How to (Not) Lose Your Airpods: 9 Brilliant Hacks

how to not lose AirPods tips tricks

Apple came out with this pretty cool product that is, in a lot of ways, superior to earbuds that plug into your phone.  These fun little gadgets are called Airpods.  They are completely wireless and can pair with anything that has Bluetooth capabilities.  There are many other features that users rave about, but how do you keep from losing them?

I have done some research and have come up with ways to help. How to (not) lose your AirPods: 9 brilliant hacks. 

  1. Keep them in the case when you aren’t using them
  2. Have one or two places you keep your case 
  3. Turn on the “find my phone” app
  4. Make your AirPods wired
  5. Use ear hooks
  6. Use a bright case cover/anti-lost case
  7. Athletic tape
  8. Learn to be careful
  9. Silicon connector

Along with these great hacks that will help you keep track of your favorite sound delivering devices, I’ll share some tips if you do happen to lose them or if they get stolen.  And why are they so easy to lose anyway?  

Are Airpods Easy to Lose?

Airpods are notoriously easy to lose because they are small and not connected to anything.  We all love the convenience of Bluetooth devices because, well, wires are annoying. It would be impossible to count the number of times earbuds were yanked from ears by our own arms while running or reaching for something. 

Or how about when the wires break and our favorite headphones are no longer functional.  Not a great day, but they rarely got lost.  Am I right?  If the wired earbuds ever did get lost, it was both of them at the same time.  It was impossible to lose only one.  That isn’t the case with Airpods. 

I may or may not know someone that actually lost each Airpod on the same day in different places and didn’t know it until he saw one of them kitchen floor. 

It was me.  I did that.  

Frantically searching around the house was not fun. In the end, I found them, but these precious sound machines are very easy to lose track of. 

  • They are not wired.   The number one reason Airpods are easy to lose is that they’re not attached to anything but your ears.  The attachment to your ears is not solid.  They will pop out of your ears at any given moment so you have to be vigilant. 
  • They are small by design.  Compact and now that more people have them, they aren’t really very noticeable.  We have started ignoring them when we see them. 
  • We lay them down in different places.  People popularly tend to use one Airpod at a time and lay it down in a random location when they are done listening.  Separating the earbuds seems to be the kiss of death, increasing the chance of losing at least one or the other. 

What to Do If You Lose One or Both

AirPods wireless case inside charge contacts clean

Now that we have established the ease at which our favorite tiny tech can disappear from our lives, let’s talk about what to do when you lose one or both.  There are three things that you can do in the event you lose your Airpods. 

Try Find My Phone

If you have Airpods, it is likely you are an iPhone user.  Apple has an app that is called “find my phone” that will track a lost phone.  Typically, you can use this from a friend’s phone or an iPad if you lose your phone.  In the same way, you can track a friend or family member’s phone for them.  Did you know that this app can also find your Airpods?

This handy little app can find your whole case with your earbuds in it, which is great, but what is even better is that it can also find each of the three pieces by themselves. I may or may not know this from personal experience.  

For example, if you happen to find one of your Airpods on the kitchen floor and discover that your case is empty and have no memory of where you lost the other earbud, the app can help you track the lost piece.  It is very exact and can lead you to find it under the seat of your vehicle. 

In the event that the misfortune of lost Airpods befalls you, try the app first before you do anything else. 

Buy a Replacement

If you want to cut your losses and feel that all hope of finding your lost property is lost, you can purchase replacements. If you happen to lose just one, Apple does sell single Airpods to fill the void in your case.  It will cost you close to $70 depending on the model you have but it is cheaper than buying a whole new set. 

This really should be the last thing you do because it is possible for your lost bud to turn up.  If that happens after you purchase a new one, just tuck the old one away in a safe place as a replacement. 

Use Only One

I know it may be hard to wrap your mind around but you can go on living with using only one Airpod.  I don’t like that idea either but if you don’t want to spend the money on a replacement right away and are holding out hope that the prodigal will return, then this is a good option.

