Apple Replacement AirPod Not Pairing? Here’s How to Fix It

Enjoying the wireless earphone experience can get difficult when one ear of your AirPods goes missing or gets damaged, but that’s where replacement AirPods come in. 

Apple will sell you replacement AirPods if you need them, but the replacement AirPod will not automatically pair with the one you have. However, this does not always mean that they are defective. 

Is your Apple replacement AirPod not pairing?  your first guess shouldn’t be that they’re defective. 

We’ve outlined possible reasons why your replacement AirPods have refused to pair and some straightforward DIY fixes. 

Apple replacement AirPod not pairing? Causes

When you get your replacement AirPod and it is not in sync with the one you already have, any of these might be the problem:

The replacement AirPod is not the same model as the one you already have

When you buy replacement AirPods, you can’t rule out the possibility that they might not be the same generation as the one you already own. You can’t pair a first-generation AirPod with a second-generation AirPod, it simply would not work. 

If your replacement AirPod and your previously owned AirPod are not the same model and generation, this is most likely why your replacement AirPod is not pairing with the one you have. 

Different Firmware versions

Firmware are pieces of software instructions ingrained into a device by the manufacturer to make the device do what it is supposed to do. Apple AirPods come with firmware, and like iOS versions, firmware updates are also released from time to time. 

So, when you get replacement AirPods, the chances that the replacement AirPod comes with an updated firmware version are high. The implication is that both AirPods will have different firmware versions and this makes the replacement AirPod unable to pair with the one you already own. 

You did not reset the AirPods

When you get new AirPods, the first thing you do is to set them up so they can connect to your device. Alternatively, with replacement AirPods, you would need to reset the AirPods; that is the old one that still works and the replacement AirPod. 

If you skip this process, your replacement AirPod may refuse to sync with the old one and ultimately refuse to pair as well. 

Apple replacement AirPod not pairing? Best Fixes

Your Apple replacement AirPod not pairing can be pretty annoying. We have some DIY fixes that are may not require you to go back to the store. 

Fix 1: Make sure both AirPods are the same generation and model

This fix has 3 steps. 

  • Step 1: Check to know if the replacement AirPod and the one you already have are the same models. 

Normally, you can check the model number from the settings on your device but since the replacement AirPod has refused to pair, that will not be possible. 

In this case, check the model number on the AirPod itself. 

Look below the AirPod to find the model number (the part of the AirPod that sits on your earlobe). It is not written so boldly so you might need to squint or use a magnifying lens. Do this for both the replacement AirPod and the one you already have. 

  •  Step 2: Identify the generation and model of each ear. 

Now that you have seen the model numbers, you can identify if both AirPods belong to the same generation and model this guide: 

  1. First-generation AirPods – A1523, A1722
  2. Second-generation AirPods – A2032, A2031
  3. AirPods Pro – A2084, A2083
  4. AirPods max – A2096
  5. Third generation AirPods – A2565, A2564
  • Step 3: Return the replacement AirPods if they don’t belong to the same generation and model.

If both AirPods are not the same generation and model, this is why the replacement AirPods are not pairing. You should return the replacement AirPods and get one that is the same generation and model as the one you have. 

If both the replacement AirPods and the one you had are the same generation and model, you should try resetting both of them. The next fix will show you how.

Fix 2: Reset both AirPods

Follow these detailed instructions to reset the replacement AirPods and the one you already own.

Go to Bluetooth settings and forget the AirPods >>> Place both AirPods in the charging case and open the lid close to your device (the status light should flash amber) >>> Press and hold on to the button behind the case (the status light should flash white) >>> Tap Connect on the pop-up option on your device >>> After it has connected, tap Done

Your AirPods should connect to your device seamlessly when you do this. 

Fix 3: Update the AirPods firmware

Dissimilar firmware versions on the AirPods can cause them not to pair. You can fix that by updating the firmware version of the AirPods with older firmware. Here’s how:

Forget all AirPods Bluetooth devices from Bluetooth settings >>> Pair each ear to the device individually >>> Place both ears in the case and make sure they are both connected to your device (the status light on the case should flash orange) >>> Plug the AirPods case to power while the lid is open and the AirPods are connected to your device >>> leave the device unlocked and connected to an active internet connection >>> Leave till the case status light flashes green.

Fix 4: Get both AirPods replaced

If the above fixes don’t work for you, you should consider replacing both AirPods.

How do I connect my AirPods after I replace one?

When you replace one ear of your AirPods, all you have to do is:

Forget your AirPods from Bluetooth settings >>> With the AirPods in the case, open the lid of the case and place the case close to your device >>> Press and hold the setup button behind the case till the status light flashes white >>> Tap connect on the pop-up option on your device and tap Done once it has connected. 

Read also: AirPods Out of Sync With Each Other? Causes & Best Fixes

How do I pair mismatched AirPods?

Forget the AirPods from Bluetooth settings >>> Place both AirPods in the case and close the lid >>> Let them charge for about 30 to 40 minutes without opening the case >>> Re-pair the AirPods to your device. 

How do I reset my mismatched AirPods?

Place the AirPods in the case and close the lid >>> Wait for about 30 seconds >>> Forget your AirPods in Bluetooth settings >>> Open the lid of the case and press the setup button on the case till the status light flashes white >>> Tap connect on your device’s screen and tap Done to reconnect. 

Can I reset a single AirPod?

Yes, you can reset a single AirPod.

Can 1st generation and 2nd generation AirPods work together? 

No, first-generation and second-generation AirPods cannot work together. Your AirPods need to be the same generation and model to work in sync. There is a loophole we think you can try though, go to your Control Center >> on the box showing what song is playing, force it to connect to the different AirPods by selecting the different ears as the devices you’d like to share audio with.