AirPods charging status on the iPhone shows a red exclamation mark

If you see a red circle with L or R and an exclamation mark on the battery status of your AirPods, then you've come to the right place! (Photos: Sir Apfelot)

It's hard to believe, but less than twenty minutes after I switched on my AirPods 2, there was an ad that I hadn't seen once with my AirPods 1 in the two years before: A red exclamation mark on the right AirPod, if you have the Charge indicator on the iPhone calls.

If you see a red circle with L or R and an exclamation mark on the battery status of your AirPods, then you've come to the right place! (Photos: Sir Apfelot)

If you see a red circle with L or R and an exclamation mark on the battery status of your AirPods, then you've come to the right place! (Photos: Sir Apfelot)

At first I thought I might not have put the AirPod into the case properly, but even taking it out and putting it back in several times did not help.

A short research in the Apple support forum actually got me on the right track. In one Post there a user describes the same error message:

Exclamation mark in my left airpod
I have these new AirPods i bought it since 1 week it was amazing and work well since yesterday - i don't know what happened - the left one doesn't work !! and I did every steps to make sure it have charge i connect it with cable and charge it.

In short: He also has the display on his left AirPod when he inquires about the charging status of the AirPods. In addition, the left AirPod no longer works.

The solution: clean or reset

The assumption is that the charging case cannot establish a correct electrical connection to the individual AirPod. The result is that the affected headphones are no longer charged properly and will eventually stop working because the battery level is too low.

The cause of such errors and different battery levels in the left and right AirPods are usually dirty charging contacts at the bottom of the AirPods or dust in the charging case.

The causes of such errors and different battery levels on the left and right AirPods are usually dirty charging contacts on the bottom of the AirPods or dust in the charging case.

The cause is probably a contamination in the charging case or at the end of the AirPods, so that no electrical connection can be made in the charging case. The electronics then recognize that there are very different charging currents between the left and right AirPod and report the error.

Instructions in four steps

To solve the problem, try these points:

  • Blow out the battery case vigorously
  • Wipe the ends of the AirPods
  • Fully charge the case
  • If none of this helps: Perform AirPod reset (Hold down the button on the charging case for 15 seconds!) And then the Set up AirPods again.

For me, blowing through and wiping the AirPods several times was enough. Not right after blowing, but after I gave up at some point and the AirPods were in the case for about 20 minutes, it suddenly ran again.

The display with the exclamation mark may also be a little delayed in time, so that you have to give the headphones a little time until the charging current is correctly recognized again.

I will keep my fingers crossed that you will get rid of the error and I would be happy if you leave more tips below as a comment.

 

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6 comments

  1. Torsten says:

    Hi, I feel the same way. After 2 weeks, the same problem as yours. Only cleaning and reconnecting, unfortunately, did not help, the problem persists. The funny thing is that this is already my 3rd pair of AirPods, where this error occurs and after 1-2 weeks. I also don't use the pods every day, which makes me all the more angry. For the price of 229 €, I think that shouldn't happen. Well, I'll send mine back now and will try a 4th and last time.

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Hello Torsten! This is of course super annoying. Another reader also had the problem I described and couldn't solve it. He also sent in his pair and now has a new one that has been running for months. I keep my fingers crossed for you that you will finally get one that no longer tweaks.

    • Lena says:

      Exactly the same is with me, too, I think a problem is that I ordered mine on Amazon and you shouldn't actually buy electronics there, I'll try again and if it doesn't work again, I'll ask for the money back

      • Sir Apfelot says:

        Hello Lena! Actually, there is not much that speaks against buying electronics from Amazon - especially since the AirPod Pro models are even faster available from Amazon than from Apple directly. But yes, if there is a technical problem, I would send them back as well.

  2. Gerald says:

    Had the same problem with my right AirPod 2. After cleaning the contacts on the bottom of the case with Q-Tip and Kontakt 60 Spray (Kontakt Chemie) didn't work, I bent the contacts on the bottom of the case a little with a small screwdriver. You have to be careful here, as the contacts are quite delicate. Bending them together increases the pressure on the contacts in the case, which results in better contact.

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