How to Fix AirPods that Aren’t Charging: My Risky Trick that Worked

I’m sure many of you have had the same issue I had with my AirPods not charging. The darn things wouldn’t stay in the case, and when they finally would charge, it was only for a little while. So frustrating! I tried all sorts of things to get them to work, but nothing worked until I did this one thing that might be risky for some people. If you’re curious to know what it is, keep reading!

My AirPods just came out of their Apple warranty, and they’re not charging anymore. Imagine how unsettling it is to discover that your AirPods aren’t charging, and I can’t use the warranty anymore.

I could contact Apple Support and attempt to return the equipment for repair, pay the service fee, or attempt to fix it myself. I opted for the latter option.

How To Check If The AirPods Are Charging

You may check to see whether your AirPods are charging as follows:

1 – With the AirPods still inside, open the case lid near your iPhone.

2 – A notification will appear on your screen. It should show the case’s charging level as well as that of your AirPods.

3 – If there’s a lightning bolt next to the charge level sign, AirPods are in charging mode.

4 – If any (or none) of the AirPods are not charging, they will not display the lightning bolt symbol (see pic).

Lightning bolt next to charging level status sign means the AirPod is charging. In this case one of them is not.

Why My AirPods Pro Weren’t Charging

AirPods charge while, as they connect the bottom stem tip with two connectors within the AirPod case.

When the AirPods are in the case, I found that the connections inside the case had lost contact with the stem because they were too far away. I must have inserted and removed the AirPods from the case hundreds of times over the last two years, which has undoubtedly worn out the connections.

Here’s What I Did To Fix AirPods Not Charging Issue

Before anything else, let me warn you that this might not be the safest thing to do. It may damage your equipment, so please, only do this if you’re comfortable with the risks. With that said, here’s what I did to fix my AirPods not charging issue:

I used a precision screwdriver to carefully and gently lift each of the connections within the charging case.

I’ve then reinserted the AirPods, and because the connections have been lifted, they now contact the end of the AirPods stems much better and are now charging without issue.

What Else Can You Do to Resolve the AirPods Not Charging Problem?

Clean the AirPods and the Charging Case

Another typical reason an AirPod won’t charge is because the charging contacts are filthy and blocked with grime inside the Charging Case, on the AirPod stem, or both. This prevents electricity from flowing through freely, but you can clean things up using the method outlined below.

You’ll Need:

  • A microfiber cloth or lint-free fabric
  • A cotton swab or periodontal brush
  • 70% isopropyl alcohol (optional)

Clean the stem of the AirPod using the dry, lint-free fabric, focusing around the silver contacts on the end.

Also, clean the internal contact points in each AirPod bay within the Charging Case with a periodontal brush or similar tool. Take a cotton swab and wet it with water or spray it with isopropyl alcohol (DO NOT spray alcohol or water directly on the case) and work the cotton swab over the dirty area if you find any hard debris.

Top Tip: Cleaning your AirPods regularly is advised if you use them daily to maintain and restore the proper connection between the AirPods and the Charging Case.

Reset AirPods

The reset function is useful when AirPods aren’t connecting to your device or if one of them refuses to charge. When you reset the equipment is like starting over, the settings will be the same as when you took it out of the box.

The following video shows how to reset AirPods and AirPods Pro:

  1. Place your AirPods in their case and shut the lid.
  2. Allow 30 seconds, then open the lid.
  3. On your iPhone or iPad, navigate to Settings -> Bluetooth and on the list of devices, tap the circled “i” icon next to the AirPods
  4. Tap “Forget This Device”, and then tap again to confirm.
  5. Open the AirPods case lid, press and hold the button on the back of the case for about 15 seconds until you see the status light flickering amber. The status light is inside the case between the AirPods if your AirPods case charges only over a wired connection. The status light is on the front of the case if you have AirPods Pro or your AirPods case charges wirelessly.
  6. With the case lid open, place your AirPods near to your device and follow the directions on your device’s screen to reconnect them.

That’s all there is to it. The AirPods are now reset, and any of the devices linked to your iCloud account will no longer be automatically recognized. The setup procedure for the AirPods begins when you open their case near an iOS device.

Contact Apple Support

If none of the solutions above work, it’s probably time to contact Apple Support since the specialists will be able to rule out whether your AirPod or Charging Case needs service.

Photo by Omid Armin on Unsplash

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About S. Santos

I am a tech columnist and blogger by trade, but I'm also an avid tennis player. In my spare time, I enjoy reviewing gadgets and gizmos from the world of tech.

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