How to Fix an AirPod That Won't Work

Here, we'll go over the possible causes of your AirPods' malfunction and offer solutions that will have them working again in no time. People often say that one is preferable to none. But you can't be so careless with your AirPods. It's nearly impossible to kick back and unwind with some

Here, we'll go over the possible causes of your AirPods' malfunction and offer solutions that will have them working again in no time.

People often say that one is preferable to none. But you can't be so careless with your AirPods. It's nearly impossible to kick back and unwind with some quality tunes or a film when you're limited to a single Airpod.

You paid for AirPods, so you should get the best possible stereo sound they have to offer.

Because we understand how frustrating it is when only one of your AirPods stops functioning, we've compiled this comprehensive guide to help you troubleshoot the issue. Here are some low-cost options to try first if your AirPods stop working. Let's jump right into it.

Is there a problem with your AirPods?

There are a number of potential outcomes when your AirPods stop working.

  • If only one AirPod is producing sound, the problem probably lies with the device's audio settings or volume. The quality of your audio may also suffer if dirt and debris have found their way into the earbud mesh.
  • If only one of your AirPods is connecting to your device, it's probably due to an outdated version of the firmware or operating system on your device. Alternatively, you may need to update your Network Settings, especially if you have a large number of already-established Bluetooth connections.
  • If only one of your AirPods won't charge, it may be because it's completely dead and needs some time to recharge before it can power on. It's possible that the earbuds' charging case won't have enough power to fully recharge them. It's also possible that your AirPods just need a good cleaning or a firmware update.

Initial Troubleshooting for a Single Non-Working AirPod

It's not always simple to figure out what's wrong with your AirPods. Furthermore, some remedies can be rather intrusive. This is why it's important to rule out the most obvious possibilities before moving on to the more complex solutions.

As a precaution, here are a few things you can check:

You should charge your AirPods.

Our AirPods may not be connecting because the battery is dead, but this is often disregarded. Put both AirPods back in the case, and charge them for two minutes using your Qi-compatible charging mat or a Lightning cable to make sure this isn't the issue.

You can do the following to ensure that both AirPods are getting a good charge:

  • Examine the charging case's indicator light. When the AirPods are charging, you'll see an amber or orange light; when they're fully charged, you'll see a green light.
LED-lit green status indicator for AirPods Pro
  • A different Apple device can be used to check the charging progress. To charge an iOS device, place the device near the open charging case. In a few seconds, you should see the update.
LED light up for AirPods Pro's battery life
  • If you have AirPods, you can use your Mac to check their battery life. To turn on Bluetooth, open your charging case's menu and select the icon. Check the charging status of your AirPods by locating them in the list of devices and hovering over them.
Mac AirPods Pro update

After checking that your AirPods are charged, you can try re-pairing them with your device to see if that fixes the problem.

Investigate macOS/iOS compatibility if you're having network problems. It's important to remember that various models of AirPods have varying iOS and OS X requirements.

I'll run down a short list of what you'll need to know:

  • You need to be running macOS Sierra or later or iOS 10 to use AirPods (Gen 1).
  • Version 10 of macOS Mojave is compatible with AirPods (Gen 2). 14 versions 4.x or later and iOS 10 or later are required.
  • Compatible with iOS 15 and macOS Monterey or later for AirPods 3 1 or later
  • Upgrade to macOS Catalina 10 with AirPods Pro 15 / iOS 13 or later 2 or later

Be sure to update to the most recent operating system to avoid incompatibilities. The procedure is as follows:

For iPhone

  1. To change the default language on an iPhone, go to the Settings menu, then General.

    Setting Up Your iPhone

  2. A Download and Install option should appear if there is a new update to install.

    Updating the program's software

For Mac

  1. To access this information, press the Apple menu button in the top left, then choose About This Mac.

    Visiting the 'About This Mac' menu

  2. To see if your Mac OS is up to date, go to the Apple menu and select Software Update.

    Software Upgrade for Mac

Make sure there isn't a problem with your AirPods or other gadget.

To avoid wasting time troubleshooting the wrong issue, you should first figure out if it's the AirPods themselves or the audio source. The results of tests can shed light on this.

The problem may lie with your device, rather than the AirPods themselves, if you can use them successfully with other gadgets. If other people's AirPods are functioning normally with the same device, however, the issue may lie with your own pair.

Don't freak out if none of the above solutions worked for you. We have more suggestions for mending your AirPods.

Problems with only one AirPod: Troubleshooting

After updating and charging both AirPods, if you still have one that doesn't work, you'll have to take matters into your own hands.

Sometimes, for instance, all that's needed to remedy an audio problem is a good cleaning. Sometimes a simple restart or reset of the device is all that's required, or the problem could be isolated to the audio settings.

The steps to make these adjustments are as follows:

Set the Volume Levels for Stereo

The issue could also be the result of poor stereo balance. The sound coming from the left and right AirPods can be adjusted independently, but many users are unaware of this feature. The stereo balance option is typically used by people with hearing loss.

If you don't turn this feature off, audio on any Apple device will be directed to a single speaker. If the volume on your right AirPod is lower than usual, or if there's no volume at all, you might have accidentally slid the volume control to the left.

