AirPods Won’t Connect? (hint: Usually the Bluetooth!)

Listening to your favorite music or podcasts on your AirPods as you take the train to work or as you clean your house makes everything better. 

But what if suddenly your AirPods stop connecting to your phone and you are unable to listen to your music or Podcasts?

If your AirPods won’t connect, first, you should check that the AirPods have enough charge and that the Bluetooth is functioning normally. If they are good, then restart the AirPods and your personal device. If that doesn’t work, you can then try resetting your AirPods by electing to have your phone forget the Airpods device and completing the pairing process. 

Let us break down how exactly to complete these potential solutions as well as a few other troubleshooting options. Doing so may help re-establish the connection between your AirPods and personal device. 

Airpods aren’t connecting troubleshooting

1. Clean Your AirPods and Charging Case

Cleaning your Airpods and the charging case is something you should be doing regularly. To clean your AirPods and charging case, first, make sure you never run them under water. 

Next, go ahead and take the following steps.

  1. Take a microfiber cloth and dab it with a little hydrogen peroxide or isopropyl alcohol.
  2. Use the cloth to wipe down the AirPods and the charging case until it is clean.
  3. Do not get any liquids in the speaker meshes, microphone, or charging ports.
  4. Use the other side of the microfiber cloth to dry the AirPods and charging case.
  5. Go ahead and clean the speakers and microphone with a dry Q-tip.
  6. If you suspect a build-up of earwax in your AirPod speak mesh, you can suck the wax out.
  7. Set the AirPods and charging case out somewhere to dry for a couple of hours before using.
  8. After the Airpods and charging case are completely dry, you can place the Airpods in the case.

Cleaning your AirPods and charging case may or may not fix your connection problems. However, either way, you will now have a clean set of AirPods and a charging case to work with while you continue to troubleshoot. 

2. Reset Your Airpods

Sometimes if your AirPods won’t connect to Bluetooth, they just need to be reset. To reset your AirPods or AirPods Pro, take the following steps.

  1. Place the AirPods into the charging case and close it
  2. Wait at least 60 seconds.
  3. Now open the charging case.
  4. Take out the personal device you are trying to connect to the AirPods.
  5. If it is an Apple iPhone or iPad, go to the Settings menu.
  6. Find the Bluetooth option and press the ! symbol located next to the name of your AirPods.
  7. Click on Forget this Device.
  8. Keeping the charging case open, hold down the setup button for about 20 to 30 seconds or until you see the light flash orange a few times and then white
  9. Now try reconnecting your Airpods or Airpods Pro to your personal device.

Whenever you reset your AirPods this way, all of the settings that you saved will be reset. You will need to reconfigure your AirPods to make the changes that reflect your preferences. This can be done in less than a few minutes. 

If your AirPods still will not connect to your personal device after a full reset, then you will need to continue troubleshooting

3. Restart Your Device

Sometimes if you are having connection problems with your AirPods, you may need to restart your device as well as the Airpods. Here are some instructions for resetting your device.

Restarting an iPhone

The easiest way to reset your iPhone is by following these steps.

  1. Hold down the volume button and the side button at the same time.
  2. After a few seconds, you should see a slider appear.
  3. Slide the slider from one end to the other and your device should turn off within 30 seconds.
  4. Let the phone sit for at least 60 seconds.
  5. Now, press and hold the side button and within a few seconds, your phone should start loading the IOS.

You can also reset your iPhone by going to Settings and clicking on General. In the General section, you should see a Shut Down option. Click it, confirm, and your phone should shut down. Now, turn on your phone by pressing and holding the side button. 

Restarting an iPad

To restart an iPad, follow these steps. 

  1. Press and hold the volume button and the top button at the same time.
  2. Drag the slider from one end to the other.
  3. Once the iPad has shut down, let it sit for 60 seconds.
  4. Press and hold the top button and the iPad should turn on again.

Restarting  an Android device

To restart an Android device, follow these steps.

  1. Press and hold the power and volume button for about 2 seconds.
  2. A power options menu should appear with options to shut down or restart your device.
  3. Select restart.
  4. Let the phone sit while it reboots.

4. Check Your Bluetooth

If your AirPods are not connecting to your personal device, you may have to check your Bluetooth. The first thing to do is to double-check on your personal device that you have Bluetooth on. Sometimes you can accidentally bump the Bluetooth button when you are using your phone and turn it off. 

If the Bluetooth is on, make sure that your AirPods show up in the list of available devices and that you are not connected to any other device. You could still be connected to a Bluetooth speaker or another device. If you see the AirPods in your list of available devices, make sure you are connected to them by clicking on the name.

Still, having trouble getting sound from your personal device and connecting your AirPods?  

If the Bluetooth seems to be working but there is no connection or sound coming from the AirPods, then you may have to do a full reset of both your personal device and the Airpods

If you are looking to complete a full reset of your AirPods, then please refer to the section above titled: “2. Restart Your Airpods”.

