How to Find Your Lost or Stolen AirPod Case In 5 Minutes

Locating lost AirPod Case
Locating lost AirPod Case

Lost your Airpods case? Fret not, here’s how you can recover your lost case. Plus, some tips to never lose it again!

Losing the AirPods case can make anyone panic, especially your AirPods will virtually be useless without it. Aside from charging, your AirPods case is needed to reset and pair your AirPods.

Unfortunately, losing the AirPods case is one of the most common things every AirPods owner will experience at some point. So much so that Apple earned up to $700 million worth of replacement AirPods and cases sales in 2019.

Luckily, you don’t have to buy a replacement AirPods case immediately upon losing them. There are some things you can try to help you find your AirPods case. And this article will guide you through all that.

Can You Track A Lost AirPod Case?

Yes, you can track your lost AirPod case. That is, if at least one of your AirPods is in your lost charging case using Apple’s Find My App. Without your AirPods in the lost case, you’ll have to rely on products such as AirTags or other tracking devices.

Unfortunately, the Find My App can only track the AirPods and not the case.

This is because, while the AirPods have Apple’s custom H1 chips, the charging case only has standard chips from its respective suppliers. This means your charging case doesn’t have the advanced technology AirPods have that lets Apple’s Find My app track them.

Furthermore, your AirPods case also doesn’t have its own Bluetooth connectivity, so no third-party app can help you scan their location when they’re nearby.

Even Apple won’t be able to track them with your AirPods serial number. In this case, your best option is to replace your lost or stolen AirPods case instead.

How to Find Your AirPods Case With Your AirPods in Them

There’s certainly nothing fortunate about a lost AirPods case but, as mentioned, losing your AirPods case with the AirPods in them is the best possible scenario.

As you’ll see, you have a couple of options to find them without relying on third-party trackers.

Using ‘Directions’ feature

The Directions feature in Apple’s Find My app, is a fantastic way to ping an AirPod case. This feature will direct you to where your AirPods are, but not the case. That’s why the feature is only useful when you’ve lost your case with the AirPods actually inside them.

The next key thing to know about this feature is that the way it works is dependent upon if your case is open or closed. It may sound strange, but there is a logic to it.

  • If your case is open: Your AirPods will emit a signal and appear online. All functionality will be available.
  • If your case is closed: The AirPods enter charging mode, quit emitting a signal, and appear offline. In this state, you will only be able to find the last location where the AirPods case is open – additional movements will be unknown by the app. Furthermore, in this state, you won’t be able to use the ‘Play sound’ or ‘Nearby’ features in the Find My app.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting the most out of this feature:

  1. Launch the Find My app on your iOS device.

    Entering Find My app from the Home Screen of an iPad.
    Entering Find My app from the Home Screen of an iPad.
  2. Under the Devices tab, select your AirPods.

    Selecting AirPods from the Devices tab in the Find My app to show its location on the map.
    Selecting AirPods from the Devices tab in the Find My app to show its location on the map.
  3. You will see a map showing where they are or the last location where they were open and powered on.

    Location of AirPods on Find My app's map with option to Play Sound or get Directions to it.
    Location of AirPods on Find My app’s map with option to Play Sound or get Directions to it.
  4. For open AirPods cases, you can use ‘play sound’ to create an audible signal to help you locate them.

    Location of AirPods on Find My app's map with option to Play Sound on the left, right or both AirPods.
    Location of AirPods on Find My app’s map with option to Play Sound on the left, right or both AirPods.
  5. For both open and closed cases, select Directions to open a map with a guide to your AirPods.

    Directions to the AirPods in Apple Maps.
    Directions to the AirPods in Apple Maps.

Using ‘Lost Mode’

The next feature that can help you is Lost Mode, released with iOS 15. Whereas the above features utilize your own devices, Lost Mode stretches throughout the entire network of iOS devices.

How does it work? When your AirPods are lost, and you engage Lost Mode, a massive search will be conducted by all iOS phones and devices opting into the network. When your AirPods are found within the network, a message will be sent to you detailing their location.