Fortunately, this doesn't pose much of a difficulty. We've prepared for the most common situations involving iPhones, Android phones, Macs, and Windows computers.

Setting the iPhone's Stereo Balance

  1. Choose the Accessibility menu item under the Settings menu.

    Changes to the iPhone's accessibility options

  2. Visit the section devoted to your ears and click the Audio/Video button.

    The choice of audio/video

  3. Ensure the slider is in the middle, between L and R. Set the slider so it's in the middle if it isn't already.

    Modify the slider to achieve equilibrium.

  4. If you're using stereo sound, you'll want to disable the mono setting.

    Turn off Mono Sound

Instructions for Macintosh Stereo Equalization

  1. Launch the application System Preferences. Choose the Play button

    Adjusting Your Mac's Settings

  2. Go to Output and pick your AirPods' name from the drop-down menu.

    Volume Control Panel

  3. Under the "Balance" tab, move the slider so that it is centered between "Left" and "Right."

    Getting the Weights in Order

  4. Launch the application System Preferences. Activate the Accessibility menu.

    Adjustments for Users with Disabilities on a Mac

  5. Select Audio, and then make sure the Mono Audio box is unchecked.

    Turn off the conversion of stereo tracks to mono

Android: How to Tweak the Stereo Mix

  1. Release the app's settings

    Trying to Find Android's Preferences

  2. Avail yourself of the drop-down menu and select Accessibility.

    Modifying Android's Accessibility Settings

  3. Once you go to the menu and pick "Hearing Enhancements," you'll be presented with a slider labeled "Left/Right Sound Balance."

    Android's improved audio features

  4. Position the dot in the center of the screen to synchronize audio playback between your left and right AirPods.

Windows' built-in tools for adjusting stereo balance

  1. The system tray speaker icon can be accessed by right-clicking on it and choosing Open Sound Settings.

    To adjust the volume and other sounds on your Windows computer, open the Sound menu.

  2. Choose your AirPods as the output device in the Sound settings window. Click on Device Properties after that.

    PC Sound Playback in Windows

  3. Adjust the volume levels for Left and Right under "Balance."

    Windows PC L/R balance adjustment

Purge your AirPods

AirPods can get grimy quickly, despite their white, glossy exterior. Under your supervision, dust or lint may collect in the AirPods' openings.

Clogging the internal circuitry with these substances can lead to a number of issues.

To begin, having dirty speakers can reduce the quality of your sound. It can also interfere with your AirPods' Bluetooth sensor, leading to pairing or connection problems. The charge conductors on your AirPods could be obstructed by dirt, rendering them useless.

Cleaning and maintaining your AirPods to keep them in pristine condition is, thankfully, a breeze. There are only three things you need to get started:

  • a rag without lint
  • Cleaning wipes or a damp cloth
  • Isopropyl alcohol at 70%
  • cotton swab, dry

You can safely clean your AirPods by following these steps:

  1. You can clean the meshes that house the microphone and speaker on your AirPods by dampening a cotton swab with rubbing alcohol and gently wiping them down. Apple suggests disinfecting your AirPods with 70% isopropyl alcohol wipes or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes. Cotton swab for cleaning AirPods.

    The original and second generation of AirPods are completely not water resistant, but the third generation and the AirPods Pro feature some resistance to moisture and perspiration. Keep in mind that none of the four models is watertight, so you'll need to take extra precautions to avoid getting water inside.
  2. After that, pat them dry with a clean, lint-free, soft cloth.

    Cloth-drying my AirPods.

  3. Don't put them back in the charging case until they have dried completely.
AirPods should never be cleaned with any kind of sharp object or abrasive material (like scouring pads or bleach).

Having trouble with your AirPods classic, plus, or charging case? Learn everything you need to know about maintaining the hygiene of your AirPods by reading our comprehensive guide!

Hard Reset the Device

It's easier to begin again when everything is blank. It may take some time to determine why the aforementioned solutions were unsuccessful. Because of this, a hard reset is the best option.

You can return your AirPods to their original settings by performing a factory reset, which will delete any saved settings and disconnect any synced devices. In addition, it fixes any technical issues that have been bothering you.

If you need to perform a factory reset, here's what you need to do:

  1. Place both AirPods in the charging case, but leave the lid open.

    Charging case with AirPods

  2. When the case's status light begins blinking amber, you'll know it's time to press and hold the button on the back for 15 seconds.

    Pressing the charging case's button

  3. To reconnect your AirPods, close and reopen the charging case and bring them back in close proximity to your device.

    AirPods re-pairing

Try a fresh start with your gadget.

Possible errors on the paired device could also be the cause of a malfunctioning AirPod.

The RAM (Random-Access Memory) of a smartphone, for example, can fill up with temporary files, logs, and other background app processes if it is left on for too long. In the end, this causes the system to run more slowly and produce more errors.

All of these unnecessary files and programs can be terminated by simply restarting the device.

