list of devices.
- Deselect the Automatic Ear Detection option.
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.
However, automatic switching has been causing issues since its implementation on the AirPods Gen 2 and AirPods Pro.
To prevent your AirPods from switching to other devices, try deactivating the automatic switching. Here’s how to do that:
- Connect to your iOS device, and put the AirPods in your ears.
- Go to Settings > Bluetooth.
- Tap the “i” button next to your AirPods under the devices list.
- Select Connect to This iPhone (or iPad/iPod).
- Tap on When Last Connected to This iPhone (or iPad/iPod).
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.
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:
- Backup your device using iCloud to prevent unwanted data loss.
- Charge your device and make sure it’s connected to a WiFi network.
- Go Settings > General > Software update to check for an updated version.
- 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:
- Connect your AirPods to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod.
- Go to Settings > Bluetooth.
- Tap the “i” next to your AirPods under the devices list.
- Your AirPods’ firmware is in the Version row.
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.
Now that you’ve tried all the troubleshooting tips above, your AirPods should connect to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod without any hiccups.
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!
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?
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! 🙂
The firmware fixes everything
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.
Facing the same dilemma 🙁
Same here! 🙁
Having the same issues as the first two comments
Same. Airpods dont show up under Human Interface Devices. How can we fix?
Notice problems all happening on April. ^
NOTHING works. Checked all forums.
Blutooth low batt
human whatever drivers
Checked other tips:
Restarting of pc, AirPods, other connected devices;
they aren’t listed in Human Interface but in the audio inputs and outputs. Unfortunately those items don’t have a power settings tab.
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!!
My airpods again and again get power off .why?
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.
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!
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.
“.. 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?
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.
AirPods Pro 2 dropouts
Unfortunately, Bluetooth drops out twice per minute for 4-5 seconds if iMac or iPad in same house.
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.