Phone, wallet, keys. You’ve got three out of your four essentials – but, wait, where are your AirPods?
If you’ve lost your AirPods and they’re dead, they are going to be difficult to find.
Apple’s Find My app is really useful when AirPods are outside of the case and still charged. If your AirPods are dead, the Find My app can provide helpful data on their last known location, but you will be mostly left up to your detective skills to find them.
This guide will teach you the best methods for finding your AirPods, even if they’re dead. Let’s dig in:
How to Find AirPods When They’re Dead
Using the “Find My” app is the best (and only truly effective) way to locate your missing AirPods.
If you’ve lost one or both of the earbuds outside of the case, the Find My app can provide a location that is accurate to within roughly 20 meters using GPS, and it’s more precise when using Bluetooth data.
It’s important to mention that the Find My app works best when you are looking for your AirPods separately – that is, one or both earbuds has gone missing outside of the case.
You can still (technically) find your AirPods inside their charging case with the Find My app, but only if the app still remembers where they were the last time you used them.
It’s also important to mention that the Find My app is designed to find devices that aren’t dead.
When you’re AirPods are charged and within range (30-50ft), the Find My app even let’s you play a sound to your AirPod so you can more easily find it!
The app isn’t nearly as effective when your AirPods are dead. True though that may be, the Find My is still your best shot at finding your missing, dead AirPods.
If They’re Still In Bluetooth Range
If your AirPods died close to your phone, say, inside your house, the Find My app will give you their last known location.
Unless you have some mischievous family members, there’s no reason your AirPods would have moved since they died; they should still be in that same spot.
Use the Find My app to pinpoint your AirPods’ most recent location, and you should be able to get your hands on them within a couple of minutes.
If They’re Not In Bluetooth Range
If you know that your AirPods are both
- Dead, and
- Farther than 150 feet away from you
Finding them is going to be a little more difficult because the Find My app won’t have the best data available.
The Find My app can still be helpful, but it works best if the AirPods are relatively close to your phone when they die. That way, your Find My app still has semi-relevant data for you to work with.
So, how do you find them?
Well, simply put, it’s time to start guessing. Dig into your brain and try to figure out exactly where you could have lost them.
That, combined with whatever data your Find My app has available, should be enough to get you close to finding them.
I know that’s not what you wanted to hear, but your options for finding dead AirPods truly are quite limited. Finding dead AirPods is not an easy task. It’s not an impossible one, but it’s not one with easy answers, either.
Retrace Your Steps
I am sure the last thing you want to hear after losing your AirPods is “retrace your steps”, but this might be your best bet.
Take a deep breath for a moment and think hard about the last time you are certain that you were using or saw your AirPods.
What’s the most probable place you would have put them? Look there. Look all around and under and beside. Move things around to see if they fell into a crack or corner.
If you don’t find your AirPods there, take a seat and think again. Re-live the exact moments and sequences you took when you last had them. Search again.
You should repeat this process several times at least.
In my experience, 9 times out of 10, my AirPods are in the pockets of my gym shorts after working out. So make sure you check all pockets and dirty clothes!
2 Tips for Never Losing Your AirPods Again
Tip #1: Make Sure Your “Find My” App is Set Up
Apple’s “Find My” app is going to be crucial every time you lose one of your Apple devices.
If you have the app set up and your devices connected, you’ll be able to locate them quickly and efficiently every time you lose them.
Even when your AirPods are dead, you’ll be able to track them down using their last known location in the Find My app.
If you aren’t using this app, finding your missing AirPods will be nothing more than a treasure hunt with no guarantees or clues – not fun!
To set up the Find My app for the first time, just open it on your phone, and follow the instructions:
- Allow “Find My” to use your location.
- Press Continue.
- Tap “Devices” on the bottom menu.
- All of the devices connected to your Apple ID should be automatically visible.
Tip #2: Get an AirTag and Compatible Charging Case Cover for Your AirPods
If you find your AirPods and want to make sure you never lose them again, dead or not, invest in an Apple AirTag.
AirTags work just the same as any device when it comes to the Find My app: a Bluetooth connection is established that provides a reasonably accurate location for the AirTag.
There are, however, two big differences between AirTags and the Find My connection on other Apple devices:
- AirTags have a battery that lasts about a year
- AirTags use a global network of Apple devices (albeit anonymously and very securely) to provide location data no matter where your AirTag is. If it’s within Bluetooth range of any Find My-connected Apple device on earth, it can be found.
That means a $30 AirTag can pay for itself, over and over, on any device or valuable you own. They’re even being used to track stolen bikes!
So, if you have found your AirPods and don’t want to lose them, get an AirTag and an AirPods case that can hold one. You won’t regret it! It’ll cost you roughly $40 and save you a lifetime of headaches and stress.
FAQ: Finding Dead AirPods
Can You Track Dead AirPods in the Find My App?
No – you can only see the “last known location” of your AirPods in the Find My app if they have died. You can only actively track AirPods if they still have battery life remaining.
Can You Track AirPods in the Charging Case?
Unfortunately, no, you cannot actively track AirPods if they are still in their charging case. They will only connect to your phone (thereby establishing a Bluetooth connection that the Find My app can use) if they are outside of the case.
When your AirPods are in their charging case, they aren’t connected to Bluetooth, and their location is not being updated.
The only exception to this rule is the AirPods Max, which do maintain a connection inside their Smart Case for up to 12 hours.
When your missing AirPods are in their case, you will be relying on the location that the Find My app last had for them, which may or may not prove helpful.
Also, the Find My app may not show a location at all – in some cases, it will just say “offline” or “No location found”. This means that the Find My app has no relevant data for your AirPods, which makes finding them even harder.
Wrapping Up: Locating Dead AirPods
Finding AirPods that have a dead battery is neither simple nor easy. You will be relying on your memory, as well as the Find My app’s last known location for your AirPods, to track them down.
If you are patient, willing to search carefully, and avoid panicking, you can (and eventually will) find them.
And, if you can, get an AirTag and keep it with your AirPods. That way, you’ll never have to guess their location again!
What methods for finding lost AirPods have worked for you? Leave your thoughts below to share them with other readers!