Skip to Content

AirPods Case Not Charging (Why and How to Fix)

As an AirPods owner, I know all too well the frustration of not being able to charge my beloved wireless earbuds. After trying a few different fixes myself, I decided to do some further research into the issue to try to figure out why the case wasn’t charging and how to fix it. In this blog post, I’ll share what I’ve discovered, as well as a few other solutions I’ve come across, in hopes of helping other AirPods owners who are similarly frustrated.

IssuePossible CausesSolution(s)
1. AirPods Case Not ChargingDirty Lightning portClean the Lightning port using a soft bristle brush
Faulty USB cable/chargerTry different USB cables and chargers or alternative charging methods
Dead wireless charging padTest with other devices or replace the charging pad
Malfunctioning case (physical damage)Contact Apple Support for a replacement case if under warranty; purchase a new case if out of warranty
Malfunctioning case (software issue)Update the firmware on your AirPods by connecting them to the paired iPhone or iPad

Why Is My AirPods Case Not Charging? 

Failure to charge can be a pretty simple problem to have, but it can also mean there’s a component of your charging setup that has malfunctioned. So let’s start with the simplest reason why your AirPods case isn’t charging.

A Dirty Lightning Port

If you have 1st generation AirPods, or just prefer the speed and safety of cable charging over the wireless option, then you probably know that ports can get pretty dirty. 

Chucking the AirPods case in a purse, backpack, or pocket can subject the opening to all kinds of debris, like food crumbs, lint, or just random dust particles.

Over time, these tend to accumulate inside the charging port, obstructing some of the connectors inside. This can lead to the AirPods case failing to charge.

A Faulty USB Cable/Charger

Let’s face it, Apple leans heavily on accessories as a huge part of its sales revenue. That means a little planned obsolescence is bound to show up in the form of faulty Lightning cables and chargers that need replacement every few months.

That’s why, before jumping to the conclusion that there’s something wrong with the AirPods case, you should try a few different USB cables and chargers. It also won’t hurt to try alternative methods of charging, like plugging the USB cable into a computer to see if it works.

Read more: AirPods keep cutting out

A Dead Wireless Charging Pad

Wireless charging is a nifty feature, but it has its problems, too. Aside from wasting a good portion of the energy it draws from the socket as heat, this very heat can damage the electronic circuits within.

This could result in the charging pad dying without warning. And unless the AirPods case is the only device you have that supports wireless charging, you can try other devices to find out if this is indeed the problem.

A Malfunctioning Case

Unfortunately, sometimes the reason why the AirPods case won’t charge is that it’s malfunctioning. This could either happen because of physical damage, or a software issue that jumbles the internal structure of the device.

If you drop the AirPods case constantly, the internal electronic components, like circuit boards and solders, can get cracked. This might lead to a loss of functionality in the AirPods. The same goes for water damage, as it ruins parts of the circuit due to corrosion.

The problem could also be attributed to out-of-date software running the AirPods. Every few months, Apple releases firmware updates that take care of any possible bugs in the software. This ensures the AirPods run smoothly in tandem with the newest iOS updates.

If your AirPods have been connected to an iPhone or iPad, but then you stopped using them with these devices, chances are, the firmware running the AirPods needs updating.

Read more: Why won’t my AirPods stay connected?


How to Fix AirPods Case Not Charging

There’s an order for troubleshooting this problem to eliminate probable causes and get everything working again. Starting with the simplest reason:

Clean the Lightning Port

This is as easy as grabbing a soft bristle brush, like the ones that come with beard trimmers, and gently brushing the inside of the lightning port. If there’s any kind of debris obstructing the connectors inside, it should come right out.

Try a Different USB Cable and/or Charging Pad

Sometimes, the issue is tied to the charging device, not the actual electronics. Eliminate the possibility by trying a new USB cable, charger, or wireless charging pad. If that solves the issue, get rid of the dead cable or charger so you don’t mix it up with the functioning one.

Run a Firmware Update

Use the case with the iPhone or iPad you paired it with, and if it shows you a firmware update available, download it while the case is near the paired device. This should eliminate software bugs that hinder charging.

Reach Out to Apple Support

If the aforementioned fixes don’t solve the problem, there’s probably something wrong with the case itself. So, your best option would be a replacement case, which you can get for free if your AirPods are still within warranty through an Apple Store. 

If your AirPods are out of warranty, you can buy a replacement case on Amazon. Just make sure the AirPods themselves are charging normally and nothing is wrong with them.


If you find your AirPods case not charging, the problem could be as trivial as lint or debris stuck in the charging port. It could also be an issue with the charger, USB cable, or wireless charging pad. In some instances, it’s a software issue due to outdated firmware.

If the case still won’t charge, there’s probably a hardware issue to tackle. Contact Apple Support to know how to move forward from there.