How to Fix AirPods Connecting While in Case

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AirPods and AirPods Pro connecting to paired devices while in the case is a common issue. Some users experience it randomly, while others face it constantly, even on new devices. This problem drains the battery while the AirPods are still in the case, leaving them unusable when needed.

In this guide, we’ll explore 9 quick and proven ways to fix this issue in 2023. We’ll start by discussing the reasons why AirPods connect while in the case, followed by the steps needed to resolve the issue.

Why Do My AirPods Connect When They’re in the Case?

If your AirPods or AirPods Pro fail to connect while in their case, there are several possible reasons, including a faulty case, depleted battery, debris within the case impeding contact with the AirPods, or a software glitch or automatic ear detection feature that is enabled.

Why Do My AirPods Connect When They’re in the Case?

Rest assured that with careful troubleshooting, we can quickly identify and address the issue, so you can enjoy your AirPods or AirPods Pro to their fullest potential.

1. Case is Faulty

If the charging case is faulty, your AirPods may connect even when they are placed in the case. This is because the faulty case does not establish a connection with the AirPods or charge them at all, leaving them just as available for pairing as they would be if they were not in the case or if the case was actually open.

2. Case Is Out of Power

One possible explanation for AirPods connecting while in the case is that the case may be out of power, causing it to no longer charge the AirPods. It’s important to note that in this case, the AirPods are just as vulnerable as they are when they are not in the case.

To check if the case is out of power, simply open the case and look for an orange or green light. If no light appears, it is likely that the case is out of power and needs to be charged.

3. Debris In the Case

If there is any debris in the charging case, it may cause a disruption in the connection or contact between the AirPods and the charging case. Consequently, the AirPods may not be detected as being in the case, even though they have been properly placed inside.

4. AirPods Are Fully Charged

AirPods will occasionally disconnect from the charging case and automatically connect to the last paired device, provided that the Bluetooth on that device is still on, once they have become fully charged in the case.

5. Software Glitch

There is a strong possibility that this issue is caused by a software glitch. It has been reported by many users that this issue is associated with the 4C165 firmware version, and some have even experienced it with more recent firmware versions. However, we are confident that we can resolve this issue for you.

6. Automatic Ear Detection Feature Is Off

With the automatic ear detection feature on iPhones and iPads, AirPods are able to accurately detect when they’re in your ear and receive audio from your device.

However, if you turn off the ‘Automatic Ear Detection’ feature, audio will play through your AirPods regardless of whether they’re in the case or in your ear. Therefore, if you’ve disabled this feature, it could be the cause of the issue.

Now, let’s examine some effective methods for resolving the problem of AirPods that keep connecting while in the case, which have been proven to work.

How to Fix AirPods Connecting While in Case

To resolve the issue of your AirPods connecting while in the case, simply activate the ‘Automatic Ear Detection’ feature on your iPhone or iPad. Follow these steps: go to Settings > Bluetooth, click on the info (‘i’) icon beside your AirPods listed under ‘My Devices’, and finally switch on ‘Automatic Ear Detection’.

How to Fix AirPods Connecting While in Case

If the feature is already activated and your AirPods still connect while in the case, there are at least 8 other solutions you can try, depending on the root cause of the issue. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Let’s take a look at each one, step by step.

1. Turn On Automatic Ear Detection

To fix the issue, start by checking if you have turned off the ‘Automatic Ear Detection‘ feature. If so, simply turn it back on. Many users with AirPods that connected while in the case were able to resolve the issue this way.

How to Fix AirPods Connecting While in Case

Follow these steps to turn on the automatic ear detection feature:

  • On your iPhone or iPad, go to Settings > Bluetooth.
  • Look for your AirPods under ‘My devices’ and tap the info (‘i’) icon next to it.
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the page and make sure the ‘Automatic Ear Detection‘ option is turned on.
  • Once you have turned it on, your AirPods should stop connecting while they are in the case.

2. Clean AirPods Case

To fix AirPods that are connecting while in case, cleaning the inside of your charging case is a confident solution. As previously explained, debris inside the case can prevent contact with the AirPods and cause them to appear as if they are not in the case. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Blow into the charging port of your AirPods case to remove any dirt or debris. You may also use a cotton swab to clean it.
  • Remove the rubber tips from your AirPods and ensure that everything is clean. This is crucial as any dirt around the tip of the AirPods can trigger the ear sensor, even if it’s inside the case.
  • Once you are done cleaning, put your AirPods back into the case for a few minutes to charge.
  • After charging, you can leave your AirPods in the closed case and they shouldn’t connect to your phone or laptop anymore.

3. Charge the AirPods Case

When your AirPods run out of power, they won’t connect even if they’re in the case. However, if your AirPods still have battery and Bluetooth is turned on your device, they can connect while in the case.

Why Do My AirPods Connect When They’re in the Case?