Some people wouldn’t mind at all because they typically only use one Airpod anyway.  Other people would go crazy hearing their podcasts in only one ear.  Don’t worry, I get it. So if you can use only one, go that route, if not see the above suggestion. 

Top 9 Ways to (Not) Lose Your Airpods

How about some tips for those of us that don’t want to lose our Airpods.  Some hacks that will keep us from resorting to needing the app, buying a replacement, or being one-eared? I’m so glad you asked. 

Here are the nine top ways to keep your Airpods safely with you as long as you follow some, or all, of these tips and tricks.  

Keep Them in The Case When Not in Use

spigen rugged armor case AirPods Pro how to not lose
source: Spigen

We all know someone that is guilty of not keeping their AirPods in the case or not putting them back immediately after use.  I’m not saying it’s you.  It’s not me either (it might be me).  

AirPods come with this sweet case that is also the charging port.  I love it and I know you do too.  But it can only charge them and keep them safely together if the AirPods are actually put in the case.  

It is really easy to get busy and just slip the buds out of your ears and set them down, not in the case.  It is almost a guarantee that they will get separated and lost. I can’t stress enough that this is the number one way to prevent the loss of your AirPods. 

Put them back in the case. 

Have Only One or Two Places They are Kept

Speaking of the case, it is also really helpful to have only one or two places that the case, with the AirPods inside, is ever kept. This will cut down on the possibility of losing the case and/or the buds. 

Whether it is a certain dish, table, pocket in your bag, or draw in your desk/nightstand having a particular location where the Airpods live with be beneficial and help you keep your sanity.

Turn on Find My Phone

find my iPhone use for AirPods Pro too

We touched on the handy app that Apple has to help people find their phones, iPads, and AirPods.  This only works though, if you turn it on.  This is a proactive step that will help you get the AirPods back in the event that you do indeed lose them.

The great thing about having this app prepped and ready to go is that the moment you realize a pod is gone, you can get your phone out and track it.  It will be less likely that you will leave your AirPods in the cabin of an airplane, or on a trail in the park after your run, or your in-laws house because you will be able to find them the minute you lose them. 

Knowing it is possible to lose them in addition to being proactive will keep the very real possibility of losing your AirPods at the front of your mind. 

Make Your Airpods Wired

Yeah, I know, this kind of defeats the purpose.  The great thing about wireless AirPods is the very fact that they are, indeed, wireless.  Why would we pay a large amount of money to buy wireless earbuds and then turn around and wire them?  

It doesn’t seem to make sense but if you have lost your AirPods before or are exceedingly paranoid about losing them.  This might work.  There is actually a video that shows a person cutting the wires off of an old pair of Apple earbuds and taping the ends to a pair of AirPods.  

Then they actually plugged the wire into the phone.  I know, it’s strange but it is one of the top hacks when searching the web. 

Use Ear Hooks/Silicone Earbud Covers

silicone rubber eartip covers AirPods how to not lose keep falling out
source: AhaStyle

There is a product out there that is compatible with Airpods that I really think is cool.  Ear hooks, like these convenient slip ons, attach to the AirPods and then hook around your ear.  This will secure the pods to your ear keeping them from falling out while running, mowing the lawn, or sleeping on an airplane.

Quick Note: If you don’t like the appearance or feel of ear hooks, yet are victim of AirPods falling out constantly, you can also try silicone earbud covers like these, that slip around the plastic part of the earbud itself to create an even more secure fit while they are worn. I personally recommend this route as it has worked for me whenever I’m outside on a run or during a workout.

Overall, this is a great hack that keeps the AirPods truly wireless while giving you a sense of security if you are doing something more active than listening to an audiobook during kitchen or laundry duty. 

These accessories come in white too so they go with Apple’s aesthetic and actually look like an Apple product.  They also aren’t expensive so you won’t feel like you spent money on a pricey gadget and then need to spend a ton more on accessories in order to make them perfect.  

Use Bright Case Cover/Anti-lost Case

bright colored case Apple AirPods how to not lose
source: Henstar

One issue with the white color of the AirPods and their case is that it is easy to lose.  It may seem like bright white would not camouflage itself so well, but that isn’t true, unfortunately.  There are a few things that can help with this problem. 

