AirPods Keep Disconnecting, Fix

This article explains how you can fix when your AirPods keep disconnecting (and sometimes reconnecting) randomly and frequently from your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch or Mac. Are you having this problem too? Many users have been reporting problems with their AirPods connectivity where they connect and disconnect again and again, sometimes within seconds. Another common issue is that one (left or right) of the AirPods experience this problem while the other one works as expected. It seems that both AirPods and AirPods Pro models are affected by this problem.

AirPods connect

Hopefully, this article will help you get your AirPods to function properly.

Related articles:

AirPods connection problem

Before we start, please see the following tips first:

  • Make sure that Airplane Mode is not enabled (Settings > Airplane Mode). Likewise, make sure that Bluetooth is turned on the device.
  • Restart your device, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch or Mac.
  • If you experience sound issues, see this article.
  • Make sure that your AirPods are charged and turned on. (Wireless charging not working?)
  • Make sure that your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch or your Mac has the latest version of iOS, iPadOS, watchOS or macOS. If not you may want to update your device. You can update your iPhone, iPad or watch by going to Settings > General > Software Update. You can update your Mac by going to System Preferences > Software Update.
  • Make sure that your device is not too far from your AirPods.
  • If you are experiencing this problem with your iPhone or iPad, place your AirPods in the case, and close its lid. Wait for 15 seconds. Open the lid. Press and hold the setup button (on the back of the charging case) until the LED status light flashes white. This indicates that your AirPods are ready to connect. Open the case and then follow the onscreen instructions on your iPad or iPhone.
  • If you are experiencing this issue with your Mac, on your Mac, click the Apple menu > System Preferences > Bluetooth. You will see your Bluetooth devices, find and select your AirPods and click the (x) delete button to remove it. Restart your Mac. Then put your AirPods in the charging case, close the lid and wait for 15 seconds and open the lid, then press and hold the setup button (located on the back of the charging case) until it flashes white. Then on your Mac, select the AirPods in the Bluetooth Devices list (System Preferences > Bluetooth) and then click the Connect button.

If you are still having this issue, you may want to reset your AirPods. Resetting may fix your connection problem. Doing so will reset your AirPods to its factory settings. Here is how you can reset your AirPods:

  • Place your AirPods in the charging case.
  • Close its lid.
  • Wait for 30 seconds.
  • Open its lid.
  • On your iOS device, tap Settings > Bluetooth and then tap the (i) info icon next to your AirPods.
  • Tap Forget This Device. Then restart your device.
  • Now, while the lid open, press and hold the setup button for 15 seconds until the status LED light flashes amber. AirPods Set Up Button
  • Now reconnect your device (the lid is still open) by placing your AirPods close to your iOS device. Then simply follow the onscreen instructions on your iOS device.

Other possible causes

If you are still having this problem, there may be other issues. Wireless interference can cause Bluetooth problems which may affect your AirPods.  To avoid this, make sure that your devices are close together. And furthermore, do not use your AirPods around common sources of interference such as microwave ovens, power cables, cordless phones, video cameras, fluorescent lightbulbs, or any device that’s wireless, etc.

So you tried everything and your AirPods are still disconnecting, you may be having a hardware problem. Check your warranty and then you may want to contact Apple Support.

Dr. Serhat Kurt worked as a Senior Technology Director. He holds a doctoral degree (or doctorate) from the University of Illinois at Urbana / Champaign and a master’s degree from Purdue University. Here is his LinkedIn profile.

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15 thoughts on “AirPods Keep Disconnecting, Fix”

  1. Out of the box, my 2nd Gen Airpods had this problem. It would connect to my iphone Xr and then disconnect 10 seconds later. This same behavior also happened with connecting with other devices as well (iphone 8, PC Windows laptop). I spent hours trying all posted “solutions” (ie. resetting devices, repairing, turning off useful airpod features) and nothing solved this issue. I have other cheaper bluetooth earbuds that work flawlessly with same devices and same environment. I expected the expensive Apple airpods to work better so I am very disappointed. Apple Support line was no help, and actually gave me incorrect info about returning the product. Apparently they are unaware of their own return policy.
    On the phone, they said
    1. The product could not be returned to a physical Apple store, it had to be mailed in.
    2. The only 2 options were to return or repair. Exchange was not an option for a brand new defective product.
    3. That I could only return 14 days from “date of purchase” (not date I received product)
    Pretty much all 3 were mis-information. Apple’s own website says you can return product to a physical store, 14 days from when product was received, and there is an option to exchange a defective product (as opposed to repairing a product that was defective out of the box). So overall a bad experience purchasing these expensive Apple Airpods. I was expecting Apple to just quickly ship me a new pair for the inconvenience but I guess quality, support and customer satisfaction are not important to Apple. I am hesitant to buy another pair since since my options will be limited after the 14 days and it’s clrear that this is a big problem having read all the posts on this subject. Will be shopping around for alternatives.

  2. My AirPods will connect to my phone, but after 20 minute the left one will disconnect or both will disconnect. Sometimes it will go an hour without disconnecting, and other times it will disconnect and the right one will connect after a few seconds. When I put them into the case and take the back out, they work again. It all started when I upgraded to iPhone 12 Pro Max (may be just coincidence). The same issue is happening with my MacBook and AppleTV, except it will play longer before disconnecting on my AppleTV. The AirPods are a couple of years old. Battery is fully charged (left battery drains at a faster rate than the right). All devices are on the latest OS. I tried deleting and pairing again. Doesn’t help.

  3. My problem is i switched using my airpods from my iPhone 7+ to my iPhone 8+
    And for some reason my airpods only connects to my new 8+ for a few seconds then disconnects as soon as i put my headphones on but my iPhone 7+ wasn’t doing that.. also when i do connect it never seems to tell my the battery of my airpods or case like my 7+ does

  4. My Airpods automatically disconnects from my Mac whenever my Iphone receives a message or notification. This occurrence started when I upgraded to Big Sur. Please help. Thanks

    • That would be due to the automatic switching feature they introduced in Big Sur, I find that it works rather well for me but if that’s not your experience then you can disable it in the bluetooth setting on either your phone or your Mac.
      To disable it go Settings > Bluetooth > Options tab next to your AirPods > “Connect to this Mac/Iphone” and then pick “when last connected to this Mac/Iphone” instead of “Automatically”

  5. This may help, connect your AirPods. Open the Bluetooth function. Press on the I from your AirPods and disable automatic ear detection. To be sure also set microphone detection so 1 side of the pod instead of automatically. Hope this helps!

  6. My problem is that when I “connect” my AirPods to my phone, they’ll say they’re connected but then I try to play music or any kind of audio and my phone becomes really laggy and slow, the audio does not play, and then they disconnect. Anyone else have the same problem?

    • Yes! I have that exact same problem. The only troubleshooting that has worked is turning off my Apple Watch Bluetooth. As soon as my watch disconnected from my iPhone, the AirPod Pros started playing. I’d like a better solution than that though!

  7. Whenever I connect the airpods with my mac it disconnect after a few seconds. This issue does not happen on my other devices such as my phone.

  8. My AirPods 1 don’t work on calls, they keep disconnecting only on calls and it works fine otherwise while listening to music etc.

    I’m facing this issue since 2 months and watched all videos and tried all suggestions. Please let me know if it can be fixed or not.

  9. I face the problem of AirPods getting disconnected again and again in zoom cloud meetings. Else its working fine on MacBook Air 13″ 2017 mode.


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