One AirPod not Working

How To Fix One AirPod not Working

The AirPods come in a variety of different models, and usually, they pair seamlessly with a variety of Apple products that support Apple Bluetooth. However, there is an off chance that these AirPods can malfunction and fail to work properly.

One of the most common issues that people owning AirPods face is one of the AirPod’s not working when the other is completely fine. Although you may see this as a sign that your pair is no longer going to work and that maybe you need to find a left AirPod replacement, there are a few simple solutions that can help you fix your AirPods so that you can continue to enjoy audio privately.

Let us look at a few solutions.

Things to Do Before Trying Any Solution

There are often common errors that people make without even knowing. These can mess with your phone settings and cause issues like one AirPod not working. However, here are a few things you should try before you move on to the solutions listed in this article. Chances are that you won’t even need them, and the reason why your Airpods are not working is simply a case of user error.

  • Remove the Airpods from your ears and wait for 30 seconds to a minute. Then, at the same time, place both AirPods back into your ears. Check if the problem is solved. It sometimes happens that one AirPod takes longer to connect than the other. By waiting, you allow both AirPods sufficient time to connect.
  • Place both AirPods back into the charging case. Then, close the lid and leave them for up to a minute. Check and see if both AirPods are working. 
  • Check the battery levels of your AirPods. If the charging is low, they may not work as well as they normally do. Even if the battery is above 30 percent, leave your AirPods to charge in the case for up to 2 to 3 hours. 

Solutions you can try 

If none of the above methods work, then you can go ahead and try the solutions listed in this article one by one. At least one of these will be able to solve your worry of ‘Why is one of my AirPods not working.

Toggle the Bluetooth connection

 AirPods work via a Bluetooth connection. Therefore, if one of your AirPods is not working, it is smart to start with the simplest solutions. This solution includes checking the Bluetooth connection. Often there is a software glitch that can be resolved simply by turning Bluetooth off and then on. AirPods are also known to drop the Bluetooth connection for no apparent reason. Solving such a glitch can be done in the Settings app. Here is how to do it:

  1. Launch the Settings app on your Apple device
  2. Tap the Bluetooth tab. Click the encircled ‘i’ icon next to the AirPods list.
  3. An option will pop up to Forget This Device. Click on it.
  4. On your AirPods case, there will be a small button located near the bottom at the back of the case. It is not entirely visible, so you may have to feel for it. 
  5. Open the lid of the case, and hold down the button that you have located for 15 seconds. 
  6. Close the lid of the AirPods and open it again. 
  7. Hold the AirPods near your Apple device, and it should recognize AirPods, and a pop-up will open up asking you to set up the AirPods. 

Charge the AirPods

Charge the AirPods

If one of your AirPods is not working, there is a chance that it has run out of charge. You might think that batteries on both the AirPods work the same. However, they run at different rates, and one dying before the other is quite common. To see whether or not this is your problem, place both of your AirPods back into their case. Then, bring them close to your iPhone or iPad. Next, open the lid of the case. Your phone will show a pop-up that displays the battery levels of both your AirPods and your charging case. 

If the battery levels are low, charge your AirPods for at least 30 minutes.

Suppose audio is only coming from one ear and the other generates no sound. In that case, this issue could indicate that one of the Airpod’s earpieces is defective or has been accidentally damaged. Removing the debris will also fail at this stage.

Airpods are dependent on wireless connectivity and can only be paired via Bluetooth. (and within sourced range). You can pair AirPods with any kind of Apple device, such as an iPad or an iPhone, as well as with Android devices. If you have the AirPods connected to multiple operating systems, you may experience pairing issues that prevent the AirPods from connecting correctly.

Restart your iPhone

Restart your iPhone

If toggling the Bluetooth off and then on did not fix your issue, the problem could be your system software. To solve that issue, you can reboot your entire device. This method will take a few minutes and can help flush out your phone’s memory which helps fix your audio issues. Here is how to restart your iPhone.

If you use an iPhone X or above:

  1. Press and hold the power button on the right side of your phone and one of the volume buttons on the left side of your phone.
  2. A slider will pop up labeled ‘slide to power off.’ Drag the slider to the right.
  3. The screen will go blank, and within a few moments, your phone will turn off.
  4. Wait for a few minutes.
  5. Press and hold the power button. The Apple logo will appear, signaling that the phone is restarting.

If you use an iPhone SE, iPhone 8, or below:

  1. Press down on the power button and hold it there.
  2. A slider will appear labeled ‘slide to power off.’ Drag the slider to the right.
  3. The screen will go blank, and within a few moments, your phone will turn off.
  4. Wait for a few minutes
  5. Press and hold the power button. The Apple logo will appear, signaling that the phone is restarting.

Automatic ear detection on the left Airpod is not working.

Automatic Ear Detection is a new sensor technology that pauses or stops audio, podcasts, or other material you are listening to if you remove the AirPods from your ears.

