Having trouble with your AirPods not pairing with your iPhone or iPad?

All the tried-and-true solutions for troubleshooting your AirPods when they simply won't connect to your device

The most convenient feature of AirPods is their effortless pairing with other Apple devices, at least most of the time. But it's not flawless. There have been instances where the AirPods simply wouldn't connect to iPhones automatically.

What's more annoying is that your AirPods had been functioning normally before the connection problems suddenly appeared. Then you're left perplexed, unsure of what has changed or where to look for the underlying cause.

Fortunately, we have performed numerous tests to identify workable fixes for when the connection between your AirPods breaks. Let's begin immediately

First-Line Solutions for Troubleshooting AirPods Not Connecting

Various factors could affect how well AirPods connect. The good news is that you can fix them by following basic troubleshooting procedures. You'll also save time by following these steps before attempting the more difficult fixes.

When your AirPods won't connect, try the following main solutions:

Your AirPods, reset

The simplest but most effective fix is to reset your AirPods. Setting and software-related issues will eventually arise as you use your AirPods. By essentially returning the AirPods to their factory settings, you can fix bugs and firmware issues.

How to restart AirPods is as follows:

  1. Place your AirPods in their case, then snap the lid shut. 30 seconds should pass.

    Case with AirPods inside closed

  2. Select Bluetooth under Settings on your iOS device.

    Using the iPhone's AirPods settings

  3. Your AirPods' button should be tapped. And then click Forget This Device.

    IPhone AirPods gone from memory

  4. Hold the setup button down until the status light flashes amber, then white, then release the setup button.

    AirPods reset

  5. Connect your AirPods by placing them close to your device.

    Re-connecting your iPhone and AirPods

Wash the AirPods.

Ear wax and dirt can accumulate while you wear your AirPods over time, obstructing the proximity sensors and causing connection problems.

The answer Every 72 hours of use, try clearing your AirPods of ear wax and dirt accumulation. The following are the steps you must take:

  • Isopropyl alcohol at 70%
  • fabric swabs
  • an oral pick
  • outdated toothbrush
  • Lint-free fabric

Here is a quick guide to cleaning your AirPods:

  1. Alcohol should be applied to a cotton bud and the toothbrush.
  2. Brush the AirPods and charging case's ridges with care.

    Using a toothbrush or cotton swab to clean the AirPods

  3. Take a toothpick and remove any obstinate debris.

    A toothpick can be used to access the AirPods' interior.

  4. Use alcohol and a lint-free cloth to remove any loose dirt.

    AirPods cleaning with a cloth

All information processing in electronics, including AirPods, is handled by firmware. Apple releases firmware updates to address issues like connection problems as users report them. However, if you use outdated firmware, you will experience connection problems that have been resolved in the most recent release. In other words, constantly update the firmware on your AirPods.

But first, you must be aware of the firmware version that the AirPods are using. Here's how to determine the firmware version of your AirPods:

  1. Navigate to Settings > Bluetooth.

    Settings > Bluetooth

  2. Click the button next to the name of your AirPods.

    button in the Bluetooth settings (i).

  3. To find out what firmware your device is using, check Version.

    Version of AirPods' firmware

The most recent AirPods firmware as of December 2022 is 5B58 (for AirPods 2nd and 3rd generation, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max) and 6 8 8 (original AirPods)

Ensure that your AirPods are fully charged.

While it's not always the case, AirPods connectivity issues can arise when the battery level is low. Low battery life may cause your AirPods to disable some features, resulting in sporadic or nonexistent Bluetooth connectivity.

That's why it's a good idea to make sure your AirPods have enough charge. Here's how to see how much power your AirPods have left:

  1. Place your AirPods inside the case and snap the lid shut.

    Inside their charging case are AirPods.

  2. To display the battery status pop-up, bring your charging case close to your iPhone and open the lid.

    Your AirPods close to your iPhone.

  3. While wearing the AirPods, check the iPhone's battery widget.

    Examine the iPhone battery widget.

Examining the AirPods' battery life on an iPhone

Turn off other apps

Many apps need the Bluetooth permission to run on your device, so for them to function properly, your Bluetooth is required. However, when these apps are active, they might stop AirPods and other Bluetooth-enabled devices from connecting to your phone.

With the COVID-19 pandemic in recent years, which caused many of us to download tracing apps, this situation is especially pertinent now.

Your phone becomes a Bluetooth beacon thanks to tracking applications like TraceTogether. Received Signal Strength Indication (RSSI) is used to determine when you are in close proximity to an infected person. These programs continuously scan for other devices using Bluetooth, which can prevent your AirPods from pairing.

