Your AirPods case may not charge mainly due to issues with the AirPods case itself or an incompatible charger or cable. The reasons behind case issues might range from it being filled with lint to a hardware fault inside. The issue is reported on all generations of AirPods.
Sometimes, the problem is only limited to when charging through a particular method (like wirelessly or through a Windows system). For some users, the AirPods case charges the AirPods but won’t accept charge itself, whereas, for others, the case does not even charge the AirPods. Some people even reported no light indicating when the case is in charging mode. There are some cases when the AirPods case showed a 100% charge when charging from an outlet, but as soon as the charger was removed, it dropped to 0%. The problem has even occurred in out-of-the-box AirPods cases.
The following are the main causes due to which an AirPods case may not charge:
- Dust, Debris, or Lint in the AirPod Case’s Charging Port: If there is debris, dust, or lint in the charging port of your case, then it may not let the cable properly connect and thus may not charge.
- Faulty or Incompatible Charging Cable, Point, or Charger: If the charging cable, point, or charger you are using to charge the case is faulty or not compatible with the case, then it may fail to charge.
- Windows OS Configurational Changes: Microsoft has recently made some significant changes to Windows 10 and 11 due to which you may not be able to charge the AirPods case on a Windows PC unless certain steps are taken.
- Corrupt Firmware of the AirPods Case: The corrupt firmware of the AirPods case may prevent you from charging it.
- Faulty AirPods Case: The ultimate nightmare! If an AirPods is faulty (water damaged, dropped from a height, or the battery has died), you may not be able to charge the case.
How to Fix AirPods Case that’s Not Charging?
1. Re-Plug the Case into the Charger
If the charging cable does not make a proper connection at both ends (i.e., charger and case), the case may fail to charge. Moreover, if the case’s charge goes below a certain level (usually around 5%) of its battery, then the case may also fail to charge at first.
Here, re-plugging the charger may clear the problem. Before moving on, keep in mind that beginners sometimes think that the charging light of the case should remain on (which only blinks when a charger is connected) during charging, but that is not the case, and you must check the connected iPhone to confirm whether the case is charging or not.
- Firstly, check if charging the case without the AirPods resolves the issue. If so and the AirPods were fully charged, then a firmware glitch could be causing the issue and you should reset the case/AirPods (discussed later).
- If not, check if charging the case with the lid open clears the error.
- If the issue persists, remove the charger from the power source and unplug the cable from both ends (i.e., the charger and case).
- Now plug the cable back into the charger and make sure it is properly seated.
- Then insert the charger into the power source and plug the cable (properly seated) into the case.
- Now, wait 10 minutes and repeat the above steps (at least 10 times).
- Then you may leave the case on the charge for a long period (like overnight) and afterwards, check if it has started to charge.
2. Clean the AirPods Case
If there is dust, debris, or lint in the lightning port of the AirPod case, then the charging cable may fail to properly seat into the case and thus not charge. In such a case, cleaning the AirPod case may resolve the issue.
Advance at your own risk as some of the steps listed here may void your warranty or cause irreparable damage to the AirPod case, so, make sure to consult the warranty documentation.
- Grab a compressed air can (you can also use a hair dryer but not in hot mode) and start blowing air into the lightning port of the AirPod case – obviously without the cable plugged in. Repeat two or three times.
- Then make sure the cable connections are clean on both ends. You could try using a lint-free cloth to do so.
- Now blow air into the charger’s charging point and plug back the charging cable to check if the AirPods case is charging.
- If not, check if cleaning the charging port of the AirPort case and charger with a lint-free cloth clears the problem.
- If that did not work, grab a toothpick (a synthetic one, as the wooden one may break inside the port) and carefully clean the AirPod case port. Do not damage the circuitry or leave any marks to void the warranty. You can also try a makeup or paintbrush to clean the port.
- If the issue persists, slightly damp a microfiber cloth in 70 percent isopropyl alcohol and clean the port.
- Now get a dry microfiber cloth and dry out the port.
- Then wait for 5 minutes to let any residual alcohol dry and afterwards, check if the AirPods case is charging.
- If not and there is visible corrosion, you can try scraping it off with a pin or metal SIM tray ejector. Do this if the warranty has expired, otherwise, this step may void your warranty.
- If that did not work and you are not so worried about potential damage to the case (as its warranty has expired), try pouring some sanitizer on the case’s charging point and then clean it with tissue paper.
Note: You should try this step only after going through all other solutions discussed below.
- Now wait for 5 minutes and then check if the case can charge again.
3. Try Another Cable, Charger, or Charging Method
If the charging cable or charger is faulty or incompatible with the AirPod case, then it may fail to charge the AirPods. Here, trying another cable or charger may resolve the issue. Moreover, if a particular charging method (like wireless) is not working, then charging the AirPod case by using another method may resolve the issue.
