You just slide your AirPods or AirPods Pro into their charging case and nothing happens. Your wireless headphones stubbornly refuse to charge. This charging issue affects more users than you might imagine. The good news is that there is a whole series of techniques and manipulations to be carried out to resolve this big problem.
Basic Checks To Carry Out
Before you start, make sure you have everything you need to charge your headphones properly. Whether you have classic AirPods, AirPods Pro, or AirPods Max, you need to have the charging case, the correct charging cable (Lightning to USB or USB-C to Lightning), and a power adapter on hand. USB is compatible and functional.
For people using a wireless charger, you will need to check that it is compatible with your AirPods and that it works properly. The status light on the wireless charger will also help you position the case correctly on the charging surface.
A green or blue light indicates that charging is active, while a red or flashing light could mean an error or an obstacle to charging. If in doubt, do not hesitate to refer to the user guide of your wireless charger.
Make Sure You Plug In Your AirPods Correctly
Most charging problems are caused by faulty cables, connection errors, or broken adapters. It is therefore essential to do all these checks before contacting Apple’s support service.
The Lightning to USB cable must be correctly connected to the USB power adapter and the AirPods charging case. No play should be perceptible between the different elements. Also, check the quality of the connectors. These must be free of corrosion and not blocked by debris.
Then plug the AC adapter into a working electrical outlet. If in doubt, test with other devices such as a lamp or a vacuum cleaner to verify that the outlet is delivering electrical current.
If your charger and your various cables are working properly, then you will need to do further research to identify the source of the problem. It’s a bit long but essential to find fully functional AirPods.
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Check The Charging Case
Apple’s wireless headphones come with a small white case which is used to recharge them but also to store them when you are not using them. This box has its battery. It is therefore essential to check that it is working correctly.
Start by charging your AirPods case as explained in the user guide. Leave it plugged into an electrical outlet for the recommended amount of time, usually at least 15 minutes to ensure it has enough time to recover power.
Then watch the status light on the case. The latter is generally located on the front of the case, except on the 1st and 2nd generation AirPods where it is located inside. Its color will give you valuable information on the state of charge.
- The small LED will turn green when the case and the AirPods are fully charged
- The orange light indicates a partial charge or that it is in progress
- The white light indicates that the wireless headphones are waiting to be paired with another device
- A flashing amber light can indicate several faults. Generally, it is advisable to reconfigure your AirPods
Note that the indicator light does not light up or has an unusual color, this may indicate that your box has a problem. If in doubt, you will need to replace the case on the Qi-certified charging mat, taking care to close the cover and place the status indicator upwards.
The latter should start flashing for a few seconds indicating that the device is recharging. If nothing lights up, place the box back on the mat until the indicator emits small light signals.
- Leave your case charging for around ten minutes
- Then open the cover of the case
- Bring your phone closer
- The small box icon should appear on your icon screen
- Check carefully for the presence of a small lightning bolt next to the charge level expressed as a percentage
The presence of this small symbol indicates that your AirPods are currently charging. If the latter does not appear, you will have no other choice than to continue your investigations and continue reading the different sections of this troubleshooting guide.
Force Charging The AirPods Pro Case
Apple’s latest generation wireless headphones feature a battery preservation system, which is supposed to reduce battery wear and tear over time. Problem, This device is sometimes responsible for numerous malfunctions. You might need to disable it.
- Make sure your AirPods are detectable by your phone i.e. open case or headphones in your ears
- Activate the Bluetooth option on your iPhone
- Then open the Settings
- Click on the Bluetooth section
- Find your headphones in the list
- Tap the (i) to the right of your AirPods name
- Scroll down until you see the section titled Optimized Battery Charging
- Click on the corresponding switch
- Select the option Disable until tomorrow or Disable as per your convenience
Optimized charging is now disabled for a few hours. This means that your AirPods will attempt to charge up to 100% without worrying about battery preservation during this entire period. Do a test to see if this change improves the situation.
Clean The Case Of Your AirPods
For your AirPods to charge properly, the metal contacts inside the case must be clean and in good condition. Check that these do not have a manufacturing defect.
Then use a soft, lint-free cloth to clean the inside of the two wells in which you slide your headphones. Gently remove any debris that may have accumulated such as dust or small bits of dirt. This cleaning operation must be carried out with the greatest delicacy.
Also, wipe the end of your AirPods lightly. Be careful, you should never introduce a liquid into the case or even pass your earphones underwater. You risk causing irreversible damage.
If despite your best efforts, your AirPods still refuse to charge, then it might be time to reset them. A bug in the software implemented in the headphones certainly prevents the AirPods or the case from charging correctly.
If in doubt, make an appointment at an Apple Store for a professional diagnosis. Please note that if your AirPods are still under warranty, the repair will cost you nothing at all.