Here’s How to Find Lost AirPods

The music doesn't have to stop here. There's an easy way to find your favorite earbuds in minutes.

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It finally happened: You lost your Apple AirPods. You bought a special case for them and everything, but now the diminutive earbuds, along with that very cool case, are gone. It’s disheartening to be sure, especially for two small pieces of plastic smaller than your thumb yet more expensive than your average electronic. But luckily, as a tech editor, I’ve discovered how to find lost AirPods.

You don’t have to resign yourself to be without your favorite tunes, or worse, having to listen on speaker. You can find your AirPods in a snap, and all you have to do is use your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch along with the Find My app.

As a tech editor who’s always on the go (and thus losing things often), this is a method I’ve used before to locate my other various Apple devices. You can even use the Find My app as a first step when it comes to figuring out what to do if your iPhone is lost or stolen. It’s even useful if you’re trying to figure out how to find a lost phone that’s turned off.

All you need to do to be reunited with your trusty AirPods is follow a few simple steps, and you’ll be midway through your favorite podcast or playlist again in no time. When you’ve finally tracked them down, why not check out some of the things you didn’t know your EarPods and AirPods could do? You may be surprised by what’s possible!

How to find lost AirPods

Find My Airpods Screenshotsvia iPhone/Courtesy Brittany Vincent (3)

There are a few different ways to go about finding your AirPods when they’re lost. Using the Find My app, which comes automatically on your iPhone, is an essential tool when it comes to tracking them down, even if you primarily used your AirPods with an Android device. Here’s a tried and true method to track down your missing AirPods for that sweet reunion just on the horizon. It’s just one of many iPhone hacks you’ll want to remember for the future.

  • First, open the Find My app on your mobile device or your computer.
  • Sign in with your Apple ID. You will see the AirPods previously paired with your iPhone or iPad associated with them under “My Devices.”
  • If your AirPods were charged up when you lost them, their status will show as “Online” in this list. It’s important to know that they’ll only display this message when in range of your device and have battery power. If they are out of range, outside of your AirPods case, or drained of power, you’ll see the “Offline” status message instead.
  • If your AirPods are listed as online and in range, you can see their live location on the map.
  • Tap the AirPods with an online status and you’ll be able to view them on a map. Sometimes, a vague visual cue just isn’t enough to find what you’re looking for, so tap the “Play Sound” button and the AirPods will emit a loud beeping sound.
  • If your AirPods are offline, you can try to tap them for their last known location. Sometimes, this won’t work — you’ll instead see your AirPods icon and a blank map. If that’s the case, you’re probably going to have to go on a scavenger hunt.
  • You can follow the beep, which will get increasingly louder until you find your AirPods.
  • If you do find them, press the “Mute Left” and “Mute Right” buttons that appear on-screen to cut the beeping sound and focus on one at a time if they were lost separately.

Note: It’s important to remember that your AirPods are seen as “offline” if they’re sitting in the case. If you lose your AirPods, try to find them before you believe they run out of battery. Otherwise, you’ll run into an even bigger issue, as there’s no way they’ll show up when the battery is completely depleted.

Next time you believe your AirPods are completely lost and you’re resigning yourself to buying a new pair, be sure to try these steps first. You may be able to completely save the day!

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Brittany Vincent
As Tech Editor at Large at Reader’s Digest, Brittany is an expert in smart devices, gaming consoles, and home tech with 14 years of experience in the industry. She’s been tinkering with tech since she was a young girl building PCs with her father.