If your Airpod does not cease playing music, make sure the option for Automatic Ear Detection is toggled ON- Green. Let’s take a look at the steps below to see if it works.

Start the Settings App > Select Bluetooth > press AirPods, then press the (i) symbol next to the name of your AirPods to enable Automatic Ear Detection.

If the settings are turned On/Green, switch it off/disable it and wait 15 seconds before turning it back on. Now verify once more.

Unfortunately, it does not work for you. Following that, you must ensure that both the AirPods and the left AirPod are clean! Given that the proximity sensor will not function in this situation, it is covered with ear wax or other gunk.

So, to clean Apple AirPods and AirPods charging case box, follow the instructions below.

Attempt Connecting AirPods with another iPhone

To ensure that your iPhone is operational and that the issue is with the left AirPod, link the AirPods to another iPhone or any other Bluetooth-enabled smartphone. Still, if the left AirPod stops functioning, the AirPods are most likely damaged.

Clean the charging terminals and your AirPods

Clean the charging terminals and your AirPods

With the constant use of devices such as AirPods, they may accumulate a lot of unwanted dirt, lint earwax, and other debris. Furthermore, this debris can accumulate on your AirPods’ grill or charging terminals. The former can result in muffling or complete blockage of sound. The latter can block the charging terminals from connecting properly to the AirPods resulting in the AirPods not charging properly. Issues like these can arise if you habitually put your AirPods in your pocket or bag. 

To clean the AirPods earbuds/ speaker grills, use a dry cloth and gently wipe away any debris that you see. If your AirPods are damp, use a dry cloth instead. You can also make use of a cue-tip to wipe off the dirt from hard-to-reach places such as the charging terminals or the speaker grills. 

After your AirPods are clean, check to see if the problem of the right AirPod not working or one AirPod not charging is fixed. 

Set the stereo balance your AirPods

Set the stereo balance your AirPods

Modern devices like the newer Apple devices all have a setting that allows you to route the audio to a single AirPods. This redirection can be the left or the right AirPod. The main purpose of this setting is to aid impaired users. However, this setting can be enabled accidentally, and shutting it off can restore audio in both your AirPods. To do this, follow these steps

  1. Launch the Settings app on your phone.
  2. Tap on the Accessibility tab
  3. Scroll to find the ‘Hearing’ category. Tap on the Audio/Visual.
  4. There will be a slider that goes from L to R. Adjust the slider so that it is midway between L and R.
  5. There is an option above the slider called Mono Audio. You can toggle it on and off. Ensure that it is in the off position.

Ensure your phone has the latest updates

One of the reasons why your AirPods are not connecting properly could be because of a software glitch. The easiest way to such an issue is to update your software. If your iPhone or iPad does not have the latest iOS update, go to the settings app and update your device. 

Reset the Airpods to their default settings

Reset the Airpods to their default settings

Another solution to the problem of only one AirPod working at a time is to hard reset your Airpods. This method is a fairly simple solution but can help you overcome any communication or software glitches that may be preventing your AirPods from connecting and working properly. To solve this issue, follow the steps below.

  1. Ensure that the charging case is sufficiently charged. 
  2. Place both the AirPods in the case.
  3. Open up the lid of the case.
  4. Locate the small button on the case. This button is usually on the back of the case near the bottom. 
  5. Once located, press and hold the button for 15 seconds. Hold it till the AirPods have reset. Do not let go prematurely, as the AirPods will go to pairing mode rather than reset mode.
  6. Close the lid of the case and open it again. 
  7. Bring the case near your iPhone. Your iPhone should recognize it and show a pop-up to connect the two devices.
  8. Connect the AirPods and check to see if both of your AirPods are working. 

Reset network settings

Apple devices such as the iPhone, iPad, and iMac have settings that control how your device connects to different networks, including Bluetooth devices. If there is a problem within those settings, your AirPods may not connect how they normally do. The easiest solution to such an issue is to reset these settings. However, by resetting, you will need to repair any Bluetooth device you had previously connected, including your AirPods. 

To reset these settings, follow these steps.

  1. Go to the Settings App
  2. Click on the Generals Tab
  3. There will be an option named Transfer or Reset Devices. Click on it.
  4. From here, go to the Reset Network Settings and tap on it.

After your settings have been reset, pair up your AirPods again and see if they work. The method to repair AirPods has been mentioned above. 

Reset the settings of your device

One reason why your AirPods are only playing in one ear could be due to problems in the settings of your device. One way to check whether the issue is with your device or AirPods is to try and connect another set of headphones or AirPods. If this secondary pair shows the same issue, the problem is probably with the device and not the AirPods itself. To solve this issue, you can reset the settings on your phone. However, you should take care that you are not deleting important data. 

Here is how you reset the settings of your device.