Brightly colored case covers can be found easily at most electronics retailer, like these that will definitely make your case stand out.  There are a variety of skins that can be used to personalize the AirPod case to make it stand out in a crowd and in the couch cushions.  There is nothing like going to a relative’s house for a holiday visit and constantly getting the four different AirPod cases and pods mixed up.  

That may or may not be based on a true story.

There is also an Anti-lost case.  Some of them are actually called that, but really, they are a brightly colored case for your case that is attached to a carabiner hook that can be attached to your purse, bag, briefcase, or belt loop. 

Having the case attached to something will help you follow one of the other suggestions for keeping it in the same place all of the time.  I do this with my car keys and it has cut down on misplacing them and searching frantically so there must be something to it. 

Athletic Tape

One of the biggest reasons for loss of AirPods is during vigorous workouts or on a run. The constant motion of exercise really does cause them to just come popping out of your ears.  Since you are in the middle of focused workout you may not notice that an AirPod fell out, especially if you are still hearing your tunes through one pod. 

There is a hack that can be helpful if you don’t want to spend money on ear hooks or if you already have athletic tape lying around and need a quick hack.  

Using athletic tape to secure the pods onto your ear will prevent them from falling out during even the most intense workout, usually.  There is always an exception and no guarantees but it works more often than not.  Just make sure the AirPods feel securely taped before you start your run or workout routine. 

Silicon Connector

silicone connector for AirPods how to not lose earbuds
source: Gogosodu

There is an accessory out there that is made to help prevent the loss of wireless earbuds called silicon connectors. These handy little strings, because really that is what they are, connect your AirPods to each other.  The connector will wrap around the back of your neck so that if one falls out, it is still connected to the other.

If you drop both of them out of your ears while on a run, the idea behind the connector is that it will keep the buds hanging on your shoulder.  Since there is nothing that clips to your clothing, this may or may not actually happen. 

These are the same idea as the mitten connectors used in order to avoid breaking up and losing a set of gloves. I had great success with the mitten connector and have high hopes for the AirPod connector.  At least it will keep you from losing only one. 

Learn to be Careful

I know this doesn’t really sound like a brilliant hack.  It sounds more like common sense; however, this is really the number one way to keep from losing your AirPods. Learning to be aware of where they are, putting them back immediately, and not just leaving laying around will be the number one way to protect our tiny tech.

There are some situations that may be hard to be vigilant.  Such as traveling on an airplane. If you are traveling on a long plane trip it will be very tempting to put your earbuds in and fall asleep to the sound of your travel playlist or favorite audiobook.  This is a great way to lose one or both pods.  

The vibration of the airplane plus the way you have to move around to get comfortable is a recipe for disaster.  So, do you just leave the AirPods home?  No way!  These things were meant to travel.  I would suggest, however, may be taking an old pair of wired earbuds to use on the plane or take advantage of the provided headphones from the airline. 

Using different accessories at different times that they are needed is a good way to be careful.  The first step to preventing loss is by acknowledging that they are easy to lose in the first place. They are also a very popular theft target because they are small and they all look alike.  So, keep them tucked away in your bag or connected to something.

What If They Are Stolen?

can someone use your stolen AirPods Pro

Since we brought up the fact that AirPods are easy to steal and are in fact a common theft target, let’s talk about what to do if they are in fact stolen.  You may be wondering if there is anything you can do in the event your tiny case of awesome falls into the hands of an unsavory character.

Will Apple Replace Stolen AirPods?

According to Apple, if someone steals your AirPods and you don’t figure out who it is and you are not able to find them then you just have to replace them. This is the same policy they have with any Apple products and really any product.  Most companies do not have a theft replacement policy. 

If the AirPods are stolen from your house or apartment they will be covered by renters or homeowner’s insurance.  In the same instance, if they are stolen from your locked car, your car insurance will cover the replacement of the stolen item.  This is good news in those instances but if they are stolen from a pocket or purse you are on your own.

This sounds really terrible and disheartening, I know, but hang on I have an idea. 

Can I Track My Stolen AirPods?

