If your AirPods are flashing white but not connecting, here’s what you can do about it.
When your AirPods flash white, it means that they are entering pairing mode or attempting to connect to a nearby device. That’s why it’s perplexing when your AirPods flash white but won’t connect.
Sadly, aside from the AirPods’ flashing status light, there are no other clues as to what the precise issue is. So, you are left to determine the issue on your own.
Not to worry! Here’s a one-stop guide with all the possible fixes you can try if your AirPods are flashing white but not pairing. Read on!
In This Article
- Recharge the AirPods
- Clean the AirPods and the Case
- Toggle the Bluetooth Off and On
- Connect AirPods Individually
- Update Your AirPods
- Restart Your Device
- Keep Devices’ Software Updated
- Reset Your Network
- Reset, Reconnect, and Repair Your Devices
- Check if Your AirPods Are Fake
- If All Else Fails, Visit an Apple Service Center
Recharge the AirPods
If your AirPods are running out of charge, they might not have the power to maintain a connection to your device. Making sure your AirPods are fully charged could fix your problem!
For reference, the status light on your AirPods case can glow in two other colors. If the light is green, then it means that the case (or the AirPods in it) is fully charged. If you see an amber light, then the case or AirPods need charging.
To charge your AirPods, you should:
- Put your AirPods in their case and ensure they sit correctly in the sockets.
- Close the lid. Your AirPods should automatically shut down and start to charge. In addition, the status light on the case will glow amber.
- You likely need to charge the case if the light does not turn amber. Connect the case to a power source using a Lightning to USB Cable. If you have a wireless case, place the case with the status light pointing up at the center of your MagSafe charger.
If one of your AirPods refuses to charge, you should check out our article on what to do when only one AirPod charges to sort it out!
Clean the AirPods and the Case
Dirt or grime on your AirPods or case can cause an obstruction between the connectors on your AirPods and the case, which can result in pairing issues. This problem is because the case is struggling to register that the AirPods are there.
To make sure that it’s not a physical obstruction that’s causing your AirPods to flash white, you should clean your AirPods:
- Dampen a cloth with 70% isopropyl alcohol.
- Use this cloth to gently wipe your AirPods and case, avoiding the speaker grill and other openings in the casing.
- Wet a Q-tip with rubbing alcohol and use it to clean the speaker grill and the charging connectors inside the case (where you place your AirPods).
For a complete guide, check out our article on how to correctly clean AirPods and charging case.
Toggle the Bluetooth Off and On
Toggling your Bluetooth off and on will make your device restart its pairing process. This action will make your AirPods start pairing from the beginning, which might bypass whatever bug has stopped your AirPods from connecting.
To toggle your Bluetooth on an iPhone, you should:
- Open the settings of your device, and locate the Bluetooth menu.
- Open the Bluetooth menu, and tap on the switch to toggle your Bluetooth off. Tap again to turn it back on.
If you’re an Android user, you should:
- Open your Settings > Connections.
- Tap the switch to toggle your Bluetooth off then on.
Connect AirPods Individually
Some users have reported that they could fix this problem by connecting their AirPods one at a time. To do this, you should:
- Put just one AirPod in the case.
- Place the case next to your device and open the lid. The AirPod should connect to your device.
- Take the connected AirPod out of the case, and put the other. Repeat step two.
Update Your AirPods
When AirPod updates are released, they often fix bugs and glitches, which might be what’s causing your problem. In addition, AirPod updates also keep the earbuds compatible with newer devices.
To check if your AirPods need an update, you should:
- Open the Bluetooth settings of your connected device.
- Tap on the ‘i’ icon next to your AirPods in the list of connected devices. The icon will display the firmware version.
At the time of writing, the latest firmware for AirPods is 4E71. To learn how to update your AirPods, read our article on how to update your AirPods firmware.
Restart Your Device
When you restart your device, it will reset parts of the system. This action can fix several bugs and glitches that might be causing your AirPods to have connection issues. To restart your device, you should:
- Press and hold the power button on your device until a power menu comes up.
If you have an iPhone X, 11, 12, or 13, you’ll need to hold either volume button and the power button.(Video) How To Reset AirPods - Fix ANY and ALL Problems!!
- Select the Restart option. This option appears as a button on Android, whereas it’s a simple power slider on an iPhone.
- Wait for the device to restart, then sign in as usual.
- Go to Settings > Bluetooth and find your Connected Devices list. Hopefully, your AirPods will show up!
Keep Devices’ Software Updated
Just like with AirPods, your devices also work better when updated. Updates to your devices’ software maintain their functionality, efficiency, and even your device’s connection stability (such as Bluetooth).
