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5 ways to troubleshoot when your AirPod case is not charging

  • If your AirPod case is not charging, try swapping out the charging cables, charging pads, and power source.
  • Check the charging status light when you plug the case into a power source.
  • You might need to clean the case’s Lightning port or get it serviced by Apple.

Most of the time, your AirPods should work flawlessly, and that means your charging case should be able to deliver about 30 hours of listening time without needing to top off at an electrical outlet. Sometimes, though, even your AirPods case can suffer a glitch and not charge properly, throwing a wrench in your on-the-go lifestyle. Here are the most common ways to resolve a problem when your AirPods charging case isn’t actually charging.

Know how to read the charging signals

Is your AirPods case charging when it’s plugged in or sitting on its charging pad? You need to know how to read the signs. First, look for the charging status light. When you first plug the case in, you should see the charging light come on (but it’ll go off automatically after about 10 seconds, and that’s okay).

Another handy indicator that the case is charging: Put your AirPods in their case and close the lid. Plug the case into its charging cable (you need a charging cable, not a wireless charging pad for this test). Open the lid and bring the case close to your iPhone. The AirPods status screen should appear, indicating the charge in both the AirPods and the case. Because the case is plugged in and charging, you should see a small lightning bolt next to the battery symbol for the earbuds and case. If the case doesn’t have a lightning bolt, then you know you have some kind of charging problem.

The lightning bolt indicates the device is charging.

Try a different charging pad, or use a cable

If you have a wireless charging case and you are trying to charge it wirelessly, try swapping to a different wireless pad to make sure that’s not the problem. Even better: Switch to using a charging cable. If the cable works, you know that the problem is either the case’s wireless charging system or the charging pad you’re trying to use.

Plug your charging case into a Lightning cable if the wireless charging isn’t working.

Make sure the charging case is plugged into reliable power

As a general rule, you should be able to plug your AirPods case in almost anywhere to charge it — your computer’s USB port, a wall outlet, USB hub, and so on. But if it’s not charging properly, try to reduce the possible variables. Plug the AirPods into a USB port or wall outlet you know works properly; ideally, one you just verified with a different device. If in doubt, try connecting it to a few different power sources and with a couple of different charging cables.

Clean your case’s Lighting port

If your case isn’t charging when you insert a charging cable, it’s possible there’s some debris in the port that’s blocking the cable — this is especially likely if you often carry the case around in your pocket, where lint has a chance to get inserted in the port. The solution? Clean the charging case carefully, with a particular emphasis on removing debris from the port with a non-metal apparatus.

Contact Apple customer service

If none of these troubleshooting steps can seem to restore your case’s ability to charge, contact Apple customer service. You might have a hardware problem and the case may need replacement.