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How to Connect AirPods Without Case?

Apple Airpods are among the most popular wireless earbuds in the world. They are well-made, have a fantastic battery life, and above all, sound incredible. They also come at a premium, but for most users, they are well worth the money.

However, what if you find yourself without the charging case? You may have forgotten where you placed the case, left it in a hotel room, or it might have been stolen.

Whatever the reason…

You are probably wondering whether you can still connect your AirPods to your Smartphone or tablet without it. Well, the short answer is, yes, it is possible, and it’s quite easy to do as well.

You see, the Bluetooth components for your AirPods are all located inside the earbuds themselves. The charging case has nothing to do with the Bluetooth connection at all. But that doesn’t mean it is not a vital component of your AirPods.

So, I decided to take a look at the ins and outs of being without your charging case and how to connect AirPods without case


Can You Connect Airpods To A Device Without a Case?

How to Connect AirPods Without Case

As mentioned, the short answer is, yes. Technically, it is possible to connect AirPods to a source device without the charging case. The catch is that it can’t be just any device. 

The charging case serves one main function – charging the AirPods. The second function is to store the AirPods when they are not being used.

The third function is where the catch comes in, however. You see, when you pair AirPods to a source device for the first time, you need the charging case to establish the initial pairing. After that, the case is no longer required.

This means that you can connect a pair of AirPods to a source device if you have lost the case. But, it will only be possible with source devices that have already been paired with the AirPods in question.

How Can I Reconnect My AirPods Without the Charging Case?

Indeed, you can. But, there is a trick to reconnecting AirPods to a source device without a charging case. However, it’s important to know that it will only work if the AirPods in question have been paired to the device before at some time. 

Here are the steps:

  1. Start by opening the control center on your iPhone or iPad. To do this on older versions of iOS, simply swipe upward from the bottom of the screen. If you are using an iPhone X or later, swipe down from the top right of the screen. 
  2. Press and hold the audio card. It can be found in the top right of the control center. 
  3. The audio card will be opened in fullscreen mode. Tap and hold down the Airplay icon.
  4. This will display a list of all the devices that have been liked with the phone or tablet. Find and select your AirPods on the list of devices found. 

Take note that if you’re AirPods do not appear on the list of previously connected devices, this workaround will not work. It could be that the AirPods were never connected to the device in the first place. Or that the AirPods were forgotten by this device.

Frequently Asked Questions 

You should now have a good idea about how to connect AirPods without case. Next, let’s have a look at some of the other frequently asked questions on the subject. 

Is it possible to connect the AirPods to a device if the case battery is dead?

Yes, it’s possible to connect the AirPods to the source device even if the battery in the case is running out. This is because the AirPods have their own battery life. Just remember that it will only work if the AirPods in question have been connected to the device previously.

If you are using a new source device, then you will need to get the case to establish the initial connection. And, if the case has no battery left, then you will need to charge it a bit first; the same goes for the AirPods. At least a 15% charge is required to establish a connection with the source device. 

What if you get a different/new charging case?

This will present no problems. Furthermore, it is likely to solve most AirPods connection issues. It is a quick and simple process to sync up a pair of AirPods with a different case. 

  1. Start by placing the AirPods inside the case.
  2. Open the lid and check that the status light is amber.
  3. Press and hold the setup button on the back of the charging case until the status light flashes white. 
  4. The AirPods should now be synced up to the new case. 
  5. You will have to forget and re-pair your AirPods with your source device after this process has been finished.

Can I charge AirPods without using a charging case?

Can I charge AirPods

No, it is not possible to charge your AirPods without using a proper Apple charging case. If you have lost your case, your only solution is to purchase a replacement one from Apple. This would be cheaper than purchasing a whole new set of AirPods. 

For more information, check out my in-depth thoughts on How to Charge Airpods Without the Case.

Is it possible to track a pair of lost or stolen AirPods?

Yes, one of the most appealing features of the Apple AirPods is their tracking ability. This is called “FindMy,” and it can be incredibly useful. But, there are a few limitations to its use.

For instance, they can only be used to track a pair of AirPods that have been connected to the device via Bluetooth. Also, if the AirPods are inside the case and the lid is closed, they cannot be tracked because they are turned off. 

You can track your AirPods by opening the FindMy App and tapping on AirPods. Then you can select to play a sound from either one of the AirPods. This will make finding them easier if they are nearby. This is especially useful if the two AirPods are not in the same place and you need to find them both. 

What about tracking only the charging case?

Unfortunately, it is not possible to use the FindMy app to track a lost or stolen AirPods charging case. As mentioned, the charging case contains no Bluetooth components or any other kind of transmitter, so it can’t be tracked using FindMy. 

The only option for tracking a case is to purchase a separate tracking device like an Apple Airtag or a Tile tracker. These can be fitted to the case using a special case holder. This way, you will be able to track your case should it get lost or stolen, even if it’s separated from the AirPods. 

Can I use a friend’s case to charge my AirPods?

Yes, you can use someone else charging case to charge your AirPods. Since the charging case acts as a simple power bank, you don’t have to sync up your AirPods for them to charge. You simply place them in the case and take them out when they are fully charged.

Can I charge the case without the AirPods inside them?

charge the case

Yes, you can charge the case without the AirPods inside. Since the AirPods and the case have independent batteries, there is no issue in charging the case on its own.

Although, if you want to charge the AirPods and the case to full capacity, you need to connect the charger to the case with the AirPods inside. 

Have Some Other AirPods Questions?

We have you covered. Take a look at our handy articles on How to Make Your AirPods LouderAirPods Connected But No SoundAirPods Blinking Orange? How to Fix ItCan I Use Two Different AirPods, and How to Clean Your AirPods Pro for more useful information.

Also, check out our in-depth reviews of the Best AirPods Alternative, the Best Apple AirPods Pro Alternatives, the Best True Wireless Earbuds, the Best iPhone Earbuds, the Most Comfortable Earbuds, and the Best Earbuds for Running you can buy in 2023.

How to Connect AirPods Without Case – Final Thoughts 

The Apple AirPods charging case serves three functions. Firstly, to charge the AirPods, and secondly, to transport and protect them when they are not in use. And finally, to help establish the initial connection to your source device. 

Furthermore, it is possible to use AirPods without a charging case. But, it is recommended that you replace your case should you lose it. That’s because, without a charging case, your AirPods will be useless once they run out of battery life. 

Thankfully there are plenty of options for replacing an AirPods charging case from Apple or secondhand. Maybe, yours is still under warranty, so you can get a replacement at a discount or for free.

Until next time, happy listening.

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About Joseph L. Hollen

Joseph is a session musician, writer, and filmmaker from south Florida. He has recorded a number of albums and made numerous short films, as well as contributing music to shorts and commercials. 

He doesn't get as much time to practice and play as he used to, but still manages (just about!) to fulfill all his session requests. According to Joseph, it just gets harder as you get older; you rely on what you learned decades ago and can play without thinking. Thankfully that's what most producers still want from him.

He is a devout gear heat and has been collecting musical instruments all his life. As his wife, Jill, keeps on saying, "You're very good at buying nice instruments, but terrible at selling them!".

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