Here’s how you can update your devices: Android
- Click the Settings of your device.
- Scroll down and select the System Updates option.
- In the new menu, click the Check for Updates option.
- If a new update is available, you can download the updated files. Then the update will automatically install.
- Go to Settings > General.
- Select Software Update.
- This page will display what version of iOS your device is currently using and whether an update is available.
- From here, you can select the option to install the update.
- Go to the Apple menu, then System Preferences.
- Click on Software Updates.
- If there’s a new version, select Update Now, and your Mac will begin to update.
Reset Your Network
Resetting the network on your device will make it forget all Bluetooth and WiFi connections. In addition, it forces your device and AirPods to restart their pairing process again and eliminate potential interferences from other wireless networks.
Remember, this will also forget your current WiFi network connection, so you must log back in afterward.
To reset your network, you should:
- Open the Settings of your device.
- Search for: Reset network settings.(Video) Fix Airpods Pro Connection issues | AirPods Pro Not Connecting to Problem Solved
- Then, click Reset Settings.
- Go to Settings > General.
- Select Reset, then Reset Network Settings.
Unfortunately, there is no way to reset your entire network on a Mac. However, you can:
- Go to the Apple menu, then System Preferences.
- Click Network.
- Select one of your devices (WiFi, and other connected devices) from the list. Then, click the minus (-) icon beneath the list of devices.
- In the pop-up, click Yes and do the same with the rest until everything is cleared.
- Finally, click Apply.
Reset, Reconnect, and Repair Your Devices
Resetting and reconnecting all of the devices involved to factory default can fix many issues. It will force the software of each device to restart entirely, in turn fixing any glitches affecting your AirPods.
- How to reset AirPods
- How to reset iPad and iPhone
- How to reset Android
How to reset AirPods
You should try this step before moving on to resetting your device to avoid the hassle of recovering the data you would lose.
To reset your AirPods, you should:
- Put your AirPods back in their case and close the lid. Wait for at least thirty seconds.
- Go to your device’s Bluetooth settings and click the ‘i’ icon next to your AirPods in the list of connected devices.
- A pop-up menu will appear. Select ‘Forget Device’ and confirm.
This will remove your AirPods from all the devices using the same Apple account.
- Open the lid of your charging case, then hold the setup button on the back for about fifteen seconds. The light will change from amber to white.
- Keep the lid open, and place the case next to your device. Hopefully, your AirPods will now connect! If not, then read on.
For more detailed instructions, check out our article on how to properly reset your AirPods. If your AirPods won’t reset, here are six troubleshooting options for you to try.
How to reset iPad and iPhone
To reset your iPad or iPhone, you should:
- Go to Settings > General.
- Select ‘Transfer or Reset iPhone/iPad’.
- Select ‘Erase All Content and Settings,’ and enter your password.
Resetting your iPhone or iPad to factory default will wipe all your files and information. However, you can follow these steps to back up your phone or tablet. When you’ve reset your device, you can restore its previous settings and files with this backup.
How to reset Android
To reset an Android phone, you should:
- Go to Settings > Backup and reset.
- Tap ‘Factory data reset,’ then ‘Reset Device.’
- Select ‘Erase Everything.’
Resetting your phone will erase all of your data. To back it up, follow these steps. You can then restore your files and settings with this backup.
Check if Your AirPods Are Fake
If none of the above solutions work for your AirPods, there is a possibility that they might be fake. Fake AirPods are usually of a much lower quality, making them more susceptible to bugs, glitches, and plain breaking.
A quick way to check if your AirPods are fake is using their serial number. Here are a few ways to find the serial number of your AirPods:
- Your Bluetooth Settings: If you’re using an Apple device, you can tap on the ‘More Info’ button in the list of connected devices. You can find the serial number there.
- Your AirPods Case: If you’re using the original case for AirPods or AirPods Pro, the number is on the underside of the lid.
- Your AirPods Max: For AirPods Max, the serial number is beneath the left ear cushion of the earbuds, not on the case.
- The Original Packaging: If you have kept the original packaging for your AirPods, the serial number will be above the barcode on the back.
Once you’ve found the serial number, go to the Apple Coverage Check webpage. Enter your serial code. If the AirPods are authentic, you will get a page showing the details of the earbuds.
Apple also released a quick AirPod validity test via the iOS 16 update. For more information and instructions on how to tell if your AirPods are fake, check out our article on how to check for counterfeit AirPods!
If All Else Fails, Visit an Apple Service Center
If you’ve tried all the steps above and your AirPods still won’t connect, you should visit an Apple Service Center. There, professionals can check your AirPods and either fix or replace them.
