AirPods Flashing Amber? (What It Means & How To Fix It)

AirPods

We have all seen it by now, on social media or on our Apple devices. It’s the infamous amber flashing light on the AirPods charging case that is being reported everywhere. 

There are some theories, but it still leaves people wondering what causes this and if their AirPods will ever stop flashing amber?

When AirPods Pro are not fully charged, it flashes amber. Other times, this might be a minor issue, which requires a factory reset and a repair of your device.

Apple AirPods are great pieces of technology, but nothing is perfect. When it comes to issues with this device, most people expect problems related to connectivity or sound quality. 

However, there’s another issue that many early buyers have been experiencing and that’s the flashing amber light on one or both AirPods when you turn them on.

The good news is that this problem is not as serious as it seems and if you follow our tips below, we can help you fix it in a few minutes.

Why does my AirPod charging case have a flashing amber light?

Despite making use of batteries and wireless charging technology, Apple made the decision not to incorporate wireless charging into AirPods. This makes recharging your earphones a bit more of an inconvenience compared to other wireless earbuds.

This is because the only way you can recharge your AirPods is by placing them in their charging case. And whenever you place your AirPods in their case for recharging, the indicator light on top turns into a flashing amber light that signals that they are currently being charged.

What causes the flashing amber light?

There are two reasons why this happens: low battery power and inability to connect to your iPhone/iPad/Macbook due to some connection issue. The good news is that both issues will be fixed as long as you follow our tips below; here’s what you need to know:

How do I fix my AirPods with a flashing amber light?

Your AirPods are unable to find your iPhone/iPad/Macbook because your Bluetooth connection is lost. 

This means that the next time you start up your device (iPhone, iPad, or Macbook) it will automatically sync with your AirPods and show them as connected in the settings menu. If this doesn’t happen, follow these steps:

1). Go to Settings on your iOS device

2). Tap Bluetooth. It should be right under General.

3). Find the AirPods. They should be labeled either ‘Airpods’ or ‘BT’. Make sure they’re turned on and nearby before proceeding to step 4.

4). Once you’ve found them, tap on ‘i’ next to the device name you wish to forget.

5). Press ‘Forget this Device’ and the AirPods will be removed from your Bluetooth menu.

6). Do a reset on your AirPods first by removing them from their case and putting them back in, then remove any residue that may have been left behind on the charging contacts. 

You can use a soft cloth or dampen a cotton bud with rubbing alcohol for more efficient cleaning. Once they’re clean, put them back into their case and wait for 15-20 seconds.

7).  After the 20 seconds are up, take your AirPods out of their case and press the button on top until you see a flashing green light. This means they’ve paired with your iOS device once again.

8). If you followed all these steps correctly but still can’t connect to your Bluetooth device (iPhone/iPad/Macbook), check if Apple has updated the firmware on AirPods or look for another fix online by searching terms like “Apple AirPods not connecting” or “AirPods pairing issues”.

Your AirPods have low battery power. In this case, there’s nothing much you can do as they will need some time before their battery is restored to a normal level. 

The only solution in the meantime is to take them out of their charging case and use them as regular earphones without any connection capabilities.

Once you’ve fully recharged your AirPods, they should be able to connect normally to your iOS device. If this doesn’t happen, try going through the steps above again until you find a fix that works for you.

Luckily there is a fix for this issue and most of the time (but not all) your AirPods will start working again. How can you tell if these steps worked? Put your AirPod back into pairing mode, select connect to the device they were last connected to (or your iPhone if that was never an option). 

Source

They should reconnect within seconds and work like they used to. If after putting them back in pairing mode they still flash amber or don’t connect, go to the next step.

Step 1: Initiate AirPods pairing mode (just like you would normally do), leave them flashing in the case for 10 minutes. If this doesn’t work, keep reading.

Step 2: Take your AirPods out of the case and wait 5-10 seconds, then put them back into the case with the lid down (opposite of how you would open it to take them out).

