How to Find Missing or Lost AirPods

How To Find Your AirPod Case

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AirPods are expensive so the common knee-jerk reaction if you lose or misplace them is to panic. 

The same goes if you lose the case. Without the case, AirPods are practically useless. Plus they’re pretty pricey to replace. 

If you lose your AirPods, don’t lose hope just yet.

You may still be able to find and retrieve them. If you lose just the case, you may also be able to find it if one AirPod was left inside. Here are ways to do it.

Use the “Find My” App from the AppStore

Apple’s “Find My” app is designed for iOS users to track and locate different Apple devices including missing or lost AirPods. 

Using Bluetooth and GPS, you can use this app to track down any Apple Device that you may have lost or misplaced. 

Lost AirPods
‘Find My’ App screenshot | AppStore

Using the “Find My” App on iPhone

Here’s how to use this app on your iPhone to locate your lost AirPods or case with one AirPod still in it.

  1. Go to “Settings” on your iPhone. 
  2. Select your AirPods from the list of Available Devices.
  3. Click on the “Find My” tab and activate the service.
  4. Check if there’s a green light next to your AirPods. If there is, tap “Play” and increase the volume. When the AirPods are near, they will play a sound that you can hear and this helps you locate them. 
  5. If this doesn’t help, click on the “Car” icon to provide directions to your AirPods.
  6. If there’s a gray light next to your AirPods, then it means that the AirPod case is out of range, or that it’s dead. But it should show you its last location while it was online.

Using the “Find My” App on a PC

You can also do this on a PC. Go to the iCloud website from a PC and use the “Find My” services.

  1. On the website, find the iCloud drop menu. 
  2. Click “Find My iPhone”. 
  3. The browser should open a map with all your “Apple devices,” including your lost Apple AirPods. 
  4. Click on the “AirPods” to get their location. 
  5. If there’s a gray light, it means that the AirPods are out of range or offline, but you will be able to see their last location while they were online.

Use Lost Mode to Find the AirPod Case

If the above steps don’t work, there’s another method that you can try to locate your AirPods or AirPod case.

Lost Mode is a feature that’s available for iOS 15 and up. This approach will trigger a mass search of all iOS devices in the network. 

If your missing or lost AirPods are found, you will get a message with their location. But first, you have to put it in Lost Mode. Here’s how:

  1. Open the “Find My” app, and go to “Devices”.
  2. Click on your lost AirPods, and mark them as lost by clicking “Activate”.
  3. A pop-up will appear telling you what will happen if someone finds your Airpods. Just click “Continue”.
  4. You will be prompted to enter your phone number and email. That way, the person who finds your lost AirPods or AirPod case can contact you directly. 
  5. Then tap “Activate”.
Find My App List Device Feature
Find My App List Device Feature
Find My App List of Devices
List of Devices and their location

Locating an Empty AirPod Case

Unfortunately, the methods above would only work if both or either of the two AirPods is missing, or if the AirPod case containing one AirPod is missing.

That’s because the “Find My” app and its features are designed to work with the AirPods itself and not with the case. Only the AirPods can connect to Bluetooth, while the case itself doesn’t.

So if the AirPod case is empty when it went missing, then there’s really no way to locate it.

You can try the good old method of retracing your steps and checking the places you’ve been to but in the end, you’d probably have to end up buying a new AirPod case.

Just to give you an idea, a replacement AirPod case can cost $59 to $99 depending on the AirPods model that you have.

Hope that helps!

Even though Apple’s technology allows us to track missing devices, including AirPods. We shouldn’t really be too complacent.

Apple devices are generally expensive and can be a hassle to replace, so we should always be careful not to lose them. 

Actually, that goes for all gadgets, regardless of the brand.

A passion for writing and ongoing research projects gives Catherine an incredibly broad knowledge of all things. She has authored an incredible number of articles and can be found in the wilderness when not attached to technology or listening to podcasts.


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