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(7 Fixes) Right AirPod Not Working [Updated 2023 Guide]

Right AirPod Not Working

When life gives you Apple and a broken right AirPod…

Ask for a refund. 


*But secretly hoping Apple will*

This isn’t the end, mi amigo.

I’ve been in the same boat as you are now. 

And it’s frustrating to listen with just one AirPod. 

That’s why I’m here…

To teach you the following:

  • 7 quick fixes to get your right AirPod up and running.
  • Your next best step when you’ve tried everything to fix your right AirPod.
  • How to take better care of your AirPods (so you can save on buying a new pair). 
  • And many more…

Why is my right AirPod not working?

Your right AirPod isn’t working because your Apple device’s software isn’t updated. Another reason could be that your audio settings are configured to play on one Airpod only. A common reason is a dirty AirPod that hasn’t been cleaned in a while. Finally, the worst cause is a dead AirPod battery.

Right AirPod not working: 7 fixes

#1: Update your Apple device’s software

One of my biggest regrets?

Buying an AirPods Pro because I panicked when one AirPod stopped working. 

And here’s why I shouldn’t have. 

I found out only recently – about 2 weeks ago – that my old Airpods weren’t the problem. 

“How did I find out?”

I was binge-watching Game of Thrones on my iPad and wondered why my AirPods didn’t have a silicone tip. 

As you might know, AirPods Pro has a silicone tip while older-gen AirPods don’t. 

And there you have it. 

When I tried my old AirPods on my iPhone, it didn’t work. 

But for some reason, it worked on my iPad. 

So, what gives? 

As it turns out, I just needed to update my iPhone’s software. 

And because I don’t want the same thing to happen to you, I’m telling you ahead of time. 

So, don’t panic. Test your AirPods on another Apple device

Or better yet, update all your Apple devices’ software

How to update your iPhone:

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone.
  2. Scroll down and tap “General.”
  3. Tap “Software Update.”
  4. At the very bottom, tap “Download and Install.”
  5. Tap “Install” and wait for the update to finish.

How to update your iPad:

  1.  Open Settings on your iPad. 
  2. Above “Control Center,” you should see “General.”
  3. Tap “General.”
  4. Under “About,” tap “Software Update.”
  5. Tap “Download and Install.”
  6. Wait for the update to finish downloading.
  7. Continue by tapping “Install.” 

#2: Restart your iPhone or iPad

Restart IPhone

In rare cases, your iPhone or iPad simply needs a reset. 

This issue is more common in iPhones or iPad that you’ve had for quite some time. 

Say for example your iPhone has been with you for 5 years. 

At this point, you might notice problems like:

  • Your battery drains faster.
  • Apps crash more than they used to.
  • Your phone feels oddly hot too often.
  • Notifications don’t load when you click on them. 
  • Your home screen takes longer to load your apps on display.

In short, you have an old iPhone or iPad. And if it wasn’t taken care of properly, well…

Expect it to degrade fairly fast. 

For an old Apple device, it’s more than likely that Bluetooth and WiFi connections become glitchy.

It’s unfortunate, but it’s inevitable for any smartphone. 

So, if your right AirPod doesn’t seem to work all of a sudden, give your iPhone or iPad a reset.

How to reset your iPhone:

  1. Press and hold the power button and volume down button. 
  2. Wait for a message to appear “slide to power off.”
  3. Drag the slider to the right to turn off your iPhone.
  4. Hold down the power button until you see an Apple logo.

Note: For older iPhone models like iPhone 8 or iPhone SE, just press the power button. You don’t need to press the volume down button to reset it. 

How to reset your iPad:

  1. Hold down the Power button of your iPad for 3 seconds. 
  2. Note: The power button is located at the top-right corner of your iPad. 
  3. Drag the slider to the right to turn off your iPad.
  4. Hold down the power button of your iPad again.
  5. Wait for the Apple logo to appear.

#3: Charge your AirPods for at least 15 minutes

Here’s a quick little fact. 

If you use your right AirPod for taking calls all the time, expect it to drain faster than your left AirPod. 

“How does this happen?”

Enter the daily life of using just your right AirPod:

  1. During rush hour traffic. 
  2. Walking around the mall. 
  3. During your lunch break at work. 
  4. While you’re shopping for groceries. 
  5. Having a meal to yourself in Taco Bell.
  6. Taking a call while brushing your teeth. 
  7. Cooking steak while listening to Gordon Ramsay’s instructions.

See – when you’re using your right AirPod like that all the time, you sap away more of its life force. 

Since you’re using it more, its life span and battery degrade faster over time. 

Reading recommendation: How Long Do AirPods Last Before Breaking?

Basically, your right AirPod works twice as hard while your left AirPod is just…chillin’ and vibin’.

What’s happening here is that maybe…

  • Your left AirPod is at 30% battery level.
  • Your right AirPod is already below 10%. 

Just to be sure, you can check each AirPod’s battery level:

  1. Flip open your AirPods case
  2. Make sure both of your AirPods are inside your case.
  3. Bring your AirPods closer to your iPhone or iPad.
  4. Wait a few seconds. 
  5. You should see the charge status of your AirPods case and AirPods.
  6. Take out one AirPod from your case. 
  7. The charge status will show each AirPod’s battery level.

If you see that your right AirPod is below 15% to 20%, charge your AirPods immediately. 

Hopefully, this solves your problem. 

But if it doesn’t, don’t worry. 

We still have 4 more fixes to go. 

#4: Reconfigure your AirPod’s audio settings

Did you know? 