Notice the emphasis on AirPods being lost. This is because, like the Directions feature above, the focus will be on the AirPods, not the AirPods case.

Luckily, closed AirPod cases (which are considered ‘powered off’ by the network) are likely to be opened at some point by someone. With Lost Mode, you will be alerted once they do so, no matter where you are.

  1. Open up the Find My app, and tap Devices.

    Going to list of devices
    Going to Find My app’s list of devices
  2. Select your AirPods that are in the missing AirPod case.

    Selecting AirPods Pro in Find My
    Selecting AirPods Pro in Find My
  3. Under ‘Mark As Lost’ tap Activate.

    Activating Lost Mode
    Activating Lost Mode
  4. Tap Continue.

    Find My's Lost Mode settings
    Find My’s Lost Mode settings
  5. (Optional) Add a phone number and/or email for the AirPod case’s finder to contact you with.

    Adding contact details in Lost Mode
    Adding contact details in Lost Mode
  6. Tap Activate to fully activate the Lost Mode.

    Confirming Lost Mode activation
    Confirming Lost Mode activation

How to Replace Your Lost or Stolen AirPods Case

The worst has come to be and you’ve lost your AirPods case while you were wearing the AirPods themselves. Since the Find My app looks for the AirPods themselves, you’re unfortunately only able to find your own head.

In this case, no tool will help you find your AirPods case unless you search for them manually.

If this is the case, the best course of action is to replace the AirPods case. Here are some tips on how you can replace your lost AirPods case:

Get an official Apple AirPods case replacement

Fortunately, they are not exclusive as a set. This means that you can either get a replacement from Apple or consider third-party options.

Getting a genuine Apple replacement case is the best option as your AirPods are guaranteed to work well with it. That is, if you’re willing to part with the required fees.

AirPod variantStandard charging caseWireless/MagSafe charging case
AirPods (2nd generation)USD$59USD$79
AirPods (3rd generation)N.AUSD$79
AirPods ProN.AUSD$99
Wondering about the AppleCare+ that you’ve bought with your Airpods? Unfortunately, that doesn’t cover theft and loss. There is a special AppleCare+ with a theft and loss plan, but it’s only for the iPhone.

Aside from being sure that you’re getting a legitimate replacement, Apple also offers a warranty for their replacement parts. This depends on how long you had your AirPods before you lost them.

This is because Apple’s warranty duration for replacements can last either for 90 days or the remaining term of your Apple warranty, whichever is longer.

This makes it a worthy option if you lost them shortly after owning them, especially if you’ve previously bought AppleCare+ coverage for your AirPods.

Is it okay to get third-party AirPods cases?

Third-party AirPods cases are available if you don’t wish to spend that much for an original AirPod case replacement.

For a fraction of Apple’s out-of-warranty replacement fee, you can get several third-party replacements if you’re always frequently losing them.

However, these third-party cases aren’t meant to work with genuine Apple AirPods. They could pose several issues such as over/under charging due to different charging voltages.

Aside from that, the custom Apple silicon H1 chip might detect the use of non-Apple certified accessories. This could result in unstable connections or errors when pairing your AirPods to other devices.

How to Set Up AirPods With New Case

If you have replaced either of your AirPods or a new charging case, they’ll require setting up before you can use them again. Simply putting them back into their charging case will not work.

Thanks to their intuitive design, you can easily set them up with these steps:

  1. On your iOS device, go to Bluetooth in Settings.

    Selecting Bluetooth in Settings for iOS devices.
    Selecting Bluetooth in Settings for iOS devices.
  2. Tap “i” next to your AirPods.

    Getting to the additional information option for your AirPods.
    Getting to the additional information option for your AirPods.
  3. Tap Forget This Device and tap again to confirm.

    Confirmation to forget your device to unpair your AirPods from all your Apple devices.
    Confirmation to forget your device to unpair your AirPods from all your Apple devices.
  4. Put both AirPods in your charging case.

    AirPods in their charging case with lid opened.
    AirPods in their charging case with lid opened.
  5. Open the lid and check the status light. It should flash amber.

