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One AirPod Not Working/Connecting (Causes and How to Fix)

As an owner of the popular Apple AirPods, I was recently frustrated when I tried to use one of my AirPods only to find it wasn’t connecting or working properly. After some research and testing, I’m here to share with you the causes and how to fix this issue. Whether it’s a software problem, a hardware issue, or a combination of both, I’ll share with you some troubleshooting steps that should get your AirPod working again.

When one of the AirPods suddenly stops working or connecting, it could just be out of charge. In some cases, there could be issues with the hardware, connectivity, or balance settings.

IssuePossible CausesSolutions
One AirPod not workingLow batteryCharge the AirPods and try again
Dirty AirPodWipe the AirPod and case clean with a dry lint-free cloth
Hardware issuesConsult Apple Support for repairs or replacements
Software issuesReset the connection between the AirPods and your device
Unbalanced stereo settingsAdjust the audio balance settings on your device

5 Reasons Why One AirPod Isn’t Working and How to Fix Them

Let’s go over the top five reasons why one AirPod might stop working and what you can do about them.

  1. Low Battery

When your left or right AirPod isn’t working, the first thing to do is to check if the battery’s drained. There are times when the two pieces refuse to charge at the same rate.

It could also happen if you used one side more than the other and forgot to charge it overnight. This might sound weird at first, but some people actually prefer using a single AirPod!

If that’s the case, your preferred side might just be out of juice.

The Fix: Charge and Try Again

You’ll just need to put both AirPods inside and wait for at least 30 seconds. Then, you can open your charging case near the iPhone or iPad to check the pop-up.

If both of them are charging, you can put them back on your ear and test if they’re working.

However, if only one of the AirPods is charging, check if the other is plugged in correctly before jumping to the conclusion that there’s something wrong with the hardware.

  1. Dirty AirPod

AirPods can get pretty dirty, and when enough debris or lint accumulates on the charging contacts, it could hinder normal charging, which would only cause the AirPod to stop working.

Plus, dirt buildup can also affect the audio quality, as any blockage on the speakers would blur the sound.

The Fix: Wipe the AirPod and Case Clean

All you need to clean the AirPod is a dry lint-free cloth.

To clean your charging case properly, just wipe any visible dirt with a clean cloth. If that doesn’t cut it, you can use a tiny bit of isopropyl alcohol to dampen the cloth, but use it for the case only, not the speaker mesh.

  1. Hardware Issues

Unfortunately, when one AirPod isn’t working, there could be a problem with the earpiece itself. So, try to remember if you dropped it or spilled something on it recently.

You might tell that the hardware is faulty if you’ve been noticing some other problems in sound quality for a while, like weak noise cancellation or crackling.

The Fix: Consider Repairs or Replacements

Hardware issues are hard to tackle yourself. So, your best bet will be getting the piece checked for damages by Apple Support.

If it’s not fixable, you can always just get a replacement.

Fortunately, you don’t need to buy the whole thing (charging case with left and right AirPods) again. Instead, you can just order one piece to replace the faulty side.

  1. Software Issues

If your AirPod is charged, clean, and with no faulty hardware, it could just be a software issue that’s preventing one side from connecting and functioning properly.

The Fix: Reset the Connection

Read more: AirPods Pro won’t connect

One simple thing to try here is to reset the AirPods and see if that fixes the connectivity issues for the malfunctioning side.

To do that, just put both your AirPods (yes, even the working one) in their case and close the lid. Then you’ll need to leave it for at least 30 seconds before opening the lid.

After that, go to Bluetooth from the Settings on your device. Then, tap the circled “i” next to your AirPods, tap Forget This Device, and confirm. With the case lid open, press and hold the button located at the back for at least 15 seconds until you see the status light flashing amber.

Now, you can set up the connection again by placing the charging case next to your device with the lid open and following the prompts.

  1. Unbalanced Stereo Settings

Suppose one of your AirPods is working but just plays at a lower volume than the other. If the balance is so skewed, you might even think that one side isn’t working at all.

In that case, it’s best to check if there’s something wrong with your stereo balance settings.

The Fix: Adjust the Settings

Here’s how you can tackle this:

  • Go to your device’s Settings
  • Open Audio/Visual under Accessibility
  • Find the balance slider and adjust it to the middle

This should get your AirPods to play at the same volume.

Read more: AirPods case won’t turn on


The Takeaway

There are a lot of possible problems that could cause one AirPod to stop working, from low battery to faulty hardware.

You can try the simple fixes first, like checking the charging status, cleaning the AirPod, resetting the connection, or adjusting the audio balance.

However, if you gave those solutions a shot and the AirPod still doesn’t work or connect, it’s best to contact Apple Support for more help.