AirPods Case Not Charging: 11 Troubleshooting Steps

If you are anything like me, one of the biggest reasons you bought your AirPods was their estimated maximum of 6 hours of battery life without Spatial Audio enabled (or 5 hours with it enabled if you have the third generation of AirPods). The AirPods charge when they are placed in their case, so you need that case for them to be able to charge.

So, what happens when the AirPods case will not charge your AirPods? What is there that can be done in an attempt to restore their functionality?

AirPods Case Not Charging 1 AirPods Case Not Charging: 11 Troubleshooting Steps

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AirPods Case Not Charging: How To Troubleshoot

There are a few potential reasons why your case is not charging your AirPods. The issue could be with the case itself, your charging cable, or your wall outlet.

With any amount of luck, no serious hardware issue is preventing your AirPods from properly charging up to a full battery.

Sometimes, software glitches or updates need to be run to get the software up to par, and you might want to look into this when you are starting to go through your list of troubleshooting techniques to try.

And, yeah, I have a few more suggestions for things that you can do if your case won’t charge your AirPods

Having to buy a replacement is not cheap, and you might not be able to get a replacement covered under a warranty.

Apple is indeed notoriously stringent with their warranty requirements, so you will want to try to get your current AirPods and case working again before you cave and splurge on a brand new set.

Here are some things to consider as you go about trying to diagnose and fix your AirPods’ charging problem.

Why Are My AirPods Not Charging in Case?

Figuring this issue out is a tough one – and a frustrating one to boot. Let’s take a look at a few steps you can make when your AirPods are not charging inside of their case.

Check AirPods Are Connecting to the Case

If you are connecting both AirPods to the case when you insert them for charging, you should notice a magnetic snap that occurs when the AirPods are properly connected.

If your AirPods are failing to connect properly – or if the top of your case won’t close like it is supposed to – you’ll need to remove the AirPods to check if there is any dirt or debris blocking them from sitting in the case the right way. If there is, clean your AirPods and the insterior of your charging case, as this could free up those charging issues.

AirPods Case Not Charging 1 1 AirPods Case Not Charging: 11 Troubleshooting Steps

Check Your AirPods Charging Status & Case Battery Life

If your AirPods are connecting as they are should physically but still won’t charge, try checking the charging status and battery life on the case. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Insert both AirPods into the charging case, then shut the lid. 
  2. Open the lid, then place your AirPods case close to your iPhone.
  3. The charging status should then appear on your iPhone screen. 
  4. Ensure that your AirPods case has over 10% charge to it. If the battery life is below 10%, the case will not have sufficient power to charge your AirPods. You’ll have to plug it in.
  5. Make sure the lightning bolt icon appears next to the battery beneath the AirPods, which shows they’re both charging. If not, go ahead and clean your AirPods and case. 

There are a few other ways to check the battery life, although this is the easiest method.

Clean Your AirPods

When your AirPods get dirty, that dirt can block the circuit that lets the AirPods charge.

This is actually a really common cause of failure to charge. Once you get them all cleaned up, reinsert them into the charging case to see if they will finally charge. 

Update Your AirPods Firmware

Has it been a while since you last connected your AirPods to your iPhone or iPad? AirPods firmware automatically updates, but if it has been several months since you last used your AirPods, youmight have missed an important update. Here’s how to perform a manual firmware update:

  1. Place the ‌AirPods‌ into their case.
  2. Connect your ‌AirPods‌ charging case to a power source.
  3. Move the iPhone or iPad that are paired to the AirPods close to the charging case, and make sure your device has an Internet connection. 
  4. After about 15 minutes, any available software updates should automatically install onto your AirPods. You can then look to see if your AirPods are charging as they’re supposed to. If not, try resetting the ‌AirPods‌ instead.

Reset Your AirPods

When you perform a factory reset on your AirPods, you will lose absolutely all of your saved settings. This should be your last-ditch effort and is why I have left it until last.

  1. Open the Settings app from your iPhone.
  2. Tap on Bluetooth.
  3. Tap on the i icon next to the AirPods you need to reset.
  4. Tap on Forget This Device.
  5. Tap on Forget Device to confirm.
  6. Place your AirPods back in their case.
  7. Close the lid and wait for 30 seconds. Open the lid.
  8. Press and hold down on the Setup button on the back of your AirPods case.
  9. The LED status light on the case should flash amber, then white, showing that the AirPods have been reset.

Your AirPods should now be totally restored to their factory settings and can be connected to your iPhone.

Why Is My AirPod Case Not Charging?

Perhaps the issue is with your case itself. If nothing above has worked, proceed with the following steps for addressing the case.

Check the Charging Status of Your AirPods Case

  1. Put both AirPods into the case; close the lid. 
  2. Reopen the lid and place your AirPods close to your iPhone. 
  3. Your AirPods and AirPods case charging status will appear on the screen. 
  4. If the case is charging, a lightning bolt icon will appear below the image of the AirPods case. 

Check Your Charging Cable

Regardless of whether you use the original Apple charging cable or a third-party cord, it needs to be working properly. Here’s how to check it:

  1. Plug the charging cable into a different device. If the lightning bolt appears over your device battery, the cable is working just fine.
  2. Plug the cable back into your case and check that the connection is fully secure.
  3. If there’s still nothing, unplug the Lightning end of the cable (that’s the end you plug right into the charging case), turn it over, then plug it back in.

Check Your Outlet

Maybe it’s your wall outlet that’s the problem. Let’s next check that.

  1. Plug another device (like your iPhone) into that outlet. If it still charges, the outlet is functional.
  2. Try plugging your AirPods into another outlet. If that outlet works, the problem was with the other outlet.

Check Your Wireless Charging Base

You’ll need to make sure you’re using either the 2nd Generation AirPods or AirPods Pro – these are the only AirPods iterations that support wireless charging. 

  1. Put your AirPods into the charging case; set the case on the wireless charging mat with its status light facing upward. 
  2. Its status light should blink on and off as it charges. Shift the case’s location on the charging pad to see if that helps.
  3. If the case still doesn’t change, use the AirPods Lightning to USB cable.

Clean Your AirPods Case

Dirt and muck in the charging port can stop your case from charging. Try the following to clean them:

  1. Use a cotton swab or soft cloth to gently clean the exterior surfaces.
  2. Use a dry cotton swab to clear debris from the inner and outer components.
  3. Use a cotton swab to remove debris from all the holes.
  4. Use a toothpick to remove anything stuck from the Lightning port, but do so with the utmost care.

Reset Your AirPods

Again, if none of this works, try resetting your AirPods. Firmware bugs can affect the charging case and are certainly a difficult thing to address.

Closing Thoughts

There is a chance that you might need to replace the AirPods or the case itself. Apple can replace a component that is not working, given that your AirPods are still under warranty. Be sure to check with Apple to see if this is a feasible option for you before you chuck your expensive AirPods into the trash.

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