Leave that screen open on your iPhone for another 15-20 seconds then close it. Put both AirPods back into your ears and grind on a hard surface while holding down both earbuds with a finger each for 20 seconds. 

This will simulate the movement of your jaw while talking, allowing the sensors in the earbuds to calibrate. 

Step 3: Take your AirPods out of your ears, place them in their case and close it until you hear a double chime sound. This tells us that the AirPods have reset themselves to factory settings. 

Try connecting them to see if they work properly now. If after following these steps your AirPods still don’t connect/stay connected or are flashing amber, contact Apple Support for further guidance on how to get this issue resolved without having to wait weeks for replacement AirPods.

Firmware Upgrade 

It turns out that many Apple Wireless Keyboards need a firmware upgrade in order for them to function properly with certain devices running older versions of iOS (see the notes at the end). 

To perform an update on any wireless keyboard that has a built-in rechargeable battery, plug it into your Mac or Windows PC with the included cable. Press and hold the power button on your keyboard until all of the indicator lights come on (about 15 seconds), then release it. 

Once this is complete, you should see one solid green light (shortly followed by some flashing green blinks), at which point you can unplug your keyboard from your computer. 

Alternatively, if you don’t have access to a Mac or PC for whatever reason, there’s another way to update the firmware using only an iOS device running iOS 5 or later (not recommended for iPad 1 owners).

Firmware Update with iOS 

To begin, make sure you’re using an iPhone 4S/5/5c/5s/6/6 Plus/6s/6s Plus or iPod Touch 5th generation (or newer), you have iOS 9.3.2 or later, and your AirPods are ready to pair with the keyboard beforehand; if not, back out of this process, set them up first, then try again. 

Next up, power on your Apple Wireless Keyboard by pressing any key. Then swipe downwards from the top-right corner of your screen to access Control Center (iOS 7) or Notifications (iOS 8). 

From here, press firmly on the Bluetooth button that appears in Control Center (if using iOS 7, tap Turn Bluetooth Off), then select “Forget This Device” when prompted about whether you want to forget the existing device. 

From here, power off your keyboard by pressing and holding either of its keys for 5 seconds, then press the button on it for ten seconds while continuing to hold down the key on your keyboard. 

Finally, turn on Bluetooth in Control Center (iOS 7/8) or Notifications (iOS 9) again, this time selecting “Forget This Device” when prompted about whether you want to forget the existing device.

Launch AirPods app Tap “Set Up New Device” under Settings → Bluetooth in your iOS device’s settings, then place one AirPod into your ear until you hear a tone while nearby your Apple Wireless Keyboard. When prompted, tap Connect in the dialog box that appears on the screen. 

If successful, you should see a message saying “Apple Wireless Keyboard” appear on your screen. Tap Done to complete the setup process, then test that everything works by pressing any key on your keyboard.

Firmware Update with Mac OS X 

If you have Mac OS X 10.3 or later, power on your Apple Wireless Keyboard while holding down its keys for 5 seconds each, then release them when all 4 indicator lights are lit up (orange is flashing). 

Next, connect the included USB cable to your Mac and press both of its buttons at once for 6 seconds until all of its indicator lights are flashing orange/amber in unison. 

Finally, launch AirPods Setup Assistant from the utility folder under Applications → Utilities, tap Connect, make sure there’s an X next to your keyboard in the list, then tap Done.

Conclusion

However, if any of these steps fails (i.e., you don’t see either an orange or green flash after powering on your Apple Wireless Keyboard), then it means you need to update its firmware. 

To do this, visit https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201372 and download the correct version of Firmware Restoration CD (Windows) or Disk Utility (Mac OS X) for your computer’s architecture (i386 → 32bit or x86_64 → 64bit), launch it up, select “Restore” from the “Utilities” menu, browse out to your USB drive containing your keyboard’s firmware updater file downloaded from Apple, select it, then click “Restore” to begin the process. 

Wait a while until your keyboard’s indicator lights turn off and stop flashing – this is when you should disconnect it from your Mac/PC, disconnect its USB cable from both devices, reconnect it again to finish the update.