If you have AppleCare+, then this service will be free! If you’re wondering whether AppleCare+ is worth it, you should read our article on the plan.
To help streamline the process, you can list the troubleshooting steps you’ve already tried and give them to the Apple techs. This information will help them rule out the more common causes of the problem. You could even send them this article!
Additionally, it would be a good idea to find and record your serial number before heading to the service center. The number will be needed when you hand over your AirPods, so having it on hand will speed up the process.
Hopefully, your AirPods are back in your ears, and you’re listening to your music again. You now know what to do if this problem comes up again!
Was this article helpful? Which step fixed your AirPods, or did you find something we’ve missed? Make sure to leave a comment below!
What to do if your AirPods are flashing white but won t connect? ›
If your AirPods appear in the list of devices but they don't connect, click the X to the right of your AirPods to remove them from the list. Close the lid, wait 15 seconds, then open the lid. Press and hold the setup button on the charging case for up to 10 seconds.When I try to reset my AirPods the light stays white? ›
A white flashing light indicates that the AirPods are ready to connect to your Apple devices. If there's no light in the case and your AirPods are in it, it means that the case's battery is completely depleted and needs a recharge.Why won't my AirPods go into pairing mode? ›
There are many reasons why your AirPods might have trouble pairing with your Bluetooth devices. Some of the possible reasons include a low battery charge, Bluetooth issues, software update problems, hardware damage, debris on the AirPods or charging case, and more.How do I factory reset my AirPods? ›
Open the lid of your charging case, and put your AirPods in your ears. Go to Settings > Bluetooth. Or go to Settings > [your AirPods]. If your AirPods appear there as connected, tap the More Info button next to your AirPods, tap Forget This Device, then tap again to confirm.How do I manually pair my AirPods? ›
Make sure that Bluetooth is on. Put both AirPods in the charging case and open the lid. Press and hold the setup button on the back of the case until the status light flashes white. Select your AirPods in the Devices list, then click Connect.What happens if your AirPods won't reset? ›
AirPods not resetting properly is usually the result of a damaged charging case or the AirPods not being disconnected from a device. Dirt on the charging case connectors or the AirPods themselves can also prevent the factory rest process from initiating correctly. Check if your AirPods are real.How do I manually connect my AirPods? ›
On your device, go to Settings > Bluetooth, then turn on Bluetooth. Open the case with your AirPods inside, then hold it next to your device. Follow the onscreen instructions, then tap Done.How do I force an AirPods to update? ›
Because firmware updates are delivered automatically, you don't need to update your AirPods. To use your iPhone or iPad to check that your AirPods are up to date, make sure that you have the latest version of iOS or iPadOS. Go to Settings > Bluetooth, then tap the Info button next to the name of your AirPods.How do I remove an Airpod from previous owner? ›
Open the Find My app, then tap the Items tab or Devices tab. Tap the item or device you want to remove, then swipe up on the handle. Tap Remove Item or Remove This Device, then tap Remove to confirm.How long do AirPods last? ›
With multiple charges in your case, you get up to 30 hours of listening time,7 or up to 20 hours of talk time. Your AirPods (3rd generation) can get up to 6 hours of listening time (up to 5 hours with Spatial Audio enabled)9 or up to 4 hours of talk time on a single charge.
How do you put earbuds in pairing mode? ›
First, make sure that your earbuds are turned off. If they're not, press and hold the power button until they turn off. Once they're off, press and hold the power button for about 10 seconds. This will put your earbuds into "pairing mode."Why won t my AirPods stop flashing white? ›
When your AirPods flash white, it means that they are entering pairing mode or attempting to connect to a nearby device. That's why it's perplexing when your AirPods flash white but won't connect. Sadly, aside from the AirPods' flashing status light, there are no other clues as to what the precise issue is.How do I know if my AirPods has been factory reset? ›
Press and hold the Setup button for around 15 seconds, the internal light of the AirPods will flash white and turn to amber. Now the AirPods are reset.Can you Connect dead AirPods? ›
Previously paired AirPods can still work if you have a dead case, provided the earbuds themselves have sufficient charge.Can stolen AirPods be factory reset? ›
Generally, all the person has to do is to place the AirPods inside a charging case. After this, the Setup button will be held for some seconds. Once they are done with this, the AirPods will reset and they will not be paired with your iPhone or any other Apple devices you own again.Can someone use stolen AirPods? ›
While you can lock devices like your iPhone or Mac remotely with Lost Mode, you can't do the same with AirPods. That said, anyone can easily use stolen AirPods when they find them. Unfortunately, Apple Warranty or AppleCare+ do not cover lost and stolen AirPods.