Many factors could prevent your AirPods from charging when you put them in the charging case or connect the charging case to power. This tutorial highlights seven troubleshooting steps to try if your AirPods aren’t charging when plugged into power via Lightning cable or wireless charging pad.

The recommendations listed apply to all generations and models of AirPods.

Three different models of AirPods

1. Keep the charging case connected to the power supply

Your iPhone or iPad should display the charge or battery status of your AirPods when you open the charging case, even when connected to power. If the batteries in your AirPods and charging case are completely discharged, you may need to recharge them for a while before they turn on.

Apple recommends charging the AirPods and the case for at least 15 minutes (5 minutes for AirPods Max) using the Lightning cable that came with the device.

2. Check the charging connection

You’ve plugged your AirPods into a wall outlet for a few minutes, but it’s not charging. what are you doing? First of all, check that the wall socket or power socket is on and working properly. If you’re charging your AirPods from a computer USB port, charge directly from a wall outlet instead.

AirPods charging into a wall outlet

Likewise, make sure the Lightning cable is firmly connected to the power supply. Disconnect the cable and reconnect it to the charging case. Also, remove and reinsert both AirPods into the case.

You should also examine the power supply and verify that it is working properly. Charging another device with the power supply and cable is a good troubleshooting test to confirm if the charging accessories are in good condition.

3. Examine your charging accessories

Counterfeit or shoddy charging accessories may not charge your AirPods or, worse, damage your earbuds. Use the charging accessories that come with the AirPods or purchase Apple-certified accessories from authorized stores. Check out our article explaining the dangers of using non-Apple accessories to charge your Apple devices.

AirPod case on a wireless charging pad

The article highlights some of the best lightning cables for Apple devices. Change the power supply or Lightning cable if you notice cuts or damage to the exterior. Better yet, try charging your AirPods on a Qi-compatible charging pad if your AirPods support wireless charging.

AirPods won’t charge wirelessly if the charging pad doesn’t support the Qi wireless charging standard. Check the specifications of your wireless charger and make sure it is compatible with Qi.

4. Clean the metal cap of the AirPods

A pair of AirPods

The shiny metal caps at the base / tail of both AirPods are the contact points for charging. Dirt rooted on the surface of the metal cap can prevent the AirPods from charging. Remove both AirPods from the charging case and clean the shiny metal cap with a lint-free fabric. If your AirPods still won’t charge when you put them back in the case, clean the case and try again.

5. Clean the charging case

AirPods in a charging case

Your AirPods will not charge if there is a buildup of foreign materials in the charging port of the case and in the wells where the AirPods are located. Dirt, grime, lint, and dust can block the transfer of power from the power outlet to the charging case and from the charging case to the AirPods.

Use a periodontal brush to clean the wells of the AirPods in the charging case. Be sure to remove any foreign material stuck on the metal contact points in the charging case. Apple recommends cleaning the AirPods with a cloth slightly dampened in fresh water. Then dry with a soft, dry, lint-free cloth.

Periodontal brush

Use an antistatic toothbrush or a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean the charging port. Gently wipe the ports, so as not to damage the metal contacts in the ports. Whatever you do, avoid getting liquids into the case or the charging port. If you don’t have a cleaning brush, compressed / stored air is a better alternative for removing loose dirt from the case and charging port.

AirPods next to their case

If your AirPods still won’t charge when plugged into a working power outlet with genuine Apple accessories, the AirPods charging case is likely to be damaged. Try charging several AirPods in the charging case to diagnose the source of the problem.

If the case charges other AirPods without problem, clean the metal caps on the tail of the AirPods and put them back into the case. This time, use silk wipes and a mixture of water and isopropyl alcohol to clean the metal contacts. Refer to this Apple Support article to learn more about the dos and don’ts of cleaning your AirPods.

6. Reset the AirPods

Two different models of AirPods and a charging case

Factory reset your AirPods can fix charging issues, audio output issues, and other firmware-related issues. You need to remove your AirPods from your device before restoring it.

  1. Insert both AirPods into the charging case and close the lid. Wait about 30 seconds and reopen the lid of the charging case.
  2. Open your iPhone or iPad Settings app, select Bluetoothand touch the info (i) icon next to your AirPods.
Information icon in Bluetooth

Note: Go to step 4 if your AirPods are not in the paired device list.

  1. Faucet Forget this device and select Forget the device to the confirmation request.
Forget the device prompts
  1. Press and hold the configuration button on the back of the charging case for 15 seconds until the status light flashes white or yellow.
  2. Bring your AirPods close to your device and follow the onscreen instructions to reconnect the AirPods.

Connect your AirPods to a power source using genuine Apple accessories and check if it charges.

7. Update your AirPods

Apple often rolls out firmware updates to all generations of AirPods to introduce new features, bug fixes, and improve wireless earbuds performance. If your AirPods battery drains quickly, charges slowly, or doesn’t charge at all, a firmware update could fix the problem.

Refer to our AirPods firmware update tutorial to learn how to force update your AirPods.

8. Visit a service and repair center

Apple Store

If none of the above advice fixes the problem with your AirPods not charging, contact an Apple Authorized Service Provider or Genius Bar near you to have your AirPods diagnosed. You will receive free repair service if you have an Apple Care + plan or if your AirPods are still covered by Apple’s one-year limited warranty. Apple will most likely give you new AirPods if the charging malfunction is due to a factory defect.

If not, you will pay a service fee to repair your AirPods or charging case. You may need to provide your AirPods packaging and proof of purchase indicating the AirPods price, date of purchase, and (re) seller’s contact information.

Contact Apple Support

Chat with an Apple Support Representative via text or phone call if there is no Apple Authorized Service Provider in your region.

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