- Firstly, check if using another charging method resolves the issue i.e. if you are using wireless charging, check if using cable charging resolves the issue. You can also try charging through a charger, MacBook, or Windows PC.
- If that did not work, check if reversing the cable ends (i.e., inserting the charger end into the case and vice versa) clears the issue.
- If the AirPod case is still not charging, check if using another cable (making sure the cable is from Apple) resolves the issue. Even if the cable is charging your iPhone or AirPods when inside the case, do not forget to try another cable. If you cannot find an Apple cable, then you may use an MFI-certified cable but, it is better to use a cable from Apple.
- If that did not work, check if you can charge your AirPod case through a power bank or portable battery.
- If you do not have a power bank, check if plugging the AirPod case into a console like Xbox lets you charge the case (you may have to leave it charging for an hour or more).
- If the issue is occurring while charging through a computer (like a Mac or Windows PC), then check if connecting the charging cable to another USB port lets your charge the AirPod case. Make sure the USB cable is connected directly to a USB port, and not through a hub.
- If the issue persists, check if using another charger from Apple clears the problem. Make sure the charger is directly connected to a power source without any surge protector, etc. You can also try MagSafe magnet charging. You could also try a 2.4 Amp power source. Additionally, if the original Apple charger is not available, you might try a 12W charger and if that does not work, you can try a 20W charger.
4. Charge on a Windows PC
If you are failing to charge the AirPod case on a Windows PC, then that could be a result of the latest configurational changes in the Windows OS and you may need to edit the Windows configurations to charge the case on the PC.
- Insert your AirPod case into the Windows PC by using a USB-C cable and click on the Windows button
- Now search and open Control Panel.
- Then select Devices and Printers.
- Now, in the Unspecified section of the resulting window, double-click on the AirPods Case.
- Then, in the menu shown, switch to the Hardware tab and double-click on HID-Compliant Device.
- Now, near the bottom of the window, click on the Change Settings button, and in the resulting menu, head to the Driver tab.
- Then click on the Disable Device button and then confirm to disable the device.
- Once done, unplug and plug back the AirPods case into the PC (on the same USB port).
- Then check if the case is charging correctly. If any driver warnings are shown, you can Ignore them.
- If that does not work, right-click Windows and open Settings.
- Now, in the left pane, head to Bluetooth and Devices.
- Then, in the right pane, open Devices, and under Other Devices or Audio, click on the three vertical ellipses for the AirPod case.
- Now select Remove Device and afterwards, re-plug the AirPod case into the PC to check if it is charging.
- If that did not work, right-click Windows and open Device Manager.
- Now expand the Universal Serial Bus Controllers and right-click on the AirPod case (it may be shown as the USB Input Device or the device with a yellow exclamation mark).
- Then select Uninstall Device and then confirm to uninstall the device.
- Once done, expand the Action menu and click on Scan for Hardware Changes.
- Now check if the AirPod case is charging normally on the PC.
- If there is no device under Universal Serial Bus Controllers that belongs to the AirPod case, expand the Other Devices tab and uninstall all the unknown devices one by one.
- Once done, Scan for Hardware Changes again and check if the AirPod case has started to charge.
5. Reset the AirPod Case to Defaults
You may also encounter the charging issue on an AirPod case if its firmware is corrupt and the case is failing to handle the charging mechanism. Here, resetting the AirPod case to defaults may resolve the issue. Keep in mind that this may not work for everyone and will only work if there is some charge left on the AirPod case.
- Put the AirPods in the case and close its lid.
- Then wait for 30 seconds and then, open the charging case’s lid.
- Now put the AirPods in your ears and on your iPhone, open its Settings.
- Then select Bluetooth and in front of your AirPods, tap on the info icon (the i icon).
- Now, press Forget Device and then confirm to forget the AirPods.
- Then, disable Bluetooth and restart your iPhone.
- Now put the AirPods in the case and while the lid of the case is opened, press/hold the Setup button of the case (usually, on the back of the case) for 15 seconds.
- Then the case’s status light should change to white (from flashing amber) and when that happens, close the case’s lid.
- Now Reset Network Settings (Settings>> Reset>> Reset Network Settings) of the iPhone.
- Then pair the AirPods with your iPhone and hopefully, the AirPods case will be charging correctly.
- If not, remove the AirPods from the case and press/hold the back button of the case for 15 seconds.
- Now check if the AirPod case is charging.
If that did not work, you should contact Apple Support (you can iMessage Apple Support through the Support app), and if under warranty, request a replacement or ask for an exchange offer if out of warranty. If that is not the case, then you may try to further repair it (the Internet is your best friend but you can also go through this Reddit post) or get it repaired through a local repair shop before discarding the AirPod case.