How to fix an AirPod that’s not working

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The troubleshooting steps are virtually the same regardless of whether you have original AirPods or 3rd generation AirPods. Before you do anything else, try putting your AirPods in a case, plugging them in and charging with a Lightning cable or on a Qi wireless charger. Apple doesn’t have a notification system to alert you when your AirPods case expires. As a result, the last time you put the earbuds in the case, the battery level was less than 5%, which may cause the earbuds to die.

For the most part, AirPods offer a seamless experience from the moment you put them on until you take them off. The earbuds automatically pair with your Apple device for great sound and long wearing comfort. However, things aren’t always rainbows and daisies. As with most technology, AirPods sometimes don’t work as expected. This issue can occur for many reasons including hardware or firmware issues.

Highlights

  • According to Apple, it’s okay to use alcohol wipes on your AirPods. The company recommends gently wiping the outside of the buds, but as the guide explains, don’t use it on the AirPod Max earcups or the speaker mesh of his AirPods or AirPods Pro.

  • You’ve probably heard it a million times, but AirPods are small devices that collect dirt easily and need to be cleaned often. AirPods are designed to fit in your ears, but not everyone cleans their earwax. This is especially true if you’re using AirPods Pro with rubber ear tips. This is because earwax and debris can accumulate easily. Earbuds may work fine, but are so dirty that the sound is very low or completely blocked.

Sometimes AirPods have a bug that prevents the earbuds from pairing with your iPhone no matter what you do. In this case, you’ll need to factory reset your AirPods. This process is the same for all AirPods models unless you’re using AirPods Max. If you’re using AirPods Max, the steps are slightly different.

Likewise, the AirPods didn’t work because the buds themselves or the contact pins on the case that prevented charging were dirty. The bottom where you insert the earbuds into the case is narrow and can get dirty. If the case is not too dirty, use a cotton swab to gently clean around the gold contact pins. Cleaning your AirPods and AirPods case should still be done often.

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