    AirPods in their charging case with lid opened flashing amber light.
    AirPods in their charging case with lid opened flashing amber light.
  6. Press and hold the setup button on the back of the case for a few seconds. The status light should flash white.

    AirPods in their charging case with lid opened flashing white light.
    AirPods in their charging case with lid opened flashing white light.
  7. While at the Home Screen on your iOS device, open the case with your AirPods inside and hold it next to your iOS device. A setup animation should appear on your screen.

    AirPods next to iPhone 7 Plus showing ready to pair animation.
    AirPods next to iPhone 7 Plus showing ready to pair animation.
  8. Tap Connect to pair your newly set up AirPods with your iOS device.

How to Avoid Losing Your AirPods Case

As it’s often said, prevention is better than cure. To save you from this, we’ve come up with some practical accessories to keep your AirPods within your reach.

AirPods case cover with anti-lost straps

Close look at the BRG AirPod case cover with keychain (From: Amazon)
Close look at the BRG AirPod case cover with keychain (From: Amazon)

Before applying “high-tech” solutions, you can consider using the AirPods case cover with anti-lost straps for your AirPods case.

They not only provide protection to your AirPods case with shock absorbing silicon but also act as a keychain that you can conveniently attach to your handbag or backpack. This is one of the most affordable options as it doesn’t involve any elaborate technology.

However, this isn’t foolproof as it depends on your due diligence to keep them fastened to your accessories by the keychain.

There’s also a Multifunctional Package Combination that provides all the necessary accessories to keep your AirPods securely with you.

AirPods case and AirTag cover

Close look at an AirPod case cover with AirTag slot (From: Amazon)
Close look at an AirPod case cover with AirTag slot (From: Amazon)

Our next pick would be adapting Apple’s AirTag to your AirPods. Since its introduction in Spring 2021, third-party accessory makers have hustled to make all kinds of creative accessories to complement the AirTags.

One such accessory is the 2-in-1 Protective Skin Case for AirPods Pro and AirTag Case Combo Set. Not to worry, they also have it for the 1st and 2nd generation AirPods. Soon, we can expect one for the AirPods (3rd Generation).

Besides protecting your AirPods case, you can place an AirTag in it to aid the tracking of your AirPods.

AirTag leverages Apple’s vast Find My network to locate itself. It makes use of Apple-designed U1 chip harnessing Ultra Wideband technology, to enable Precision Finding. It can also play a sound with its in-built speakers just like your AirPods.

Precision Finding is not available in countries and regions where Ultra Wideband technology is restricted.

Tile trackers

Close look at Tile Mate Essentials (From: Amazon)
Close look at Tile Mate Essentials (From: Amazon)

Similar to AirTag, you can try attaching Tile trackers to your AirPods. Tile has been one of the most successful crowdfunding project that materialised into one of the most popular lost item tracker.

Tile trackers leverage Tile’s vast network (every phone running the Tile app and Tile’s own Network Extenders) to track lost items.

Unlike Apple’s Find My app which is exclusive to Apple devices, Tile has its own app that is compatible with Android, Apple and other platforms.

Better yet, Tile has subscription plans for customers such as Premium Protect where the company will actually reimburse you up to $1,000 per year if Tile is unable to help you find your lost item within seven days.

Feel free to check out our guide on other tips and tricks to make your AirPod experience better.

Conclusion

As you can see, it’s not so easy to lose your AirPod case with the right countermeasures in place. But, at least now you can have confidence enjoying your AirPods and bringing their case anywhere you go without the fear of losing them. And even if they get stolen, you’ll know where and how to start looking.

Did we miss anything? What worked for you? Share your lost and found stories of AirPods with us if it ever happened to you.

2 comments

  1. In all honesty, this FindMy app hasn’t proved useful to me. It was totally useless on 2 occasions when I tried to locate MacBook Pro’s that were stolen from me; one at gunpoint and the other minutes after my car was broken into.
    I tried it again when I was looking for my AirPods with the case about a minute ago, although I was convinced that they were somewhere around the house. The FindMy app couldn’t pick up their location, which was inside the pocket of one of my jackets that I wore briefly yesterday.
    It hasn’t helped me altogether.

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