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(5 Fixes) Left AirPod Not Working [Updated 2023 Guide]


Is it just me… Or is my left AirPod not working because Apple wants me to buy a brand new pair?


Not gonna happen.

Resiliency and resourcefulness are in our DNA. 

Wouldn’t you agree? 

So without further ado…

Let’s get that left AirPod fixed pronto!

Grab your AirPods and…

I’ll show you:

  • 5 easy fixes to wake up your left AirPod.
  • Why your left AirPod suddenly stopped working.
  • What the lifespan of AirPods is and if you can extend it.
  • How much it costs to replace a dead battery of an AirPod.
  • And many more…

Why is my left AirPod not working?

Your left AirPod isn’t working because of dirt, dust, or earwax that’s stuck. In effect, it leads to AirPod malfunctions. Another cause could be due to setting the wrong audio control. It may also be due to pairing issues because of a low battery. Lastly, your left AirPod might have a dead battery.

Left AirPod not working: 5 fixes

#1: Check if your left AirPod is fully charged

There are several ways to check if your left AirPod is fully charged. 

One way is through your battery widget. But that takes longer to do than this one simple process:

  1. Open your AirPods case. 
  2. Make sure your AirPods are inside.
  3. Bring your AirPods case close to your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad.
  4. Wait for 5 seconds.
  5. A charge status should appear. 
  6. Remove one AirPod from your AirPods case.
  7. A charge status for your left and right AirPod should appear.

Okay – what do you see? 

Is your left AirPod…

  • Below 20%?
  • Fully charged?
  • Showing a red icon below and a charge status isn’t available?

Reading recommendation: 9 Ways To Prevent AirPods From Dying So Fast

Here’s what to do for each scenario:

If your left AirPod is…What you should do
Below 20%.Charge your AirPods for a good 15 to 20 minutes. AirPods can’t operate normally when the battery levels are below 20%.
Fully charged.Proceed to fix #2 in the next section.
Showing a red icon and a charge status isn’t available.The charging port of your left AirPod could be dirty. Head to fix #2. 

#2: Clean your AirPods and AirPods case

Clean Your AirPods And AirPods Case

What happens when your left ear is full of ear wax and dirt? 

It gets harder to hear, right? 

And if you go to the ENT (ear, nose, throat) doctor, they’ll clean the wax buildup.

But back to your AirPods… 

Both your AirPods and AirPods case might need some cleaning.


Your AirPods ear tips are pressed to your ear for at least 10 hours+ a week. 

If you haven’t cleaned your ear tips for a year, well…

You know what to do, right? 

But wait – because there’s a proper way to clean your AirPods. 

What you’ll need:

For cleaning your AirPods

When cleaning your AirPods, there are a few do’s and dont’s to follow:

  • Use a damp lint-free cloth to clean your AirPods.
  • You can use a small amount of isopropyl alcohol.
  • Let your AirPods dry completely before using them.
  • Don’t use any sharp tool that can cause abrasion in your AirPods.
  • A Q-tip or cotton swab allows you to reach hard-to-reach areas.

For cleaning your AirPods case

Your AirPods case has the charging ports needed for each AirPod to charge. 

When these become full of dirt, think of dirt as a small barrier that prevents your AirPod from charging. So, here’s how to clean your case:

  • Make sure your AirPods case is dry before using it.
  • Use a Q-tip or cotton swab to reach your charging port. 
  • Use a soft-bristled brush to clean any remaining debris.
  • A damp, lint-free cloth with isopropyl alcohol should work. 

Bonus tips for cleaning your AirPods

If you go to the Apple support page, you’ll find mostly general cleaning tips. So, here are a few extra tips to make your AirPods look brand new:

Tips for cleaning your AirPodsExplanation
Use a phone soap device.For sanitizing your AirPods and AirPods case.
Don’t ever use putty or a magic spongeA putty will get stuck in your AirPods. Magic sponge? It breaks when you wipe your AirPods with it. 
Use an alcohol prep pad along with a Q-tip.An alcohol prep pad allows you to coat enough alcohol for your Q-tip.
Use a toothpick and gently scrape grime and earwax.A toothpick is perfect for reaching hard-to-reach areas. 

Here’s a video of what cleaning your AirPods looks like:

#3: Check your audio balance

Your audio balance works just like the standard volume control of any device. 


Instead of controlling volume, it controls the audio/sound that comes out of each AirPod. 

So, here lies the issue:

If your audio balance levels are set solely to your right AirPod, you won’t hear any sound from your left AirPod. 

Thankfully, this issue is easy to fix. Here’s how:

  1. Tap Settings on your iPhone home screen.
  2. Scroll down and tap “Accessibility.”
  3. Under the Hearing section, tap “Audio/Visual”.
  4. You should see “Balance” under “Phone Noise Cancellation.”
  5. Make sure the balance level is set to the center. 

You might also be interested in: (11 Fixes) Why Is One AirPod Louder Than The Other?

#4: Disconnect your AirPods and reconnect them again

If fixes #1, #2, and #3 didn’t work, don’t panic. 

I promise you that by the end of this guide you’ll have both of your AirPods up and running. 

Sometimes, the best fix is to disconnect and pair your AirPods again:  

  1. On your iPhone’s home screen, tap “Settings.”
  2. Tap “Bluetooth.”
  3. You should see a list of devices including your AirPods device.
  4. Tap the “i” icon located to the right of your device.
  5. At the bottom of your screen, tap “Forget This Device.”
  6. Pair your AirPods with your iPad, iPod touch, or iPhone again.
  7. Check if your left AirPod is working. 

Still didn’t work?

Here’s an interesting little hack. 