Rebooting an iPhone is a bit different than other devices, but here's how it's done:

Supported on iPhone 5, and earlier models

Rebooting an iPhone SE (1st Generation), iOS 5, or earlier
  1. Keep pressing the top button until the power slider appears.
  2. Set the slider to the right and give it 30 seconds to power down.
  3. In order to access the main menu once more, press and hold the top button until the Apple logo appears.

The iPhone SE (2nd & 3rd Gen), iPhone 8, iPhone 7, and iPhone 6

Restarting an iPhone 8, 7, or 6: Step-by-Step Instructions
  1. Keep pressing the right button until the power adjustment slider appears.
  2. Set the slider to the right and give it 30 seconds to power down.
  3. A second time, press and hold the right button until the Apple logo appears.

Compatible with iOS 11/13/X

Methods for Restarting an iPhone X, 11, 12, or 13
  1. To bring up the power slider, simultaneously press the volume and power buttons.
  2. Slide the switch to the right and give it 30 seconds to turn off.
  3. To boot into Apple logo mode, press and hold the right side power button for a few seconds.

Put the AirPods away and plug them back in.

Having one AirPod randomly stop working or lose connection is extremely frustrating.

Possible consequences include an improperly set up pair of AirPods or incompatibility issues. As a result, your relationship has been inconsistent. Fortunately, this problem has a simple solution. A simple reset is all that's needed.

Inconsistencies like these can be resolved if you follow the steps below.

  1. Verify that neither of your AirPods is paired with your device and that both are in the charging case.
  2. To access the iPhone or iPad's settings, go to:

    Modifying Your iPhone's Preferences

  3. Select Bluetooth, then click the "i" icon next to your AirPods. Just click the "Forget this Device" button. Putting AirPods in the "Forgot" folder on an iPhone
  4. Get the charging case lid open. Maintain pressure on the case's reset button for at least 15 seconds. When the AirPods (Gen 2) have been successfully reset, the case's integrated light will alternate between white and amber flashes.

    Fixing Your AirPods

  5. Put your AirPods away, then open the case again in about 7 seconds.
  6. Next to your Apple device, prop the AirPods case open. It should detect the AirPods and prompt you to connect them.

    Request to pair AirPods with iPhone appears on screen.

  7. If that doesn't work, go into the Settings menu. Choose Reset from the General menu, then reset your network preferences. Repetition of steps 4-6

    How to Reset Your iPhone's Network Settings

Having trouble re-establishing a connection with your AirPods despite trying the aforementioned methods? Learn everything you need to know about connectivity problems with AirPods, and how to resolve them, right here.

The network settings must be reset.

Your device's ability to connect to other devices is determined by its network settings, and many variables can affect these settings and the connection process. You may have tinkered with a VPN app that altered some of your settings, for instance, or you may have an excessive number of active Bluetooth or WiFi connections.

Sometimes, resetting your network settings to their factory defaults is the best option rather than attempting to manually adjust them. How it works is as follows:

What to do if you've forgotten your iPhone's password

  1. To access the General section of Settings, open the program.

    IPhone's default preferences

  2. For a fresh start, select the Reset button.

    The 'Reset' button

  3. Choose to Delete All Network Connections

    Restricted Connections Reset

Resetting your Android device's network settings

  1. To access Admin Settings, launch the Settings menu.

    Settings for Android's overall administration

  2. When you press the Reset button, a menu to wipe all settings will appear.

    Pick the "Reset" option.

  3. Pick the Reset Network Settings option, then click the Reset Settings button.

    Make a fresh start

If none of the preceding steps helped, the problem is likely to be with the hardware. A word of caution, though: fixing your own AirPods' hardware is not something you should attempt.

AirPods have proprietary parts that can only be serviced by trained professionals. What's more, attempting to insert your own earpiece into the AirPods will invalidate the warranty and may result in additional costs. For this reason, you should contact Apple Support for assistance.

Preparing Your AirPods For Use

There are a few options if you've decided to have Apple Support fix your AirPods:

  • Repair options can be discussed over the phone with a consultant from Apple's support team. Or, you could visit the Apple Store and speak with a Genius.
  • Drop-Off Service: Visit an Apple-Recognized Service Provider in your area for AirPods repairs.
  • AirPods can be sent in for service via mail using a prepaid shipping box provided by Apple. Booking a shipment is a simple process that can be done over the phone or online.

Whatever course of action you choose, you'll need the following supplies for a successful repair:

  • Serial number for AirPods
  • The AirPods Charging Case
  • Original packaging or proof of purchase (receipt) for the AirPods.

The time it takes to get your AirPods fixed is variable depending on the nature of the issue. To make a replacement, however, you should plan on spending at least a week. The Apple Support page is where you can monitor the progress of your repair at any time.

If you're concerned about the price, Apple provides a comprehensive breakdown of repair and out-of-warranty costs for AirPods on their website.


You can finally put an end to the embarrassment of only having one working AirPod. When used together, AirPods create a virtual 7.1 surround sound experience, perfect for watching the latest Netflix original or relaxing to your favorite Spotify playlist.

We trust that our recommendations were helpful in fixing the issues you were experiencing. Leave a comment telling us which solution worked for you, or if the problem still exists after you've implemented them all.

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