How to Turn on AirPods Without Charging Case (Easy Guide!)

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

One of the best things about AirPods is the charging case that comes with them. It allows you to easily connect your AirPods to your device, and can massively extend your listening time by providing extra charges (when the case itself is fully charged!).

So if you find yourself out of the house and realize you’ve somehow brought your AirPods but not the case, you might be wondering how the hell you’re going to connect them to your phone. Well, contrary to popular belief, it is possible, and I’ll show you how in this article.

Keep reading to find out how you can connect, turn on, and use your AirPods without the charging case.

Can You Use AirPods Without Charging Case?

The simple answer is yes! You can definitely use your AirPods without the case. But there are a few things you can’t do without it.

Connect to a New Device

When you first set up your AirPods, you’ll need the case in order to put the AirPods in pairing mode and pair them with your device. Once this is done, you can connect without the case, but if this is your first time using your AirPods, or you plan to pair them with a new device, you’ll need that charging case to move forward.

Reset Your AirPods

If anything goes wrong with your AirPods while you’re using them without your case, unfortunately, you won’t be able to reset them. Resetting your AirPods requires pressing and holding the Setup button, which is located… on the back of the charging case!

Charge Your AirPods

This one should go without saying… It’s called the charging case after all! I’m sure you probably know this already, but if your AirPods battery levels are depleted and you don’t have the case with you, then there’s nothing you can do about it I’m afraid!

Store and Protect Your AirPods

If you’re planning on keeping your AirPods in your ears all day long, then you’ll be fine, but if you need to take them out and keep them somewhere safe for a while… Well, let’s just say, without that case, these things are very easy to lose!

How to Turn on AirPods without Charging Case

Now, the matter of turning on your AirPods is really a matter of connecting them to your phone, tablet, or computer. That’s really very easy to do, provided you’ve already paired them with this device!

This is a key step in using your AirPods without the case – if you haven’t already paired them to the device you want to use them with, you won’t be able to connect at all.

How to Connect AirPods to iPhone Without Charging Case

This is an easy process that anyone who’s been using an iPhone or AirPods for a while would probably do subconsciously!

  • Open the Control Center (swipe down from the top right corner of the screen, or up from the bottom on older models)
  • If it’s not already, turn on Bluetooth
  • Tap on the Audio Card. It should expand and give you further options for audio control
  • Tap the AirPlay icon to open a list of available devices to stream to
  • From this list, select your AirPods
  • Your iPhone will now awaken and connect to your AirPods!

Done! As easy as that, you can turn on and connect to your AirPods without the charging case! The process for connecting your AirPods to an iPad is the same as this.

How to Connect AirPods to Android Without Charging Case

Apple devices like the iPhone or iPad will recognize AirPods as ‘one of their own,’ so to speak, which makes connecting, pairing, and overall use much smoother.

When it comes to using AirPods with Android devices, your AirPods will be treated just like any other pair of headphones or speakers.

This means that you should be able to connect the same way you would any other Bluetooth device.

  • Open Settings on your Android; either tap the app, or swipe down to open the Quick Access panel
  • Open the Bluetooth settings (turn on Bluetooth while you’re there, if you haven’t already)
  • You should see a list of previously connected devices
  • Find your AirPods on the list and tap them to begin the connection.
  • This will wake up your AirPods and establish a Bluetooth connection.

And that’s it! Your AirPods are now connected to your Android device – without the need for the charging case!

How to Connect Your AirPods to a Mac Without Charging Case

The process for connecting your AirPods to a Macbook computer without the charging case is relatively simple. Follow these steps:

  • Open the Bluetooth settings on your Mac by clicking the Apple logo in the top right corner of the screen and then selecting System Preferences > Bluetooth
  • Under this menu, you should see a list of previously connected devices
  • Select your AirPods from the list and click Connect.

That’s it! As simple as that!

How to Connect Your AirPods to a Windows PC Without Charging Case

Again, this is really simple. Follow the steps below and your AirPods will be connected to your Windows PC or laptop in no time!

  • Open the Start Menu and select Settings
  • Select Bluetooth & Other Devices
  • Find your AirPods under the Audio section and click them to connect

Your Windows PC or laptop should now be connected to your AirPods.

Using AirPods Without the Charging Case

As you can see, you are still very much able to use your AirPods without the charging case – provided you have already paired them to that device!

This is the key thing here. None of the above methods will work if you haven’t already paired your AirPods with the device in question.

Normally, this isn’t an issue because as soon as you get your new AirPods you’ll most likely pair them to your iPhone/Android, and maybe your Mac/PC as well. But just remember that without that initial pairing, your AirPods without the case are effectively unusable!

A Quick Note Regarding Charging

As you already know, the charging case comes with your AirPods as a means of pairing your AirPods, storing them so they don’t get separated or lost, and most importantly, charging them.

There are various rumors out there about methods of charging AirPods using various wires and computer outlets to supply a current to the magnetic connectors on your AirPods.

Do not do this! This is not a way to charge your AirPods; in fact, it is the perfect way to damage them – possibly irreparably!

If you’ve lost your case and you’re dying to use your AirPods again ASAP, just go out and buy another one. Sticking random wires into various orifices on your AirPods is unsafe and potentially dangerous.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, the AirPods charging case is a wonderful accessory that provides you with hours and hours of extra usage with on-the-go charging, a neat and secure place to store your headphones, and a method of pairing and resetting your AirPods should you need to.

But you definitely don’t need it in order to use your AirPods!

So, next time you leave the house with your AirPods already in your ears, and you realize as you’re waiting for the bus that you left your case at home – don’t go running back and miss that important interview! Provided you’ve got enough charge, your AirPods are still good to go!

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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.

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