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One AirPod Not Charging: Ultimate Troubleshooting Guide

One AirPod Not Charging (From: Pexels)
One AirPod Not Charging (From: Pexels)

If you’re having trouble with one AirPod not charging, read through this guide to get it fixed!

While AirPods are some of the leading true wireless earbuds on the market, with time, they can throw up certain issues, such as one of the AirPods not charging, like any other electronic device.

Imagine settling in to enjoy your favorite movie and your left or right AirPod goes silent! Not only are your plans halted for the day, but you’re also probably now getting ready to contact Apple or return the AirPods. A frustrating and (possibly, expensive) recourse in either case.

Fortunately, you can still tackle this issue at home, using our comprehensive guide below. Read on to find out how!

Why Is One of My AirPods Not Charging?

If either your right or left AirPod or AirPod Pro is not charging, it’s likely an issue with your charging case.

To give you a brief background, the Apple AirPods come with a 93 milliwatt battery. As per Apple, a 15-minute charge will get you up to 3 hours of listening or up to 2 hours of talk time. And with the charging case, the AirPods can last up to 24 hours.

Since the release of the Apple AirPods (2nd Gen), there have been two versions of the charging case. One supports wireless charging while the other does not.

Regardless of the type of charging case you own, they are the only way you can charge your AirPods or AirPods Pro.

So, if an AirPod itself is not charging, then the problem most probably lies in the case.

There are contact points at the bottom of the case that connect the chrome tips of your AirPods or AirPods Pro to a charging plate, which then conducts power and charges them.

Any interference between the AirPods or AirPods Pro and the contact points can interrupt power delivery and prevent a full charge.

Some of the more common causes can include dirty AirPods’ stems, dust at the bottom of the case, and even defective charging cases.

Here are a few ways to check if one of your AirPods or AirPods Pro is not charging:

Check the iPhone pop-up indicator

Bring your charging case containing your AirPods or AirPods Pro close to your iPhone. Open the lid, and a pop-up window on your iPhone should appear and correctly display the charging battery icon for your AirPods and AirPods Pro.

Check the battery widget on your iPhone or iPad

You can check the battery widgets on your iPhone or iPad to find the charging status and battery level of your left and right AirPods or AirPods Pro.

Check the Bluetooth icon on your Mac’s menu bar

If you have a Mac, you can open the Bluetooth icon in the menu bar and hover the pointer over your AirPods or AirPods Pro in the devices menu. It will display the charge percentage of the left and right earbuds and your charging case.

Check the charging status light indicator on the charging case.

Location of AirPods status light based on model
Location of AirPods status light based on model

You can find the status light at different locations, depending on the type of AirPods case you have:

  • MagSafe Charging Case (for AirPods Pro and AirPods 3rd Gen): On the front of the case.
  • Regular Charging Case (for both 1st and 2nd Gen AirPods): On the inside of the case, between the spaces for your AirPods.
  • Wireless charging case (for both 1st and 2d Gen AirPods): On the front of the case.

The status light is your AirPods’ way of communicating with you. This shows the state of your AirPods’ or its charging case’s battery.

If your AirPods are inside, the light will reflect your AirPods’ battery when you open the lid. If your AirPods are out, the status light will reflect your charging case’s battery state.

Green means that the Airpods or charging case are either fully charged or have a lot left. If the light turns amber or orange, there are only a couple of hours left, so take it as a sign to charge up.

The wireless charging variant of the AirPods also has another status light color — white. This signifies that AirPods are ready to pair.

The status light is also an excellent way to distinguish fake AirPods from authentic ones. Authentic wireless charging AirPods only have a status light at the front part of the charging case. If you have the non-wireless charging variant, you’ll find the status light between the spaces for your AirPods. If your AirPods have a status light anywhere else, it is likely a knockoff.

How to Fix One AirPod Not Charging

As mentioned earlier, the charging case is almost always to blame whenever one of your AirPods or AirPods Pro is not charging. That’s why it is just right to have the solutions focused on this part.

We’ve discussed below a few suggestions on how you can get that other AirPod up and charging again.

Make sure the charging case has more than 10% battery

Basically, if your charging case has less than 10% battery, it won’t have enough power to charge the AirPods.

Based on experience, people forget to charge their cases simply because their battery lasts relatively long. So, for good measure, allow around 15-20 minutes every day to charge it.

We don’t need to worry about overcharging when it comes to AirPods. This is because they contain high-durability Lithium-Ionalcohol batteries, and the charging case automatically stops/blocks the electrical flow once it reaches 100%.

To check your battery, follow these steps:

  1. Bring your case with the AirPods inside closer to your phone.

    Bring your AirPods closer to your phone
    Bring your AirPods closer to your phone
  2. Open the lid.

    Open the lid of the AirPods Case
    Open the lid of the AirPods Case
  3. Your battery status should automatically pop up on the screen.

    AirPods Battery Pop-up
    AirPods Battery Pop-up
Curious about that button on your charging case? Here’s a guide on what it does.

Remove and reinsert the Airpods

Sometimes, one of your AirPods or AirPods Pro may fail to charge properly because they are not in contact with the charging plate at the base of your charging case.

This happens when you might not have inserted them fully or correctly into the charging case. Alternatively, foreign objects could block the stem of your AirPods or AirPods Pro from securely fitting inside the charging case.

Luckily, simply reinserting your AirPod may solve this issue.