Apple support says you can actually balance the sound level you hear from your right and left AirPod. 

Say your left AirPod has a higher sound level than your right AirPod. 

That means the music will be louder on your left AirPod than on your right AirPod.

However, in some cases, the sound level for one AirPod will be set to zero. 

In other words, your right AirPod isn’t working because…

  • The sound level of your right AirPod is set to zero.
  • Your right AirPod’s sound level is so low you can barely hear anything.

And when that happens, all you need to do is reconfigure your audio settings. 

Here’s how to do it:

  1. On your iPhone home screen, tap Settings.
  2. Tap “Accessibility.”
  3. Tap “Audio/Visual” (located under the Hearing section).
  4. Scroll down and look for “Balance.”
  5. Make sure the slider is set to the center between “L” and “R.”

Read also: 9 Ways To Fix The AirPods Connected But No Sound Issue

#5: Reset your AirPods then reconnect them

Reset AirPods Then Reconnect Them

Who loves spicy food here? 

Let me tell you. 

I’m not the biggest fan of anything spicy. 

So for me, “accidentally” eating a chili pepper is, well…literally shocking to my body. 

And for everyone else who doesn’t love spicy food.

When you reset your AirPods, it’s like eating a chili pepper they didn’t see coming.

In a sense, you’re literally shocking them too. 

AirPods be like…

“Woah! What the heck just happened there? 

I’m aaaaaliiiiivveee!” 

Sometimes, your AirPods need to be shocked every once in a while. 

See – most technology isn’t very…well, smart. 

Even though it claims to be. 

When you encounter a pairing issue, your AirPods can either recover or stumble.  

Should it stumble, you experience connection glitches.

And you get an AirPod that doesn’t work. 

This is why a reset is necessary. Jumpstarting your AirPods allows it to operate normally again.

And here’s how to do it: 

  1. Go to Settings on your iPhone. 
  2. In the Settings menu, tap “Bluetooth.”
  3. You’ll see a list of connected devices, including your AirPods. 
  4. Tap the “i” icon beside your AirPods device. 
  5. Select “Forget This Device.”
  6. Connect your AirPods to your iPhone again. 

Right AirPod still not working? 

Perhaps it’s about time you…

#6: Clean your AirPods

When was the last time you cleaned your AirPods?

I’ll be honest. 

Before I realized how much damage earwax and dust could do to my AirPods…

It was dirty for nearly 2 years.

And here’s what’s even worse. 

Earwax seems like it’s harmless but when it’s built up in your AirPods…

It affects the performance of your AirPod. And according to health professionals, it can even cause infections. 

So, here’s what you’ll need to clean your AirPods properly:

How to clean your AirPods

Cleaning tip #1: Use a Q-tip and toothpick for tight areas

Making use of a Q-tip and toothpick allows you to remove earwax and gunk easily.

Cleaning tip #2: Use a lint-free cloth for your AirPods case

A lint-free cloth is better for cleaning the surface of your AirPods and AirPods case.

Cleaning tip #3: For finishing touches, use a soft-bristled toothbrush.

There might be small gunk left behind. 

The bristles in a toothbrush should remove these easily.

Cleaning tip #4: Buy alcohol prep pads and a phone soap device for sanitization

Sanitizing is meant to kill the germs and bacteria in your AirPods. 

Need evidence that your AirPods are dirtier than you think? 

Look at all the dirt and earwax you’re wearing every day:

#7: Replace your right AirPod’s battery

It’s finally come to this. 

When all the fixes above don’t work, your next best step is to replace your AirPod’s battery. 

But before doing that, you can reach out to Apple first. 

This way, you can ask for a proper diagnosis. 

Apple should be able to inform you whether your AirPods need to be replaced or repaired. 

Hardware issues for AirPods are mostly battery-related. However…

Battery problems aren’t the only cause of your hardware issue. 

Should you find that your battery needs to be replaced, here’s a quick guide on the costs. 

AirPodsBattery Cost
AirPods (2nd gen and lower)$49 per AirPod
AirPods (3rd gen)$49 per AirPod
AirPods Pro$49 per AirPod
AirPods Max$79

In the event your AirPods are damaged, the cost to replace one is even higher. 

Say you find out your right AirPods’ battery is damaged. 

But instead of replacing the battery, you decide to replace your right AirPod. 

Well, it’s almost double the price you’d pay for Apple’s battery service. 

Note: For those who have AppleCare+, the service fee is a lot cheaper. 

AirPodsAppleCare+ fee (Damaged AirPod cost)Damaged AirPod cost
AirPods (2nd gen and lower)$29$69 per AirPod
AirPods (3rd gen)$29$69 per AirPod
AirPods Pro$29$89 per AirPod
AirPods Max$29Ask an Apple representative

How to take care of your AirPods

Whether your AirPods are brand new or a little older than a year, here are a few tips to keep it in great shape. 

Tips to take care of your AirPodsExplanation
Keep your AirPods within acceptable operating temperaturesExtreme conditions damage your AirPods battery and life span. For example, leaving your AirPods under direct sunlight or heat.
Store your AirPods in the case when you’re not using them.This protects the mesh, mic, and speakers of your AirPods. 
Clean your AirPods regularly.Cleaning your AirPods every 6 to 8 months is a good practice to follow.
Don’t overcharge your AirPods.Once your AirPods hit 100%, stop charging it immediately.
Don’t let your AirPods go below 20%.Using your AirPods below 20% battery leads to a decline in your battery’s overall capacity.