How to Connect a Replacement AirPod

Lost an AirPod? Start listening again with a direct replacement

What to Know

  • Place the replacement AirPod in the case with your other AirPod, and close the lid.
  • Open the lid, press and hold the setup button, and place the case near your iPhone with the AirPods still inside.
  • Your replacement AirPod must match the model and firmware version of your other AirPod.

This article explains how to connect a replacement AirPod if you’ve lost one.

Can Two Different AirPods Work Together?

Unlike wired earbuds, AirPods don't connect in any physical way. You can use the find my AirPods feature to find them if you misplace one or both, but only if they have enough battery life to sound the alarm. If you lose an AirPod and have given up ever finding it, you can buy a replacement from Apple. However, it won’t work with your old AirPod right out of the box.

You can use two different AirPods together even if they weren’t originally part of a matched pair, but only if they’re the same type of AirPod. You can’t use an AirPod 1 and AirPod 2, or one AirPod 2 and one AirPod Pro. They have to be the same type and generation, or they won’t connect and work together.

How to Reset My AirPods After Replacing One

To connect a replacement AirPod to your existing AirPod, you need to reset the original one to work with the new one. Resetting turns the old and new AirPods into a matched pair, and you can then connect the AirPods to your iPhone.

Here’s how to connect a replacement AirPod to an existing one:

  1. Put the old AirPod and the new AirPod in your charging case, and close the lid.

  2. Open the lid, and check to make sure the indicator light flashes amber.

    If the light doesn’t flash, make sure the case is charged or plugged in, then remove the AirPods and put them back in place, making sure they are fully inserted.

  3. Press and hold the setup button on the back of the case until the indicator light flashes white.

  4. Go to the home screen on your iPhone.

  5. Open your AirPods case and place it close to your iPhone.

    The AirPods need to remain fully seated in the case.

  6. Wait for the setup animation to occur.

  7. Tap Connect.

    Connecting replacement AirPods to your iPhone showing an iPhone screen, connection animation, and Connect highlighted
  8. Tap Skip.

  9. Tap Not Now.

  10. Tap Done.

    Final steps connecting a replacement AirPod to an iPhone with Skip, Not Now, and Done highlighted

Why Won’t My Replacement AirPod Connect?

While Apple will sell you a replacement AirPod, it won’t automatically connect to the AirPod you already have. Unlike the AirPods you usually buy, which come in matched pairs, replacement units are unpaired AirPods and won’t work right out of the box. To connect your replacement AirPod, you need to follow the process outlined in the previous section: place the old AirPod in your case with your new AirPod, reset both AirPods, and pair them with your phone.

If your replacement AirPod still doesn’t connect, try a factory reset of the AirPods:

  1. Disconnect the AirPods from your mobile device.

  2. Put your AirPods in the case and leave it closed for at least 30 seconds.

  3. Open the charging case.

  4. Press and hold the setup button until the indicator light flashes amber.

  5. Reconnect your AirPods to your mobile device.

If your replacement AirPod still doesn’t connect, contact Apple for assistance. The replacement may have newer firmware preventing the connection. If that’s the case, you will need to mail in your AirPods for repair or bring them to an Apple Store.

  • How much is a replacement AirPod?

    Purchase a left or right replacement AirPod from Apple for $69; a replacement AirPod Pro will cost $89.

  • How much is a replacement AirPod case?

    You can buy a replacement AirPod charging case for $59 or $79 (wireless), or a replacement AirPod Pro wireless charging case for $99.

  • Can you buy a replacement AirPod on Amazon?

    While some sellers offer single AirPod-compatible earbud replacements on Amazon, you're not receiving a genuine Apple product if the manufacturer isn't Apple. Apple does have an Apple shop on Amazon where you can buy official Apple products with Prime shipping, but this shop doesn't carry AirPod replacements.

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