  1. Launch the Settings app
  2. Navigate to General
  3. Tap on the Transfer or Reset iPhone. 
  4. Tap Reset
  5. Tap the ‘Reset All Settings option.
  6. Your phone will ask for your passcode. Type it in to confirm.
  7. Wait for a few minutes for your device to reboot and reset. 

When it is done, check to see whether or not both your AirPods are working.

Ensure the different firmware versions are updated for the AirPods

When only one AirPod is connecting or playing audio, there could be an issue with the firmware of the AirPods. It is possible that the firmware of your left AirPod does not match that of the right AirPod. Inconsistent firmware can cause an issue on non-pairing between the two AirPods, and only one will connect with the device. You can check whether or not this is the issue through the Settings app. Navigate to General in the app and go to About and then AirPods. If the firmware version is different, leave that specific AirPod in the charging case near your iPhone for 2 to 3 hours. Make sure that the iPhone has an active internet connection.

When you play music on your iPhone, the Music widget will tell you how much battery life is available on your AirPods. Alternatively, whenever you shut or open the lid, and the iPhone’s screen is awake, the AirPods battery will be displayed to you.

To check the status of the battery of your AirPods on an Android smartphone, make use of the Airbattery App, which is accessible for free on the Google Play Store.

If you have AirPods 2, you can also obtain and install the Assistant Trigger Application; both applications are fantastic for Android AirPod users.

According to the description of the App, all Android users can use the listed Apps to double-tap and play/pause songs.

Charging your AirPods Case

If the left AirPod is still not functioning, charge the case first, then put back the left AirPod in the case and wait for it to charge.

In addition, make sure the iPhone iOS is current; the latest firmware, iOS 16.3 OTA (Over-The-Air), is now available for free to the public.

Contact Apple for Support

If none of these solutions work, likely, the problem is not something you can fix. Take your AirPods to the Apple store, and if you have purchased them less than a year ago, Apple will replace them free of cost.


Why is only one AirPod working?

If only one of your AirPod is working, there could be a variety of reasons such as a software glitch, firmware inconsistencies, dirt collection on the grills and charging terminals, and more. 

Why is my right AirPod not charging?

One of the reasons why one of your AirPods may not be charging could be that the charging terminals are dirty. You can clean them using a dry cloth or a cue-tip.

How to fix low volume in one AirPod?

If one of your AirPods is not playing any sound, or playing it at a very low volume, check to see whether or not there is any debris on the microphone or speaker mesh on your AirPod grill. If there is, clean it off. If not, check the balance of the AirPods in the Audio/Visual settings and ensure that it is set in the middle.

Why are Apple’s portable AirPods incompatible with Windows 10 and Windows 7 computers?

According to the Bluetooth technology incorporated into Airpods, it is compatible with Microsoft Windows devices, tablets, and smartphones.

To begin, you must have Bluetooth on your PC or laptop, and ensure that your PC Bluetooth is enabled so that it can easily find nearby Bluetooth devices. Consider the Apple AirPods.

One reader was attempting to pair his Bluetooth device with his Windows 10 notebook. However, his PC was unable to locate the AirPods. Even the Bluetooth setting was set to switch on.

That’s how we handled his AirPods not functioning on Windows Laptop Error, eventually fixing it using the troubleshooting steps below.

  • Turn off Bluetooth on your Windows laptop and enable Airplane mode.
  • Wait 15 seconds before turning off Airplane mode and turning on Bluetooth.
  • Now, Reset the Airpods by pressing and holding the button on the back of your AirPods charging case, and you should be able to communicate with a Windows laptop.

We hope you find this technique helpful in resolving the Windows computer and Apple AirPods issue.


  • If you are not the administrator of the computer or laptop, you cannot make any adjustments that necessitate contacting the admin.
  • If the Bluetooth driver is not correctly installed, the AirPods will not play audio with Windows.
  • Please obtain and install the Bluetooth hardware driver for your Windows machine.

How to Use an Apple AirPods as a Mic in Windows

To use Apple AirPods as a mic on a Windows computer, follow the instructions given below

  • In Device Manager, navigate to Game, video, and sound devices
  • There are two AirPods accessories: Hands-Free AirPods and Stereo AirPods

You’ll need to deactivate (right-click and disable) AirPods only in stereo

It keeps your iPhone linked at all times and allows you to use it on your PC – for example, essential to connect with Google voice and dictation. You do not need to change anything. 


Problems with devices are often quite common, and such issues can also arise with devices such as AirPods. Through the solutions provided in this article, the answers to why are one of my AirPods is not working or why is my left AirPod is not working should be solved. If not, your issue can only be solved by Apple’s customer care service. They will either repair them or replace them.

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Abdul Wahab is a Software Engineer by profession and a Tech geek by nature. Having been associated with the tech industry for the last five years, he has covered a wide range of Tech topics and produced well-researched and engaging content. You will mostly find him reviewing tech products and writing blog posts. Binge-watching tech reviews and endlessly reading tech blogs are his favorite hobbies.