When I tried doing this the first time, it also didn’t solve my issue. 

But for some odd reason… 

I had to disconnect and pair my AirPods 3 times for this to work. 

#5: Do a hard reset

AirPods Hard Reset

Hard resets are a lifesaver. 

“Why do hard resets work?”

It’s like giving your AirPods a ton of caffeine to wake up.

Trust me. 

AirPods don’t have snooze capabilities like we do when we want 5 minutes more before getting out of bed. 

Caffeine dose on your AirPods?

Careful to not spill your coffee over them.


Let’s give your AirPods a hard reset:

Step 1: Make sure both AirPods are inside your AirPods case.

Step 2: Open the lid of your case.

Step 3: Press and hold the button at the back of your AirPods case.

Step 4: Hold it for 15 seconds. 

Step 5: Wait for a flashing white light and then an amber light.

For step 5, be sure to remember the following:

  • The amber light means the reset is complete.
  • If your case is a 1st generation case, pay attention to the internal light between your Airpods. 
  • If your AirPods case is a 2nd generation case, the light should appear at the front of your case.

Step 6: Connect your AirPods to your Apple device. 

People also ask:

What is the average life span of AirPods? 

The average life span of AirPods is 2 years. After that, expect your battery to degrade over time. 

Your AirPods use a Varta CoinPower lithium-ion battery. On average, lithium-ion batteries last for 2 to 3 years. 

After that, don’t expect these batteries to perform the same as when you first used them. 

Although your AirPods have a finite life span, that doesn’t mean you can’t use them anymore after 2 years. 

Put simply, 2 years is when you should expect to see a few problems crop up.

And that’s unavoidable. Considering there’s no battery out there that has an infinite source of energy. 

Well…not yet at least, right? 

“Tony Stark, you there?”

Can you extend the life span? 

There are several practices you can do to extend your AirPods’ life span. Here are a few tips to remember:

Tip #1: Don’t let your AirPods reach below 20%

If you’re constantly maxing out your AirPods battery life to 0%, good luck. 

Ever wonder why you hear a warning tone when your AirPods reach 10%? 

Did you think it was random? 

Big mistake. 

Every time your AirPods reach 0%, you’re discharging your batteries. 

Discharge your batteries continuously and your battery short circuits. 

As a result, your battery’s overall capacity declines and so do your AirPods life span. 

Think of a discharge the same way you would be exhausted after an intense workout. 

If you push your body to an extent where you have no energy left constantly, what happens? 

Your body can’t recover enough. And when your body can’t recover enough…

Your body suffers too, right? 

So, first tip and morale of the story. Don’t discharge your batteries. 

Once it hits 20%, charge your AirPods. 

Tip #2: Stop fiddling with your AirPods case

I fiddle with my AirPods case…a lot. 

Opening and closing the lid is somewhat addicting. 

And the sound it makes? 

There’s a voice in my head telling me: “Keep flipping it, Peter. Flip it more.”

Except, it ruins your AirPods too. 

“How so?”

Every time you open the lid of your AirPods case, you activate the Bluetooth chip. 

In other words, opening your case is like telling your AirPods to connect to a device via Bluetooth. 

Do that repeatedly and well…

Your AirPods are more than likely to break. 

Imagine opening and closing your mouth for 30 minutes straight.

You’d probably be sick of sucking up oxygen. 

Lesson to learn? Don’t flip your AirPods case, hombre.

Tip #3: Don’t leave your AirPods at 100% for too long

You might be thinking that fully charging your AirPods all the time is the best practice. 

That’s a myth.

Occasional 100% charges are fine. 

But 100% charges all the time aren’t healthy for your batteries. 

In addition, allowing your batteries to stay plugged in when it reaches 100% isn’t helpful either.


Because it causes mechanical stress. 

In effect, it degrades your battery’s overall life.

Keep your battery levels at 80% to reduce your batteries from wearing down too fast. 

Tip #4: Switch between wireless charging and regular charging

Wireless charging is cool, but it’s also inefficient. 

Wireless chargers use more energy to charge your device. Plus, it takes longer too. 

Because there’s more energy used, there’s more heat stress on your battery. 

And what does heat stress translate to?

Faster degradation.

Now, I’m not saying you should stop using wireless chargers. 

But rather, alternate between wireless chargers and regular chargers

Grab a plug and plug it into your power source. How hard can that be, right?

Tip #5: Avoid extreme weather or temperature conditions

Any Apple device including your AirPods doesn’t respond well to extreme conditions.

To be specific, don’t leave it inside a car during summer. 

Remember that guy on YouTube who blended iPhones and iPads for fun? 

That effin’ hurt, right?

Well, it probably hurts just as much to see your AirPods being barbecued inside your car too.

In fact, Apple agrees with me too. There’s a safety standard you should follow when it comes to these devices.

Tip #6: Disable any features you don’t use

If you don’t have any use for these features…

  • Spatial Audio.
  • Noise Cancellation.
  • Automatic ear detection.
  • Automatic device switching.

Then, disable those features. 

Smart features seem smart because they make your life more convenient. 

But they’re not smart enough to tell you it’s damaging your battery life. 

How much does it cost to replace the battery of an AirPod?

A battery replacement costs $49 per AirPod. 

If your AirPods are still covered by warranty, you’re in luck. 

However, most AirPods will have up to a 1-year warranty only. 

In the event both your AirPods batteries break down, the price to pay ain’t cheap. 

You’re looking at $98 for your AirPods alone. If the charging case has a defective battery, that’s another $49.

For an AirPods Max, it costs $79. Depending on your AirPods model and damage, Apple has varying prices for each unit.