How-To

One AirPod Not Charging (This Fix Worked For Most Users!)

If you own Apple AirPods and one AirPod is not charging, don’t panic. It turns out that this is a pretty common issue with several proven fixes that are easy to implement.

If you have one AirPod not charging, it’s most likely due to a dirty AirPod terminal and charging case port. To fix this, add a little bit of isopropyl alcohol to a Q-tip and clean the metal contact ring on the bottom of your AirPod and the bottom of the charging port.

Simply cleaning the AirPod and the case will work for most people. For the rest of you, there are four other proven fixes. You should try all of them (below) before visiting an Apple store.

Clean charging ports and bottom of AirPods

One thing that makes AirPods so versatile is the ability to wirelessly charge them inside the case. Your case has a two cell battery inside, that carries a capacity of 1.98 Watt hours.

When you place an AirPod into the charging case, the metal contact ring at the bottom of your AirPod comes in direct contact with two small metal charging connections at the bottom of the charging port.

This direct connection is required in order to pass the charge from the case, to the AirPod. Anything that disrupts this connection will impact charging.

If one AirPod is not charging, it’s most likely because dirt, grime and earwax have built up on your AirPod and down inside the charging port, blocking this connection!

Grab a Q-tip and gently wipe the bottom metal ring of your AirPod clean. Next, open your charging case and clean out the charging port. Make sure to get all the way down to the bottom.

Clean charging ports and bottom of AirPods

If you need to, you can add a little isopropyl alcohol to the end of the Q-tip to really get a deep clean. Don’t worry, Apple approves!

I find it helpful to grab a flashlight, or use the flash on your phone to get a better look. If you make sure those connection points are nice and clean, you’ll likely resolve this issue for good.

Use Apple certified charging cables

Apple loves their walled-garden of products, and in that garden are chargers, cables, and various other pricey connections.

I completely get the urge to spend half the price on a charging cable or wireless charging dock for your AirPods, just make sure its Apple certified!

If you buy a third party cable from Amazon, or some store at the mall, chances are high that it’s poorly made, or even a counterfeit. You really do get what you pay for.

Use Apple certified charging cables

Apple’s own support page has a dedicated section telling its customers to beware of these counterfeit parts as they pose a safety risk to you, and your Apple products.

If you’re using a cheap charging cable to charge your AirPods, it’s very possible that this is what’s causing one AirPod to not charge fully.

Spend the extra 10-15 bucks and get the correct cable. If you’re skeptical that this is what’s causing your charging troubles, borrow a genuine AirPod charger from a friend!

Fully charge your AirPods

Using your Apple certified charger, give your AirPods a complete charge. I’m talking a 100% charge for both AirPods and the case!

As your AirPods age, any charge lower than 30% can start to cause some issues in establishing a steady connection. In my experience, even more problems start to arise sub 20%.

It will take a few hours to get your AirPods fully charged (obviously this largely depends on how charged they were to start) but it’s worth it.

For the majority of people, clean AirPods, a certified charging cable and a full charge, will resolve the one AirPod not charging issue.

For the rest of you, there is still hope…

Reset your AirPods

Resetting your AirPods fully is easy but requires several steps. By resetting your AirPods, and your connection, you’ll likely resolve the charging issue you’re experiencing.

To start, you’re going to need to “Forget This Device”. To do this:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Then select Bluetooth
  3. Click the info icon next to your AirPods
  4. Select “Forget This Device”
  5. This will successfully remove your AirPods from your phone
forget this device reset airpod bluetooth

Now that your AirPods are removed, you’ll need to re-sync them.

To re-pair your AirPods, follow these steps:

  1. On your phone, make sure Bluetooth is ON
  2. Put both AirPods in the charging case and open the lid
  3. Press and hold the button on the back of the AirPod charging case until the case status light blinks white
  4. Your AirPods should pop up on your phone. Select “Connect”
  5. Your AirPods will take a few seconds to connect but then you should be good to go!

This process will entirely reset your AirPods and your connection with your phone should be fixed.

If, after your first reset, you still have one AirPod not charging, repeat this reset process from start to finish at least one more time.

In my experience, it can take up to 3 full resets, so don’t give up easily.

Update AirPod firmware

Apple is constantly updating the firmware of their AirPods. Think of firmware as the operating system of your headphones.

Updates to this “operating system” include fixes to newly discovered problems and even some improvements.

AirPods gets firmware updates automatically, you can’t click a button to update like you can on your iPhone. But you should still check to make sure your AirPods are running the latest version.

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Then select Bluetooth
  3. Click the info icon next to your AirPods
  4. Scroll down to Version

If you think your AirPods are out of date simply put your AirPods in their case, plug your AirPod case into its charger and make sure your iPhone is nearby. This should force an update.

Replace one AirPod

Now, it’s time to deal with the unfortunate reality that for a very small percentage of you, your attempts at fixing your charging issue will result in having to get a replacement.

Even though many AirPods owners can fix their earbud, there are still some of us out there who just don’t have that kind of luck.

But, before you go looking for a completely new set of AirPods, you should:

  1. Bring your AirPods to a local Apple store and have them check your warranty!
  2. Know that you don’t have to buy an entire set if one earbud is broken.

If you’ve owned your AirPods for less than a year, your warranty will cover the cost of a repair and/or replacement!

If it’s been more than a year, you can buy a replacement on the Apple website. The cost of a single earbud is about $70 for standard AirPods and $90 for the AirPods Pro. 

It’s not exactly a cheap solution, but it is way better than having to buy a brand new set of AirPods.

Conclusion

If you have one AirPod not charging, don’t panic. This is a fairly common issue with several proven fixes:

  1. Clean the bottoms of your AirPods and the ports inside your charging case
  2. Charge your AirPods using Apple certified products
  3. Fully charge your AirPods and the case to 100%
  4. Reset your AirPods by using “Forget This Device” then repair your headphones
  5. Update your AirPods firmware
  6. Replace your broken AirPod with a new one

Were you able to get your AirPod charging successfully again? If so, let me know how in the comments section below!