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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

AirPods, AirPods 2, AirPods Pro, AirPods Pro 2, and AirPods 3 are designed to work seamlessly with all of Apple's Bluetooth-supporting devices, and nine times out of ten the wireless earbuds live up their billing, but that doesn't mean they work perfectly for everyone one hundred percent of the time.

A particularly irritating problem that can sometimes occur is when one AirPod drops the connection intermittently or stops working altogether for no apparent reason. If you've been hit by this bug, following the steps below should help you resolve it.
  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap the name of your AirPods, just below your Apple ID banner. Alternatively, tap Bluetooth, and then tap the 'i' icon next to your AirPods in the list.
  3. Scroll down to the bottom of the menu and tap Forget this Device.

    Ensure that both AirPods are in their charging case and that the case has charge.
  4. Locate the small button on the back of the case, near the bottom. It's flush with the case and the same color as it, so you might need to feel about for it.
  5. Open the charging case lid.
  6. Press and hold the button on the back of the case for at least 15 seconds. If you are using a first-generation or non-wireless second-generation AirPods charging case, the case's internal light between the AirPods will flash white and then amber, indicating the AirPods have reset. If you are using a Wireless Charging Case for AirPods Pro, AirPods 2 or AirPods 3 (also available as an upgrade purchase for first-generation AirPods), you can find this light on the front of the case.
  7. Now, close the lid of your AirPods case and then open it up again.
  8. Hold the AirPods case with open lid next to your iPhone or iPad. Your iOS device should recognize the AirPods and you'll see a popup to connect them.
If the above steps don't solve the problem, try resetting your iPhone's network settings. To do so, launch the Settings app and select General > Reset > Reset Network Settings, then try re-pairing your AirPods by repeating the steps above.
Time for new AirPods or AirPods Pro?

Check our constantly updated guide for best deals on AirPods.

Article Link: One AirPod Not Working? Here's How to Fix the Problem
Last edited:


macrumors newbie
Mar 19, 2019
I’ve had this issue occur also. The simple and quick solution I found was just placing the malfunctioning AirPod back in it’s charging case for a moment. Problem solved.
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macrumors 6502
Sep 4, 2010
Temecula, CA
I’ve had one mic go out completely - tested this using the voice memo app. One mic is only static. So I changed the airpods to only use the good mic and voila! Work like they should again.
Picked mine up the January after release and aside from that issue and one other minor software issue, these have been solid. I easily get 3 hours (probably more) of music playback at around 60% volume. Also, I had the blue buildup too (from sweat) and found that just a quick wipe down after a good workout keeps this from reoccurring.


macrumors newbie
Aug 22, 2011
I’m with the other 2 that just put it back in the case. I’ve never had to forget/pair to fix them.

When putting the malfunctioning AirPod back in the case just make sure the light blinks acknowledging that it’s been put in. Try a few times until it does. If not make sure the bottom is clean an try again.

When putting them away I now make sure to see the light blink for each AirPod. This has almost eliminated all instances of one not working or not having a charge.


Sep 15, 2016
Berlin, Germany
One of mine broke for no reason while still under warranty and apple only replaced the faulty one. Now the other one dies like 20% one before the replacement. Super annoying and shows how easily the battery wears out


macrumors 68040
Nov 15, 2012
Today I had a new situation- both AirPods were in their case overnight, then I walked out the house and started listening- after three minutes one AirPod was at 1% battery and started to beep.
I put it back in the case- suddenly it had 83% again. Wtf? And it worked fine for half an hour afterwards.. time for new ones. It’s really peculiar how the old ones start failing just at the right time...
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macrumors newbie
Jan 31, 2013
Hell, I don’t even get the connection pop-up anymore.
I had the same issue, very heavy Airpod user here. Was using them on an XSMax and the pop up screen stopped showing after about 4 months with the new phone. Took them back to the Apple store and it ended up being the phone that needed replaced. The tech and I tried all kinds of combinations, different airpods, different cases, nothing worked with my phone, but did with all others. The airpods just acted like regular bluetooth devices with no W1 chip characteristics. A full clean iOS reset did not fix the issue either. The store reps noted they had not seen a case like this before, could be your phone.


macrumors 6502a
Aug 24, 2007

Holy cow this actually worked. My right AirPod was super quiet. I was afraid to try this because I was worried the suckage would rupture the diaphragm. I tried a few times and it didn't do anything. Then I really sucked the hell outta that AirPod like I had the disease and it had the cure and it totally worked.

No thanks. I would rather try multiple other alternatives to fix the issue before doing any such thing you’re suggesting.

it works. And no the earwax doesn't go flying into your mouth like a Dillion Harper money shot. Just wipe it off afterwards with a swab dipped in rubbing alcohol and it's good as new.
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