A Detailed Guide to Fix Air­Pods Not Charg­ing Issues

Olanrewaju Sodiq

Apple AirPods has led the way for the new generation of wireless and Truly Wireless Stereo earbuds. Despite being the best-selling brands in the wireless earbuds market, the Apple AirPods come with their issues. In an old article, we exhaustively highlighted solutions to some common AirPods problems. Here, we’ll focus on troubleshooting AirPods charging issues.

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Since it's a fairly new type of product from Apple, the potential problems may vary. However, we're confident that our solutions will largely help to resolve most of the charging-related problems. Without further ado, let’s get right to it.

Note: The recommended solutions below apply to all generations of the Apple AirPods, i.e., AirPods 1, AirPods 2, and AirPods Pro.

1. AirPods Not Charging in Case

Your AirPods aren't charging at all? You can do a couple of things to correct that.

Plug Charging Case in Power

If the AirPods don't charge when placed in the charging case, check that the charging case is charged enough to power the AirPods. Place the case (with both AirPods in it) close to your device and open the lid. That will display a panel showing the AirPods and the case's battery level.

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If the charging case is below 10 or 15%, plug it into a power source or place on a charging pad if your AirPods supports wireless charging.

Clean Charging Case

Check that there isn't any material covering the metal contacts in the charging case. If any, blowing dry air into the ports should be enough to rid dirt, dust, and debris. You can also use dry cotton swabs to clean the AirPods case charging ports.

Warning: Unplug the charging case from the power source before cleaning. You can damage the metal contacts if you use hard or sharp objects to clean the AirPods case charging port.

2. One AirPod Not Charging

Another common charging issue is placinge one AirPod unit charging in the case. Many users have reported this problem. For some, its the right AirPod that refuses to charge while others have it the other way round. Whatever the case might be, refer to the solutions below.

Reinsert AirPod

First, try removing the affected AirPod from the charging case and reinsert it. If it still doesn’t charge, try other solutions below.

Clean AirPod Tail

Use a dry, soft, and lint-free fabric cloth to wipe the tail of the AirPod that won’t charge when placed in the case.

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Clean Charging Case Compartment

This glitch mostly happens when your AirPod isn’t making contact with the metal pins in the charging case. In this case, you should also check that the compartment housing the affected AirPod doesn’t have any dirt or lint. These particles could obstruct the connection between the charging case’s pin and metal contact on the AirPod’s tail. You can blow dry air into the charging compartment or use a dry cloth to remove any alien particle preventing the AirPod from charging.

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3. AirPods Not Fully Charging

Another commonly reported issue with Apple’s wireless earbuds is that they sometimes don’t charge up to 100 percent. Here are some probable solutions.

Reset AirPods

Doing this can help to fix charging issues and other oddities you might experience with the AirPods. Follow the steps below to get that done. Before resetting your AirPods, Apple recommends disconnecting them from your device (see Step #1 - Step #3).

Step 1: Put the AirPods in the charging case and close the lid. Re-open the lid after some seconds.

Step 2: Remove the AirPods from your device. To do this, navigate to Settings > Bluetooth and tap the info icon next to your AirPods.

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Step 3: On the AirPods info page, select 'Forget This Device' and tap Forget Device on the prompt to confirm your action.

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Note: Forgetting or removing the AirPods from your device will remove the audio accessory from all devices on your iCloud account.

Step 4: To reset the AirPods, tap and hold the setup bottom on the back of the charging case till the status light up front flashes an amber color.

Proceed to the next step to reconnect the AirPods to your device.

Step 5: Place the charging case (with the AirPods in it) close to your device, lift the lids, and follow the prompts on display.

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Replace AirPods

Like other Apple products, Lithum batteries power the AirPods. The batteries are efficient, charge fast, and are relatively long-lasting. There’s one problem though: they (read: batteries) wear out and become weaker over time.

From research, we discovered that this issue is common with older generations of AirPods manufactured in 2016 and 2017. Newer generations (AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro) charge fully up to 100%. And this can be attributed to the fact that they’re still in the wee period of their limited, and surprisingly short, lifespan: AirPods batteries last for as little as 2 years or 3 years, if you’re lucky. It all depends on the level of usage.

If resetting your AirPods doesn't get it to charge fully, you should reach out to Apple Support for help.

4. AirPods Not Charging Wirelessly

To charge your AirPods wirelessly, place the charging case with the status light facing up on a wireless charging mat/pad. If the AirPods aren't charging despite being correctly placed on the charger, here are some things to do.

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Check Charging Pad's Standard

There are two major wireless charging standards: Qi (pronounced chee) and Powermat. The AirPod's wireless charging case supports only the former. That means you can only charge your AirPods with a Qi-compatible or Qi-certified wireless charging pad. A Powermat charging mat will not charge your AirPods wirelessly.

If your charger doesn't support the Qi standard, your AirPods will not charge wirelessly.

Remove Protective Covering

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Although some protective coverings allow the AirPods to be charged wirelessly, others (particularly the thick and bulky protective cases) might interfere with power transmission between the charging mat and the AirPods charging case. Remove the protective covering from your AirPods case and check if it now charges wirelessly.

Clean Charging Case

Having dirt or moisture on the AirPods charging case could interfere with the charging process. Or worse: damage the AirPods. Clean the charging case with a dry cloth and place it back on the wireless charging pad.

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In addition to the above, Apple warns against placing metallic foreign objects (keys, coins, and jewelry, for example) on the charging pad while charging your AirPods. Doing this might cause the AirPods not to charge.

Contact Apple If Nothing Works

Are you still experiencing charging-related issues with your AirPods despite trying all the above? If yes, you should reach out to Apple for support. The problem could also be due to some hardware damage or faults from Apple’s end, perhaps in the factory or during shipping. In this case, you will most likely be issued a replacement unit, especially if the AirPods are still under warranty.

Next up: Are you looking for inexpensive Apple Airpods alternatives? The budget true wireless earphones in the article below are the perfect alternative to the Apple AirPods. Check them out.


The above article may contain affiliate links which help support Guiding Tech. However, it does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains unbiased and authentic.

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Sodiq has written thousands of tutorials, guides, and explainers over the past 3 years to help people solve problems relating to Android, iOS, and Windows devices. He also enjoys reviewing consumer tech products (smartphones, smart home devices, etc.) and previously worked with GearBest in that capacity.