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How to Fix AirPods Keep Disconnecting: A 10-Step Guide

Follow these tips to fix your AirPods connection issues

AirPods keep disconnecting

Why do AirPods keep disconnecting from iPhone?

What to do when AirPods keep disconnecting?

Fixing AirPods connection issues isn’t a clean cut-and-dried process, though. There’s not a definitive way to know for sure why your AirPods keep disconnecting. It could be the sensors inside the AirPods, or maybe the microphones or Bluetooth interference.

Or maybe you’ve bought yourself a fake pair of AirPods. For more info on how to spot fake AirPods, read this guide.

To get a sense of your AirPods connection issues, follow the steps below and cross-reference your results.

Fix AirPods Keep Disconnecting from iPhone

  1. Check AirPods battery status
  2. Checking your Bluetooth
  3. Check iPhone audio settings
  4. Disconnect and reconnect your AirPods
  5. Turn off Automatic Ear Detection
  6. Use only one AirPods
  7. Clean your AirPods
  8. Turn off Wi-Fi
  9. Unpair other Apple Devices connected to your iPhone
  10. Check for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth interference

1. Check AirPods Battery Status

The first step you must take might seem obvious, but so you can rule it out as the cause of your issues ensure your AirPods are fully charged. To check the charge of your AirPods simply place your AirPods into their case with the lid open, then hold the case next to your iPhone. This displays a pop-up window that shows you the charge levels of both your AirPods and the charging case.

checking AirPods battery charge
Screenshot: Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

You can also check your AirPods battery status in the widget section by swiping to the right on your iPhone home screen. But first you’ll need to the batteries widget. Scroll down to the end and tap “Edit”, then add “Batteries”. This widget will show all your connected Apple devices to this iPhone.

2. Checking Your Bluetooth Status

After confirming your AirPods are fully charged, you’ll want to check to see if your Bluetooth is turned on for your iPhone as well. To check if your Bluetooth is turned navigate to the control center by swiping up on the phone.

Bluetooth settings iPhone
Screenshot: Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

The bottom right icon in the box on the top right corner should be blue if your Bluetooth is turned on. You may also want to try turning your Bluetooth off and on by simply tapping the Bluetooth button.

3. Check iPhone Audio Settings

Next, you’ll want to check to see if your AirPods are the selected audio device for the app you’re playing audio through. You can check which device your app is trying to play audio through in the lock screen.

Simply pressing the button next to the description of what is playing pulls up a small menu for selecting an audio device. If you’re trying to use your AirPods during a phone call, pressing the speaker button pulls up this menu as well.

4. Disconnect and Reconnect Your AirPods

connecting AirPods to iPhone
Screenshot: Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

Just like most technology, turning your AirPods off and on again could solve your issues. To disconnect your AirPods from any devices simply put them in their case and close the lid. After about 15 seconds, they will shut off.

After they shut off, open the lid back up and hold the button for setting up the AirPods on the back of the case until the light flashes amber then white. This resets your AirPods completely disconnecting them from your devices. Check what to do if your AirPods are flashing orange.

Now that your AirPods are completely disconnected, you can reconnect them. To reconnect them, simply place them next to your iPhone with your Bluetooth turned on. This causes a pop up on your iPhone with a button that says “Connect.” Press the “Connect” button and follow the set up instructions.

5. Turn Off Automatic Ear Detection

The “Automatic Ear Detection” feature of the AirPods seem to cause issues with their connections if they’re not detecting that they are in your ear. This can cause them to not register as an audio device for your iPhone. Turning off the automatic ear detection determines if this feature is causing your issues.

Turning off Automatic Ear Detection
Screenshot: Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

To turn off the “Automatic Ear Detection” feature, navigate to the settings of your iPhone then select Bluetooth. Within this menu, you should see your AirPods as one of the devices. Press the “i” on the right side of the AirPods line then deselect the automatic ear detection feature.

6. Use Only One AirPods

Sometimes the way the AirPods communicate with each other causes connection issues. So, sometimes using just one AirPod and leaving the other in the case solves the connection issues. While this might not be optimal, it at least allows you to use them until you find a more permanent solution.

To use just one of the AirPods simply leave one of them in the charging case instead of taking both of them out. This leaves just one of the AirPods to pair with your device.

You could also try turning off the microphone on just one of the AirPods. To turn off the microphone on just one of your AirPods, navigate to the settings of your iPhone then select Bluetooth. Within this menu press the “i” next to your AirPods and select “Microphone.” From here you can choose to only activate the microphone on one of your AirPods instead of both of them.

7. Clean Your AirPods

Dirt and grime could cause interruptions in the Bluetooth of your AirPods. So, cleaning them could be the solution you need. To clean your AirPods, take a microfiber cloth and wipe down the entirety of the outside of them. Then use a toothbrush to clean the areas that go inside your ears. AirPods are not cheap, clean them regularly to prevent connection issues.

8. Turn Off Wi-Fi

Some people found that turning off their Wi-Fi resolved their AirPods connection issues. It’s still unclear why this helps, but some found this to be the solution that worked for their device.

You can easily turn off your Wi-Fi from the command centre. Simply swipe up on your screen then press the icon in the top right of the box in the top left. You can also turn off your Wi-Fi from the settings of your iPhone.

9. Unpair Other Apple Devices Connected to Your iPhone

Other Apple devices could cause conflicts within your iPhone causing it to disconnect your AirPods. So, try unpairing any other Apple device connected to your iPhone.

