Why Your AirPods Won’t Connect — And Other AirPods-Related Concerns

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It’s always the worst when something that’s supposed to “work” just doesn’t work. Exhibit A: your AirPods won’t connect to your Mac or iPhone.

When something that is designed to effortlessly and seamlessly connect to your phone, iPad or other devices doesn’t work, it’s annoying and frustrating. You can’t help but want to pull your hair and ask, “Why won’t my AirPods connect?”

It’s always a bummer when your AirPods won’t connect to your phone or if the AirPods case is not charging. AirPods are bound to have problems soon. Fortunately, most of these problems can be solved at home and with little guidance.

“Why Won’t My AirPods Connect?”

At this point, we can’t be sure of the reason your AirPods won’t connect to your Mac, iPad or iPhone. You could be dealing with hardware or software problems. In most cases, your AirPods are not connecting to your gadget because of a minor software glitch.

Apart from software issues, other reasons your AirPods won’t connect or pair with your devices include the following:

  • Low battery charge
  • The device needs to be reset
  • Bluetooth is not working properly or is turned off
  • AirPods are stuck in pairing mode
  • Hardware damage to the AirPods or charging case
  • Debris on the AirPods or on the case

What to Do If Your AirPods Won’t Connect to Your Device

For most people, turning their phone or Bluetooth off before turning it on again is an easy fix for malfunctioning AirPods.

However, if these steps don’t work, you can try the following fixes. Here’s what you can do to get them working again.

Troubleshoot Your AirPod Connection

To get your AirPods working properly:

  • Charge your AirPods always. To be sure, place the AirPods in their case and connect it to a power source for an hour or two.
  • Turn on the Bluetooth connection of your device. Open the Control Panel and make sure that you’ve turned on the Bluetooth icon (this should be blue). Another option: visit the Settings app to check your Bluetooth menu.
  • Restart the device you’re trying to connect your AirPods to. As mentioned above, restarting the device often works whenever your AirPods don’t connect.

Make Sure You’re Running the Right Version of iOS

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Photo by Dagny Reese on Unsplash

If you’ve never connected your AirPods to your iPad or iPhone before, make sure that your devices meet the software system requirements. If you’re using first-generation AirPods, make sure your device is running on iOS 10 or later. If you are using second-generation AirPods, you need an iOS 12.2.

To check the version of iOS you have:

  • Open the Settings app on your iPad or iPhone.
  • Tap on the General icon, and then click on Software Update.
  • On the Software Update page, see if the version you’re running is the latest one. If an update is needed, proceed with the update.

Reset Your AirPods

If the light status light won’t stop blinking and the charging case button is unresponsive, your AirPods are stuck in pairing mode. If this happens to you, reset your AirPods.

To do so:

  1. Go to your device’s Bluetooth settings and select “Forget this Device.”
  2. Place the AirPods back in the case.
  3. Press and hold the setup button (which you can find on the back of the case) for 20 seconds until the status light turns amber.
  4. Once the starts light blinks amber thrice, release the setup button.
  5. Next, press and hold the setup button until the light flashes white. Your AirPods should be listed in your device’s Bluetooth settings. If you are using an iPad or iPhone, your device should automatically pair with your AirPods.

Reset Your Device

If your AirPods still won’t connect after you’ve restarted them or if you’ve updated your phone, reset your device to fix potential sync issues. A device reset won’t remove any data but it will restore the device to its factory default, which means you’ll lose things like wallpapers and stored WiFi passwords. Resetting your device is an extreme measure, so consider it as your last resort.

What to Do if Your AirPods Won’t Connect With Your Mac

If your AirPods won’t connect to your Mac, the troubleshooting steps done for an iPhone or iPad can also work. Just make sure that your computer is running on the right operating system version.

To check your Mac’s current OS version, choose System Preferences from the Apple menu then click “Software Update.” If there are available updates, click “Update Now.”

Once your operating system is OK, follow the steps listed above to sync your Mac with your AirPods. If none of the steps above work, you need to reset your AirPods on your Mac.

To do so:

  • Unpair your AirPods by holding the Alt key while clicking on the Bluetooth icon, which you can find on the Menu bar.
  • Click on the AirPods in the Devices section then click “Remove.” Confirm by clicking “Remove” again.
  • Put your AirPods back in the case and close the lid. Wait for 30 seconds before opening the lid again.
  • Press and hold the setup button until the status light flashes amber thrice. Eventually, it should flash white.

What If You’ve Tried Everything and Nothing Worked?

If your AirPods still won’t connect with your device, it’s best to seek help from Apple. Contact their online support or visit your local Apple Store or an authorized Apple service provider to have them check your AirPods. Keep your gadgets in good condition by trusting the experts.

What if Your AirPods Case Isn’t Charging?

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Photo by Content Pixie on Unsplash

The reason your AirPods case isn’t charging is probably a software issue. A bug could be the culprit behind the operating system failure, which keeps the case from charging. If this is the case, consider the following fixes.

Charge Your AirPods Charging Case

The charging case must be charged before you charge your AirPods.

  • Plug your charging case’s cable into the lighting connector.
  • Plug the other end of the cable into a wall charger or a USB port.
  • Wait for a few hours for your charging case to fully charge.

Check Your Connections

Make sure that the cable is firmly plugged into the USB power adapter and charging case. The adapter should also be correctly plugged into an outlet.

Reset Your AirPods Case

Resetting your AirPods case should be a last resort since it will clear your operating system, but it will fix the charging process.

To reset your AirPods’ case:

  • Press and hold the setup button on the back of the charging case. Hold for 15 seconds until the light flashes amber then white.
  • By now, the case should be restored to its default setting. Check your AirPods if they can sync again.

Clean The Case’s Charging Port

Your AirPods case charging port might be dirty. These ports are notorious for getting dirt and lint stuck in them, especially if you always keep them in your pants.

Before cleaning the case, make sure that you don’t use anything metal or wet since these can cause the charging case to short circuit.

To properly clean the charging port:

  • Get a toothpick or a static brush
  • Scrape out the dirt
  • Connect the lighting cable to the case and wait for it to charge

The next time your AirPods won’t connect or if your AirPods case won’t charge, consider the steps above. Hopefully, these tricks should fix your problem and eliminate the need to visit the Apple store.

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