Why is only one AirPod working?

Close-up of an Apple AirPod placed in a person's ear.
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AirPods are expensive but comfortable wireless earbuds that pair best with your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. Sometimes they don’t quite behave the way you expect, like when the AirPod completely refuses to connect. Here are some fixes that you can try when facing this issue.

Make sure your AirPod is charged

It may seem obvious, but the first thing that you should do is to check that the AirPod in question is charged. To do this, put it in the charging case. If the light on the case turns green, then your AirPod is fully charged. If the light on the case turns yellow, then the AirPod is charging.

AirPod case status light location
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We’ve noticed that one AirPod gets completely discharged sometimes, while the other has a lot of charge. Why does this happen? If the sensors on your AirPod are dirty, you may not feel them anymore when you put them in your ears. The AirPod you think is always in your ears is the always-on AirPod.

Make sure to charge the case as well

if it was Drove In your AirPods charging case not doing anything at all, there is a good chance that the charging case needs to be charged. Try connecting it to the Lightning connector or using a wireless charging pad, assuming your model of AirPods supports Wireless charging.

Although both AirPods should be charged at the same price, this is not always the case. If you use one AirPod at a time, the remaining charge in the case may be depleted while only one AirPod is charging.

Clean the contacts and charging case

There isn’t an LED on every AirPod to indicate its current status, so it’s not clear if the earbud is charging. If the case is charged (or is charging) and you have waited for a while with no luck, you should check to make sure there are no obstructions that might prevent your AirPod from charging properly.

Open the case and look at the charging compartment where the affected AirPod is placed. Dust, pocket fluff and other debris can get stuck and cover the contacts required for charging. This will prevent the AirPod from charging, so be sure to clean it well.

Clean the charging channels with a cotton swab
Tim Brooks / How-To Geek

You should also check the AirPod itself. Check the AirPod tip that rests on the charging contacts for anything that could be causing the problem. The silver metal tip should be shiny and clean.

Could you Clean your AirPods With a soft cloth, cotton swabs, blue-tack, isopropyl alcohol and a soft brush. You can also Clean the charging port on the bottom of the unit Using toothpicks and a light touch.

Check if both AirPods appear in Bluetooth settings

If nothing has helped so far, take the AirPods out of the case and put them in your ears. Now use the Control Center on your iPhone (or iPad) to check to see if both AirPods show up. You can do this by swiping down from the top-right corner of the screen and tapping on the Now Playing field followed by the broadcast icon. Take a look at the currently connected devices.

If both AirPods are detected, your device will label them as “Tim’s AirPods Pro” (or whatever you call them) with the battery percentage:

Both AirPods connected to iPhone

If only one is detected, you will see an “L” or an “R” to indicate which one plus the battery percentage:

Only the left AirPod is connected

This information can help isolate the problem. Do both AirPods appear but only hear audio from one of them? This may indicate a problem with the speaker itself. If only one appears, your AirPod may have other issues, or simply needs to be paired with your device again.

If both are detected, you can try to “force” a firmware update to see if that fixes things. There is no way to do this using iOS or iPadOS directly. Instead, you’ll need to put both AirPods in the case, plug in the power cable, and then place them next to your iPhone or iPad. Firmware updates occur wirelessly and automatically when available.

Consider plugging in your device while this is happening, and make sure it is Updated to the latest version of the Apple software.

Related: How to update iPhone

Pair your AirPods again

It’s also worth trying to re-pair your AirPods with your iPhone or iPad (or whatever device you’re currently using). Before doing that, you will have to remove them from your chosen device. On an iPhone or iPad, head to Settings > Bluetooth and tap the “i” next to the AirPods you want to remove.

Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and tap “Forget this device” and then confirm your decision. You don’t need to have your AirPods or even nearby to do this.

Forget this device in the bluetooth settings

Get your AirPods now and put both earbuds in the charging case. Turn on bluetooth On your device under Settings > Bluetooth or using Control Center, then bring it near your iPhone or iPad and open it. AirPods should appear with pairing instructions.

AirPods 3
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If you are using another device (such as a file Android smartphone or Nintendo Switch), you will need to find the small circular button on the back of the case and press and hold it until the light on the AirPods starts blinking.

From here, go to Bluetooth settings and tap AirPods in the list of devices available for pair them up. The blinking light indicates that they are in pairing mode, so if you don’t see the blinking light, you’ll need to repeat these steps. Sometimes forgetting and reconnecting AirPods is all it takes to fix the problem.

Related: How to pair AirPods with a PC, Mac, Android phone, or other device

Are you still having problems? look for damage

Check your AirPods and charging case carefully for any signs of damage. You’re mostly looking for cracks in the outer plastic, which could indicate damage that could cause the earbuds to stop working (or charging, if the case is damaged).

Damage doesn’t immediately mean game over with AirPods (we hacked AirPods ourselves and kept running until the battery ran out), but if you’re already having issues, physical damage might help explain the problem. The crack will allow more moisture in and could indicate that the impact has affected more than the hard plastic wrap.

If you have a file AppleCare + . policy For AirPods, you’re covered for two accidental damage within a 12-month period, although you’ll have to pay a $29 service fee for repairs.

Check your warranty status

If you’ve paired AirPods with your iPhone or iPad, you can check the warranty status under Settings > Bluetooth by tapping the “i” button next to the AirPods. You don’t necessarily need your AirPods turned on or connected for this.

AirPods coverage has expired

You can also check the warranty status of your AirPods at Apple Support website. You’ll need your original serial number to do this, which you can find either under the charging case cover, printed on the AirPod itself, or on the original packaging (if you still have it), for each Apple Help.

Your AirPods may be eligible for exchange

Even if you are out of warranty, there are some known issues that plague some AirPods models. If you have a pair of AirPods Pro made before October 2020, there is a chance It is included in the summons. Take your AirPods to an Apple Store to confirm this.

If you suspect that the battery is to blame, there are third parties who will do it Replace your AirPods battery for a fee. If not, you can Replacement for individual defective AirPods And charging cases start at $69 for AirPods Basic or $89 for AirPods Pro.

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