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Does Leaving My AirPods In The Case Drain The Battery?

Many users have woken up to drained batteries when they believe the batteries should be full, leading to the question, does leaving your AirPods in the case drain the battery?

If all components are working correctly, leaving your AirPods in the case should not drain the battery of the AirPods since the case puts them in a low-power mode and charges them. However, the AirPods case’s battery may well drain since it is used to charge the AirPods when they are in the case.

Thankfully, modern Lithium-Ion batteries are far superior to the older battery technologies we used to have. Modern charging devices are also built to keep batteries from over-charging, and the AirPods’ batteries and chargers are no exception.

But what can you do to keep your AirPods (and their case) from draining unnecessarily? Let’s investigate.

Does The Case Drain Your AirPods’ Battery?

Apple recommends that you should keep your AirPods inside their case whenever you’re not using them, regardless of how long the period of time is. This would indicate that the case is the safest and best place to keep your AirPods. There are a few specific reasons why Apple states this.

The Case Charges The AirPods’ Batteries

Your AirPods case has its own battery. The case’s battery charges through a USB or wireless charging connection. But the moment when you put your AirPods inside the case, the case’s battery is used to charge your AirPods’ batteries directly.

So, as long as your case’s battery has some charge left, your AirPods’ batteries will remain fully charged if you leave them in the case.

The Case Shuts Down Your AirPods

Your AirPods are “shut down” when you put them in the case. This does not mean they are switched off, though. It simply means they are switched to a low-power state, disconnecting from all Bluetooth devices so that they can charge and not drain any further.

The moment when you take them out of the case, they are charged and will automatically connect again.

The Case Protects Your AirPods

Apart from the first two factors that are battery-related, the case also provides protection for your AirPods. The case protects them from damage like scratches, which could easily happen if you just carry them around in your pocket. But it also protects them from water or liquid damage and from getting lost easily since they are so small.

So Does The Case Drain Your AirPods’ Battery?

A properly-working AirPods case should not drain your AirPods’ battery. It should, in fact, do the opposite. If everything is working correctly and as it should, your AirPods should be charged whenever you leave them in the case.

Can The Case’s Battery Drain If I Leave My AirPods Inside It?

As we have seen, the purpose of your AirPods case is two-fold: protection and charging. While the case doesn’t drain your AirPods’ battery, the opposite is definitely true: your AirPods could drain the case’s battery since the case battery’s charge is being used to recharge the AirPods’ batteries.

This should not be a real problem, though. Your AirPods are switched to a low-power mode whenever you put them into the case. That means that your AirPods will charge until full, then the case will stop charging them. If you leave them for an extended period of time and the charge starts to dissipate naturally, your case will top up the charge again. 

Seeing as how about 15 minutes of charging in the case can keep your AirPods playing music for around 3 hours, these little trickles of top-up charges shouldn’t drain the case’s battery too much.

And since most of us are already in the habit of regularly charging our devices, popping the AirPods’s case on charge is no more of a hassle than charging your phone at night.

What If There Is Irregular Battery Drain On My AirPods?

Occasionally you may notice that either your AirPods or their case could start draining battery irregularly. Especially shortly after the release of iOS 15.5, many iPhone and AirPods users began noticing that the battery was draining even while inside the case and supposedly on charge.

This irregular battery drain on AirPods is usually caused by the devices not disconnecting correctly from your phone. Inserting your AirPods into their case is supposed to switch them to a low-power mode which disconnects them from Bluetooth until the case is re-opened.

However, software problems can lead to this not happening, which drains the battery faster despite being on charge.

Reset Your AirPods To Fix The Irregular Battery Drain Problem

Most users claim that a simple reset of their AirPods permanently solved the battery drain issue. Here are the steps to do so:

  1. Put your AirPods back into their case and close the case’s lid.
  1. Leave the lid of the AirPods case closed for at least 30 seconds.
  1. Open the lid of the case again.
  1. Forget the AirPods in your iPhone’s settings:
  1. On your iPhone, tap on Settings
  1. Go to Bluetooth
  1. Tap the More Info button (a lower-case I inside a circle) next to your AirPods
  1. Tap “Forget this Device,” then tap once more to confirm
  1. With the AirPods case’s lid still open, press the Setup button at the back of the case and hold it in for about 15 seconds.
  1. The light will start flashing amber, then turn white.
  1. Now, with the case still open, bring the AirPods (inside the case) close to your phone and complete the steps to pair them again.

This will reset and reconnect your AirPods, and usually, any abnormal battery drain issues will be resolved in the process.

Drain Your AirPods’ Battery Completely

Most people don’t recommend that you ever drain your AirPods’ battery entirely to zero, and it is true that modern batteries don’t like being drained to 0%. But at the same time, you can solve a few problems by doing this occasionally, and when your batteries are already being drained abnormally, what have you got to lose?

To drain your AirPods’ battery, simply keep them out of their charging case and use them non-stop until they run out of charge and shut down. You can play music or watch videos.

Since your AirPods are designed to deliver around 5 hours of service on a single charge, this process could take a few hours, so be sure to do it when you have plenty of time available.

Once your AirPods shut down on their own, place them back inside the case and leave them to charge back up to 100% before using them again. With this in mind, it might be a good idea to charge your case while your AirPods are draining away their charge so that the recharging process can continue uninterrupted.

Hardware Failure Can Cause Abnormal Battery Drain

Unfortunately, we must also remember that no battery is perfect, just as no technology is perfect. There is always a margin of failure, and no matter how well a product is made or how well you take care of it, the fact remains that all technology will die eventually.

Sometimes this is the simple reason behind the abnormal draining of your AirPods’ battery.

If you’ve tried all of the steps above and you’re still experiencing problems, it might be time to face the possibility of hardware failure. If your AirPods are not out of warranty yet, return them to Apple or the retailer that you bought them from.

One repair or exchange later, and your AirPods could be as good as new.

Taking Proper Care Of Your AirPods

There are two pieces of advice that Apple (and users of AirPods) often emphasize in taking care of your AirPods to prevent battery drain issues in the future:

1. Keep Them In Their Case Whenever You’re Not Using Them

Regardless of the reason or how long you won’t be using your AirPods, always pop them back into their case. The case is designed to stabilize the battery charging of your AirPods so that charge is evenly distributed. For best results and care of your AirPods, always put them back into the case.

2. Use AirPods Battery Optimization Settings

Since iOS 14 and AirPods firmware version 4A400, Apple added the AirPods Battery Optimization feature. This is a setting that you can enable on the iPhone paired with your AirPods that will work in a similar way to how modern iPhones and Macs also recharge their batteries. 

Enabling this setting will let your AirPods learn from your daily activity and behavior, then hold off on charging your AirPods fully to 100% until you need it to be charged that high. This saves the battery life of your AirPods and lowers the risk of battery- and charge-related issues.

3. Avoid Using Only One Of Your AirPods At A Time

Using only one of your AirPods will cause uneven battery drain, leading to variable battery charging and inconsistent battery life between your AirPods. That’s why it’s not considered a good idea to use only one of your AirPods at a time.

When you use them, take them both out of the case, use them both, and then replace them both at the same time. This will improve your AirPods’ lifetime.


Leaving your AirPods in their case does not drain their battery or harm them in any way. On the contrary, Apple recommends leaving them in their case whenever you’re not using them so that their battery can be maintained and charged safely.

This is not infallible, though, as no technology ever is, and you should do everything you can to keep your AirPods’ battery safe and healthy.