But if you think this might be the case, all you need to do is remove the apps' Bluetooth permission. Here's how to turn off Bluetooth in these applications:

  1. Access Settings and choose Privacy.

    How to access the privacy settings

  2. Choose Bluetooth.

    Bluetooth settings for privacy

  3. You'll see a list of programs that utilize the Bluetooth on your device.

    Applications that have asked for Bluetooth permissions are displayed.

  4. Turn them all off and see if the issue still exists.
The aforementioned steps could make some apps malfunction. After doing so, try reinstating the Bluetooth permission if you experience any problems with certain apps.

You can toggle off the permission by following these steps if you are aware of some apps that are using Bluetooth as a beacon on your device, such as the TraceTogether app:

  1. Access Settings

    Menu for settings on an iPhone

  2. Find the application in the list

    Individual app settings menu organized alphabetically

  3. Turn off Bluetooth.

    App permission requests

Restart the audio device.

In addition to your AirPods, your iPhone or iPad may experience software problems that prevent proper connectivity with your AirPods. Fortunately, this can be fixed by restarting your iPhone. This is how:

  1. Your iPhone's side button must be pressed and held in place until the power-off slider appears.

    Holding down the side buttons

  2. Your iPhone will turn off after about 30 seconds of dragging the slider.

    The slider, please

  3. Hold down the side button while pressing it until the Apple logo appears.

    Activate and hold the side button.

Don't give up on your AirPods just yet if the straightforward troubleshooting techniques mentioned above didn't resolve the connection issue. For more experienced advice on what to do if your AirPods won't connect, check out our list below. Read on

Fixing AirPods That Won't Connect to Your iPhone or iPad

You can even connect two AirPods in one iPhone thanks to the way that AirPods and iPhones are made to pair perfectly.

But if your AirPods are still having trouble connecting, try these other options:

Connect your iPhone's AirPods manually.

Apple's automatic pairing system is heavily reliant on the firmware, and if the firmware has bugs, it won't function. The automatic pairing system's software flaws can be avoided by manually pairing your AirPods with your iPhone.

You can manually connect your AirPods to your iPhone or iPad by following these steps:

  1. Place your AirPods in their case, then snap the lid shut.

    Inside their charging case are AirPods.

  2. Open the lid once more and place the case next to your iPhone.

    Your AirPods close to your iPhone.

  3. When the status light starts to flash white, hold the setup button for 10 seconds.

    Button for setup on the charging case

  4. Select your AirPods from the list of devices by going to Settings > Bluetooth.

    Under Bluetooth settings, choose Airpods.

Verify your iPad/iOS version and iOS.

The AirPods are compatible with iOS 10 and later, but Apple fixes bugs with each new release of iOS. There may be bugs, such as ones that cause connection problems, when using an older version of iOS or iPadOS. Thus, updating to the most recent version can aid in fixing these bugs and enhancing the functionality of your device.

These steps should be followed to check for the most recent iOS/iPadOS software update:

  1. Go to Settings and then General.

    IPhone general settings

  2. To see if an update is available, select Software Update.

    Examining the iPhone's software version

To ensure you always have the most recent updates available, you should enable Automatic Updates in Settings > General > Software Update. To avoid data loss when updating, you can also turn on automatic iCloud Backup in Settings > Apple ID > iCloud Backup.

Reconnect your Bluetooth device.

Each Bluetooth device has its own individual identity. Your phone stores the data and settings from Bluetooth devices in its memory when you use them. The list becomes more complicated as you pair more devices, which may cause Bluetooth connection problems.

Fortunately, restarting the system will update your gadget and resolve the problems. Here's how to go about it:

  1. Select Bluetooth under Settings.

    IPhone Bluetooth settings

  2. To the right of your AirPods, click the icon.

    Additional iPhone AirPods settings

  3. Choose Disconnect and leave your Bluetooth off for a minimum of one minute.

    How to unplug AirPods from your iPhone

  4. Reconnect your AirPods and turn on Bluetooth.

    Instant pairing with AirPods

Deactivate automatic switching.

Your Apple AirPods can switch between paired devices thanks to the Automatic Switching feature. The AirPods, for instance, can determine which device is playing audio and select it as the audio source if you have a Mac and an iPhone. But it frequently switches accidentally, which might make you believe your AirPods aren't connected.

If this applies to you, do the following to disable the Automatic Switching feature:

  1. Go to Settings > Bluetooth after connecting your AirPods.

    Settings > Bluetooth

  2. Your AirPods will appear next to an icon.

    button in the Bluetooth settings (i).

  3. When this iPhone was last connected can be found under the Connect to This iPhone menu.

    Choose "When This iPhone Was Connected to Last"

Reset network configuration

Your WiFi and Bluetooth devices' wireless connection information is erased when you reset the network settings. Your phone can create fresh connections with your devices after this reset. This will therefore successfully eliminate any bugs that may be preventing your AirPods from connecting.