5. Check the Charge and Battery

One thing that is super convenient about AirPods, is that the charging case can hold enough charge to replenish the battery of the AirPods multiple times. This is perfect for when you are out of the house for the day and you are using your AirPods a lot on the go. 

That being said, sometimes you may not have enough charge left in the case or enough power left in the AirPod battery to allow the Airpods to properly connect. 

If your AirPods are not connecting to your personal device, then you may want to check the charge and the battery. To do that, follow these next steps. 

  1. When your AirPods are in the case, the status light that is located either on the outside of the charging case or inside the case will reflect the battery level of the AirPods.
  2. When the AirPods are not placed in the charging case, the status light reflects the charge level of the case. Green means fully charged. Orange means less than one full charge remains. 
  3. For a more accurate reading with percentages, place the AirPods in the charging case with the lid open.
  4. Now stand close to the case with your personal device. 
  5. If you have an iPhone, then you should see a widget that contains charge level percentages.
  6. The charge level percentages are detailed for your iPhone, the left AirPod, the right one, and the charging case. 
  7. Also, when the battery in your AirPods starts to get low, you should be receiving notifications on your iPhone or iPad. 
  8. Also, if the battery of your AirPods hit 10% charge, then you should hear a beep in either one or both of the AirPods to let you know they need to be charged soon

6. Check for Updates ~ 200 words

If you are using first-generation Airpods, then the iOS on your iPhone should be IOS 10 or later. If you are using second-generation AirPods, then your IOs on your iPhone should be IOS 12.2 or later.

To check which IOS you have currently running on your iPhone and to update your IOS, follow these steps.

  1. Open Settings and go to General.
  2. Find the Software Update option and click on it.
  3. In this section, you can see which IOS you are currently running and if there are any updates available.
  4. If there are any updates available, then you can simply tap it and the update will begin to download.
  5. You may need to be connected to Wifi to be allowed to download and install an IOS update.

Aside from making sure that your iPhone running the correct IOS for your AirPods, you will want to make sure the Firmware is up-to-date for the AirPods themselves. To check what Firmware your AirPods are running, follow these next steps. 

  1. Open your settings and go to General.
  2. Click on the About option.
  3. You should see a bunch of information about your phone here. Scroll down until you see Firmware Version.
  4. Check to see what the latest Firmware versions are, go to the Apple support website
  5. If you have an outdated Firmware version, then you will need to force an update.
  6. To force a Firmware update, place the AirPods into the charging case.
  7. Plug in the charging case to a power outlet.
  8. Place your iPhone near the charging case.
  9. The Firmware update should automatically begin.
  10. Wait a few minutes for the update and then check the version again.
  11. If it is the new version good. If not, you may need to visit an Apple store.

7. Check Proximity

Remember, when you are using your AirPods with an iPhone, iPad, or Android device, the maximum range is typically between 30 to 60 feet. If you are trying to connect your AirPods to your personal device, it is best if you have the device in your hands at the same time you are attempting to connect

Once connected, you should be able to continuously listen to music with high sound quality and make and answer phone calls as long as you do not stray too far outside of that 30 to 60 maximum range

Frequently Asked Questions 

Why are my AirPods not showing up when pairing them with a Windows PC?

The first thing you should do is check that Bluetooth is enabled on your Windows PC. In the bottom right corner of your screen on the taskbar, click on the action center where you may see your battery status, network connection, and volume settings. 

In the menu that pops up, you should see a Bluetooth button. Check to see whether that is on or off. If it is off, click it to turn it on. If it does not automatically identify your AirPods, then you will have to go into your computer settings and find Bluetooth settings. Once in there, you will need to add a Bluetooth device.

During this time, your AirPods should be in the charging case with the top open. Click on add a Bluetooth device and find your AirPods. Press the button on the charging case to begin the pairing process. Now, click on the AirPods option on your Windows PC. 

If you see a message stating, “Your device is ready to go!”, there is nothing left to do. 

Why are my AirPods not pairing with my Mac?

If you cannot connect to your MAC computer, first make sure you have the latest macOS installed. Next, with both AirPods in the charging case, double-check that the Bluetooth is turned on and that the AirPods are selected as your audio device

If the AirPods show up in the list of available Bluetooth devices but won’t connect, simply click to remove them from the list. Once removed, you will need to repair the AirPods to your MAC

Conclusion

If your AirPods won’t connect to your personal device, don’t panic. There are plenty of solutions that you can try when troubleshooting your AirPod’s connection issues. Simply start with the easiest solutions like checking the charge levels on your devices and making sure Bluetooth is enabled.

After you cross off the easy ones, you can work your way to the more complex troubleshooting tactics. If you still are not getting a connection after trying all the different solutions outlined above, then you may need to visit your nearest Apple store.