No Sound in One AirPod? Try These Easy Steps

All it usually takes is a quick reset, but here are some troubleshooting tips.

Lisa Eadicicco Senior Editor
Lisa Eadicicco is a senior editor for CNET covering mobile devices. She has been writing about technology for almost a decade. Prior to joining CNET, Lisa served as a senior tech correspondent at Insider covering Apple and the broader consumer tech industry. She was also previously a tech columnist for Time Magazine and got her start as a staff writer for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide.
Expertise Apple, Samsung, Google, smartphones, smartwatches, wearables, fitness trackers
Lisa Eadicicco
3 min read
Apple AirPods 3rd gen on concrete ledge, NY skyline in background
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It's one of the most frustrating issues right before a workout or long commute. You flip open your AirPods and pop them in your ears, only to find that one isn't working. Luckily, there's an easy fix. The same steps apply to the original AirPods, the AirPods 2, the AirPods 3, the first-generation AirPods Pro and the AirPods Pro 2.

If you're experiencing issues with your AirPods, it's also a good idea to make sure your iPhone's Bluetooth is turned on. To do this, swipe down from the top right corner of the screen to launch the Control Center. Then, make sure the circle with the Bluetooth symbol is blue. If it's not, tap it to turn on Bluetooth. 

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Before you try the steps below, make sure both of your AirPods have a charge. Place both of them in their case, and then open the case's lid while holding it next to your iPhone or iPad. In a few seconds, you should see a small window on screen showing the charge status of each earbud and their case. You can also add the battery widget to your iPhone's home screen to quickly view battery levels. 

Ensuring sure your iPhone's software is up to date can also mitigate any potential AirPods issues. Software updates usually include security fixes and sometimes add new features to your AirPods, so it's a good idea to check regardless. Launch Settings, tap General and select Software Update.

How to fix one AirPod that isn't working

1. Put both AirPods back in their case and make sure they're charging. Let them charge for 30 seconds.

2. Open the case's lid near your iPhone or iPad, and wait for the AirPods to pop up on screen.

3. Put both AirPods in your ears and play music or a video to make sure audio is working.

How to reset your AirPods

1. To get started, make sure your AirPods are in their charging case with the lid closed.

2. After 30 seconds, open the lid to connect your AirPods with your iPhone or iPad. Launch the Settings menu on your mobile device and tap Bluetooth.


Open the Bluetooth section in your iPhone's Settings menu.

Screenshot by Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

 3. Find your AirPods in the list of Bluetooth devices and tap the i symbol next to it.


You can tap the i symbol to get more information about your AirPods or reset them.

Screenshot by Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

4. Choose Forget this device. You may have to scroll down to find this option.


Tap Forget This Device to reset your AirPods. 

Screenshot by Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

5. Once your AirPods are forgotten, open the charging case's lid and hold down the button on the back for about 15 seconds. The light on the front should flash white.

6. Now, hold your AirPods in their charging case with the lid open near your iPhone or iPad. You should see on-screen instructions for pairing them, just like the first time you set them up.

GIF by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Resetting your AirPods usually fixes this problem. But if you're still experiencing issues with one or both AirPods, check to make sure there is no debris obstructing the speaker mesh. Check out our guide to cleaning your AirPods for instructions on how to safely sanitize your earbuds and their case.

Looking for more advice? Check out our iOS 17 cheat sheet, list of Apple Watch tips and roundup of what to expect from iOS 18

17 Hidden iOS 17 Features You Should Definitely Know About

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