No matter what generation of the AirPods you rock in your ears, any AirPod user knows the fear associated with losing either those tiny AirPods themselves or misplacing the case.
The case is critical since it’s not only the best way to store them, it’s how you charge your AirPods when the battery gets tired of you listening to the “Hamilton” soundtrack.
But if you do lose the case (with or without the AirPods), there are some ways for you to try and find them using your iPhone or a web browser.
How to Find Lost or Stolen AirPod Cases
The easiest way to make sure you’ll be able to locate your missing AirPods is to enable the Find My app the moment that you get them. If you lose them and then realize that you didn’t bother to set up this app, you’re going to have to find them the old-fashioned way.
However, the Find My app, even when properly configured, has limitations related to finding just the case.
There are essentially three ways you can lose either your AirPods+ and/or your case. You could, A, lose the empty case while you’re listening to your AirPods.
You could also, B, lose your case with the AirPods tucked safely inside.
Lastly, C, you could lose both of the AirPods but hang on to the case.
We’ll go through exactly how to use the Find My app to rescue your AirPods in these situations.
The Simplest Find
If the AirPods are lost outside of the case, that’s when you’ll have hopefully the easiest time finding them.
It sounds odd, but it shakes out that way because if they’re outside of the case, they are still able to produce sound.
Use the Find My app on your phone, go to the Devices tab, and select your AirPods.
If the AirPods are charged and within Bluetooth range, you can elect to play a sound that will hopefully guide you towards your beloved AirPods.
You can play the sound through both AirPods or either the right of left one only.
But What If They’re Out of Bluetooth Range?
If your AirPods slipped out of your bag or pocket and you continued on your adventures without them, you may end up outside of Bluetooth range.
If that happens, you can go into Find My > Devices > AirPods > Maps.
This will show you the last known location of your AirPods, and it populates directions to help you backtrack.
When you get close enough to the last known location, you’ll be able to play that sound again to help you find them, assuming they’re not in the case.
Hopefully, you didn’t lose them in a library or church because no one likes that person who blares sound through places that are supposed to be quiet sanctuaries.
But finding your AirPods is enough of an incentive to overcome the embarrassment.
Just apologize and wave.
Anyone who sees you pick up your lost Apple product will understand.
The Whole Kit And Caboodle Is Gone. The AirPods Got Lost In the Case.
Luckily, if your AirPods are in the case, you can still use the Find My app.
You’ll just have to depend fully on your eyes instead of your ears because, as mentioned, the sound won’t play when the AirPods are in the case.
That makes sense from a functional sense, so you know that when you hear that little click when you pop them back into their slot, whatever you’re listening to isn’t going to keep playing and further drain the battery.
But it’s not great when it comes to trying to find them.
However, this is why the Find My app is critically important in finding not only your AirPods but all of you Apple devices.
Your AirPods Got Angry With Each Other And Ended Up In Separate Places
Now, if both of your AirPods are in the case, this shouldn’t be an issue.
If one of them is in the case with you and the other one is missing, you can just follow the same steps as above.
However, if you lost both AirPods in separate places but you still have the case, you’ll need to take a couple extra steps.
When you locate the first of the lost AirPods, put it in the case and read it a bedtime story.
Once it’s all tucked in, refresh the map, and see the new location for the other AirPod, which will have been updated.
Follow the directions and get the band back together.
Can You Find the Case If You Still Have Your Airpods?
Perhaps you’re rocking out and the case gets lost, falling out of your backpack or pocket. Now, this is the least ideal situation for recovering your lost item. The case doesn’t feature the same tech as the AirPods, and so they’re not equipped their own Bluetooth. In the situations above, you’re not tracking the case. You’ve only been tracking the AirPods.
So if you’ve only lost the case, there’s not a way to find them directly with the Find My app.
However, if you’re lucky, you can go into the Find My app and click on your AirPods.
If there is a green dot in the list next to your AirPods, that means that your case is somewhere nearby.
If there isn’t, then your case is either too far away or has no battery left.
The Case Is Gone. Do I Have To Buy New AirPods?
If you want to buy newer AirPods because you lost your case, you certainly don’t need our permission to use this situation as an opportunity for an upgrade.
But if that’s not in the budget, you can get a new AirPods case.
Use your AirPods serial number and contact the Apple Store to buy a new charging case.
If you’re rocking the AirPods Pro, you’ll pay $99 for a new case.
For other AirPods models, you’re looking at $59 for a new case.
If you’ve got AppleCare+, the price drops to $29 per incident.
These seem expensive, but a new pair of AirPods Pro is $249.
AirPods 2 are $129 and AirPods 3 are $179, so either way, you’re saving money just replacing the case, especially if you have AppleCare+.