Why is My AirPods Case Not Charging? 6 Common Fixes!

Author: James Potts | Updated: | This post may contain affiliate links.

One of the greatest things about Apple’s AirPods is not the amazing sound quality, or the durable construction, or the stylish design (although those are all amazing), but the humble charging case.

The case can extend the battery life of your AirPods from around 6 hours to up to 30 hours. It enables pairing and resetting of your AirPods, as well as the updating of firmware. It features as a trackable beacon if your AirPods get lost or stolen, with the functionality of the Find My app.

And finally, as you can’t actually turn your AirPods off, placing them in the case is the best (and only!) way to conserve your precious battery life.

So if your case stops charging, what do you do?

Why Your AirPods Case is Not Charging

Most of the time, the reason for your AirPods or AirPods Pro case not charging is a simple issue relating to hardware.

First of all, let’s cover what you should see if your case is charging correctly. An amber light on your charging case (when it’s plugged in) means that your case is charging. A green light means that your case is fully charged.

Dirty Charging Port

Over time, dust and lint can gather in the charging port on the bottom of the case, preventing your charging cable from making a proper connection. This is especially likely to happen if you often keep your case in your pants pocket or in a backpack, where small debris and lint will gather.

Faulty Charging Cable

Using a non-Apple charging cable can result in a failure to charge, but not always. Many charging cables are compatible with Apple products, although users report that this might only be for a short time before charging ceases to work.

This is especially likely to happen if you’re using a high-wattage charging cable and plug. Apple products do allow for fast charging, but your AirPods case will regulate anything over 5W. For some products that are perhaps less robustly constructed than Apple’s, this can damage the charger and it will stop working.

Charging via PC

Sometimes users may find issues when trying to charge their AirPods case via a PC instead of a wall socket. Even if the charge icon is showing, you might unplug your case and check its battery status to find that it hasn’t increased at all!

Why exactly this happens is a quirk of the Windows operating system, but there is a cure! I’ll explain what to do later in the article.

Out-of-date Firmware

The old classic – firmware! If you’re running an old version of AirPods firmware, it may interfere with the charging process when you plug your case in.

I’ll show you later how to check your firmware version, and update it to the latest one if you need to.

Dead Battery

Of course, your AirPods case may not be charging simply because it doesn’t have the capacity to do so anymore. In time, everything will stop working.

If you’ve had your current pair of AirPods (and case) for a while, it’s entirely possible that the case’s internal battery has just run completely dry and can no longer be charged.

This is especially true if you can still charge your AirPods through the case when everything is plugged in, but the case itself is not retaining any charge.

In this instance, the only thing you can do is take your case to get repaired, or replace it.

How to Fix AirPods Case Not Charging

So, now we know the possible reasons for your case not changing, it’s time to take a look at what you can do to get everything working properly again!

Clean Your Charging Port

This is especially likely to be the cause of your charging problems if you notice that rather than not charging at all, your case charges intermittently.

Frequent cutting out of charging is most likely due to a weak connection between the contacts on the lightning cable and the contacts in the case’s charging port.

To clean the port, you’ll need something thin and long, like a toothpick or an unfolded paperclip. But be careful when you do this! It’s easier than you think to damage one of those fragile contacts, and then your case won’t charge ever again!

Gently try to coax out any clusters of dust and lint in the port using the end of whatever tool you’ve decided to use. If you feel any resistance, stop.

Blow into the port gently to dislodge any loose clumps of debris. You’ll be amazed at how much comes out if you’ve never done this!

Use a Different Charging Cable

Regardless of whether you’re using an Apple cable or a third-party one, cables can and will degrade over time. If you see any breaks in the plastic casing, any frayed wires or bent inputs, it’s likely that your cable has had it.

Try a different cable if you’ve got one to hand, or can borrow one from a friend or family member.

If other cables work and charge your case, but yours doesn’t, you’ve found the culprit!

Change PC Settings

This one is specifically for anyone who’s tried charging their case via their PC to no avail. Even if your case lights up and the charging symbol is showing on your iPhone, if you unplug your case to find out it’s not retained any charge, follow these steps when your case is connected to your PC:

  • Open Control Panel
  • Select View Devices and Printers under Hardware and Sound
  • Under Unspecified you should see your AirPod Case.
  • Double click it and open the Hardware tab
  • Double click HID-Compliant Device
  • Select Change Settings
  • Open the Driver tab
  • Select Disable Device
  • Disconnect your AirPod Case then reconnect it

Your case should now be charging! This simple hack will force the driver to enable when you reconnect your case, allowing it to charge.

Update Firmware

To check which version of firmware you’re currently running, open Settings > Bluetooth, then tap the information (i) next to your AirPods. Scroll down to About to find out the current version.

Next, do a quick Google search for the latest firmware version for your specific model of AirPods.

If you’re running a different version to that one, you need to update your firmware. To do that, simply place your AirPods in the case and close the lid. Then plug the case into a power source (regardless of whether the case is retaining charge or not) and keep it close to your iPhone, which needs to be connected to the internet, ideally via WiFi.

Wait for 30 – 60 minutes for the update to download and install. Check your firmware version again. If it’s updated, it’s probably best to reset your AirPods then try and charge the case again.

Reset AirPods

Normally I would recommend resetting your AirPods as the first thing you do, but as this issue is usually more hardware related, it’s probably not the best first port of call in this case.

However, here’s how to reset your AirPods, in case you’ve updated your firmware, or just want to see if it helps (which it might!).

  • Place your AirPods in the case and close the lid
  • Wait 30 seconds
  • Remove your AirPods from the case and put them in your ears
  • Open Settings > Bluetooth
  • If your AirPods are in the list of connected devices, tap the information (i) and click ‘Forget This Device’
  • Place your AirPods back in the case and leave the lid open
  • Press and hold the Setup button on the back of the case for 15 seconds
  • The status light should flash amber, then white
  • Keep your AirPods in their case and keep the lid open, then place them close to your device
  • Follow the onscreen popup to reconnect your AirPods

Now your AirPods have been reset to factory settings, and have established a fresh Bluetooth connection with your device. Any firmware updates you’ve done should have taken full effect. Go ahead and try and charge your case.

Repair/Replace Charging Case

If all else has failed, it’s likely that your case has unfortunately reached the end of its lifespan. It’s a bummer, but it happens with all electrical items eventually.

Just make sure it’s actually your case that has died by putting your AirPods in a different case to see if they’re charging.

If your case has died sooner than you’d expect, you might still be covered for repair or replacement by Apple’s warranty. To check if you are, visit this page.

You can also try the Apple customer support page for expert advice from an Apple Genius, who may have more in depth knowledge of your issue, or may be able to glean something from your product serial number.

If you’re not covered by any warranty, you’ll have to pay for a replacement case. Authorized Apple Service Providers will vary on price, so it’s best to shop around and amass a few different quotes.

Alternatively, if you’ve got the cash, it might just be time to upgrade to a new pair of AirPods, or just buy a new case as a replacement.

Final Thoughts

There we have it, all the fixes you should ever need to know when it comes to your AirPods or AirPods Pro Case not charging!

Thankfully, with this issue, the most common cause is a dirty, clogged up charging port, or a faulty cable. These are either free or very cheap to sort out, so this issue, while it can seem like the end of the world, is normally a pretty simple fix!

Good luck!

Avatar photo

About James Potts

James is an amateur guitarist and home-recording enthusiast. He loves all things music related - writing songs, playing in a band, and finding the best ways to listen to it. It all interests him, from the history of acoustic guitars, to the latest Bluetooth headphones, to his (ever-growing) collection of vinyl records.

Leave a Comment