If even in all of your vigilance your AirPods are still stolen, there is a way to identify your pods and case in the event you happen to know who took them.  Each case and individual AirPod has serial numbers that match.  If you have connected your pods to your phone then you are able to find the numbers on your phone.

If you haven’t for some reason connected them to your phone don’t worry, all hope is not lost.  Those of us that feel the need to keep all of our Apple product boxes will still have the original packaging.  This packaging has the serial number on it. 

Provided you have connected the buds to your phone, you can still track the AirPods if they are stolen.  Turn on the find my phone app and see if you can locate them.  When/if you do indeed find them, make sure you have the serial number with you so you can prove that they are yours. 

Can Someone Else Use My Stolen AirPods?

Sadly, yes, they can.  AirPods are incredibly easy to reset and connect to a new device. This is not good news for the victim of a theft or a person that lost the precious AirPods and someone else found them.  Their good fortune is your bad luck in this case.

In the event that the thief does not know how to reset your AirPods or just gets lazy and doesn’t do it, that is great for you.  If they don’t do the reset then you can still track them with the find my phone app. 

How to Reset AirPods

It is incredibly easy to reset this tiny tech with just a few steps.  Once they are reset by someone else, you may still be able to find them if they show up in your settings but it is unlikely, sadly.  Just in case you have the need to reset the AirPods just follow these easy steps. 

  • Put the pods in the case is always the first step when doing anything with your AirPods.  I recently had to reconnect my pods to a Mac laptop and the first step was to put them in the case as well.  When all else fails, just put the pods in the case. 
  • Open the lid is almost always step two in any situation.  This basically turns on the case and the pods. Opening the lid makes the device discoverable to whatever you are trying to connect it with or, in this case, gives the phone the ability to connect and reset the pods. 
  • Go to your iPhone, iPod, or iPad settings. Once you are in settings on the device you will be using to complete the reset, you will need to find the Bluetooth icon.
  • In Bluetooth find the “i” next to your AirPods. This will be the information button and will take you to the settings specifically for your AirPods.
  • Forget this device.  Once you are in the informational area for the AirPods, you will want to tap on the line that says, “forget this device”.  It will ask you to confirm that you do indeed want to forget the AirPods on this device. 
  • Press the button on the back of the AirPod case. Keeping the lid open, hold down the button on the back of the case.  You may be like me and are completely unaware that there is indeed a button on the back of the case.  Trust me, it is there.  It blends in because it is small, white, and round.  Look closing and feel around, you will feel the edges of the button.  When you find it, hold it down until the status light on the front flashes an amber color. 
  • Reconnect to the device.  When you have completed the steps above it is time to reconnect the AirPods to your device.  This will also require the lid to be open.  Set the case with the open lid next to the device you are connecting it to. There will be steps that show up on the screen of your iPhone, iPad, or iPod that will tell you exactly what to do.  It is pretty easy and intuitive.  If you are resetting your pods then it is likely you have already done this step before. 

Why Would I Need to Reset?

There are some common reasons why you may need to reset your AirPods that have nothing to do with theft.  However, if you have lost them recently and they are not wanting to connect with your phone once you have found them, then you may need to walk through the reset steps. 

Another common reason to do a reset is if your pods won’t charge when they are in the case. Just like when you have a problem with any technology, the first thing that you will want to do is turn it off and back on.  Since you can’t really turn off your case and AirPods, the reset does the same thing.

These Are The Helpful Products Mentioned In This Article:

  • Airpods Pro (here on Amazon): With noise cancellation, a sleek profile design, and a longer-lasting battery, the newest members of the Apple AirPods family are a great set of buds for anyone that wants to tune out the world and listen out to their music without any of the extra bulk.

John Hammer

Hi i'm John Hammer, Founder and Author of Gizbuyer Guide. Ever since the original Xbox, PlayStation, and iPhone I've purchased and worked on all kinds of consumer tech products, gaming gadgets and operating system softwares. To this day my curiosity has never left, and my aim is to guide and share my knowledge on technology as I continue to experience the latest of the consumer electronics industry.

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