Every WiFi password is eliminated when network settings are reset. Make sure you have important WiFi passwords saved on your Notes app before doing this for future access.

For iOS/iPadOS 14 or earlier, follow these instructions to reset your network settings:

  1. Go to Settings and then General.

    Default Settings

  2. Tap Reset

    Resetting iPhone settings

  3. Enter your passcode after selecting Reset Network Settings to confirm.

    Resetting the iPhone's network settings

Here's how to apply the reset for iOS/iPadOS 15 and later:

  1. Go to Settings and select General.

    By selecting General settings

  2. Click [Device] Transfer or Reset.

    Reset or Transfer iPhone Data

  3. Reset > Reset Network Settings next

    Resetting iOS's Network Settings

Your previous Wi-Fi passwords, cellular settings, and even VPN and APN settings will be reset as a result of doing this.

Disable "Low Power Mode"

To extend battery life, Low Power Mode limits background processes. In order to increase battery life, performance is sacrificed, which could lead to erratic Bluetooth and wireless connections.

When your battery drops to 20%, the Low Power Mode automatically activates. By turning it off, you'll use the battery more quickly.

Turn off Low Power Mode to see if that's what's causing your AirPods connection issue. This is how:

  1. Swipe downward from the screen's top.

    Launching the iPhone's Control Center

  2. To turn off Low Power Mode, tap the Battery icon.

    Control Center's Low Power Mode

IPhone DFU restoration

Device Firmware Update mode, or DFU mode, is a unique recovery mode included with all iPhones.

In addition to fixing software issues, restoring your device from DFU mode also fixes issues with the firmware. Having said that, it returns your device to its factory settings and removes any incompatible settings that might have contributed to your problem.

You should perform an iCloud backup before using this method because it will result in the loss of all data, including pictures, videos, and messages.

Using this mode to jailbreak or downgrade your iPhone or iPad could result in permanent damage and void your warranty. If you are confident in your ability to complete these steps without damaging your device, only do so.

Prior to starting DFU mode, you should:

  • Back up your iPad and iPhone.
  • Update your device's iTunes and Finder software.
  • Purchase an appropriate USB cable to connect your iPhone to your Mac or PC.
  • Verify the security of your connection to prevent interfering with the reinstallation process.
  • To restore a damaged device using DFU mode, make sure it is not water damaged.
  • Check to see if your iPhone is an iPhone 8 or later.

To enter DFU mode, adhere to these steps:

  1. Using a USB cable, join your iPhone, iPad, and computer or laptop.
  2. Open the Finder or iTunes apps on both devices.
  3. Press and hold the Volume Up button before releasing it.
  4. When the screen goes black, hold down the Power button for ten seconds.
  5. For five seconds, hold down the Power and Volume Down buttons.
  6. As soon as iTunes or Finder detects your device, release the Power button while keeping the Volume Down button depressed.
  7. Tap Restore iPhone.

The experts will always be right. If none of these DIY solutions have helped you, it may be worthwhile to contact Apple Support with your issue.

You must dial the number indicated for your nation in order to speak with Apple Support directly. As an alternative, you could email or chat with support through the website.

Why Isn't Your Pair of AirPods Working?

Your AirPods may be connected but not play music or the connection pop-up may not appear due to connection problems. And as we've seen, there are a variety of causes for this, including:

  • Low power
  • Firmware problems
  • Faulty connections
  • Equipment damage
  • Sludge and debris

You need to identify the most likely cause of your AirPods not connecting because your settings, device, and usage style are distinct. The same procedure must be followed if you use AirPods with a Mac, PC, or Android device.

What if I use "Forget This Device" and my AirPods don't connect?

If you choose to "Forget This Device," there's a chance that your AirPods won't connect to your iPhone or iPad. They are most likely not in pairing mode, which means they are not 'open' to connection, so that is the likely cause.

In that case, try implementing the next actions:

  1. Close the lid after inserting your AirPods into the case.

    Inside their charging case are AirPods.

  2. Open the lid after 15 seconds have passed.

    Open the charging case's lid.

  3. Hold down the setup button until the white status light flashes, indicating pairing mode.

    Button for setup on the charging case

  4. To reconnect, bring your AirPods case near your iPhone or iPad.

    Your AirPods close to your iPhone.


You can now listen to music and podcasts wherever you are thanks to your AirPods, which should pair with your iPhone or iPad without any issues.

Additionally, you ought to be knowledgeable enough to resolve this problem if it occurs again. But if your AirPods keep disconnecting, there are other options you can try.

Do you have any additional recommendations that we haven't covered? What was effective Please share your feedback in the comments so that everyone can try them out.

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