A decorative picture of AirPods Pro on a table next to an iPhone with the bluetooth settings

Photo: Hadrian (Shutterstock)

Have you ever wondered why yours AirPods Pro battery level almost always hovering around 80 percent? This is because Apple automatically activates a feature that reduces battery aging – and as a result, significantly slows charging speed once your AirPods Pro’s battery is 80 percent charged. If you’re in a rush to fully charge your AirPods Pro, there is an easy way to bypass this feature.

Why is Apple slowing down the charging speed of AirPods Pro?

Apple uses a feature called Optimized Battery Charging to improve the battery health of your AirPods Pro. This feature increases the life of the battery life of your AirPods Pro, which means that you will not have unusable battery life within a year of purchasing this product. It’s good. However, it also prevents the battery from charging as quickly as you want it to if you are unplugged from the charger for long periods of time. Not so good.

This feature may remind you of recent complaints about Apple’s battery throttling practices, but that’s not an example of Apple being evil. AirPods Pro uses lithium-ion battery technology (like pretty much every other consumer electronics product) and the limitation of this technology is that the battery capacity decreases over time. There is no way these batteries can stop aging, but there are ways to slow the process down. Apple’s solution enables optimized battery charging on AirPods Pro by default.

Here’s how to fully charge your AirPods Pro, faster

Image for article titled How To Make Sure Your AirPods Pro Are Actually Fully Charged

Screenshot: Pranay Parab

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If you find yourself in a situation where you need the AirPods Pro is fully charged, try turning off optimized battery charging. Please note that we absolutely do not recommend permanently deactivating this feature. If you turn them off, it’s a good idea to turn them back on once your need for quick charge is over so you don’t unnecessarily shorten your AirPods Pro’s battery life.

However, if you are in an emergency and absolutely need to charge your AirPods Pro ASAP, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Connect your AirPods Pro to your iPhone or iPad. (For most people, this means taking your AirPods Pro out of the case and putting it in your ears; they usually automatically connect to the iPhone or iPad.)
  2. Go to the device Settings> Bluetooth.
  3. Tap the I Button next to AirPods Pro.
  4. Scroll down and turn off Optimized charging of the battery.
  5. When you do, you will see a pop-up on your iPhone asking you to confirm this action. You can choose Turn it off until tomorrow temporarily disabling it, which is probably a good idea for the reasons listed above. Or you can live dangerously and choose Turn off to permanently deactivate optimized battery charging (until you switch it on again manually).

Image for article titled How To Make Sure Your AirPods Pro Are Actually Fully Charged

Screenshot: Pranay Parab

Once your AirPods Pro are 100% charged, you can follow the same steps to turn Optimized Battery Charging back on (or wait for it to turn back on automatically).

Note: This feature requires iOS 14.2 or iPadOS 14.2 versions or newer. You can check if you have the required version by going to Settings> General> Info and check the number next to Software version. If you have an older version of iOS or iPadOS, go to Settings> General> Software update and update to a newer version of iOS.