To fix this, charge your case. You can do this with a Qi-certified charging mat or the Lightning cable that came with your AirPods.

Once your case is charged, your AirPods should stop connecting while they’re in the case.

4. Reset the AirPods

If your AirPods are still connecting while in the charging case, don’t fret! You can easily reset them to fix the issue. There are two ways to do this: using the setup button on the AirPods or the ‘forget this device’ option. Here are the steps to reset your AirPods using the setup button:

  • Press and hold the setup button on the Charging Case for approximately 15 seconds.
  • Release the setup button when the status light flashes orange/amber, then flashes white.
  • Your AirPods are now reset to factory status.
  • Once you’ve reset your AirPods, you’re ready to reconnect them to your phone or laptop.

Why Do My AirPods Connect When They’re in the Case?

If you hold the reset button and you see a green light which just shuts off instead of turning white, then you can use the ‘forget device’ option. If you’re unable to see the green light even after opening the case, don’t worry! You can still reset your AirPods by following these steps:

  • First, ensure that your AirPods are in the case, then close the lid for at least 30 seconds.
  • Next, open the lid of your AirPods’ case.
  • On your iPhone, go to Settings > Bluetooth.
  • Look for your AirPods under ‘My devices’ and click on the info (‘i’) icon in front of it.
  • At the bottom of the page, click on ‘Forget this device’.
  • Now, go ahead and pair your device back to the AirPods. Your AirPods should now be reset and ready to use!

5. Update Your Device’s Software

This issue can usually be resolved with newly rolled-out software updates over time. To begin, you should check if there is a new software version available for your device and download/install it.

On your iOS device, navigate to Settings > General and then click on Software Update.

If an update is available, download and install it. Afterward, check if your AirPods still connect while in the case or if the issue has been resolved. This process also applies to Mac OS or any other OS on your device.

  1. Update Your AirPods Firmware

AirPods firmware updates are typically delivered periodically while your AirPods are charging and in close range with your phone while Bluetooth is on. However, if there is an available update for your AirPods, you can force the update to happen.

To see which firmware version your AirPods have, navigate to Settings > Bluetooth and tap the ‘i’ icon next to the AirPods. Then, click on ‘About’ to view the version you have. You can compare it with the latest firmware version available on the Apple website.

If you don’t have the latest firmware, you can force an update. Here’s how:

  • Place your AirPods in the charging case and connect the case to a power source wirelessly or with a charging cable.
  • Next, place the charging case next to the iPhone or iPad that is paired with your AirPods.
  • Ensure that the iOS device has an active internet connection.
  • Wait for a while, and the available firmware should be downloaded and installed.
  • If you encounter any challenges updating the AirPods, ensure that the charging case is fully charged.

You can also check your AirPods firmware version by launching the Settings app on your iOS device, then tapping on General > About > AirPods. Check the number next to ‘Firmware Version.’

7. Reset Network Settings

To resolve the issue of AirPods connecting while in the case, the next step is to confidently reset the network settings. Follow these instructions:

If you’re using iOS or iPadOS 15 or later:

Tap Settings > General > Transfer or Reset [Device] > Reset > Reset Network Settings.

If you’re using iOS or iPadOS 14 or earlier:

Tap Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings.

Once completed, confidently reconnect your AirPods to your device. Afterwards, simply return them to their case, and they should no longer connect while inside.

8. Restart Your Phone or PC

Restarting your device can fix software issues. If the issue with AirPods connecting in the case persists, disconnect your AirPods and reboot your iPhone or Mac. Then, connect back to your AirPods.

9. Turn Off Bluetooth

To prevent your AirPods from connecting while in the case, turn off Bluetooth on your device. On iPhone X and later, swipe down from the top-right corner of your screen to access the control center. On iPhone SE, iPhone 8 and earlier, swipe up from the bottom edge of any screen. Then, tap the Bluetooth icon to turn it off.

10. Contact Apple for a Fix/Replacement

If you’ve had your AirPods for less than a year and they’re still under warranty, Apple support can fix or replace them for free. But, keep in mind that the warranty doesn’t cover damage from accidents or unauthorized modifications.

Bottom Line

AirPods can connect while in the case for several reasons, as explained earlier. However, don’t worry because there are several proven fixes that you can use to solve this problem. Follow the steps below to fix the issue:

  • Turn on the automatic ear detection feature
  • Clean your AirPods case
  • Charge your AirPods case
  • Reset your AirPods
  • Update your device software
  • Update your AirPods firmware
  • Reset network settings
  • Restart your phone or PC
  • Turn off Bluetooth
  • Contact Apple for a fix or replacement

By following the steps above, you can quickly and confidently resolve your AirPods connection issue. If you have any feedback or questions, please share them in the comment section below.


I am Cris Vo, a technology enthusiast who loves useful tricks and knowledge. I always have the desire to share valuable information with everyone. I hope to receive support from all of you.

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