You can unpair other devices by navigating to the setting app then selecting Bluetooth. From this menu, select the “i” next to any device you want to unpair and press “Forget this Device.”

It could also be any other bluetooth device connected to your iPhone, so you can try unpairing any other devices you have connected to your iPhone as well.

10. Check for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Interference

Finally, the problem could be from interference with your Bluetooth connection from an entirely separate device. There are a wide variety of devices that produce frequencies similar to the ones used by Bluetooth that can cause interference. If you find your AirPods only disconnect when they’re not in close proximity to your phone, this is most likely the issue.

The most common household items that can cause Bluetooth interference include:

  • Microwave ovens
  • Fluorescent lights
  • Wireless video cameras
  • Cordless phones

Your Wi-Fi could also cause interference with your Bluetooth connection. This is due to both Wi-Fi commonly using the 2.4 GHz frequency spectrum, the same one as Bluetooth. So, if you can, switch all of your devices over to a 5 GHz Wi-Fi connection common on most modern routers.

AirPods Keep Disconnecting from Mac

Many users have reported their AirPods keep disconnecting from Mac. Whether that happens when you’re listening to music or watching Netflix, the steps below will help you fix the issue.

AirPods keep disconnecting from mac
Screenshot: Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

Click “System Preferences” on your Mac, then “Sound”. A new tab will open, click “Output” and click on your AirPods’ name. Repeat these steps for the input tab.

If the problem persists, you may need to reset the Bluetooth in your Mac.

Go back to “System Preferences”, click on Bluetooth, then check off the box beside “Show Bluetooth in menu bar”. Next, press and hold down the “Shift” and “Option” keys, and click on the Bluetooth icon in the menu bar.

From the dropdown menu, click on “Debug”, then “Reset the Bluetooth module”. A popup window will appear asking you to confirm your action. Click on “Yes” to confirm. Keep in mind, this will erase all connected Bluetooth devices to your Mac.

Finally restart your Mac and pair your AirPods.

Wrapping Up

If none of the above tips helped you fix your AirPods keep disconnecting issue, you may take them to your nearest Apple store. Before making a trip to the Apple store, it’s worth checking your AirPods warranty status.

In case your coverage already expired and the geeks weren’t helpful at all, there’re some amazing AirPods deals at Amazon you can grab right now.

If you found this guide helpful, please share and/or recommend it so your friends can enjoy it too.

    1. Just FYI I had this issue and I clicked on “AirPods” on the Bluetooth connection screen and named my AirPods and they are connected and haven’t disconnected since.

      1. Hello All. Dear Justin, unbelievable but true, it works!
        I literally tried every option multiple times, thinking that I would have to send them back.
        I renamed them to “my Airpods”, and now they are not disconnecting.
        Having already renamed them upon initial setup, I was sceptical, but they work.
        The initial name I gave them was one word. I’m not in the mood to try and rename them to test if it is the one word that is the issue, as I spent hours on this 😀
        Thank you!

        1. Yeah this worked for me too lmao. I just tried to rename it asap before it disconnected and ended up spamming the keyboard and naming my airpods didjs (Airpod pros btw). This is the real fix lol

  1. Hey DK,

    Thanks for stopping by. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to fixing Airpods that keep disconnecting. However, these tips have worked for other people, including myself.

  2. My Airpods keep disconnecting from every kind of devices; iPhone, iPad, MacBook, Sony Vaio notebook, Samsung Galaxy S10+ android mobile phone, etc; after every several seconds of connecting, starting with the right side then the left side after a few months.

    My Airpods started this repeated auto-disconnect by one side. I tried every solution I could find out on the internet, but still not solved.

    Check the AirPods Battery Status to 100%
    Check for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth interference
    Use only one AirPods
    Use Either Left or Right Microphone
    Turn off Automatic Ear Detection
    Disconnect and reconnect AirPods
    Forgetting and Re-pairing AirPods
    Clean my AirPods
    Reset Network Settings
    Changing Outputs on devices

    I took the AirPods to the official apple service in Thailand tried all the resetting including the AirPods and my other apple devices and got nothing solved. Just wasted plenty of time.

    Now, this happened to both sides of my AirPods. Someone advised that the problem is the Bluetooth unit of the AirPods that have a short lifespan. Fortunately, I didn’t try the expensive bluetooth replacement with the first broken before the second side followed.

    Is Apple ignoring this low standard short-life device resulting in untrustworthy?

    Am I one of the poor Apple followers…?

    1. Hi Aroonchai, happy to have you in the comments. Do you have the Airpods 1st GEN by any chance? They’re known for having connection issues.

        1. Hey Mary, thanks for dropping by. Sorry to hear that your AirPods are losing connection. Did you follow the steps in this guide and still need help?

      1. I have 1st Gen AirPods and they will not stay connected for more than 20 seconds. They used to work fine until the second-gen came out. every 3 months or so I try to see if there is a fix but nothing has worked, I tried all the ones above but nothing. even tried renaming it a bunch of times but nothing helps. anything else? I want to buy new ones but I was always hoping I could get these to work again.

  3. My AirPods only disconnect while talking on the phone. They are Gen 2, and my iPhone is a 6S+. Will buying a new pair of AirPods actually fix this disconnecting issue do I also need to purchase a new iPhone?

    1. Hi Michelle, Actually I own the 2nd gen AirPods and they still work fine with my iPhone SE 1st gen. Never had any prob with them. I wouldn’t buy a new phone, I’ll try to fix the connection issues first. Did you follow the steps in this guide and nothing worked?

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