AirPod accessories can also get in the way of proper charging. If an accessory is not well fitted, it can prevent your AirPod from reaching the charging port fully.
  1. Remove any accessories.

    AirPods Accessories removed
    AirPods Accessories removed
  2. Take off the AirPod that isn’t charging.

    Removing one AirPod
    Removing one AirPod
  3. Reinsert it and check your phone if it’s charging.

    Both AirPods Plugged in to the charging case
    Both AirPods Plugged into the charging case
Worried about one of your AirPods not working even after charging them? Here’s a handy guide to solutions you can try to fix this problem.

Clean the Airpods tail and charging case

Dirty AirPods are unsanitary and a big no-no, both aesthetically and from the perspective of user listening experience. Not to mention, they can become a possible source of ear infections down the line, if not addressed in time.

However, if you do not regularly clean them, dirt, lint, or grime can quickly accumulate on the stem and the tail of your AirPods or AirPods Pro and even the bottom of the charging case itself.

These are essential connecting parts that conduct power from the charging plate at the base of your case and can seriously interrupt the charging capacity, if not kept in a hygienic condition.

But let’s not forget the AirPods’ mesh screen either, where dirt and grime sitting long enough can muffle the audio and cause further damage.

Thus, if one of your AirPods isn’t charging, you should focus on cleaning the tail and the charging case. Before you start, here’s a list of items to prepare:

  • Cotton swabs or q-tips
  • Toothpicks
  • A soft or old toothbrush
  • Periodontal brush
  • Dry paper towels
  • Lint-free microfiber cleaning cloth

Proper cleaning is critical here, and here’s how you can do it:

External cleaning

  1. Dip a cotton swab in 70% isopropyl alcohol and rub the dirty areas of the charging case.

    Cleaning AirPods Case with a cotton swab
    Cleaning AirPods Case with a cotton swab
  2. Use a clean toothpick to pick off any remaining dirt along the case’s lines.

    Using a toothpick to clean AirPods Case
    Using a toothpick to clean AirPods Case
  3. Dry the case with a clean paper towel or tissue paper.

    Wiping AirPods with a paper towel
    Wiping AirPods with a paper towel

Internal Cleaning

  1. Clean the charging port with a soft-bristled toothbrush.

    Cleaning the AirPods charging port with a toothbrush
    Cleaning the AirPods charging port with a toothbrush
  2. Use a dry lint-free fabric and clean the tail of the AirPods.

    Cleaning the tail of an AirPod with cloth
    Cleaning the tail of an AirPod with cloth
  3. Clean the internal contact points by using a periodontal brush.
    If you don’t have a periodontal brush, you may also use a regular straw cleaner.

    Using a straw brush to clean AirPods case
    Using a straw brush to clean AirPods case
Cleaning your AirPods should be done every 72 hours of listening time. So, if you use your AirPods around 8 hours a day, you should be cleaning it at least thrice a month. Also, clean your ears regularly to avoid more dirt getting on your AirPods.

Reset the Airpods

When something isn’t right with your AirPods, there is always a possibility of a firmware problem. This includes battery and charging problems. Doing a reset will enable your AirPods to go back to their factory settings and possibly repair any underlying issues.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Head to Settings, tap the “i” button and click Forget This Device.

    iPhone Bluetooth Settings for AirPods
    iPhone Bluetooth Settings for AirPods
  2. Reset your AirPods by holding the pairing button and waiting until the status light becomes an amber color.

    Pressing the Apple AirPods button
    Pressing the Apple AirPods button
  3. Pair your AirPods to your phone again by opening the case’s lid while it’s close to the device.

    Pairing AirPods to iPhone
    Pairing AirPods to iPhone

When All Else Fails, Consult a Genius

DIY solutions like the ones we mentioned above can only do so much. There are cases where one AirPod still won’t charge even after trying out everything above plus more. This isn’t a sign of giving up just yet, though.

When all else fails, the best thing to do is head on to the nearest Apple Store and consult an ‘Apple Genius.’ A Genius would know the next best course of action, and they can determine whether your AirPods should be repaired or replaced.

Of course, we want the latter to happen. After all, who doesn’t want a brand new pair of AirPods almost for free, right? So if you want that, here are some tricks you need to know:

  • Free Replacement for Subpar Units – AirPods less than a year old that cannot last 5 hours of listening time will automatically be replaced for free.
  • AppleCare+ Warranty – For $29, you’ll get a two-year warranty for your AirPods. This covers a free replacement for any battery issues within the given time frame.
  • “Battery Service” – Saying this term to a Genius will open up three possibilities for a discounted replacement if your AirPods are out of warranty. For $49, they will replace one of the AirPods or the charging case.
Apple Store (From: Pexels)
Apple Store (From: Pexels)

Conclusion

Everyone who invests in premium products like AirPods or AirPods Pro deserves to enjoy a blissful, uninterrupted listening experience.

However, having one AirPod not charging right can be a major dampener.

Hopefully, this guide will have taught you all the different ways you can troubleshoot this problem at no cost. You can now resume using your AirPods or AirPods Pro the way they were designed to be – sophisticated, convenient, fully charged, and providing a seamless audio experience.

Did you find our suggestions helpful to get both your AirPods or AirPods Pro charging right again? Or did we miss out on a better solution?

Is there an alternative way you could get the problem fixed (that we are not aware of yet)? Share with us in the comments below!

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