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Can You Use Someone Else’s AirPods?

As an owner of AirPods, I was recently frustrated to learn that they could not be used by someone else. After doing some research and testing, I am here to share with you how I solved this issue and the other solutions I discovered. In this blog post, I will explain if you can use someone else’s AirPods and how to do so.

Key takeaways

  • You can use someone else’s AirPods without their permission.
  • AirPods don’t come with anti-theft technology, making them susceptible to theft.
  • You can’t use someone else’s AirPods without the case.
  • Sharing AirPods can cause serious health issues, so it is not recommended.
  • You can charge your AirPods in someone else’s charging case.
  • You can try to find a lost AirPods using the FindMy app.

Can You Use Someone Else’s AirPods?

Yes, you can pair someone else’s AirPods to your phone and vice versa. In fact, you can do it without the owner’s permission. All you really need to do is to reset the AirPods via the charging case to remove their previous settings and pair them to yours. 

AirPods don’t come with anti-theft technology, making them more susceptible to theft than any other Apple products. AirPods that have been lost can be used by anyone who finds them, with the original owner none the wiser

Read more: Are AirPods good quality?


Can You Use Someone Else’s AirPods Without the Case? 

In order to link AirPods to a phone, it needs to be paired via Bluetooth. You can only access this Bluetooth functionality with the charging case. Thus, you can’t use someone else’s AirPods without the case. You need the case to reset and pair the AirPods to another device

That said, you don’t necessarily need the original case to reset the AirPods. 

This is great for when you desperately need to charge your AirPods, as you can use borrow anyone charging case to juice it up. However, it also makes it easier for thieves to unpair the AirPods from your device. 

All they need to do is to insert the AirPods into a compatible charging case and press the Reset button on the case. Doing so disconnects the AirPods from the original owner’s phone and makes them undiscoverable via the FindMy application. 

Read more: Are AirPods allowed on planes?

Is It Safe to Use Someone Else’s AirPods? 

AirPods become undiscoverable when reset and paired with another phone, so it’s “safe” in the sense that thieves won’t be caught using or selling them. 

If the question pertains to sharing a friend or family member’s AirPods, then no, it’s not safe. Sharing AirPods can cause ear infections and transmit dangerous disease-causing bacteria

Experts believe that sharing AirPods is just as bad as sharing a toothbrush, so you’re better off buying your own instead of using someone else’s. 

If you must use someone’s AirPods, clean it thoroughly with alcohol and make sure to remove all the wax particles lodged inside. You certainly don’t want to swap ear wax with your friend, no matter how much you love them! 

Can You Charge Your AirPods In Someone Else’s Charging Case?

If your AirPods died mid-use, don’t fret; you can borrow someone else’s AirPods charging case—preferably a friend or trusted acquaintance—to give it some juice. 

To charge your AirPods in someone else’s chase, simply insert your AirPods in the case and long-press the setup button with the lid open. Once the case flashes white, your AirPods will start charging. It’ll take about 20 minutes to fully charge drained AirPods. 

Can You Track Lost AirPods? 

If you’ve lost or misplaced your AirPods, you can try to locate them with FindMy app. However, this functionality only works when your AirPods are removed from their case and are within Bluetooth and device proximity. 

How to Track AirPods Using iPhone 

To track lost AirPods on your iPhone, follow these steps:

  1. Open the FindMy app on your iPhone and go to the Device tab.  
  2. On the Device tab, you’ll be given a list of recently connected Apple devices. 
  3. Tap the AirPods you’re trying to track to see its last known location on the map. 
  4. Follow the location as shown in the Directions tab. Your AirPods might still be in the area you’ve left them if you’re lucky. 
  5. If you’ve lost your AirPods with its charging case and you believe it’s nearby, press Play Sound. A beeping sound will play, allowing you to locate the AirPods.

How to Track AirPods Using iCloud

If you don’t have access to your iPhone, you can locate your AirPods on the iCloud website instead. Here’s how: 

  1. Log in to your Apple account using your iPad or computer. Use the account linked to your AirPods
  2. Go to the Find My iPhone tab and select All Devices. Give the GPS tracker several seconds to load the available devices on the account. 
  3. Select the AirPods you’re trying to find and press Locate. If available, click on Play Sound to trigger a loud noise from the device, assuming they’re nearby.  


AirPods don’t come with an anti-theft function, so there’s nothing stopping anyone from using someone else’s AirPods. When linked to someone else’s device, the owner won’t be notified. So unless you’ve attached your number on the case, you might want to consider buying a replacement. Lost AirPods are effectively gone forever.