How to find your AirPods in the snow. Seriously.

AirPods (Image credit: Rene Ritche/iMore)

My ears have been mangled by years of grappling: Almost no earbud will stay in longer than a few seconds. AirPods, Apple's wireless earbuds, however, are different — they stay in just fine 90% of the time. Still, when the winter snow started to pile up here, I began to worry. What would happen if I dropped one of those snowy white AirPods into actual white snow?

And, as I was taking a few photos in the woods, it happened — I dropped one between the slats of a bench and it fell straight into a big pile of fresh snow. And disappeared.


Then: Troubleshooting opportunity!

How to find your AirPods in the snow

There are two options for finding lost AirPods in the snow: Find My AirPods, or the musical variation.

Find My AirPods

If you've accidentally misplaced one of your AirPods, iOS 10.3 and Apple's Find My iPhone app will let you hunt it down as long as you're within Bluetooth range.

How to find lost AirPods

Play music to find your AirPods

If you drop one of your AirPods and can't see it and want to immediately seek it out without worrying about the Find My iPhone app, here's what you do:

  1. Pull up Control Center.
  2. Swipe to the Now Playing tab.
  3. Tap Sources at the bottom.
  4. Tap AirPods.

  1. Crank the Volume.
  2. Listen for your AirPod(s).

I did this when I lost mine, and immediately heard the missing earbud. After a few torturously long seconds of raking my ungloved fingers through the snow, I felt it and fished it out!


I've toyed with the idea of adding some bright red tape to the stems of the AirPods to make them more visually apparent in the snow, but I'm not sure how that'd affect their balance in my ears yet. I may test that hack next.

Your AirPods tips?

Even if your AirPods stay in your ears 100% of the time, winter chill and gloves could mean you drop one while putting them in or taking them out. So keep this in mind, and if you have any other suggestions, let me know in the comments!

Updated January 2018: Added tips for using Find My AirPods.

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.