AirPods provide durable, true wireless sound for all your Bluetooth devices, but they’re also tiny sticks that sit in your ears — which means accidents can happen. Many people know the feeling of reaching up and suddenly realizing they only have one AirPod left in their ears, and no idea what happen to the other.
If a cursory search in the area doesn’t reveal the missing AirPod, don’t panic! Apple has a service designed just for these times. We’ll show you exactly what to do to find your missing AirPod or AirPod Pro.
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Step 1: Open the Find My app
The latest versions of iOS have a native app called Find My, which is a combination of the older Find My Phone app and a few other services, including one that allows you to track down your AirPods. Start by opening the Find My app. Sign in with your Apple ID, if necessary.
You can also access your browser and go to iCloud.com to find the web version of the service, but Find My is easier to use and helps you stay mobile as you continue your search, so we recommend that option.
If you’ve never used Find My before for any device, there’s a chance it won’t be able to help you find your AirPods. If you get a new Apple device, it’s a good idea to log into Find My to make sure it shows up!
Step 2: Locate your AirPods on the map
The Find My screen should display a map and a tools window that is by default set to People. Select Devices instead, and a list will pop up for all your signed-in devices and where they are.
Take a look at the icons on the map, and look for the AirPods icon. The map isn’t always accurate, but it may be accurate enough for you to realize where you left an AirPod so you can find it. This may be useful if you lost your AirPod on a commute, for example, or you aren’t sure if you left one at the gym or at work. If the map’s not helping, locate your AirPods on the list of devices and select for more options.
What happens if your AirPod battery is totally dead? Well, the map may not be of much help, but it may be able to show you the last place your AirPods were detected, which is a good starting point for finding them again.
Step 3: Play a chime to find the missing AirPod
With the AirPods selected, you will see new options including one that says Play Sound. This will make the unattended AirPods start chiming if they aren’t in your case. Before you begin, make sure you’re not still wearing your other AirPod (the chime can be loud), then select the Play Sound option and wait a moment.
Your AirPod should now start beeping with growing volume for around two minutes. This should enable you to find where you’ve left it around the house. Once you’ve located the AirPod, you can choose Stop Sound to end the playing. You will also see an option to switch the sound between either AirPod depending on the one that you have lost, or if you’ve lost both in different locations.
Site note: At this point, a certain number of people will soon discover that their dog ate their AirPod. If this is the case, don’t panic, just give your vet a call. For large dogs, the AirPod will probably pass naturally without much of a problem. It’s unlikely to work again, but there are reports that AirPods have been swallowed, pooped out, and remained functional in the past. If a small dog ate the AirPod, you may need to take additional steps, and your vet can help you out here.
When the AirPods are in your case
You’ll notice there’s no option to play a sound to find your AirPods case, just the AirPods themselves. You can’t make the case chime, there’s no sound feature on it. However, you may still be able to use the map to find the location of the case if you have lost it.
Additionally, if your AirPods are inside the charging case and the case itself is lost, then you probably can’t make the AirPods themselves chime, either: The Make a Sound feature will just say “Pending” instead of working. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to get any more information about the exact location of the case, so it’s time to play detective.
If the worst happens, you won’t be able to find your missing AirPod, or you’ll discover that it’s beyond help. The question every AirPods owner then has is, “Can I replace just one AirPod?”
The answer is yes! Apple offers services for AirPod repair and replacement, with a variety of different packages available. A normal AirPod — assuming you are out of warranty — will cost you $69 to replace. An AirPod Pro will cost you $89 to replace. This is pricey but less expensive than replacing both AirPods, at which point it’s probably better to think about getting a new set of AirPods entirely. If you do have a warranty, the price goes down to only $30 to replace an AirPod of either model.
Apple has to take care of this replacement itself, so give your nearest Apple Store a call and let them know what you have in mind so they can begin the process.