How to Charge AirPods Without Case (Be CAREFUL!)

Of all the amazing Apple products out there, AirPods have to be the easiest to lose. Even the charging case is tiny and easy to misplace, leading many people wondering how to charge their AirPods without the case. 

Unfortunately, no – you cannot charge AirPods without the case. There is a lot of misinformation on this topic. Don’t be fooled by “hacks”, like using a pin charger or downloading an app – they don’t work! The only long term fix is to buy a replacement AirPods charging case. 

In this guide, I’ll walk through all of your AirPods charging questions, debunk some myths, and help you get your AirPods charged up again!

Is it possible to charge AirPods without a case?

Don’t believe what those sketchy YouTube videos and articles tell you: you cannot charge AirPods without a case.

Some articles will tell you to use a narrow pin charger or a sketchy download to magically charge your AirPods, but that tells you more about bad research than it does the electrical components of AirPods. 

AirPods can’t charge wirelessly, either; only the charging case on newer-generation (everything but the first generation) AirPods can charge using wireless charging tech

It is, unfortunately, impossible to charge Apple AirPods without their case. Once they’re dead, they’re dead.

Until you get your hands on a new or different charger, you aren’t going to be able to charge your AirPods. 

Debunking two common AirPods charging myths

Click around the web a bit, and you’ll see two things pop up a lot:

  1. Ridiculous claims that you can use a narrow pin charger to charge AirPods
  2. Extra-ridiculous claims that you can charge your AirPods using your phone after downloading an app.

I’m going to spend a couple of minutes debunking these myths, because they seem to be everywhere and they aren’t helping anyone.

Charging AirPods with a narrow pin charger

This is something you’ll run into over and over when looking for solutions to your “chargerless” dilemma: people claiming you can use the “narrow pin charger” from an old Nokia phone to charge your AirPods. 

The theory is that the contact points between the charger and the AirPods are just similar enough that they’ll charge. That theory is, frankly, two things:

  1. Untrue: AirPods and “narrow pin chargers” do not have the same contact points. AirPods have two small contact points on the bottom that allow them to charge, and they do not match up with narrow pin chargers. 
  2. Dangerous: On the off chance you could get some electricity to flow from the charger and into the AirPods, you can damage them pretty easily. The batteries in your AirPods are small and likely cannot handle a huge rush of electricity flowing to them at once. That’s one of the things your AirPods charging case does: it not only delivers electricity to AirPods, it delivers the right amount of electricity. 
Can You Charge AirPods With a Narrow Pin Charger

The point of all this? Trying to charge AirPods with a charger for a different device is like trying to carry a gallon of water in a 32-ounce bottle. It isn’t going to work, and the person who told you it would clearly hasn’t done their research! 

I’m harping on this one a lot, because there are quite a few misleading sources claiming it can be done. 

In fact, one YouTube video proclaiming the efficacy of this method has comments turned off because of the number of people commenting that their AirPods either didn’t charge at all or got ruined!

Charging AirPods with an App

Now for the even sillier one: there are quite a few articles and videos saying that you can recharge AirPods by following this absurd sequence of instructions:

  • Going to an obscure website
  • Entering information
  • Downloading and using two completely unrelated apps

After doing that, they claim, you’ll be able to recharge your AirPods using only your phone. 

The old advice goes like this:

If it sounds too good to be true, it is too good to be true. Updated for the digital world (and this “AirPods Hack”): If it sounds too good to be true, it is definitely a virus.

Long story short: you cannot charge your AirPods by downloading a virus!

Can you charge AirPods with a knockoff case?

This one has a bit more nuance to it. There are plenty of knockoff AirPods floating around the web, and some of them look eerily similar to the real thing. 

If you’re wondering whether or not the charging case for these knockoffs might work with your real AirPods, the answer is: maybe.

Some knockoff cases will charge real AirPods, but some won’t.

fake airpods case

The only problem with this knowledge? It’s not very helpful, because you’ll never know until you buy them and try them.

So, it’s not really a good idea to buy a knockoff AirPods charging case, since it’s essentially a gamble on whether or not they’d work for you.

However, if you happen to have the charging case for a pair of fake AirPods laying around, try them out. You just might get lucky!

How much does a replacement AirPods case cost?

The best (read: only) thing you can really do when you lose your AirPods case is buy a new one.

You can buy a replacement charging case for 1st and 2nd-generation AirPods on Amazon for just under $70

If you have 3rd generation AirPods or AirPods Pro, you’ll need to order a replacement through the Apple Service website. AirPods Pro cases cost ~$99 and standard AirPods charging cases cost about $59.

Never lose your AirPods charging case again

What’s better than finding a replacement charging case for your AirPods? Never having to find one, because you didn’t lose the original!

Get an AirTag and an AirPods case to hold it from Amazon. Wherever your AirPods go, the AirTag will go – and you can use it to find your AirPods even if they’re dead!

Will Apple send me a new AirPods charging case?

If you have AppleCare+ for your AirPods, you can get a new set after paying a $29 service fee – but only if they’re damaged.

There is an option to have theft and loss covered on your iPhone, but that option does not exist for AirPods. If you lose them, you lose them, even if you have AppleCare+

You may think to yourself, “Why don’t I just file a claim that my AirPods got water damage instead of being lost and get a new set for free?”. That’s a solid, if slightly fraudulent, idea. 

Unfortunately, that won’t work either. Apple requires you to turn in devices that are claimed as damaged. Filing a damage claim for lost AirPods won’t get you very far!

Can you replace the AirPods case only?

This is a question that may seem silly to some, but causes hesitation for others: if AirPods and charging cases are sold as a set, can you mix and match them?

The answer is, fortunately, yes: any AirPods charging case will work with any pair of AirPods, so long as they’re for the same model.

You can buy a new case, open it up, and connect your AirPods in minutes!

All you have to do is put them into the new case, hold the button on the back of the case for a few seconds, and then reconnect your AirPods as if they were new.

If a (very generous) friend or family member near you also has AirPods, you can get by for a while simply by borrowing their AirPods charging case.

Of course, you’d both have to continually reset your AirPods every time you charge them, but it’s better than nothing!

Can you connect AirPods to your phone without the case?

This is where your problems can become even worse: your AirPods might not even connect to your phone without the case.

They should stay paired, but if they get disconnected for any reason, they won’t reconnect without the case. You’d have to put them in the case, close it, and open it again to be able to connect them.

So, even if you could charge your AirPods without the case, they’d eventually become disconnected from your phone, and you wouldn’t be able to connect them again. 

And, once they die, you’re out of luck anyway. That means you should be trying to replace your AirPods charging case as soon as possible, rather than looking for workarounds!


Hopefully, by now, you’re convinced that trying to get around the need for a charging case is not the best idea.

It may be frustrating and put a strain on your budget for the week/month, but buying a new charging case is your only real option! 

So, stop looking for hacks and solutions, and just bite the bullet on a new charging case. The sooner you do, the sooner you’re able to use your AirPods again!